Bhama Devi Ravi catches up with the time traveler…
In Little-known Tales of Well-known Times, you make Thiruvalluvar talk to Chanakya, in your book… Are you trying to make sure the timelines make sense? Were you inspired by books like Horrible Histories?
Not at all. I've never read Horrible Histories, as a matter of fact, and I was not inspired by any specific format/book when it came to writing historical short-stories for children/young adults, especially with a twist in the end. When I start out to write a story, I usually zero in on a little-known fact, something that's seemingly not very obvious at first glance, but that ends up having a great relevance to the historical character I want to portray.
I research a lot before writing. I make my characters relatable - they might be kings and princes, but they're also, in the end, human. (I followed this format for I, Harshavardhana, a series in ‘ Gokulam’ based on the Emperor.)
As for Thiruvalluvar meeting Chanakya - I did my research, and though historians are divided over their respective lifetimes, I decided to work on this theory.
Also, from what I knew of their works, there were so many points of similarity that I could almost see them in my mind's eye, looking at each other's works, discussing it, maybe - certainly, they seemed to be on the same wavelength.
Image: Cover of the book, Little-known Tales of Well-known Times