Saturday, September 2, 2017

Rendezvous with NS Ravi! :)

Hi NS Ravi,

Hope this finds you in good spirits!

It’s a pleasure to take your interview today. So let’s start:

NS Ravi holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Delhi University. He has had a distinguished and challenging career in senior positions in public and private sector enterprises dealing in jewellery, infrastructure and textiles and apparel with exposure to working in Europe, Africa and India. Ravi now focuses his time in writing. He speaks English, Hindi, Tamil and French. So far, Ravi has four books to his credit. His first book titled Those were the Days was a non-fiction and was published in 2014. He followed it up with a fiction titled Khan Vs Kahn Vs Kanh in 2016, using Indian film industry as the theme. In 2017, he has two books to his credit. First is an insta-read (Pocket book style), titled Marriage Made in Mumbai Local containing two short stories. His second book for the year is titled Different Shades of Women, which is a collection of eight short stories as a tribute to Indian women. Ravi is married with two children and lives in Delhi. He can be reached at –

Here, he lets his readers know a little more about himself and his journey so far. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring to you NS Ravi:

1. Tell us something about you that only people close to you know.

Ravi: I am a retired professional who has—using an old phrase—taken up pen. I write for my pleasure hoping that what I have to share will be liked by people at large.
I have had the opportunity to see some of the best and worst in my life. I have seen at close quarters working of few famous people and their life style. I know what it is to be rich and powerful and where you land when you lose those features. I am hence a down to earth man who does not really care much for the artificial efforts people put up to prop their life style.

2. How does it feel to be a published writer? Has it changed you in anyway? How do you handle fame?

Ravi: As a published writer I feel happy and content for having been able to open an excellent avenue before me. It is a forum which I can use to share my ideas, view point and experiences, which would be read by people.
In a way becoming an author has changed my perspectives since now I look for stories in every situation. Earlier I may not have noticed but now I pay full attention to every situation and the details, in anticipation that it would give me some leads.
I have not found it difficult to handle whatever little fame this new occupation has given me. I have handled some top level assignments in my professional life where I have been exposed to similar feeling of being important and famous due to the position I held. The most important thing one should remember is to keep feet grounded and not to get carried away.

3. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Ravi: I loved to write but I never imagined myself as a writer. I am from that period where letter writing was an art, necessity and part of examination process. I used the skill extensively in my professional career—so writing was never far away from me.

4. Tell us something about your book, Different Shades of Women. How did the idea of a book shape up in your mind?

Ravi: The title I chose for my book is Different Shades of Women. The title chose itself once I decided that my book would be about the various hats a woman has to wear at different stages in her life and perform the roles accordingly, compared to a man. It is a collection of eight stories about women, the positive role they play in shaping the lives in our society. These days there is more written about ill treatment to women and all the negativity which goes along with it that goodies about women and their role is totally camouflaged. In each of my story, women are no push overs but torch bearers and heroines, showing resilience and strength of character. For me India is full of such women, much more than we know, accept or understand. That is why I have used the famous Sanskrit saying
Yasya Pujyante Naaryasthu Tatra Ramante Devata, is a very famous ancient Sanskrit saying which means:
“God lives in places where women are worshipped”.
This for me is my and your India. Only we forget it sometimes.

5. How do you envision your book will impact your readers?

Ravi: I strongly believe that women in our society are no mincemeat as is being made out in some writings. I am of the firm belief and opinion that we as a country are where we are because of the invisible hands of our women guiding this society. I want readers to understand, recall and appreciate the role a woman plays in his or her life and live by it. I am hoping that people after reading the stories in this book will start accepting that women are not pushovers. I have quoted an English author William Golding in my book which I repeat for the benefit of people who would read this interview:
“I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm she will give you a baby. If you give her a house she will give you a home. If you give her groceries she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.”
6. Briefly tell us about your earlier writings and the subjects that interest you.

Ravi: My first book was a non-fiction titled Those were the Days. It was written in epistolary form and covers whatever transformation I have witnessed within our country in a variety of fields be it cinematic, music, air and rail travel, pens, a really wide list. I chose to address the letters to my children, since the idea behind writing that book came from my interactions with people of their generation who seemed unaware of this country’s journey and changes in various fields. The second was a fiction based on Cinema where I have used the famous Bollywood star wars as a base to the novel titled Khan vs Kahn vs Kanh. My third was a foray into what is now called ‘Insta-read’ and used to be called Pocket books in olden days. The book was titled Marriage Made in Mumbai Local. It had two stories one on organ donation. The book was released a week before the Organ donation day of August 13.
Over the years I have accumulated so much information on various areas that as of now I prefer to use them as the reference point while planning my books.

