- Tell us something about the many books you have written.
In Slum Flowers, the poems narrate the insecure life and inexplicable sorrows of the slum dwellers. Weeping Womb is a collection of the mothers’ agonies due to terrorism, and loss of lives. Don’ Mom Please is saying about female foeticide which is curse for the society. The anthology titled as Poems, depicts the contemporary life- its colours and colourlessness, and is about child labour too.
- When did you start writing?
I can say that an element of taste in poetry has existed in me since very early childhood, and flourished during college days. In late 80s, it got its wings. My mother, who had a special knack to recite poems, could inculcate aptitude in me. She had given a large number of poems without losing its strength, along with values of life. Sincerely speaking, I had written a descriptive story when in 6th standard at the age of 11.
- What is the purpose of your writing?
It is to spread awareness of life and its multi-faceted activities, giving the message of compassionate love and affection, and its journey towards peace avoiding war and weapon
- What inspired you to bring forth this idea of Nelson Mandela as a book?
A picture of Nelson Mandela; he suffered for long 27 years in jail, neglected even the basic needs, attracted me, and I started learning more.
- What is your idea of patriotism?
I have children’s literature titled Satyagraham and Mazhavillinodu which talk about love towards nation. Being the advocate of Gandhian principles, my writings have the elements of truth, non-violence, and feeling of patriotism. The beauty of nature and the necessity of its preservation amply emphasized.
- Which of your works have been published so far?
I have 14 books of poems, half of them in English and half in Malayalam, in addition to staged plays and musical albums, including songs for animation movie. English books are, Science of Dream, Poems, Weeping Womb, Slum Flowers, Mahatma Gandhi, Don Mom Please, and the current book Nelson Mandela. In Malayalam, the books are Perillathaval (she who has no name), Mazhavillinodu (to the Rain bow), Mayillammakku, Neelm koodiya chodyam (the lengthy question), Endosulfan (precaution against pesticide use), Karutha Pattu (black song), and Sathyagraham.
- Woah! So how was this journey of becoming a published author?
As far as I am concerned, I don’t like writing for the sake of writing, but, writing with a mission, for that I think writers should have visions. Writings ultimately reach the publisher. When evaluated, they accept for publishing. Some of my works got additional editions in few months.
- Which approach is better according to you – self-publishing or the traditional approach?
I am in favour of publishing books through well known publishing houses because they can distribute the books easily far and wide than self-publishing can. Distribution network is essential for a writers success.
- What should the beginners do today?
Some beginners run after instant popularity, not taking much pain as in the case of our ancestors, e.g., searching for raw materials. Indeed, it is a painful act and it, in turn, is the result of it as well. It is not so easy as taking a selfie. But, some beginners are pursuing the ways of our forefathers-writing, correcting and creating.
- What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I select a subject first, and thinking of the method to be used prosaic or poetic, second. As a third step, I act as a self-editor, re-writing process, effecting corrections, etc and wait for the reader’s response as fourth stage.
- What is your favorite genre and why?
Poetry, since I love it very much. Audience also persuades me to proceed with poems. I cannot even think of a day passing without some lines of this genre. Its a powerful medium for interaction.
- What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
My mother, who was my inspiration, is no more now. She gave me the hands of poetry, and its silence too.
- What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?
Major challenge in writing is division of time for family and writing. On some occasions, family becomes my strength for writing. On some other, writing has to be postponed or avoided. I think, writing is not a seasonal work, but a continuous process to be kept in mind always. Creative writing cannot be made possible with a time schedule.
- If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
My partner, who supports me always in this ‘venture’. Though a nationalized bank employee, she finds time to leave me alone with my thoughts.
- And finally, any message for the readers?
Readers are the guiding stars of the writers. Writing will not be reckoned if there is no response, they say about the style and situation. Once an eminent writer said that the number of letters received from the readers is the ‘acid test’ for the author’s success. Readers should also be impartial, I think.
So that was Sreedharan Parokode for you, author of “Nelson Mandela“.
You can get in touch with Sreedharan directly at: https://www.facebook.com/sreedharan.parokode
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