After obtaining his primary education from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan school in New Delhi, author Ravi Kumar went on to study English literature from the prestigious Kirori Mal College of Delhi University.
Throughout his career, Ravi Kumar has found himself equally interested and well versed in not one but three languages – English, Hindi, and Urdu.
As a child, Ravi had always been inclined towards the creative fields. He fondly remembers his tryst with colors when he used to paint without any inhibitions in his early days.
He then discovered love in singing and dedicated fourteen precious years of his life to the learning of Hindustani classical music. He has also performed all over India across many different platforms and stages.
A communication specialist by profession, Ravi Kumar has to his credit a long and successful career as a television journalist where he had worked with a number of prominent Indian news networks.
His passion for communications and his quest for knowledge and experience then took him to the corporate sector where he found himself working as a marketing communications expert for many national and international companies.
Ravi first started writing during his stints as a TV journalist where he used to write for many famous celebrities. Slowly and steadily, he started to dedicate more time to his passion, building up a blog to fuel and channelize his writing interests.
After the initial appreciation and positive response for his writing, he soon started giving shape to his dreams and that is how his first book, Kaagaz Ke Mahal was born. The book is the first in a series of three books that take us into the immersive world of Urdu and Hindi poetry.
Meanwhile, Ravi has also been working on a mythological fiction in English that will soon be available to readers all over the world. We at bookGeeks got a chance to indulge in a candid tête-à-tête with the author. And here’s what he has to say about his debut book, his love for writing and about books in general.
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about yourself. What are your likes and dislikes?|
|Ravi:||It will not be an exaggeration to call myself an inquisitive soul or wanderer who is always in search of newer challenges to push his boundaries. Being an artist at heart, I have always been drawn towards creativity. Be it Music, Painting, Theater or Writing, I delved into each one of them with equal passion since my childhood. |
Of course, Music and Writing took the center stage as I grew up, however, my hunger to create something new continued to grow with each passing day. No wonder why I professionally ended up being a TV journalist and later a corporate communication professional.
When it comes to dislikes, I am not very comfortable with rigidity in anything in general. I think that flexibility and having an open mindset is critical to achieving something meaningful in life.
|bookGeeks:||From journalism to writing to singing, you are a man of many talents. How do you find the right balance between your professional commitments and your many passions?|
|Ravi:||Well, the answer to this lies in your question itself. When you are really ‘Passionate’ about something, it will automatically find ways to express itself. |
Having said that, it does require exceptional time management skills to balance professional commitments, passions, and family life. Also, one has to learn to make optimum use of the time which we consider ‘waste’ in general.
To give you a perspective, the distance to my workplace from my house is almost 2 hours one way. So instead of driving down every day and practically doing nothing but staring at zillions of number plates on the road, I decided to shift to public transport. This gave me straight four hours every day to write.
You will be surprised to know that most of my creations are a product of my everyday rides to the office and back home. Finding time is always easy, provided one is focused and has a clear priority list.
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about your recently released book, Kaagaz Ke Mahal.|
|Ravi:||‘Kaagaz Ke Mahal’ is a collection of many thoughts that the readers will be able to resonate with. The simplicity with which each poem describes complex human emotions of pain, longing, loneliness, and unfulfilled dreams, will connect effortlessly with some or the other aspect of the reader’s lives. |
The book is essentially a medium for the readers to introspect their existing and former relationships. The collection of poems will bring out their innermost thoughts that they may have struggled with due to the complexities involved in various relationships around them.
The book is divided into two parts of poems and free verses. You will find that all the poems are written in a similar format of 5 lyrical verses to give a sort of continuity to the readers.
Meant for all age groups, the book offers a unique way of presenting poems in both Hindi and Roman (Hindi written in English), which is commonly preferred by most new age readers nowadays. Besides being the debut collection, ‘Kaagaz Ke Mahal’ happens to be the first in the series of his three poetry books on different genres that will be released soon.
|bookGeeks:||When did you first realize that you wanted to be a poet and writer?|
|Ravi:||Even though I have been writing for a long time, no one including my family members had any knowledge about my passion of writing for a very long time, since I never shared my creations in public. |
While writing has always been an extension of my mind on paper, whatever I wrote initially was primarily to declutter my thoughts and record my feelings about whatever I saw around me.
