Devdutt Pattanaik, a moniker that pretty much conjures up a neighbourhood boy’s name in Orissa, has given a new character to India’s rich treasure trove of mythologies. In his unique style of story-telling, he has reinvented several classics that had long faded into oblivion.
While providing a new character to studies and interpretation of timeless literature, he has also made it more relevant to the present-day society. This has helped many understand present day problems — be it politics, management, business or social issues. Not surprisingly, he has been a darling of Indian media today and a much-sought-after public speaker. Many of his books articulate the sum and substance of numerous Hindu mythologies in ways that the general reader can relate them to their lives.
Enthused by his writings and speeches, the youths in the country and abroad are taking a renewed interest in India’s mythological texts.
A medical doctor by education, leadership coach by profession and mythologist by passion, Pattanaik wears many caps at such a young age. Besides being an author of many books — many of them bestsellers — he has been a chief belief officer with the Future Group. He is consultant with Reliance Industries on matters of culture and appears on Star TV to air his views on various mythological serials. He reinvested mythological figures like Mahadev and Draupadi, among others, with mundane meanings, so that common viewers could understand them easily. He has been brilliantly successful in explaining modern-day sociao-economic challenges with the help of mythological imageries.
Pattanaik has his biological roots in Orissa, from where his parents migrated to Mumbai over 50 years ago. He was born and brought up in the western metropolis. Pattanaik is slated to deliver the keynote address as chief speaker at the Nandini Satpathy birth anniversary celebration at Soochana Bhavan here June 9.