Have personal upheavals affected your writings or have they been
responsible for this creativity?
As I said, my
personal upheavals have not been any big deal. Intense
interactions between memory and behavior give a certain quality
to the imagination. I like to sublimate even the most ordinary
relationship, that way the beauty remains real, yet somehow
You have been
living in New Delhi for years yet that longing for home ó
Kerala ó seems evident in your novel. Comment.
I have no
longing for the Kerala of today. It is a sick place, ruined by
communism and communalism and the false equality that Ďpetrodollarsí
bring. Its food, architecture and dress have been lost. I
intensely dislike the Kerala of today.
fun-loving facade there seems a great sensitivity in your
writings. What particular aspects of life have touched you or
left you disturbed?
You said it, I
didnít! All aspects of life touch me, however minute. Is it
possible to walk along a hillside and feel the air and not be
touched by everything the wind has embraced? No way. Sure, you
can get allergies; I am allergic towards some people and some
philosophies. Everyone is. But I am as vulnerable as the next
man. Loss, pain, sorrows, betrayals, affect me depending on how
attached I am to the object or person in question, and in what
context these things happen. But I donít like to admit it,
even to myself sometimes. Letís party is my motto.
In your novel
thereís that mix and match of the present and the past and
also the perpetual quest for journeys. Are you torn between the
past and the present and insecure about the future?
Let me clarify
one thing. You talk about being torn by things, upheavals and
turbulence. I am rarely torn between anything. I am very centred,
and perhaps being a sorcerer has helped. My teacher Ipsita
taught me about the true nature of power, that there is always
something greater than you, and it is forever conscious and
integral. Magic centres you. There is no need to feel small, but
only to see yourself in the proper perspective.
The past is a
great granary of harvests taken, the present is where I live and
anticipate the future. The past, also, doesnít exist except as
a library of experiences. And I am never insecure; afraid,
sometimes yes, but never insecure.
You have just
finished writing your second novel too. Tell us more about it.
It is called
the Village of Widows. It is a tale of four murders and
the face of evil in its many incarnations. If I tell you any
more, Iíll be giving the story away. And then you wouldnít
want to buy it. Itís got a cool male and female lead, and a
villain who is very accomplished.
Do you write
for yourself or do you have a definite readership profile in
mind? Also, though your novel was launched here recently, it was
launched much earlier in the UK; what has been the response?
I write because
I am. I write for myself, for you, for the sheer pleasure of
telling stories, to revel in the awesome delight of the
imagination showing me things I never knew existed. Of dialogues
born out of a sequence of events and postures, the sudden
appearance of characters who were completely unplanned; where
does it all come from? Maybe there is a Jungian creative
collective unconscious where characters exist like unused
clipart, dialogues and situations.
The novel was
launched in the UK because it was bought first in the UK. The
response from the bookshops, marketing directors of bookstore
chains and initial reviews both in India and abroad have been
describe yourself as a cartoonist or a writer? Also, why do most
of Indiaís well-known cartoonists, Shankar Pillai, Abu
Abraham, Kutty and you, just to mention a few, come from the
state of Kerala?
I describe myself as Ravi
Shankar. I am not easy to typecast, even for myself. As for
cartoonists coming from Kerala, it was an old trend. There are
no new cartoonists from Kerala after 1980. In fact there are no
new cartoonists, period.