Alok Mishra: Many congratulations on your wonderful book Monsoon Minds, Ravi! What response are you getting on your maiden work from the readers? Please share your experience with us.
Ravi Nambiar: Thank you so much for your opinion about the book! Overall, readers of Monsoon Minds have given a positive feedback ranging from “a wonderful read” … “takes us back into time”… “human interactions nicely brought out” etc.
Alok Mishra: I have read the book now and it’s quite ‘monsoon’ filled with human emotions, sentimental journey towards the minute details of life and those forgotten values… how did you make this book happen? What was the impetus behind this work?
Ravi Nambiar: I always used to “share” the happenings in my life and what I usually “observed” in the lives of many people, with my close friends. Over a period, I started thinking why not to pen these happenings and experiences as a narrative and that’s how Monsoon Minds saw the daylight!
Alok Mishra: You have written about office, about the village, about rural people, about the life which seems rather peaceful, mostly. Why did you choose to shift the discourse of life in the ‘peace’ rather than in the noise – the night crawler towns?
Ravi Nambiar: Hailing from a village in Kerala, where “peace” is the predominant aspect of lives of people over there, the element of “noise” always remained distant in my thoughts… and the same thoughts got the form of words and story-line for these short stories.
Alok Mishra: Ravi, most of your stories seem to be a ‘new beginning’. Chandan moving away, someone moving away after Sugadamma, someone moving away after Mamta… and so on. Do you think the life is all about moving away from the past and towards the future? Why did you choose this narrative?
Ravi Nambiar: Basically, I have realized that “moving on” is very much part and parcel of life. I believe in the age old saying “there is no point of crying over spilt milk” and always try to see something positive even in the negatives. Possibly my spiritual inclination also has helped me getting on to this view point of life.
Alok Mishra: Aside the book, Monsoon Minds, please tell me about your interest in literature. You are a first generation entrepreneur but your writings make me believe that you have a good taste for literature and writing too. Please throw some light on this aspect of your life.
Ravi Nambiar: Right from my childhood, I have been an avid reader of the classic authors like R. K. Narayan, Mulk Raj Anand, C. Radhakrishnan, MT Vasudevan Nair, OV Vijayan etc. Might be, one can notice a shade of their influence in my writing. All these years with the professional commitments in my venture I did not think of taking up to writing in a serious manner. My writing was limited to a few of these short stories penned over a long span of time. Now that my venture is well stabilized after almost 2 decades, I can now have the leisure of finding some time in taking up writing.
Alok Mishra: Why did you choose the genre of short stories? You could have written a novel as well! I am interested, rather curious about that part. Mostly, people write novels these days… what’s your view?
Ravi Nambiar: You have rightly pointed out that these days new and upcoming writers mainly write novels. But my passion has always been reading the short stories. Malgudi Days has been my all time favourites and thought of penning my thoughts as a series of short stories rather than putting them in the novel form. A novel with such an admix of characters and themes, I feel, would have been too tough to handle which also could have been a boring experience for the readers.
Alok Mishra: Ravi, you seem to be a straightforward storyteller without doing much of delayed decoding. What writers might have inspired you to become a writer who writes raw human emotions without the fabrication?
Ravi Nambiar: Well, writers like C. Radhakrishnan, MT Vasudevan Nair, OV Vijayan and other similar stalwarts have definitely inspired me.
Alok Mishra: Are there other books being worked by you? What after the Monsoon Minds? Please tell me about your future projects.
Ravi Nambiar: After the Monsoon Minds, I am taking a short break but the next theme has already started cropping up in my mind and may be in another couple of months the Monsoon would certainly “bloom” in to another creation!
Alok Mishra: All the best for your future and this book too! Thanks for answering my questions, Ravi!
Ravi Nambiar: My heartfelt thanks to you once again for liking my maiden work and looking forward to a fruitful interaction with you.