28 May 2023

Ready to Experience the Dashavatars

Vignes Chandran, hailing from Malacca, is a free-spirited soul who finds happiness in discovering the world for what it really is, and not what it appears to be. Discovering life best through ventures such as hiking, deep-sea diving as well as exploring ancient civilizations across the globe, he also includes spirituality, history and mythology as other areas of interest, not to forget writing which has always been a passion of his. He has studied in both Malacca and Seremban in terms of primary and secondary education, and holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Cardiff Metropolitan University. Vignes has published 3 books to date, with the most recent being Shiva – The Unborn Eternal (2023), as well as Siddhartha Gauthama – A Journey with the Buddha (2021) and Mahabharata – The Eternal Epic in Short Stories (2020). Currently based in Malaysia, Vignes also calls Bali and India home, and feels completely at home high up in the mountains.

Vignes shares his creative journey in an interview conducted by Uthaya Sankar SB.


What was your ambition as a child?

I had a myriad of different ambitions, from a policeman to doctor to engineer, but nothing concrete to be totally honest. Every 2 years my ambition would change to reflect my interest at that moment of time. But even when I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to write my own version of the Mahabharata, which I finally accomplished 3 years ago.


When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

I have always enjoyed writing, even during my school days. I have never actually wanted to be a writer, but I continued writing (mainly articles) after school. And I have always wanted to write my own version of the Mahabharata, this occurred to me during my teenage years.


Where do you get your ideas or information for your writings?

The core of my writing is from my own explorations and experiences. While my books are loosely based on existing texts, scriptures and books of the past, I am a firm believer of writing my own stories, so every book that I write would be my own version of the story, and I would have visited locations and places related to the stories before putting them into print.


Which was your hardest book/piece to write?

None were actually difficult to write, but I struggled with time when I was writing my second book, Siddhartha Gauthama – A Journey with the Buddha. This is mainly due to me balancing full time work with the demands of writing this book at the same time. Book 3 was written differently, without the distraction of full time work.


What’s your latest writing project?

My next book will be on the 10 Avatars of Vishnu, famously known as the Dashavatars of Vishnu. I will be reliving the ten different incarnations of Lord Vishnu through my own experiences with each other them.


What do you do when you are not writing or reading?

I am a believer of balance; that all of us require balance in our lives to be able to live fully. I manage corporate real estate as my primary job, while I also take sabbaticals and breaks every now and then to travel extensively, hike, dive, explore different parts of the world and discover the world for what it really is from a first-hand experience. During a number of evenings I am found playing badminton or running at the local park.


How do you handle writer’s block?

To be completely honest, I have never encountered the infamous ‘writer’s block’.


How do you promote/sell your books?

My books are generally available directly through my Instagram account or via resellers (both online on platforms such as Shopee or local bookstores). From a promotion perspective, personally I utilize Instagram Ads to help promote my books.


Date: 28 May 2023