The Legend of Amrapali is Anurag’s sixth title, following two self-help books and three fictional works. The author, better known for his contemporary best-sellers like The Quest for Nothing, a story of conflicts between personal and professional aspirations of a young couple, and Reality Bites, a high-school love story, is delighted with the response he has been receiving for The Legend of Amrapali.
‘We are inherently inquisitive about characters from our past, those that made up the bed-time stories that lolled us to sleep as a child. It is good that current day authors are taking pains to present these stories in a form that readers of today are accustomed to and even better that the readers are lapping up these works with equal fervor. It not only prevents these inspiring characters from fading away into oblivion, but also helps us retain a connection with our glorious past,’ says the author about the recent upsurge in titles from the historical-fiction genre hitting the shelves.
The Legend of Amrapali is a fictional account from the life of the yesteryear courtesan from the kingdom of Vaishali. The book traces the early years of her life and the convoluted machinations that saw an impressionable young girl, also touted as one of most beautiful women to have ever dwelt on earth, being anointed as the Nagarvadhu (literally meaning, the city’s wife) of the kingdom. The sequence of events and political maneuvers that she adopts in a bid to accumulate enough power to be able to avenge her torment are beautifully articulated and do well to bring to life the legend.
The book, which has already been launched in Mumbai and Ahmedabad by prominent personalities like Prahlad Kakkar, Bhagyashree and Mallika Sarabhai is already being touted as one of the titles to be watched for in 2012. ‘I was amazed at how, being a man and a banker at that, Anurag was able to portray the innermost emotions of a woman so realistically. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book,’ Bhagyashree, the yesteryear actress and once herself an icon of beauty and grace, said of The Legend of Amrapali.
Why then does Delhi, the city that Anurag was brought up in, feature so low in the list of cities to be introduced to his work? ‘You can’t take away Delhi from anyone who has lived in the city. It features prominently in most of my stories and I have always wanted to have a mega-launch event here. It is just that the opportunity never presented itself and when it did, I was quick to latch on to it. I am grateful that Dr Tharoor, Indrani and Sonalika consented to grace the event and I am really looking forward to the day,’ says Anurag.
The event is scheduled on 17th May (7.00 to 8.00 p.m.) at Landmark, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.