My guest today is Pavan Varma. He is Vice President of the All India Trinamool Congress, a former member of Parliament, former Press Secretary to the President of India, and as a career diplomat, former Ambassador to Bhutan and Indian High Commissioner, Cyprus.
But above all, in my book, he is an author of substance. A historian, he has authored over a dozen books that are treatises in literature, philosophy, socio-political thought and commentary.
An early book of his was The Great Indian Middle Class, a book that influenced my thinking substantially.
Two of his recent books are candidates for any thinking person’s bookshelf—one about the great Indian sage, Adi Shankaracharya and the other, The Great Hindu Civilisation: Achievement, Neglect, Bias and the Way Forward. I say thinking person’s bookshelf because the books enable anyone interested in exploring the Hindu philosophical premise or their Hindu identity and do it without submitting to gonzo politics and mindless jingoism.
His novel—When Loss is Gain—is a deeply introspective tale of a man coming to grips with a surprising turn in his life.
Writing fiction liberates the writer and it provides a window to the writer’s soul. The prose of fiction tends to yank off any protective veil and lets you look at a writer’s more romantic comportment.
So I was very happy to be told that he was going to be my next guest on my podcast. With that it is both my privilege and a pleasure to welcome Pavan K Varma to The Literary City.
ABOUT PAVAN VARMA
Pavan K. Varma was conferred Bhutan’s highest civilian award, the Druk Thuksey, by the King of Bhutan. He also received a honorary doctoral degree for his contribution to the fields of diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis in 2005 and an Honorary Doctorate by Sri Sharada Institute of Indian Management for his book "Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker".
This book has also won the Atta Galatta-Bengaluru Literature Festival prize for the Best Book of Non-Fiction in 2018. And he won the Kalinga International Literary Award 2019. He is a popular columnist and a well known TV commentator.
Buy Yudhishtar & Draupadi: https://amzn.to/3whTET0
Buy The Great Indian Middle Class: https://amzn.to/3wBPjcu
WHAT'S THAT WORD?! - NEW WINE IN AN OLD BOTTLE
Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in the segment "What's That Word?", where they discuss the the words "New wine in an old bottle".
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