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When DAN BROWN spoke in Delhi

Dan Brown Books, Dan Brown in Delhi, Author, Penguin Random House Lecture
The readers in the capital had an enlightening date with the renowned writer Dan Brown when he returned to India after 30 years to a packed house at Sirifort Sports Complex in New Delhi on 10th November 2014.  The occasion was the one of its kind, Penguin Annual Lecture 2014. The theme of his talk was “Codes, Science and Religion”, interestingly the topics around which Mr. Brown’s books revolve around.
The Author was zestfully cheered by a crowd of more than 2000 young faces, mostly comprising of college students. The adulation and love was visible as the boys and girls patiently queued up outside the Sirfort complex starting early evening when the event was supposed to begin at 7 p.m. The moderator of the event, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, celebrity journalist, warmly welcomed Mr. Brown on the stage. One of the slides on the screen read that his books are available in 52 languages and 220 million print copies, the spectacular numbers are enough to tell us that Dan Brown is one of the highest paid authors globally.

The Author began by telling the audience that he had been to India last when he was only 19. For the initial ten minutes, Mr. Brown lovingly talked about his childhood and his parents.  He struck an emotional connect with the audience when he showed his first book that was some pages bound in a spiral, which he had dictated to his mother when he was 5. It was interesting to learn about the author’s upbringing.  He talked about his mother as a devout Christian lady (Church organist) and how he discussed space, universe, and infinity with his mathematician father.  (he wrote many books on mathematics). Together religion and science influenced his growing up days.

“When I look at the world around me, I find it impossible to believe that everything happened by chance”. “Where do we come from? Why are we here? What happens when we die? … Dan Brown
Dan clearly stated that while he was growing up under the influence of religion, he was also learning evolution and big bang theory. Once when he questioned a priest; he was told that good boys don’t ask these questions. The Author said ‘Science and religion are partners; they are two of world’s rather different forms of man’s quest to understand the divine.’
As the session progressed he also said that we are all energy manifested in the form of human beings. When our spiritual experiences are similar, why do we have different religions? It’s only because of different languages. I couldn’t agree more with him when he said we worship the Gods of our parents. Thus what was required of humans was that we should live with critical mind, ask questions, share ideas, books, and magical artifacts.
Mr. Brown’s lecture did not have a boring moment and while he talked about religion and science, there wasn’t anything on codes that caught my fancy. Mr. Brown was witty, crisp, entertaining and logical in his riveting talk however I expected him to inspire the budding authors. On the other hand he sounded practical by saying ‘Writing is an isolating, exhausting battle’.  To tickle the funny bone of his young fans he added more to this by saying that ‘Marrying and living with an Author was most difficult’. This was his way of thanking his wife.
The Q and A round with the audience was not very interesting as the youngsters were more interested in getting their books signed (only one got lucky). Towards the end,  a few sensible ones did spring up which made him talk. Answering one of the questions he said, ‘I read extensively and my favorite were Hardy Boys as a teen.’ Woah! I have loved Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys too.
The post was first published at Writersmelon as part of #Bloggerbeats initiative.

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