Feature Special of Dear Manusha

Feature Special of Dear Manusha

Books are close to the heart especially when it encompasses love as the core genre. Something about it makes us feel at home & safe. “Dear Manusha” had good response from audience across the globe especially India. The Interview Times team, lead by journalist, Ms Subhechcha Ganguly did an exciting cover discussing the book in depth in view of popular demand from the readers.
Here goes the interview:
Q1)Anupama ,Welcome to the Book Discussion. Tell us about your interest in Love stories. Were you a person who read love stories or was the writing experience of this book the first one ?
I often think of myself as an old school soul entrapped in the shell of a millennial body. My likes are very much encompassed by little miracles of life. Oftentimes taken for granted & rarely acknowledged these days, love is the primal force wired into the core existence of humanity. With years of working in the medical fraternity & wisdom finally kicking in (poetically saying age & grey hair flourishing… haha), I realized that life was getting a bit too mundane in this era of modernity. It was disheartening to watch the silent extinction of love & human emotions under the rampant currents of modernization & materialism.
Let me do a quick rapid fire with you. Reflecting upon the mirror, how many times do you actually ask yourself if you are at peace? Do you smile when you end your day after working so hard? Are we truly happy with love? Speaking for the general population, the miraculous, single answer to it all would be a big, fat NO.
Being able to love abundantly, then be loved boundlessly & little attempts to carve a smile on loved ones, is actually what gives you a pride, swollen heart when you hit bed night after night. It is an epiphanic realisation to fully embrace that love is the one true parameter of fulfilling life.
Exhausted by this never-ending vicious cycle of today’s life, I found writing as my secret escapade, a liberation from this preordained dogmas & societal defined success & achievements. I found writing helped me fall in love with love & life all over again. Hence, writing was an outlet of fresh air, to voice this out loud & clear. A shoutout to everyone who still believes in love. And that started the writing journey to the creation of my debut novel venture “Dear Manusha”, an excerpt evoking love & all of its enticing entirety.
To answer the second part of the question, I have always been in awe of, by & in love. Travelling down memory lane, I remember strutting in the hallway whilst basking in the ambience of the vintage aroma of old hardback books that filled bookshelves of my dad’s library, watching my mom cut out articles from good old News Straits Times to pin up on our reading board & observing my Amumma & Apuppa turn the crisp cut pages of their monthly subscribed Reader’s Digest as they read & narrate stories to the eagerly excited grandchildren. It was love in its purest form, watching beloved ones share their passion & interest, watching their eyes twinkle with smile sowing the early seeds of love deep within us. It was an enthralling experience of falling in love with both the doers and their action. So yes it’s a bit of both, a lot of reading love genre & a load more firsthand experience of love from loved ones namely, my dad, Mr Ravindran Menon, mom, Madam Prema Nair, Apuppa & Amumma, Mr Krishnan Kutty Menon & Madam Sankari Menon, Cheru, Madam Sugunna Krishnan, Mama, Mr Sateesh Menon, amma, Madam Sujatha Krishnan, sisters, Anitha, Anisha & Ashwani & beloved ones Uncle John Arulrajah, Gautham Raj, Daniel Benjamin & many more.
Q2)When we tell this word “Manusha” to you. What re the thoughts that come to your mind ?
Ans: For me, “Manusha” stands to be as it is defined in Sanskrit, and that being, human, my human, my person. As simple yet as purely as possible. The beauty of the term is evidential of love transcending boundaries of creed, colour, name and nature. It need not be defined by just romanticism, it can even translate into the bonds between family, friends, people,etc.
Keeping this in mind, Dear Manusha was written to highlight inclusivity, relating to every person from every walk of life. The read caters from the coolest of a teen right upto the wisest of an old school thinker… The only mandatory reading criteria being that you know what love means…
The title was meant to personify my homage to love & beloved one… I humbly hoped that the title will ignite curiousity & at the same time simply tell you the essence of translating love into words…
Q3)The theme setting in your book is wonderfully done , with description of the environment, the description of the feelings the person beholds and the conversations. How much time did it take to write the book and what did you have in mind about the audience perspective ?
