I am Aswin Shankharan, currently stepping into my Final year of my studies in Production and Industrial engineering at VIT Vellore. I am from Chennai and I live in Chennai with my mom who is an carnatic music teacher, dad who is an engineer and twin sisters. My first book was “Between Reality and Expectations” published by Raindrops publishers in 2018 which fetched an recognition and an award as “100 Inspiring Authors of India”. My second book titled FILMY KATHAAS is getting published in June and the pre-orders are already out. Apart from that I am a budding Film maker, I have made a short film, I have written screenplays which was my first step into writing. I have written around 250 poems and few columns and articles on newspaper’s. I am passionate about music being from a Musical family background. I am trained in Carnatic music, i have composed a song and I am also a big film enthusiast and I am inspired by and I started writing watching the films and works of directors Mani Ratnam and Mr. Gautham Vasudev Menon.
Q.1 Your present novella is titled as ‘Filmy Khataas’ and the word ‘Khataas’ stands for what here? What’s the story behind the title? And what is the whole plot all around. Kindly enlighten your points over the same for your readers.
Ans: The title is “FILMY KATHAAS” where Kathaas is a Hindi word meaning stories. This book is a collection of 12 different short stories I have written and they are in different genres most of them reflecting characters and the relationships between them which sets them together and apart and how it affects their life, growth and society. All the stories are inspired by real life events which are fantasied in a cinematic way as most of them are written in a way for the readers to get a visual imagery of the story and get an experience of a cinematic story as many situations are dramatized.
• Q.2 How was the journey for you in the field of writings, and connection with your debut publisher? What were the outcomes and negativity you suffered? And what made you finally accomplish your goals ending up as an author?
Ans: I would call writing as an “Happy accident”. With god’s grace I have been really lucky with writing as I have always got positivist from everyone starting from friends to family from the day they felt I have a writer in me. But I would still call myself someone who is trying to reflect real honest emotions in and around in simple words and in the best way I can communicate the emotion which I was able to relate to. To talk about publisher, again with god’s grace I was lucky to get to know Raindrops publishers as my first publication of my poetry happened in their Anthology titled “The igniting memories”. And after which I got in touch with them when I decided to publish my own book. The only publisher I approached was Raindrops and I am working with them as i feel at home while I make a book with them. And I feel really lucky and blessed to have got a publisher like this as they treat an Author so well and Bernard sir who is the CEO of Raindrops is so friendly and encouraging. It’s like after some point I would just go and up and say to him anything I want to change or add or whatever I’m working on. The travel with Raindrops is really fantastic and I wish it should keep going as I said initially I feel at home while working with Raindrops. And I should say that working with me is a bit difficult and Raindrops have been bearing with me with a lot of patience as i keep adding or changing something in the book now and then and the editor is working on Filmy Kathaas in detail correcting every small mistake that is there and of course the designer who has made a fantastic cover after a long discussion we had as a group at Raindrops. So it’s like I can keep talking about my journey with this publisher. So with my journey as a writer or an Author honestly there has hardly been any struggle with god’s grace and with the good will of people around me. It has just been happy go lucky journey.
• We heard about your passion of music comes to you from your family tradition for it. Well, what music has been teachings to you these days, and what it would show impact in future for the one if they opt for it. Is writings would ever be related to music in terms of words?
Ans: Music is a part of my family as my mom teaches Carnatic music, my sisters are trained and professional singers who keep achieving, performing every now and then. I am blessed with twin sisters. My sister Malavikaa Shankharan is one of the highly qualified Oprah singers who have completed certifications which are held by only two or three in India and she has done more then 50 stage performances in the last two years. Another twin sister is trained in Hindustani classical vocals and she has been in top few people in the Reality shows on Star Vijay television. And I myself with just listening and being a part of the bits and pieces of my family learnt some Music. I have grown up with music, lived with it and it’s like one sister would be singing in one room and the other in another room and my mom would be singing in the living room.. that’s how our home is and I remember I have sat down in recording studios listening to music and its like again a part and an great inspiration for me to write and do any creative process. For example most of the stories I have written would be in a process where my earphones would be fully on either with one song in repeat mode for 100 times. For example I would say my pain, my love, my emotion and everything I draw to write in my work is from music. I would say a real example where the story titled “NIHARIKA” which is there in the book was written with the song “Mazhai Kuruvi” composed and sung by Rahman sir in repeat mode till I finished the story it was in repeat for easily 100 times. I guess this all explains music and life I would say I just said a bit of it.
•Q.3 How you look at the present condition in the field of writings? Out of 100% population, 75% are choosing writing as a carrier, and shaping their future, while writing shit which hardly makes sense. And on the other hand, publishers are making profit in the market of no good reason. Do you think, in the coming era of living, Indian literature will stay in safe hands? Kindly drop your comments over the same..
Ans: I guess many taking up writing is good. It may be a good piece of work or a bad piece of work. In my point of view, if it’s a good piece of work, read it, love it, appreciate and get inspired from it. If it’s a bad piece of work take it as an example on how not to write and get motivated that you write better. I feel many taking up writing is good in the sense that real writers and good writing will stand out to show any day. If you need to show people what real good writing is you need a piece of writing that is not so good for people to really compare and see what they want to choose between the both. I really have no comments on publishers making money as I am not much aware of it to be very honest. But I guess with coming up of technology many are able to come out and publish their work in some platform. But always whatsoever it is and who so ever come and go, literature has its own life and good writers and writing will be appreciated. I think Literature is being more accessible and celebrated now.
• Q.4 Who are Fans? And what is a truth behind this mere word.? People add, I’ve a social platform with tons of followers, and they end up selling 20 books in an average. So, for you who are your true fans? And how you deal with this mirror face illusion individual in your life who acts as yours, but are never yours? What are your strategies behind making your society go crazy in hip hop way?
Ans: Okay I really don’t worry about all this to be very honest. I know people have followers to show off and stuff like that but still I feel it’s better for each of us to be honest and hold the integrity to the work we do and I have people who like my work. To say there is a bunch of people who come up to me and say genuinely that they like my work and that’s all I am looking for. Even if someone comes and tells me they don’t like my work I am happy about it. I am not at all carried away by the illusions.. I have my own set of genuine readers who like my work and they are honest in their opinions whenever I put up something. So that’s fine with me absolutely and I have no comments to make on people who show off or tell they have followers, what matters is what you are really and the quality of work you do. This is my humble opinion.
• Q.5 Any suggestions for the budding writers, readers and for the writer-story? Do suggest what else the writer-story should do for you all budding writers.
Ans: Okay, so all I can say is write, keep writing. Don’t confine yourself or fear to put your work out or get it published. Just write and make sure you are able to communicate what you wanted to. Writer-story is doing great by bringing Authors to share their views for learning as I still learn, get inspired whenever I am in need of a tonic by listening or reading interviews of Director Mani Ratnam who I consider as my greatest inspiration. So it’s really good on the part of Writer-story to do this by creating a platform.
He can be reached on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aswin.shankharan
His Debut novella can be ordered at: https://www.amazon.in/dp/8193712269/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_snP5Cb8V0CHC2
His 2nd (Present) Novella can be pre-ordered at: https://amzn.to/2WeGrcv