Connecting Through The Medium of Literary Expressions
SUBURB In-Conversation with JAYARAJ.V.THOPPIL, a Gurgaon based senior corporate professional & author of ‘Blue Book Of Transitory Souls.’ The expository narrative in his two books has earned him many fans.
In tête-à-tête with Jayaraj.V.Thoppil, here it goes:
Q. Both your books ‘Alcohol’ & ‘Blue Book Of Transitory Souls’ have earned you recognition as an author. What inspired you to take to formal writing?
J: I had always been fond of reading, hence got exposed to varied genres of writing and literary work. Though I would write poems and short articles in my younger days, but never realised that a potential writer resided in me. Somehow I could keep my hobbies of creative writing and art of sketching alive throughout the struggling days of life. The hobbies acted like a balm and kept me moving forward in life. As we say, everything in life is intertwined, one thing led to the other, and I got the opportunity to get the writer sitting inside me see the light of the publishing world. (He smiles).
My book Alcohol got derives inspiration from real people and situations. I observe people, life & their emotions. In Gurgaon, there are several wine shops where I happened to meet many people with stories to narrate about their plight of drug or alcohol addiction; lost aspirations, ruined relationships or families. Perhaps, the observations I picked up from our society and the kind of hardships that I had undergone during my bachelor life together provoked my inborn talent to pen down the storyline of my first book. I could also connect some of my childhood memories with the thread of the storyline. Without many realisations based on real-life experiences, my debutant work ‘Alcohol’, a contemporary fiction happened successively. Thanks to Frog Books for their acceptance and guidance to build further confidence in me as an evolving author.
After a long break, in January 2020 my second fiction, ‘Blue Book Of Transitory Souls, Beyond An Escape Saga’ the mystery genre got published. It recounts the story of a man with many identities and lives, but only one belief that all human beings are souls in transit. It’s a tale of abandonment, mystique, and faith that could change the way one sees life. It’s beyond an escape saga, and the revelations are severe and will leave the readers spellbound.
Q. How much time did it take you to write the books?
J: ‘Alcohol’ took almost eighteen months from its conception to publication process whereas Blue Book Of Transitory Souls took about a year to complete. My books are currently available on popular sites and stores across the country.
Q. Do you often face the writer’s block? What keeps you going?
J: Everything started as a hobby, and I have never been under any pressure. Since I had no influence, I could deliver something different within the right time. It’s essential to observe real dimensions of life.
I often preferred to travel around the remote places of the country and across the world as well. I do believe in 3G, a Japanese life principle – Gemba (a real place), Genbutsu (a real thing), Gengitsu (actual data) which means go to the real spot and see everything with your own eyes.
I often detach myself from the world with my candid learning, real findings and some amount of fantasy. But such detachment is for a short duration; hence no one feels anything odd with my incubation period of writing. I have been able to balance my professional life, family, hobbies or creative work without complaints from either side.
Q. Who are your favourite authors?
J: Reading used to be my solace beyond a hobby. Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka & Khalil Gibran are my favourites. Indian Context, I like the works of Salman Rushdie.
Q. What genres you resonate with the most as an author?
J: I like mystery fictions. However, magical realism excites me. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel GarcíaMárquez is one of my best choices of a repeat reading. I also read the Bhagavad Gita very often.
Q. Do you feel the young generation is losing the habit of reading?
J: Definitely, the younger lot is not that fond of reading. The new generation is fortunate to have access to the internet and advanced gadgets to spend time effortlessly. I happened to meet many young people who have never bought or read a book after they had come out of college, maybe the last book they had read was their college textbook. It is a universal fact that time we are spending reading books is less than, the total screen time one spends.
Q. How do you balance your professional career & writing passion?
There is something called switch on and switch off mechanism. One has to use it wisely with some amount of wisdom. Never mix up with your priorities; balancing is an art to learn & sustain.
Q. What are planning to work on next?
Off late, I have started to work on a thriller storyline; however, the present COVID19 trauma around the world is disturbing my coolness and deviates my attention altogether. The world is drastically changing, and so is our thought process. I am waiting and watching about how the current times will unfold and the new learnings it will impart.
About The Author: Jayaraj hails from Cochin and has made Gurgaon his home where he lives with his wife Sumini for the last 25 years. The Deputy General Manager at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, he wears many hats- Author, Artist, Cartoonist & Caricaturist. He spends his leisure time with books, often engaged with sketching and writing.