Lifestyle Books and Art 18 Jul 2019 The Man from Mandu: ...

The Man from Mandu: In conversation with author Manoj Jain

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 18, 2019, 4:11 pm IST
Updated Jul 18, 2019, 4:11 pm IST
Author Manoj Jain gives an insight into his novel – The Man from Mandu.
The Man from Mandu written by Manoj Jain. (Photo: File)
 The Man from Mandu written by Manoj Jain. (Photo: File)

What’s your take on god men who are popular today, do you believe a small part of them is a fraudster?

Unfortunately, I do think that there are many “fake” Godmen, conmen who are posing as spiritual guides. They feed off the faith of people who are looking for quick fixes. People are beset with a myriad of problems and often turn to Godmen.

 

Since you are a businessman how do you juggle between your profession and your passion?

I run an export business in garments. I started this about 30 years ago and it has been steadily growing. I am very passionate about work and enjoy the business and love going to work. Thus my passion is my business. Writing is a dream that has come true, or rather a dream that one has made happen and I am proud and happy on that front too.

When did your interest in writing develop? What triggered your interests in writing? Why didn’t you make your passion your profession?

I started writing in 2016, just three years back and never expected to publish six books in such a short time. I had always wanted to be an author since I was 8 years old but I gave up on that dream in my thirties as I was working hard on my newly founded business and was working hard and travelling a lot and spending time with my children. I was always reading a lot especially literature from all countries and genres. In my late forties, I did my masters in Psychology and the dream to write re-surfaced but I was unconfident because the writing of today was slicker, faster and I was nervous. My nephew suggested I keep a blog and I thought that was the first step- but while trying to write a blog, my first novel (and my books are quite short, too large for a Novella, and not a conventionally thick book) got written. After the first book, I thought I have done it, lived my childhood dream- but once the bug has bitten you, you cannot stop, and more stories came gushing forth.

Do you believe it is more challenging to write about beliefs that conflict with the ones you hold yourself?

Conflict in one’s belief and actions creates dissonance in mind. To avoid that, I don’t write about the things which are contradictory to my thought process.

What inspired you to write this book ‘A Man from MANDU’ tell us a little about it? What kind of message do you seek to convey to the readers, through your writing/books?

A MAN FROM MANDU has two parallel stories going on: one is the story of Tarini who prompted by a bet, is trying to take an ordinary conman and market him into a new age Godman. The other story is the growth of Dhawal from just a man from Mandu to a spiritual seeker. Interspersed are various short stories that are powerful and relatable by the reader. The book was just a vehicle for the short stories in the form of sermons and so they were the inspiration.

A Man from Mandu cuts across age and gender and is universally appealing and gripping. I hope to have the reader get caught up in the story on the surface but also to ponder, think, identify with themselves and question.

How has your education in psychology and degree from IIM influenced your writing style?

Education always gives you a deeper understanding of topics. My studies at IIM taught me to keep my books logical, the stories credible and the studies in Psychology helped me understand the characters and stay true to their personalities.  

In a country obsessed with engineering & medicine, how viable is it for someone to become an author? What advice do you have for our young readers with respect to becoming authors?

As a full-time profession, I do not think that it is very viable for a person to become an author at least to start with.B ut writing part-time or after one has built some savings is definitely possible. It also depends on what ambitions one has in terms of expectations.

I do not think I am wise enough or capable enough to give advice to anyone.

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