We got in touch with author Vasant Kallola whose upcoming book Chiranjivi is set to be released soon. Excerpt from the tête-à-tête.
Ø How did you conceive the idea of Chiranjivi?
Ans: I believe in providing my readers the best reading experience. After my National Best Seller, ‘It’s okay to fail, my son’, an emotional story of a father–son relationship, I wanted to write something which is grand, adventurous and intriguing. Chiranjivi just falls in that category, which, I’m sure, would be loved by modern-day readers.
Ø Your first book It’s okay to fail, my son emphasizes on the father-son relationship. Is there any specific reason that it you have categorically incorporated such a perspective?
Ans: You may say that It’s okay to fail, my son is a reflection of the unending love and concern for my son. It reflects the emotion of every loving parent towards their ward. Every day, we read stories of students committing suicides for failing to score good marks in exams. Through this book, I wanted to convey the message that a failure is not end of the world, one can always learn from mistakes and aim towards excellence, even in studies, with the right approach and guidance. The book does exactly that – helps readers aim for excellence through an engaging story.
Ø As a writer, do you think modern English writing in India has evolved a lot in the past couple of years?
Ans: Certainly. I am amazed at the variety of subjects being covered by the modern-day writers in India. Nowadays, writers are adopting this profession by giving up lucrative careers, in banking or corporate, which is quite inspiring.
Ø Tell us about your journey with It’s okay to fail, my son?
Ans: A very satisfying one. Honestly, the overwhelming response I received from readers was unprecedented. The book also achieved many milestones such as being listed among the top 5 selling books on Flipkart in a survey carried by Flipkart and The Economic Times (http://www.vasantkallola.com/its-okay-to-fail-my-son.html#gallery-3).
Parents vowing to change their treatment towards their wards, teachers admitting to be like Rahul Saxena, the protagonist, and many students pledging to work towards excellence in studies is an amazing honor showered by my readers.
Ø Do you think ‘failure’ in life has to be treated in a different way or is it just a part of life?
Ans: Success and failure are two sides of the same coin called life. As said by experienced people, change is the only constant in life, hence, failure is not a permanent state. As a matter of fact, every failure teaches you something. In my book, I have propagated the theory that ‘every person has the same capability and intelligence’, yet the difference in successes are due to the differences in their environment and interest in subjects. My book gives an interesting peep into the art of analyzing failures in life!
Ø What are your upcoming publications?
Ans: I am ready with many stories. Chiranjivi’s publishing in underway, and the book will likely be launched soon. It is an adventure story with close links to our rich history and philosophies of life. Both stories have the potential to be converted into digital media, upon which I am working right now.
Ø What motivated you to take up writing?
Ans: I started writing due to the love for my son Viraj. Nonetheless, I realised that my writing could have a much wider and deeper reach into people’s lives when I received a mail from an young man. He confessed of having two unsuccessful attempts to end his life, but after reading my book he said he decided to fight the odds and live life to its fullest.
In a second instance, a police officer from Chennai admitted that he wept while reading my book It’s okay to fail, my son, making his wife wonder what was wrong since it was a first. He further admitted to neglecting his teenager son and vowed to give him adequate time and affection!