Anything that lessens stress sharpens focus: Amish Tripathi

Best-selling author Amish Tripathi on why it is essential to stay focused and calm.

Author of the Shiva Trilogy Amish Tripathi (Photo: Mandar Deodhar) Author of the Shiva Trilogy Amish Tripathi (Photo: Mandar Deodhar)

Author of the Shiva Trilogy, the fastest selling book series in India, Amish Tripathi is riding on the wave of success of Scion of Ikshvaku. Touching upon the varied renditions of Ramayana, the fictionalised account of one of the country's most loved fables gets the Amish treatment in the first instalment of his second trilogy. Expect plot twists, action and drama to keep you going till the breathless end. Reading and writing are his biggest stress busters. Yoga, meditation and single-minded focus help him churn out his potboilers. Get the lowdown on his relaxation routine.


Long hours of writing require sustained concentration. To focus, I rely on yoga, proper sleep, books, music and giving multi-tasking a miss. Yoga and regular sleeping hours contribute to alertness and overall productivity. Multi-tasking, in my mind, is the most 'productivity-destroying' and 'stress-inducing' thing to do. I have often wondered why the general opinion on multi-tasking is that it's a good thing. It causes unnecessary stress because you don't end up doing anything well. I think you should focus on one thing, finish it, and then pick up the next task. Reading and listening to music is good for relaxing and taking my mind off things.


I am lucky to have grown up in a somewhat strict household. My mother was very strict with us children when we were young (though my father did spoil us a bit). This disciplined attitude, which was ingrained in us from the beginning, was probably a good thing and helped us prioritise discipline. My siblings and I have relatively healthy habits. We would wake up early, exercise regularly and eat healthy. And, we couldn't do nakhraas on what we eat. We didn't have the luxury of throwing tantrums.


Meditation helps immensely when it comes to relaxing. However, to feel completely at ease, I need to write. I do work much harder than what I used to in my banking days but I genuinely love what I do. So, there's no question of feeling stressed. Writing, for book lovers, is equated with a parallel universe. For me too, it's a world that I enjoy a lot more than the 'real' world we live in. My emotions are stronger and my senses heightened. The stress just melts away when I'm absorbed in writing. To complement my relaxation routine, I also do kick boxing and weight-training.


I read too much across genres to be able to give a favourite list of all time. I read between four and eight books per month and I've been reading at that pace for 30 years now. Of the recent reads, Dr Ambedkar and Sam Harris were absolutely brilliant. I usually stick to non fiction. Fiction makes up just about 10-15 per cent of my reading.


I am very fond of travelling and fortunately for me, so are my wife and six-year-old son. I am typically drawn to places of historical interest, my wife likes destinations renowned for their natural beauty and my son is an animal lover. He gets really thrilled about safari expeditions. My last holiday was the sort that my son would enjoy - a safari trip to Kenya. Surprisingly, I rather enjoyed it. We actually had a cheetah climbing aboard our open top jeep. It was close enough for me to touch. As exciting as it was, it was not very relaxing.


I used to be keen on big timepieces and had quite a collection a few years back. Now, just a regular watch works for me. I prefer metal bands.