Vasant Davé

Biography

Vasant Davé was born in East Africa where his parents had migrated from India before WWII. He was schooled in Kenya when it had just attained freedom from the British rule. Although English is not his mother tongue, he could learn it fairly well with the help of two very dedicated British teachers, Ms. H. C. Davies and Mr. A. Bullock.

Vasant studied science in Elphinstone College and graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Bombay. Besides providing Industrial Market Research services in India, he catered to corporate clients in Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the USA. His work called for extensive traveling throughout India. It helped him to address a deep interest in archaeology by visiting numerous ancient sites.

During one of his frequent tours he happened to visit Lothal in Western India, and was awed to learn that it was a sea-port that conducted maritime business with Mesopotamia. Subsequently he visited other Indus Valley archaeological sites and had had discussions with authorities on the subject. Studying Mesopotamia, he found that 4,000 years ago women were more emancipated than their great great grand-daughters are today in what is now the Middle East. Gradually, a rough plot started emerging in his mind revolving around trade and cultural links between two of the most ancient civilizations in the world. After retirement in 2008, he took up writing 'Trade winds to Meluhha' and completed it three years later.

Earlier, Vasant's anecdotes and articles were published in 'Readers' Digest', 'Economic Times', 'Business India', 'Shankar's Weekly', 'Telematics India' and 'Studio Systems'. His technical background helped him to understand and apply historical, geographical, environmental and cultural nuances bearing upon the life during the Bronze Age, the period in which 'Trade winds to Meluhha' is set.

Smashwords Interview

Vasant, when was your first writing published?
I was born in Kenya where my parents had migrated from India before the War. The 1960s were the most turbulent time in the history of many African countries because the European rulers were withdrawing, and Africans were taking over governance and economy. Discussing politics had become a second nature among high school boys because as expatriates, our future depended upon political developments. Against that background, I wrote a spoof on racial politics in South Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe. I was 17. I put it up on ‘Limelight’, a handwritten magazine that our class produced every fortnight. Our principal Mr. J.M. Wood happened to read it and appreciated it. I showed it to my father and asked if it was good enough for publication. “Send it,” he encouraged. “Laage to teer, nahi to tookko!” meaning “It would be an arrow if it hits the target. Otherwise it’s a dud anyway!” 'Shankar’s Weekly', a political periodical in India which later chose to shut down during Indira Gandhi’s ‘Emergency’, considered it ‘an arrow’.
Did you visualize yourself as a novelist at that age?
No, neither then nor ever afterwards. Writing has been a hobby to me rather than a serious pursuit as a career. That was probably because of my middle-class background in a developing country. Throughout our youth, my wife and I were more concerned about earning and saving an adequate amount with which we could repay the house loan and educate two kids.

In India, free-lance writing didn’t provide that sort of income till a few years ago. Now several young fiction writers – Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi in particular – have made it big in the exponentially expanding English-readership in India. That often makes me feel that I should have born a generation later than I did!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Vasant Davé online


Books

Novelizing the Ancient Indus Valley
By
Price: Free! Words: 4,410. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
This e-Booklet contains six articles discussing various aspects involved in creating interesting fiction from historical and archaeological facts.