Author Ravi Dabral’s Greed, Lust, Addiction was published a few days back. We spoke to him on his new book.
- Greed, Lust, Addiction – These three points highlight general tendencies among individuals in today’s world. What motivated you in keeping such a name?
Materialism is the mantra of the modern generation, whose motto is to ‘eat, drink and be merry’. This philosophy gives rise to ‘greed, lust and addiction’ which are vices within us. As against these, spiritualism believes in having ‘virtues, values, morals and sanskars’ to live a contented, stress-free and purposeful life.
The reason to keep novel title as Greed, Lust, Addiction is that more than 90% of crimes in the world are due to vices — greed, lust and addiction (materialism approach). How we can eliminate these crimes and also how can we live a stress-free personal and professional lives by adopting “Virtues, Values, Morals and Sanskars” (spiritualism approach) that is victory over vices makes you champion is the main theme of the novel Greed, Lust, Addiction in English and Laalach Vaasana Lath in Hindi.
In my opinion, to imbibe virtues, values, morals, ethics and sanskars among students and the youth, educationists, intellectuals, senior professionals and renowned personalities should come forward and in whatever way, they feel comfortable, should contribute for the sake of humanity and protection of Mother Nature. I am following the path of writing books to enlighten the society.
2. Not too many authors opt for fictional storytelling while discussing spirituality. What has been your perspective in this case?
Spirituality, soul consciousness and philosophy are quite simple concepts to understand and implement to live a quality, content and conscious life. Who made these concepts so complex beyond the understanding of common people? Is this because of our materialistic approach in life? Is there any conspiracy by religious gurus, preachers or priests? Why did they do so?
Is it to keep us narrow-minded, superstitious, stereotyped and prejudiced under their control in nexus with rulers, politicians, business houses, so that they can exploit us and Mother Nature for their selfish purposes? These few questions were bothering me for long and hence, I planned to write this novel in a fictional storytelling style to reach to the masses decoding the concept of spirituality with an easy-to-understand message.
Per materialism philosophy, enjoyment is the end of human existence. Materialistic way of life is the way of enjoying the pleasures of the five senses — mainly bodily enjoyments leading to vices such as greed, lust and addiction, thus ignoring the sixth, the common sense, intellect and reasoning power for virtuous and righteous decision making which are the domains of spirituality.
For centuries, high class people in the society have propagated materialism philosophy for selfish motives and linked spirituality with religion through well-planned propaganda. I have decided to spread awareness about spirituality in an entertaining and enlightening fictional storytelling way to engage more and more readers worldwide with the ultimate objective to make this world a better place to live in.
3. Tell us about the protagonists who are going to be very vital for ‘Greed Lust Addiction’. Which is your favourite character from the book and why.
Main character, my favourite as well, is Suraj — an investigative journalist exposing mysteries of the corrupt material world and at the same time, exploring why there is degradation of human values, virtues, morals and sanskars.
The second main character is Guruji with knowledge of both material and spiritual world, and who believes that first we win in our mind, then in the field, thus, giving importance to mind and soul powers to face any difficult situations and circumstances in personal and professional life. He runs an ashram where learners from all over world come and share their stories and experiences which are not only thrilling and entertaining, but also enlightening for the readers, making the plot of the novel intriguing and page turner.
The third character, Vijay, is a corrupt police inspector knowing all inside mysteries of corrupt political system, bureaucracy, media, corporate world and convey readers the main reasons behind corruption whether in our mind or in the outside system.
The fourth character is Anjali. She is a psychiatrist exploring and explaining human psyche in the novel which leads to vices such as greed, lust and addiction.
The fifth main character is Colonel Pandey — a detective agent, knowing all secrets of the corrupt political and business world.
The sixth one is a retired Supreme Court Judge who schools on how to win a legal case in the court by exposing facts about corrupt politician and businesspersons.
4.Materialism vs Spiritualism — What does Greed, Lust, Addiction say about this sensitive issue?
As per mythology, there were two sages Brihaspati and Charvaka. Sage Brihaspati, mentor of the Devtas or the deities, is regarded as the traditional founder of the materialistic school of thought. Brihaspati propagated materialism philosophy — eat, drink and be merry among the Asuras or Devils, such that their entire lives they would be busy in all these and finally be ruined on their own without giving any trouble to the Deities.
Sage Charvaka, said to be one of the chief disciples of sage Brihaspati, was impressed with the materialism philosophy. He promoted and spread it among the Devils. As it is easier to be addicted to vices than virtues, it spread very fast like forest fire and even reached the ordinary people and became a way of their lifestyle. People who used to earlier worship nature or Deities due to their supernatural powers and virtues soon became addicted to a lifestyle full of materialism, and soon inherited the vices of devils which still exist in the modern society.
With this story in the background of novel Greed, Lust, Addiction and Laalach, Vaasana Lath, there are questions which need to be addressed in the modern material world. Why have people become so materialistic? Why have they got to fulfil the cravings of their minds and bodies all the time? Why can’t they believe in the concept of ‘deserve then reserve’? Being materialistic in life is not necessarily bad, however, one must ‘deserve to reserve’ those material things through hard work and skills rather than choosing short cuts or corrupt practices. We have to understand that wealth accumulated through short cuts or corrupt practices harms someone in the society and Mother Nature by over-exploitation of natural resources.
