As I started speaking in public forums, after my first book Songs of the Mist's publication, I realise how hard it is to speak from the podium. I never had a problem talking to my team members across office table and in annual meetings, where the gathering used to be large as well, but you were quite sure that you will be received well as after all they are colleagues. But believe me, talking to people who have just come to listen to you, leaving their far more important work at home or office. They do expect you to give them something to think, make it worth their while as you come up on stage....
|Haiku Workshop in Delhi University|
I have had heard many public speakers, politicians, business and religious leaders speaking from stage and some of them impressed me. Over a period of time, I realised that most of the speakers were there for a purpose. They had something to talk about, to share, to make people understand where they are coming from. Behind each great performance there was a purpose, a thought or an idea that needed to be conveyed to the audience and it took me some time to realise that the reason, I published the book for, is essentially my purpose to talk about, share with young generation. And that's when I started speaking without the accompanying hesitation that comes with public speaking. Now I had a reason to get my message across.
|Chief Guest Address at Tata's High Range School in Munnar|
The Message: The Language alone will change you...
As I was finishing my book, I had dwelled deeper within our ancient scriptures, specially Bhagwat Gita, as its essence 'Karma Yoga' was the underlying flow of the lives my protagonists like Ashutosh, Ayan, Anishka etc. More and more people, specially youngsters I talked to more I realised that they are not reading these books. In our childhood, Amar Chitra Katha, Pancha Tantra, Chanda Mama, Stories of Mahabharata, Ramayana, Jatak Katha's were the stable diet of growing up. Now with the advent of smart phone, What's App groups, Texting, Memes etc. these stories were taking a back seat and reading was becoming confined to small little screens of smart phones.
|Click here to read an excerpt|
So I wrote a love story, where through all the heart break and pain. The Deccan Chronicle headlined when talking about my book as "Bitter Pill with Sugar Coating", which is exactly how I shared the essence of Bhagwat Gita for the young generation. And I continue to talk to the young generation about the need to go back to our ancient Heritage and culture and read those amazing work of arts and literature as I believe that even if the deep thought process hidden behind seemingly obscure ancient language does not make any sense to them at this stage of life, the language alone has the power to make a difference in their lives. So I keep talking about it in almost all my workshops, presentation and lectures.
|Writing Workshop at High Range School - Munnar|
Slowly I started conducting workshops in Chennai, Delhi University as well as in schools like Tata's High Range school in Munnar Kerala. With just one purpose, to inspire young generation to reach out to these books, Bible, Koran or Bhagwat Gita and get benefitted from it.
But over the period of almost a year after my book was published, I have realised another important aspect of language...
It changes you as well...
The brain is like, to give you a mordern example, is CPU of the human form. And it works on two operating software - The Logic and the Language. So for me, writing and its essence, the language has the power to slowly work on 'within' and make you perform better. The more you practice, the more perfectly the software works. For me, it creates an awareness as in meditation. I keep telling my audience, students that Haiku writing has become a kind of Mantra Chanting practice for me over the years.
As I keep working on inspiring some aspiring authors in these school and colleges, I am learning as well. The young generation provides me with the spark that is essential to keep my ageing mind to break free from the shackles of time as well. Seeing those young, enthusiastic and confident youngsters, interacting with them opens up grey folds of my brain and look at the world differently. As I cajole and push them across to write good works of fiction which will stand the test of times, I am pushing my limits too. Each day, I have a blank sheet of paper that needs my reverence and respects in well formed thoughts and ideas and new awareness. As I grapple with words in my mind, the blank spaces needs and demands the most precise and aesthetically formed words following each other in a sentence, concise paragraphs and fully fleshed out characters in the most realistic back ground and that my friend is a meditation. It has changed me over the year and I am sure it will change you as well.
|At Delhi College of Arts & Commerce|
ॐ नमः शिवाय