It was only when I shared some of my creations in form of a blog and later during regular live performances at various reputed platforms, I saw an unexpected wonderful response, which motivated me to start thinking seriously on getting my work published and turning into a writer.
|bookGeeks:||Why did you decide on Urdu and Hindi as the primary language for your first book?|
|Ravi:||Honestly, ‘Kaagaz Ke Mahal’ was supposed to be my 2nd book. I have been working on a mythological fiction in English since last few years, which is near completion now and was supposed to be launched first, but as the poetry collection was ready much before the expected deadline, it got to see the light of the day first. |
Since both the books that I was working on had a completely different set of audience, I didn’t see any harm in coming up with a book in Urdu and Hindi as my first book. In fact, I can proudly claim that probably I am the only writer around who is equally comfortable in writing Urdu/Hindi Shayari as well as English fiction stories.
|bookGeeks:||Which is that one Hindi or Urdu poet that you would definitely recommend to every Indian book lover?|
|Ravi:||While I follow legends like Ahmed Faraz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and Gulzar Sahab, there is no match to the brilliance of Ahmed Faraz’s flawless creations which one should follow for sure.|
|bookGeeks:||Hindi Kavita or Urdu Shayari?|
|Ravi:||I would go for Urdu Shayari as it touches the emotions easier than a Hindi Kavita, however, it is subjective and can have exceptions.|
|bookGeeks:||Ghazal or Geet?|
|Ravi:||Being a singer and a poet, I have a personal liking towards Ghazals, however, with more Urdu words making it to the ‘Geet’ category, the lines are getting blurred.|
|bookGeeks:||Mirza Ghalib or Harivansh Rai Bachchan?|
|Ravi:||My inclination will be towards Mirza Ghalib, a man who mastered the art of matching the most suitable word with every emotion leading to evergreen poems.|
|bookGeeks:||Who is your biggest inspiration in life?|
|Ravi:||My biggest inspiration comes from my better half Parul, who besides being a wife and a friend, is also a wonderful poetess herself and a critic of my creations. Sometimes someone has to trust your abilities blindly to motivate you, which she has done for me.|
|bookGeeks:||What are some of your other hobbies and interests?|
|Ravi:||I am an avid movie lover and can watch movies all day or binge watch various web series that provide an edge of the seat excitement. I am also a major foodie and love to eat street food. Besides that, I like interior designing which I have done professionally for some of my friends. Driving is another interest that gives me immense pleasure.|
|bookGeeks:||Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, then how did you overcome it?|
|Ravi:||It’s natural to face a writer’s block since our brain stops churning new ideas after a point. To overcome this, it is important to shift the focus and come back with a fresh mind. Since I have been working on two very different books simultaneously, it was relatively easy to shift my focus to the other book for some time and come back afresh to the earlier one with new ideas and vice-versa.|
|bookGeeks:||Has your profession and years of corporate experience helped you in your writing?|
|Ravi:||Indeed, the experience that I have gained as a professional in all these years has significantly helped me in honing my talent for writing. While directly working with some of the well-known names of the corporate world, the margin of error constantly remained at zero, which helped me in having an eye for detail, perfection in whatever I write, evaluation of the creations from reader’s point of view and even in designing & marketing of the book.|
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about other writing projects that you are currently working on?|
|Ravi:||I am targeting to finish my mythological fiction book in English by the end of this year as some critical aspects of the book which were time-consuming have been researched thoroughly. I hope that by early 2020 the book should hit the stands. |
Unfortunately, I will not be able to share much light on its plot but I can assure you that it has got all possible elements of a thriller that will leave the readers longing for more.
Besides that, I am working on the second poetry book in Hindi and Urdu titled ‘Khayalon Se Aage’ which is part of the three-book series of which the first one happens to be ‘Kaagaz Ke Mahal’. While ‘Kaagaz Ke Mahal’ primarily deals with the complexities involved in relationships, ‘Khayalon Se Aage’ is about love and the way it changes our perspective towards life in general.
|bookGeeks:||Some tips that you would love to give to aspiring poets and budding writers.|
|Ravi:||The most important thing for any writer or poet is to critically analyze his or her work. As a writer, there is a tendency of falling in love with what you have written, but you need to remember that it is for the readers at large that you are writing. Evaluate what you have written from a third person’s view and see if it excites you or not. |
Being open to criticism is another important factor that will benefit you. Don’t feel bad if someone corrects you. They are only trying to help you sharpen your saw.
One thing that I would especially want to suggest budding poets is to be patient. Good poetry needs the right balance of thoughts and words, that is why don’t force-fit words to complete them, instead take time to cultivate your thoughts and find the exact words that can-do justice and make the poems worthy enough to be read.