Renowned author Sheo Nath has come up this time with a self-help book ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ after critical success of his last book, a novel ‘Disclosure: A Rape Victim’s Resolute Revelation’. While Disclosure was on sensitive issue of rape, ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ is a self-help book that helps the readers to tide over their problems in the most practical way. His ‘Disclosure’ has earned rave reviews from its readers for its unique style of raising the most sensitive issue of rape and what the victims face afterwards. What makes ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ different from other self-help books available in the market, let us learn from the author himself.
Why have you taken up this topic of ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ after dealing with a serious issue of rape in ‘Disclosure’? This is a very unusual topic for any author to explore.
Author – I started writing ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ before I started writing ‘Disclosure’. However, I was consumed completely by ‘Disclosure’ and only after finishing it, I could focus fully on ‘Minimising Unhappiness’. This topic is equally important and I have seen people unable to take proper and timely decision and most self-help books give them solutions which are impractical. In fact, some self-help book are so high in motivation, but very low on practicality that the individual sometimes feels depressed. So, the present book has all examples from our neighbourhood and very ordinary people.
Your last book, ‘Disclosure’ is on a very unusual issue. Though every day, we hear newspaper reports on rapes, a novel on rape is not seen normally.
Author – Yes, it is on unusual, but very important and relevant issue of rape and female safety. It is still a taboo subject in the society and people do not like to discuss on this topic with sincerity it deserves. There have been random jokes passed on involving rape. The real pain of the affected person has never been talked about. Also due to societal pressure and nearly hostile environment, the victim seldom speaks about it. The issue has not been addressed properly at the level of community and society. Even if a novel has talked about the issue, it is on the individual level of feeling. Disclosure has dealt with status of women across the globe.
Did you feel any inhibition or hiccup while writing the two books?
Author – I did not want ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ to become preachy. Hence, the challenge was to write a book which not only raised problems or talked something superfluous like – ‘If you are determined, you can move a mountain’. I wanted it to give solutions such as how to deal with unavoidable persons or unavoidable solutions. It also talks about how to develop right attitude and behaviour.
In ‘Disclosure’, the topic was so sensitive that it was even tough to start. But having been deeply affected by the spate of rape incidents in the country, I was determined to write on it. There were very few materials available in print form on the subject. Women were reluctant to talk on this issue, even to their close ones. While doing the research online, lot of irrelevant materials cropped up but confirmed that this is a pandemic affecting every nook and corner of the world. It took more than 4-5 years of research with the facts, figures and personal experiences of the victims to come out with the product in your hand. The research drained me emotionally.
Can you elaborate on your writing style, which appears to be quite different?
Author – ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ is a very simple book. The topics have been discussed with the help of examples from our everyday life. Similarly, the language of Disclosure is very simple though dealing with a very complex issue. I want my books to be understood by every common man and hence, my effort has not been to impress any critic at all. I have written the book with utmost honesty. Additionally, the literary technique that I have used in ‘Disclosure’ has not been used so far in my knowledge for a novel of this size. The protagonist, a rape victim has not been named at all in the story, making the writing tough and unique at the same time. It has been attempted to make the story free of any tagging of region, religion, caste or colour. Again, the canvas of the novel has been the whole world, which has been handled quite artistically and emphatically.
What were the other challenges you faced with the book?
Author – After I completed writing the book, I approached few top publishers of the country. But, they were either not interested in this work, or did not have the courage to publish a book that touched such a taboo subject or which was not a masala novel at all. Probably, they looked for controversial topic, which the novel failed to provide despite based on rape or wanted to publish a book by a celebrity to bring them huge pecuniary benefits. In this context, I must thank Jitendra Anand sir of Book Street Publication who has shown guts to traditionally publish it to further the cause.
Have you written any other book? What are your forthcoming books? Where are they available?
Author – My first book ‘Tukron me prem-kahani’ was a collection of 14 stories and was published in 2008. ‘Disclosure’ came in 2020 and ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ in 2021 and both books are available on Amazon. My forthcoming book ‘Aasman ka guroor’ is a collection of my 91 hindi poems and expected in first quarter of 2023.
Tell us more about your hindi books.
Author – ‘Tukron me prem-kahani’ has 14 stories, each on a central female character. However, the stories are of human relationship and male characters form equally important part of the story. The stories’ subject ranges from infatuation to spirituality in love. The fear of society, the platonic love, love in disguise, meeting with old love in twilight years of life, resurfacing of love during college reunion etc make these stories lively. ‘Aasman ka guroor’ is collection of poems that touches patriotism, women issues, environment issues, human behaviour, etc.
When did you first realize that you were interested in writing?
Author – I had love for literature from very beginning. When I was a student of Ramakrishna Mission, Deoghar, we had a wonderful teacher, Jagdish Tiwari who had introduced literature in real sense. I had written few stories, which were liked by others. In 2002, I participated in ‘Sahara Samay Katha Chayan Pratiyogita’ where my story ‘Aparajita’ was well received. One of my friends had compared my story with that of Premchand. I never stop after that and the journey continues even today.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you fully depend on writing for your living? Who is your favourite author?
Author – I like to paint in my spare time. I am a good photographer without a good camera so far. I like to spend time with my family. I love travelling and interacting with new people. I am fond of various authors, each for unique writing style. Premchand, Bhagwati Charan Verma, Renu, Srilal Shukla, J M Coetzee, Paulo Coelho, R K Narayan etc are my favourite. For a living, I work for Union Government.
What are your message to the masses?
Author – I am of opinion that happiness can be achieved with right attitude and if we genuinely respect other’s wisdom, keep our cool in tough situations and work hard for achieving our targets. ‘Minimising Unhappiness’ is aimed at keeping common people in relaxed and happy mode. Through ‘Disclosure’, I request people to treat rape victims with utmost respect and care, they deserve. I also hope that people read the novel to understand the issue in totality and to promote it in every possible way.
It was great talking to you. All the best for your forthcoming books. Kindly mention your social media handles and the links from where people can get a hold on your books.
Author: Thanks. Sure. The book can be found at https://www.amazon.in/s?k=Sheo+Nath&crid=38KEY36N674W9&sprefix=sheo+nath%2Caps%2C317&ref=nb_sb_noss_&dplnkId=64af5bb4-101e-47cb-a16d-e84814fdd696
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