“This is the story of an extraordinary and charismatic leader whose teachings were magical”
Academic, administrator and author Harish Dhillon’s, latest work is an attemp to retelling the Janam Saakhis of Guru Nanak Dev. Q. Why is there a need to retell Janam Saakhis ?
A. I saw that most of the books pertaining to stories of Guru Nanak aimed at attracting buyers through illustrations, minimal text and highlighting Guru Nanak Dev as a magical being. Through my book, I intend to share the story of an extraordinary and charismatic leader whose teachings were magical. Q. Was it easy to retell those stories? A. No. In fact it is more difficult, especially retelling the religious tales. I walk a tight rope here. There are very few facts and dates on which I can build the story of Guru Nanak Dev. Q. So what is your version of Janam Saakhis built on?
A. I have tried to build the stories in the context of the social conditions of that time. Thus the Saakhi’s are in a way the basis to decipher the underpinnings of the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev. His conflict with his father, the visit to Haridwar and other journeys that he undertook have a grounding in his messages that were transformed into hymns and verses later. Q. Are you writing with a target audience in mind?
A. Not really. I love to write stories in a way that are easily comprehendible by all. I never write a complex sentence or use unfamiliar words. I am a storyteller. My motive is to entertain first. However, if a reader learns any lessons or gains any kind of insight from my stories then I am happy to have done more than my bit.