NAGPUR: Known for her biographical books on religious and influential personalities, noted Marathi writer Shubhangi Bhadbhade will now be launching her 75th novel. Titled ‘Advaitancha Upanishad’, the novel will be released on Sunday.

The latest biographical novel highlights the life and works of Adi Shankaracharya. “I’ve attempted to show his path from having a form to a formless existence. During his times, religions were divided into 100 parts, called ‘Shatkhandit’. But Adi Shankaracharya brought Hindu religion together and spread philosophy in all the four directions of the country and helped build many mutts,” says Bhadbhade.

In the book, Bhadbhade writes about Shankaracharya’s biography and has added aspects of personality such as his relationship with his mother, his behaviour towards nature and his poems. “I’ve also included his study on gods and Vedas. Till today, no one in Marathi literature has attempted this idea,” she says.

She explains the difference between a biography and a biographical novel. “A biography tells you straight facts about circumstances in a person’s life. But in a biographical novel, a writer attempts to describe the setting, moods of characters and recreate the scenes for the benefit of readers. The biography of Shankaracharya spans over 100 pages, but my novel has 500,” Bhadbhade adds.

Bhadbhade says she is sure that her words will stay long after she is gone.

How did she research for the book? Apart from reading the biography, she says she had already visited the places which had Shankaracharya connection. This helped in writing, she says.

“The couple of places I had not been to, I went there too as if I was following him in his journey,” she adds.

She also assimilated oral stories and used her creative independence in the process, she says. This will be her 20th biographical novel. She has written on Swami Vivekananda, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Dnyaneshwar and many others as she has seen people inclined to religious personalities, Bhadbhade says. She has also written about social topics such as farmer suicides and penned a children’s book as well as short fictional stories.

She says she was influenced towards writing on personalities since her young days as her house was near the RSS office. She has also served in Congress Seva Dal.

She says that she has started collecting information about poet Kalidas as the subject of her next novel. “I start researching on one book while I’m working on the earlier one. I’m already 75 and I want to keep writing till I die,” she says.