7. Share some of your interesting memories you lived while writing Different Shades of Women.

Ravi: The most interesting memory in connection with Different Shades of Women was the exchange with a person who was helping me edit the stories. In case of one story he was critical of it and even went to the extent of saying I should drop it. He felt the story to be long and not realistic. I just chose to ignore and laugh it off since it was a story where I had used inputs for my own life and was my favourite.

8. What or who was your biggest inspiration behind this book?

Ravi: It is obviously a list headed by my wife and other ladies who have played an important role in my life—be it my mother, sisters, daughter, sisters in law, daughters-in-law and others. We have often discussed about some of the issues that I have used as my plot. Also some of the true life incidents which I have used as the plot for my story have come from them.

9. How did you make sure the information used in the book is accurate and up-to-date?

Ravi: I have not used any general information where there is some controversy or doubt.

10. What’s the biggest mistake new writers make according to you?

Ravi: Honestly I have no idea since I am no veteran nor am in the publishing field.

11. How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you say or have written?

Ravi: I am used to such disagreements having greyed, hearing such things over years. But let me honest and frank. I think they are very useful and helpful in going through once again what you have said or written and take remedial measures should there be a need. I have learned to take positive out of it.

12. What is your least favourite part of the writing process? What is your biggest strength when it comes to writing?

Ravi: Editing is the toughest as far as I am concerned even when your partner is the best. I just get tired of reading same thing again and again and often read what is in mind instead of what is in paper.
My writing strength is simple English and continuity I can bring to my writing which I have gained due to my professional experience while working. Professional multitasking has also helped me to focus on more than one MS at a time.

13. How did you decide the characters and the settings for this book?

Ravi: This is a collection of short stories and I have tried to minimise number of characters or settings. The characters are the core of the story.

14. What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?

Ravi: For me whether I am writing or not have nothing to do with what I want to do alongside. They are exclusive of each other. I love to read, listen to music and watch TV besides giving attention to my four legged companion Sunny.

15. Tell us something about your future projects. Are you writing anything at the moment?

Ravi: I am in the midst of two MS. One is another short story collection where I have written about 75 percent. The second is an amalgamation work involving our political scene and scriptures. Here I am half way through.

16. What do you think about the writing industry these days? Do you think becoming a full-time writer is an advisable option?

Ravi: Honestly, it's not fair for me to answer as I am not in it as a career option.

17. Any tips for budding writers?

Ravi: Read the biography of Frederick Forsyth—one of the best authors in recent times, titled The Outsider, where he talks about his experience with his best book—a worldwide best seller titled 'The day of the Jackal’, still selling and a successful Hollywood blockbuster. You will not have many doubts about your ability and get lots of courage.

18. What are the roles of an editor and a reviewer in the success of book according to you?

Ravi: An editor is a very important clog in ensuring that your output is good and consistent. A bad editor can really make things worse.
A good reviewer who has a good following is necessary to ensure that the correct feedback about the book is available to target readers.

19. How does it feel to be interviewed by me? *basically the interviewer wishes to hear praises* *haha*

Ravi: Let us accept one thing. If someone is prepared to listen to you for whatever reasons respect for that person is automatic. It is true in day to day life and applies to everyone. I feel honoured to be interviewed by you.

20. Anything that you would like to tell us? Your favourite writers? Your hobbies? Or just some sneaky peaky details?

Ravi: Some of my favourite authors are no longer writing due to natural reasons—be it Wodehouse, Mclean, Sheldon, Rex Stout etc. but then there are some going strong like Archer, Follet, Higgins etc. amongst Indian authors Amish, Ravi Subramanyam, Bhagat are some of the authors whom I like.
I love humour and like to share same since today we are losing humour from life and everyone is serious and short fused.

Wow! So we have come to an end of this awesome session.


Yatra Naryastu Pujyante, Ramante tatra Devata, Different Shades of Women is a collection of eight stories penned by the author to highlight the unique character of Indian women and substantiate the above Sanskrit saying. The author believes that in spite of few violent aberrations against women, it is the invisible hands of Indian women which guide Indian society. Between Alamelu and Lakshmi he traces the complex relationship between a mother in law and daughter in law. Parvati shows why a daughter is much more than someone who craves for a share in property. Bano and Nirmala demonstrate the meaning of sacrifice, even as Anu and Archana show sisterly love and affection. In Savitri and Fatima he shows women's inherent strength and its usage when needed, while ex-athlete cum mother Aparna achieves through her daughter what the society had deprived her. In Doctor Mercy he shows how to guard secrets. For the author 'God lives in places where women are worshipped' as said in the above Sanskrit saying—and that is INDIA.

Buying Link: Amazon

Readers, let’s be kind to the writer and buy the book soon. Do share your feedback with me once you read Different Shades of Women.

Happy Reading!

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