Thought Box



by Editorial Desk May 29 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 32 secs

Advait Kottary’s debut novel SIDDHARTHA: THE BOY WHO BECAME THE BUDDHA takes readers on a fictional journey through Buddha’s formative years, reports The Daily Eye Newsdesk.

London-based actor and writer, Advait Kottary, makes his debut with the publication of Siddhartha: The Boy Who Became the Buddha. Released on 25th May, the book features a gripping foreword by national award winning singer Rekha Bhardwaj. ‘Reading Advait’s take on the Buddha took me through a whole range of emotions and insights. I particularly enjoyed the form, starting with the enlightenment and his attempt at understanding the process that transformed Prince Siddhartha to the Buddha. This is the perfect gate-way for an introduction to this extraordinary life’, she writes.

Advait Kottary is a writer and actor in London. Passionate about cars and engineering, he worked as an engine designer before quitting his job to pursue his love of writing and the performing arts. He went on to lead the world's biggest Bollywood musical Jaan-E-Jigar, and has acted in international productions such as Beecham House. Advait has also co-conceptualised the award winning television show Molkki and voiced several audiobooks with the Swedish platform Storytel. Siddhartha is his first novel, which stemmed from his own quest to understand the ‘self’ and his encounters with the Buddha’s teachings.

This unique retelling, published by Hachette India, takes the readers on a spiritual journey, and explores the complex and often tumultuous early life of Siddhartha. Kottary’s skilful prose with richly imagined characters emphasize the role played by Buddha’s family in his path to enlightenment.

The author says, ‘Siddhartha is a real labour of love. It's a unique look at a familiar story told through the eyes of the Buddha himself in a moment of ultimate clarity. It was a life changing journey for me as an author to study, over three years of writing and reworking, the fascinating stories of those closest to Siddhartha. They had such a crucial role to play in shaping his life, upbringing, and eventually his legacy. I think the last words of the Buddha before his passing, "Aapo Deepo Bhava" (be your own light) are more relevant to us today than ever before, and I hope that the seekers among us enjoy reading about this journey as much as I did while writing it.’  

Pritish Nandy, poet, journalist, producer said, ‘The book is a refreshing new take on the man who gave up his kingdom to discover his own self, and changed the world in the process. Read it!’

And, filmmaker, screenwriter and music composer Vishal Bhadwaj called the book, ‘A beautiful cinematic interpretation of the Buddha’s journey.’

Meanwhile actor, author, director, Anupam Kher and author, editor, film critic Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, too, were full of praises for the young author.

Kher said, ‘Advait Kottary tells a familiar historic tale in a very engaging style. In his retelling, the story does not begin at the beginning. Read it, to experience it!’

And, Shantanu’s words are straight from his heart: ‘Advait Kottary’s remarkable debut fiction offers a nuanced and heartfelt account of the epoch-making transformation of Siddhartha to the Buddha. An evocative read.’ 

About the book: His family was happy to see him, but they had hoped to meet the Siddhartha they knew, not the Buddha he had become. Long before Siddhartha became the enlightened leader (Buddha), he was a boy oblivious of the world. As the young prince navigates politics and relationships, he slowly begins to question his oppressively perfect life. Meanwhile his family struggles to maintain the deception in the hope that they can mould him into a dutiful king – from banishing the old and sick to hiding their own advancing age. In Advait Kottary’s intricately woven narrative, raw human emotion and conflict is tempered with the boundless compassion of the Buddha. Exciting and insightful in equal measure, Siddhartha is at once a riveting story and a profound meditation on our shared quest for truth. Preorder on Amazon 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.