It’s amazing how you’ve embraced various forms of art while pursuing your career as a doctor. Your dedication to your family and your accomplishments in both the medical field and the art world are truly inspiring. I’d love to learn more about your writing and photography.
- What inspired you to become an author?
Ans I still think I’m the new kid around the block and it’s quite overwhelming, rather than humbling, to even consider myself an author. However, I, for one, strongly believe that I am a reflection of the many loved ones and people I’ve come across in my journey thus far. Without them, I wouldn’t be even half the person I am today. I mean, think about it! We are all a result of the butterfly effect. To begin, it will surely be home and beloved ones igniting my passion to venture into the world of art and literature. Again, I’ve said this a million times but why not another round again as it’s the only answer I truly have. Travelling down memory lane, there are waves of nostalgic memoirs crashing through including visions of little playbooks scattered around and voices of my Apuppa and mom reading me the essentials of letters and words. I clearly remember strutting in the hallway whilst basking in the ambience of the vintage aroma of old hardback books that filled bookshelves of my dad’s library, watching my mom cut out articles by many including my uncle, Mr Narayanan Nair, from good old News Straits Times to pin up on our reading board & observing my Amumma & Apuppa turn the crisp cut pages of their monthly subscribed Reader’s Digest as they read stories to the eagerly excited grandchildren. It was love in its purest form, watching beloved ones share their passion & interest, watching their eyes twinkle with smiles sowing the early seeds of love deep within us. It was indeed an impactful moment & enthralling experience of falling in love with both the doers and their action. Did I ever think I would be an author? I love my profession as a doctor but why endeavour into writing then? Can I pinpoint on any singular reason I pursued writing? The answer would be a big fat NO as it was a lot of building blocks that laid out the foundations of this journey. That being said, I think the essence of life, love & my loved ones will be the encapsulation of my ultimate literary cornucopia. Without a shadow of doubt, this was, is and will always be the driving force in every endeavour I pursue. People, nature & moments are inspiring aspirations to me. So yes, my thought process and ideas are churned out of a fair share of everything but mainly from a lucky load of firsthand experience of love and life from loved ones namely, my dad, Mr Ravindran Menon and the lot. They are the true essence of my oleo saccharum in writing.
- Could you share some of the challenges you faced while writing “Dear Manusha”?
Ans My journey with “Dear Manusha” was an exciting rollercoaster of ups and downs. She was more of an idea of the moment, purely written by impetuosity and spontaneity. As it was born through a very laborious process of unconventional love, I dealt with different problems & not really the usual hurdles of professionals namely writer’s thought blocks etc. First and foremost, it was a lot of self doubts bubbling away with regards to the acceptance and outreach of the specific idea. Despite the book being of love genre, it was an entirely different take on the experience of the subject matter. Being a newbie myself, I was torn apart internally wondering if the concept was really going to be received well by the readers. Please don’t get me wrong though. I have never doubted my belief and stance in the message behind the story but I was a bit sceptical of how it will be taken by modern millennials. At the end of the day, I guess I went with my guts and stuck on to it. Apart from that, “Dear Manusha” was also created during my time of UNIFIL entourage serving under the flagship of United Nations in Lebanon. Working in a war torn nation, basic yet crucial amenities namely electricity itself was unstable as they were solely sourced from local generators alone. Considering this wavering problem of network connectivity & disrupted communication, it took a little toll on the final editing and publishing process. However, thankfully with the constant encouragement from loved ones & having NotionPress as a good publications team, supportive throughout, “Dear Manusha” managed to pull through and here we are today. It was bittersweet when the manuscript was finally released. I learnt a lot along the way and I wouldn’t change a thing throughout my journey.
- How did you find inspiration during the writing process?
Ans Apart from being stubbornly persistent and the nudging support and love from beloved ones, I think Mother Nature played a pertinent role in ensuring I stuck on to the nascent path of writing on. Being no quitter, there were many times that the process wear me down amidst juggling my profession and other responsibilities. In these times of turbulence, I sought after the magic of Nature to help me find my way back. A beautiful sunrise and a breeze of a resting dusk are amongst many of my boosters that generate abundant life into my occasionally smothered flame of writing block. I would say such precious moments elevated the beautiful and subtle nuances of “Dear Manusha”. Once again, nothing like a deluge of good old fresh air cleaning away any carbon dioxide loaded thought block.
- Were there any specific experiences or people that influenced the characters in your book?
Ans I wouldn’t really attribute any specificity in particular but I would rather dedicate it as a collective whole of all the different characters and memories experienced as being imbibed in my work. I try to stay true to my nascent voice by translating emotions and stringing them into words to express moments. It comes from all the various ways I see life day to day and thus nothing in specific.
- What advice do you have for aspiring authors facing their own struggles?
Ans Hahaha… Being a newcomer myself, I’m still learning and I don’t think I really qualify to advise yet. However, as comrades walking together in this prolific world of writing, always stay true to your authenticity and uniqueness. That originality is what sets you apart from the rest. It’s a reminder I give myself every other day. At times, we can be carried away by waves of adoration to other authors and writers so much so that penmanship styles are copied unknowingly. You stand out for your own voice and never lose that originality in the process of discovering your spot. Another pearl of wisdom my Dad always drove into us was the importance of always staying humbled and grounded. A little humility carries us a long way through.
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