After a very long gap, I am again reviving my Author Spotlight Interview section with Mr. Vadassery Thaiparambil Rakesh, author of the book – The Thorough Check. I was introduced to him through a book review program hosted by the most popular platform i.e. The Readers Cosmos.
Though, I had reviewed the book, a couple of days ago but couldn’t invest time in publishing the interview. Here, I gladly share with you, the inputs shared by the author with me. It ia about him and his book.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background
VTR: I spent my childhood and education in a picturesque place in Kerala’s Trissur district, full of paddy fields, Sarpakavu (Snake temples), footballers and a scent of CheGuera. My Don Bosco School stood like Cambridge amongst the Malayalam medium schools around, giving us the aura of a stiff upper lip, and pushed us into the big bad world of English speakers. I wish I had studied in a Malayalam medium school which would have given me the contentment of being a village-officer somewhere. Carrying an Engineering degree in a state which has no industries is really a burden. Fortunately, Gujarat, which was shining in all its glamour, in the post-liberalization India, came calling in 1994. And I never thought of leaving this wonderful place of entrepreneurs, falling in love with its air of business and festivals. I presently live in Surat.
BNI: So what all you have written / published till date?
VTR: “The Thorough Check” is my debut novel. My second book “Deliverance of Sarpameru” is almost getting ready to be published.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
VTR: I was really disturbed to see the attack on TajMahal Hotel in Mumbai, a slap on our nation’s face. Many altruistic security commandoes and policemen died. The terrorists must have got support from within our country, which really perturbed my mind. I just tried to explore the genesis of terrorism, and started writing, distantly hoping that, one day, we Indians will rise above our differences as a single society to fight the evil of terrorism.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
VTR: I was looking forward for an apt word which encapsulates the worries of a misunderstood and victimized population. It was incidental that I came across a scuffle in a southern airport, between an aged Muslim gentleman and the security forces, the former refusing to remove his belt. The wide belt was holding his dhoti and removing it means the dhoti will slide down from his waist. It was really pathetic to see a Seventy year old being so “Thoroughly Checked”, and there I got the title of my book.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
VTR: It is not only India, but the whole world is communally charged up, all of them fighting over ironically on their religions. It is strange to see people fight over God. This book is a modest attempt to politically active Indians to think and act beyond their respective Gods, and treat a human being as a fellow traveler.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
VTR: The main character is a police officer who has a very humble origin. Having seen the life in its raw form, he has a contempt for religious diktats and ideologies. To add to that, his close shave from some communal bigots makes him steadfast to fight the evil of communalism and eradicate it from this sacred and liberal land.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
VTR: Yes the book ends with a message which could be a billion dollar learning for this country.
BNI: Share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development?
VTR: I had befriended a fishing-boat owner to observe Veraval’s fishing community. One evening I slept over inside the boat. The next day early morning when woke up I was already in the midst of deep sea which was frightening. Months later it was amusing to see a similar scene flash out from the movie Chennai Express.
BNI: Which Writers inspire you
VTR: Garcia Marquez has been a tough nut to crack, his style being the most unique. Alistair Maclean with his world-war novels must have brought me closer to the sea. Shashi Tharoor’s novels have been India –specific and fantastic.
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
VTR: I want to convey a social message through each of my books. But like a temple-idol is a conduit to a higher recognition of Godliness, I would like to use the lure of crime-thrillers to carry this message across.
BNI: According to you, what is the hardest thing about writing?
VTR: The writer’s dilemma of whether to write what genuinely is of his interest or to write what caters to the market.
BNI: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
VTR: The penultimate chapter “Rendezvous with the Lioness”, is the favorite chapter as the whole book was written for creating that chapter, like the whole of Mahabharat was written just to create an opportunity to present Geetha.
BNI: How about a Snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
“It was a humbling experience to have eaten from a common plate. Three of us shared the meal, in fact, a large quantity of mutton biryani from the same extra-large plate – that too, squatting on the floor. We drank water using the same glass. All I suppose was to buttress the unity among Allah’s children. For a moment, I wished that the whole world had one religion and all the 5 billion people ate from the same extra-large plate. What a world it would be!”
BNI: Ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
VTR: Printed hardcover book. I’m a brick and .mortar man and belong to the old economy. Nothing I suppose can surpass the romantic appeal of a carrying a hardcover book and trying to share the common interest with a beautiful girl sitting across the library.
BNI: Thank you for your time Mr. V.T. Rakesh. Books News India wishes success for your book. See you around.:)