Young law student and BMM graduate Virat Vilas Pawar has authored a book titled “Heroes of War”. He believes that he is science fiction buff since childhood, writing is his passion and he authored his yearnings into words. Heroes of Wars- Men From The Future was born is a fiction and mixture of Mythology and science, a story that is inspired by Mahabharat. The books talks about how God from the past travels to the future to ask for a favour from its own final incarnation. He was in conversation with our Editor-in-chief Dr Vaidehi Taman, and says it is the era where one can afford to be brave and speak about the unspoken. Following are the excerpts from Tete-a-tete.
Have you heard of “Hero of War” song by Rise Against from the album Appeal to Reason?
Yes, I have.
Well! What has inspired you to write this book?
I have grown up watching a lot of cartoons and reading tons of comics, but I always felt there was something that was missing. Not from the creator’s perspective but from the receiver’s perspective. Later, I realised it was the “Desi Flavor” that was missing. We wouldn’t relate much to underground metros or yellow taxies, but we can relate to railway stations and BEST buses. As I grew up, I always wanted to create Indian Superheroes and give the Indian audience an authentic taste of Science Fiction. Now to connect with the Indian audience, what can be better than the rich mythology we have? When we say mythology, the first thing that comes to our mind is the deadliest war ever fought in the history of mankind. “Mahabharata,” we all know about Mahabharata; every character can be pulled out and turned into a superhero arch. So I think the need for science fiction and the richness of our mythology has inspired me to write Heroes of Wars: Men From The Future.
How much you read Mahabharata and understood the same?
I have spent more than a year just reading about Mahabharata and various theories about the epic. As per my knowledge, it is not possible for anybody to completely understand this epic. The deeper you dig, the deeper it goes. It has every single emotion, mood, and situation in it.
Do you believe that the God has past, future and present? If yes, how would you see the same God in present scenario where internal and external enemies surround India?
Well, I will answer this question as a fiction buff. God, as a supreme entity, he knows the past; he is aware of the present and also knows the future. I feel it’s all pre-written, everything wrong that is happening now is part of a big plan (happy ending) where we all are just puppets, playing our roles to make it happen. So yes, maybe the good, the bad, the ugly is all part of God’s plan.
How do you define Adharma? And what is a War against Adharma?
I am quoting dialogue from my novel –
“Dharma doesn’t have to only mean religion or praying to one God.
The real meaning of Dharma is reality, faith, and belief in
Something; Dharma is doing what you have to do; Dharma
Is believing in the good; Dharma is supporting the right.”
This is Dharma, according to me. Adharma can be exactly opposite of it- being unfair, killing in the name of a specific thing, being dishonest, betraying people, not following humanity, and doing something wrong when you know it is not the right action. A War against Adharma means a fight that is against everything wrong for the greater good.
Why is Mahabharata a war against Adharma even if it was won by unfair methods?
Even though Lord Krishna used unfair means to help the Pandavas win the war, the intentions and the ultimate goal was to defeat the big bad villain. It doesn’t matter what methods you use as long as you are on the right side.
Kurukshetra is a family dispute, war happened between the cousins, Kauravas and Pandavas for the Kingdom but Mahabharatha is not a war it’s an epic. What is your take on this?
Of course, Mahabharata is an epic that involves thousands of characters with subplots of their own. The war could have been avoided, but the stubbornness lead to the devastation, isn’t it like today? There is a quarrel in the family that leads to the massive division of things. Every war/fight that takes place happens between two parties and later involves their allies, leading to the expansion of the teams.
What would have happened if the Kauravas had won the war against the Pandavas?
The victorious people tell the stories of victories. Maybe Kauravas would have told a story about how they won despite so much politics. Given the nature of the Kauravas ( As per the existing knowledge), maybe the world would be a different place now. (Psh, there is a part in the novel where you would get to know how the world would be if Kauravas won)
If Karna was killed by unethical means, how did Mahabharata Yuddham (Mahabharata War) become “Dharma Yuddham” (Righteous War)?
Even while I think of Karna, I get goosebumps. A warrior so perfect but unlucky in all the possible phases of life but it doesn’t matter how you are, what matters is what side you choose. If you stand on the side of evil, you are evil too. Karna knew Kauravas were wrong, but he still decided to fight on their side because he wanted to take revenge from Pandavas for being mistreated.
When you are talking about future, why didn’t Krishna actively participate in the Mahabharata war in the past?
*SPOILER ALERT!* Lord Krishna did participate, but due to some reasons, he couldn’t win the war, after numerous alternatives he finally decides to go to the future and recruit five super-warriors and fight Pandavas in this alternate timeline.
In the Mahabharata, why didn’t Sri Krishna save Abhimanyu when he knew already that he was about to be killed?
Action leads to reaction; Lord Krishna knew everything; he knew what would trigger Arjun the most. Maybe, he wanted to save the card for some other day and use it at the right time. We can’t comment on the action of a supreme entity.
Krishna was the most skilled at war strategy; but who tipped the scales when it came to might, Bheeshma, Arjuna, Karna or someone else, who was the most powerful warrior in the Mahabharata?
All of them were stronger than we can comprehend but if I had to name a few, the list would start from Karna, who was the master of all. Then comes Bheeshma, who taught both Kauravas and Pandavas. Of course, Lord Krishna has to be on the list considering who he was. Arjun is usually regarded as the strongest of all, but he broke down several times during the war, thanks to Lord Krishna’s guidance he managed everything pretty well.
In today’s time you do completely agree with the saga of Pandavas and Kaurava’s birth? How do you look at Panchali?
We believe what we are told. The birth of both Pandavas and Kauravas is unbelievable. In a world where we desperately need demigods and men with superpowers to step in, and we see none, it’s hard to believe something like this, but from a fiction perspective, “WOW.” Panchali was born out of the fire, the fire of rage. There are two ways of looking at her. Either strong woman or woman who didn’t take proper stand. Well, she managed five demigods on her own (initially), so I consider her quite strong.
Well, what is your objective of writing this book and what s your message to our readers?
The main objective of writing Heroes of Wars is to give the audience a taste of mythology with a teaspoon of fiction. As I said, we have a rich mythology, and I had to make use of the references to make something big. I wanted to give my readers something we already know dressed in a completely different way.
The message that I want to give the readers is to believe in you. Everything is possible in this world; with the right planning, everything can be conquered regardless of how difficult it seems.