Balamurugan K A, a native of Varanavasi village in Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur District, stands as a prominent figure in both literature and education. His journey as an author and educator has been marked by a deep commitment to shaping the educational landscape of the state.

Currently serving as an English teacher at Panchayat Union Middle School in Keelaesanai, Ariyalur District, Balamurugan’s passion for literature and education shines through in his dedication to using language that is both expressive and accessible.

A graduate and post-graduate alumnus of St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli, Balamurugan’s literary pursuits are rooted in a desire to promote and preserve the unique traditions, customs, and rural way of life in Tamil Nadu’s villages. Inspired by revered authors like Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson, he aims to impart this rich cultural legacy to future generations.

Beyond his literary endeavors, Balamurugan finds joy in tending to his flock of hens and assisting his father in cultivating chillies and vegetables before heading to work. As an educator, he imparts knowledge until the afternoon, shaping young minds within the classroom walls.

With a diverse professional background, Balamurugan has contributed significantly to the educational sector. His expertise spans from authoring English textbooks for Standards 4, 5, and 8 to coordinating and reviewing video lessons for Kalvi TV. He has been involved in various departmental activities, including lexicography, assessment cell activities, and serving as a State Resource Person for English Textbook for Standard 8.

Residing in Varanavasi with his wife, Malathi, daughters Gayathri and Kiruthika, and his elderly parents, Kathirvel and Amutha, Balamurugan finds solace in family and community. Apart from his professional pursuits, he indulges in his passion for raising Aseel fighter roosters.

In his debut novel, “A Man Eater in Kasan Kadu,” Balamurugan ventures into the realm of fiction, transporting readers to the untamed wilderness of tiger territory in the Ariyalur district. This gripping tale explores themes of human greed, nature’s ferocity, and the resilience of rural communities, offering a captivating narrative that resonates deeply with readers.

BookGeeks had the privilege of engaging in a candid conversation with the author. Here’s what he shared about his book, writing journey, experiences, and passion for literature.

Dear sir, tell us something about yourself. Who is Mr. Balamurugan as a person? What are his likes and dislikes?

I am an enthusiastic and inquisitive individual who is passionate about acquiring new knowledge and experiences to broaden my horizons and gain a better understanding of the world. I prefer to be unique and enjoy expressing myself through various creative forms. Spending quality time with my close friends and family is of utmost importance to me, as I value the strong bonds and memorable moments that we share together.

What do you do in your professional sphere? Has it ever conflicted with your writing, or has it influenced it?

As a teacher, my job mainly involves teaching English to students, evaluating tests, and correcting notebooks. Additionally, I attend various levels of training programs as part of my Teacher Development Program. I have also been a resource person in State, District, and Block level training programmes. I upload and manage the data of students and staff of my school in EMIS and other portals.
Although my schedule is typically busy, I try to separate my personal and professional life to minimise conflicts. It took me a year to complete my book, but I did not take any time off work to focus on it. In the meantime, I work in an interior village school, and the lifestyle and traditions I witness every day have always had a deep impact on me. So, I cannot deny the influence it has had on me.

What inspired you to write A Man Eater in Kasan Kadu? Can you tell our readers something about the book and what to expect from it?

I was inspired to write this book after my wife asked me what would happen if a man-eating tiger entered our village. The works of Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson, who shared their experiences of the forest and hunting, also motivated me to write this book.
The book uses simple and easy-to-understand language, making it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. It also offers readers a glimpse into the rich traditions of the Tamil people living in rural areas.
The story revolves around Keethari and his Kidai, while also providing details about the celebration of Naller Pootuthal and Tamil New Year. In addition, the book explores various socioeconomic themes, such as the negative effects of alcohol and the plight of women and children in villages.
In short, the book tells a fictional story of hunting and tracking set against the backdrop of village life. It's written in simple language, making it both an enjoyable and informative read.

What challenges did you face while writing the action and hunting scenes?

Many authors in this genre were hunters with first-hand experience in hunting and tracking tigers. However, in my case, I have never been to a forest or participated in any adventurous activities like trekking or exploring. Therefore, the scenes in my book that relate to these activities were entirely fictional.
It was quite challenging to put these imaginary scenes into words as I visualized them, and it was also necessary to ensure they were accurate, at least to some degree. Consequently, there was always a conflict between fiction and factual reality. Additionally, the language had to be simple and straightforward to maintain the pace.

A Man Eater in Kasan Kadu explores themes of man-eaters and poaching. How do you hope readers will respond to these themes?

Man-eaters and poaching are two themes that have a unique fan base. For those readers who idolize Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson, these themes hold immense significance. To them, this book may not hold much importance as it is a work of fiction. However, for those who are new to these themes, this book may serve as a gateway to the world that these two legends have created.

What does a normal day in your life look like?

My typical day starts at 5:00 am. At around 6:00 am, I attend to the flock of the local breed of hens and chicks. I have 16 of them to look after. After that, I head to my father's land to assist him in the cultivation of chillies and vegetables. I return home at around 7:30 am, review my lesson plans, prepare for the day, and prepare for school. I leave for school at 8:45 am, which is 18 km away from my house. The school starts at 9:20 am and continues until 4:15 pm. Once I reach home at 5:00 pm, I attend to the poultry and revisit the lands. At 7:30 pm, I have dinner and spend some time reading books. I usually retire to bed at 9:30 pm.

Are you a spontaneous writer or a disciplined one?

I am a spontaneous writer until I finish the rough draft of my story. Since I use my phone to type, I can write whenever I find time or when I am alone. After completing the rough draft, I take a month-long break and then follow a strict schedule. I wake up at 4:00 a.m., edit my work until 7:30 a.m., and then get ready for school. So, I am a combination of a spontaneous and disciplined writer.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

My imagination is a powerful tool that allows me to create an entire world of my own. Through my creativity, I can shape and mold this world into anything I desire, and the possibilities are limitless. In my mind, I become the character that I create and bring them to life.
As a Tamilian, I take great pride in my heritage and culture. It is a significant part of my identity, and I believe it is essential to showcase and celebrate it. Therefore, in my creative works, I incorporate various aspects of Tamil culture, such as language, traditions, and values. My ultimate goal is to inspire others to appreciate and learn more about Tamil culture and its rich history.

What are your other interests apart from writing?

My interests tend to change from time to time. I had a desire to try something that not only interests me but also generates an income, so I decided to venture into fish farming. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to be profitable, and I had to abandon the idea. As I live on the outskirts of my village, I am now raising peruvidai hens and also planning to raise fighter roosters. These hens are known for their hardiness and adaptability, and I find it fascinating to observe their behavior and take care of them.

What's next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or works in progress?

My upcoming book will be a compilation of short stories that beautifully capture the essence of rural living.

A few words for bookGeeks

As an aspiring author, I greatly appreciate your constructive and unbiased reviews. Your reviews not only help me improve my writing but also serve as a source of motivation to keep me going. Thank you for your valuable support!

You can buy A Man Eater in Kasan Kadu by Balamurugan K A using the link below.


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