To upgrade human values and preserve environment, we need to follow spiritual way through self-reform by instilling virtues, values, and morals to live a stress free personal and professional life. Hence, the right blend of material and spiritual approach is necessary to make this world a better place to live in which as an author I am trying to do through my writings.
5. Often it is said that spirituality is a niche segment. Is it really so or do you think that spirituality is a contemporary segment which is easily comprehensible?
For centuries, people associate spirituality with religion which is not the right way to understand and interpret it. This may be due to conspiracy done by religious gurus, preachers or priests to rule and fool the common masses.
In layman terms, spirituality is to live a quality, contented, meaningful and virtuous life in synergy with Mother Nature. Soul means having virtuous qualities within us, so that we can live a happy life and let others live a happy life as well. Knowing and following spirituality in our everyday life means having peace of mind and ability to face any difficult situations by using intellect and reasoning power.
Thus, spiritual inclination improves our personality by imbibing attributes like discipline, patience, focused approach, positive attitude, humbleness, and kindness, which eventually help achieve the material goals of life together with peace of mind. Hence, we can say that money, fame, intelligence, and knowledge are related to the spiritual state of a being after developing reasoning power and intellect.
In the material world, marketing experts, paid media, event management companies, politicians, businesspersons and psychoanalysis experts encash on materialistic, stereotyped, prejudiced mindset of general public. They kill our intellect, reasoning power and conscious decision making with the help of glamourised events and celebrity endorsed advertisements, thus, forcibly imposing their products or thoughts or religious and political ideologies on us believing that general public has herd mentality and ultimately they brainwash or make us slaves to their thoughts, ideologies or products driven by market forces.
In a way, this is the height of consumerism. Multi-National Companies (MNCs) are becoming richer (concentration of wealth in few hands) by adopting such tactics by treating humans as products to consume their products.
Spiritualism helps us develop our intellect and reasoning power to make us free from the shackles of stereotype thinking, prejudice mindset, ignorance and superstition, thus, to make a conscious decision to buy products or to follow any ideologies to uplift, enlighten and empower common people for a better society.
6. Tips to young readers and budding writers.
Scientifically it is proved that reading a book makes our brain and senses more stimulating and powerful as while reading our brain start making images of the scene or situations using all six senses. Reading makes us more knowledgeable, intelligent and enrich with the experiences of many topics and viewpoints of authors who accumulate experiences and share with readers in an entertaining and enlightening way.
By reading books your brain makes images using your senses while by watching Television or Cinema and videos on smart phones audience see images which harms brain stimulation, concentration, imagination, analysis, memory, reasoning and intellect powers, health and personal life. Always read variety of books of different genres of fiction, non-fiction, autobiography of famous personalities and self-help. Reading spiritual books can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, focus and develop virtues while reading self-help books has been proved to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.
Tips for budding writers
It is wise to have ideas, motivation and inspiration to begin writing. Ideas can be of any type, internal conflicts or conflicts around. Inspiration helps to move ahead as otherwise writing can be boring particularly when you have no clue about how to advance toward completing a work. As a general practice, you can start writing notes either on your mobile or in a diary whenever you observe anything or feel the urge to write something.
There are 3 main steps while writing a script or story or novel, which I generally follow as a fiction and non-fiction author.
First step, try to conceptualise the idea by writing at least 250 words around it. Idea should be very close to your heart, based on your experience, something you feel need to be conveyed to your readers. Basically it should be an idea forcing you to write either to satisfy your burning desire or desire to convey to readers or society for their benefit, upliftment or empowerment. If during this process, you feel that this idea can be explored further, then continue or hold it for a few days till you get some more thoughts to expand it. Meanwhile, work on other ideas and again write 250 words surrounding it.
Second step, revisit these 250 words after a few days and try to add some characters, conflicts, twists, turns, suspense, action, drama, and so on — basically use of writing craftsmanship or tools. If at this step you are able to write 1,000 words surrounding that idea or expanding the idea, it shall be considered a good sign otherwise you can drop the idea and search for a new one.
Third step, after successfully writing 1,000 words, try to split the story in different paragraphs (depending upon the length of the story) and then in different chapters, in case of a novel (assuming total number of words 80,000) with minimum 2,500 words per chapter. Slowly and progressively, over a period of time, the length of the words using descriptive and narrative style of writing improves.
Plan to write minimum 500 words per day in case you are planning to write a novel. Don’t worry about the quality of words or sentences at this initial stage; just write whatever comes to your mind. Language and writing skills or craftsmanship can be taken care of during editing (line, copy and substantial editing) and proofreading stage. Best of luck and best wishes for your writing journey, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further help and guidance.
7. What is your future plan with regard to writing? Do you have any future plan to adapt the stories to films?
My vision and mission is to imbibe virtues, values, morals and sanskars among students and the youth to upgrade human values to contribute toward making a better society to live in harmony with Mother Nature. To achieve this, I want to convey that by following simple principles of spirituality in our personal and professional lives, not only material success but spiritual success can also be achieved by living a stress-free, meaningful life. I love the domain ‘materialism versus spiritualism’, and now writing sequel to the novel Greed, Lust, Addiction and Laalach, Vaasana, Lath.
I have written books with the objective to entertain and enlighten readers, so my novels are thrillers with suspense, romance, conflicts, twists and turns to engage the readers throughout the journey, and plot and theme of the novels are suitable and adaptable for films and series. Discussions with film producers and directors are at the initial stage.