Open Minds 2017: Soft Power

Arshia Sattar, Author

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Classic Quest

Some writers are known for their intellect, others for their prolificity, but a rare few are known for being nurturing. Arshia Sattar falls in the last category. Over the years, Sangam House, a writer’s residency located just outside Bengaluru, has provided refuge and inspiration to many an Indian author. As its co-founder, Sattar not only selects the writers, but also facilitates interactions with the local literary community.

All children should be familiar with stories that take them beyond the world they know, the world they see around them, whether those stories are myths or folk tales. These kinds of stories nurture our sense of wonder and possibility

In 2016, Sattar also came out with two landmark books: Uttara: The Book of Answers and Ramayana for Children. Thirty years ago, Hanuman spurred her interest in the Ramayana, and she went on to get a PhD in classical Indian literatures from the University of Chicago. Over time, she has become a leading authority on Valmiki’s Ramayana. By breathing new life into an ancient epic, she has stirred fresh interest in it.

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