Ans : As it was a scripture based on impetuosity & spontaneity, there was no prim and proper strategum in creating the plot. It developed within a pretty short period of time & were mostly recollections of daily, simple episodes pivoting as a reminder to us all that love is the most primal instinct wired internally to be human.
Kudos also to the readers who have brilliantly noted about the abundance of nature mentioned in the stories. A lot of the writing was literally done out in the outdoors as mentioned in each chapter. Being the simple, regular, girl next door, I’m an ardent believer of live, love & laugh, trying to find happiness in the tiny, daily forgotten bundles of joy… I love a morning dew blanketing the sleeping surroundings, a pluviophile who loves raindrops that hit off the barren earth emanating the fragrence of fresh minerals & soil, a combination of helio & opacarophile loving every outburst of sunrays specifically at dusk, which carries me out to being an astrophile looking out at the dazzling stars that scatter the inevitable black, dark sky… I love diving into books & splashing colors over a blank canvas…I love getting lost in the tracks whilst rolling out snaps of nature, trying to capture the perfect moment of a heartbeat in a single click of camera lens. Above all, I love my dad, I love my family, I love love & loved ones. It’s my humble 2 cents that my rambunctious fascination for Nature piqued my interest in self-discovery, enabling me to put myself out there at my most vulnerable, aspiring me to pour myself out & scribble more soulfully. I truly don’t think I did enough justice to its actual true beauty, but if my writing managed to capture the essence of her magnanimity for the readers, I guess I didn’t do that bad after all.
Q4) Although this is the last chapter but the “Karva Chauth” chapter is one of my favourites. How did you manage to set the theme around the chapter and was the thought of creating a relatability with Indian audience there in your mind? Or the chapter organically flowed ?
Ans : Despite being born in beautiful Malaysia, a part of my soul always went back to my native roots being Kerala. Known for being the melting pot of diverse cultures & ethnicities, I have always carried a small part of Bharath deep within. Everything about India so celebratory in every way. Although it is not a common tradition to practice Karva Chauth in the Malayalee community, but the essence of the celebration itself is a festival rooted mainly by love. The concept of fasting for a beloved one the whole day through, by abiding to centuries old rules, patiently awaiting to break the day’s fast in the arms of a loved one, under the shimmering stars ornamenting the rays of the grand whole moon. Can you imagine why such old practices are still triumphant over the towering modernity of technology? It is only because of the sincerity & purity of love that still stands strong against challenges of time. Such an obsequious act of love, upholding patience, sacrificing food & energy, only for the sole purpose of wishing for all the goodness to be showered upon the dear one. The very fundamentals of the practice piqued my interest from a very young age. With a spillage of diversities across the face of earth, various cultures practice such traditions under the veil of different names & presentation, yet they all go back to the one same core being love & love only. So, to answer you with utmost honesty, I did not target an audience to deliberately, but I wanted to put out the beauty of love through the simplicity of Indian traditions out globally.
Q5) In one of the places you have talked about “Love is patience”. We all know how the younger generations have imbibed impatience in them ? What advice or thought do you have in mind for them?
Ans : Hahahaha… I’m not sure if I’m the best person to be giving the pearl of wisdom… Just to share my humble two cents & a word of wisdom my father always quoted, love is real at both its best & worst. It is a tricky situation to balance this perfect imperfection in a day-to-day situation. Sometimes you give more than you take & there is never a clear demarcation of black & white to guide your steps through. What makes it beautiful is this delicate line you have to thread through. It is a whole shade of grey that takes a lifetime dancing with life to masterfully create a symphony. When love is real, no matter how far you go & no matter how much of strifes you may wade through, true love always gravitates back to one another. It takes patience to create a masterpiece & love is no different in anyways too. Go create your very own masterpiece, be it messy, be it imperfect but patience will carry you to the end as you watch the magic of love unfold.