We have with us today Dr. Bineesh Balakrishnan Author of Freigeist…An Unfretted Soul. And we are sure that our conversation would render a lot of inspiration for new writers and readers coming straight from a great author.
Tell us something about yourself and when did you first realize you want to be a writer?
I’m a Physiatrist/PMR specialist/Rehabilitation specialist with an MD & DNB in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. I’m currently working at Mangalore, am basically from Thrissur, Kerala. I hope to get married soon, just waiting for the right girl. I am a voracious reader. Non-fiction is my cup of tea..
Honestly speaking, the first rock song that I wrote was called ‘Walking Wounded’, & that was back in 2004. The song was about a lovelorn person, getting on with life. That’s when I first noted the power of words to transform you. I never had plans to become a writer back then. I performed that song, a couple of times with my band ‘White Rain’. Though we disbanded within a year, I continued writing rock songs whenever I found time, or time found me(destiny/fate could have a role in me becoming a writer)…Most of my rock songs were influenced by Alternative rock music.. Though I kept writing rock songs, I wasn’t all that keen on writing short stories or quotes at that point in time… Everything changed when I joined a writing app. The app is amazing, I must say.. Within a month of joining it, I attempted to write micropoetry, quotes & all kinds of literary pieces. The response from my friends was more than just heartwarming. Two of them asked me to bring out a book, & it seemed like an okay idea.
I then, sat down & reviewed everything I had written & just went through it a couple of times. I asked myself-‘If you compile your work.. Honestly, would you like reading it?.. So in an unbiased manner, I read each piece one more time.. I don’t know how biased or unbiased I was, but I decided to get my work published. I compiled my work, edited it, brushed up a few pieces. Some pieces were dismantled & reconstructed, so to speak. But I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of getting the book done… The feedback from the people who read my book, has been really uplifting. I’m deeply indebted to my Sadhguru Sai Baba, for always guiding me.
Tell us about your book – Freigeist…an unfettered soul..
‘Freigeist..an unfettered soul..’, is a compilation of the things I’ve penned down in the last two years. It contains rock songs, micropoetry, quotes & much more… It’s a roller coaster ride of sorts. It’ll take you up, down, sideways & finally leave you breathless( at least that’s what it’s supposed to do).. The language I’ve used is not all that complicated. By no means is this an autobiographical work. No offense is intended to anyone.
What made you write on this topic?
Like I’ve mentioned before, this is a compilation of literary pieces. There are five sections in this book, dealing with:-
True love:- Now, I’m a hopeless romantic. Some say, we’re a dying breed. Watching romantic comedies, the bustling wind & petrichor bring out the lover in me. I love writing about love, because not only is love beautiful, but it’s also really complicated. Just think about it, authors, poets, singers & artists have been trying to distil & express this emotion for centuries. I’ve tried to express my love for my soulmate, in the best way I could…My soulmate, if you’re out there reading this, come & get me…lol..
Tough stuff:- This section deals with pain, loneliness & other negative states of existence. Everyone goes through rough patches in life, but these times teach us so much. This section was written to help people deal with tough times. A word of advice to the youth of today-‘Say no to drugs & suicide’…
Stuff to ponder over:-This section is for expanding your philosophical muscle. Bertrand Russell once noted-‘Most people would rather die than think, & many do..Honestly, when was the last time you stopped multitasking, & social networking, & actually reflected on an idea… The faculty of reflection & reasoning have a major role in making us grow as human beings…
Harsh realities of life:-Now there are things in life, that you cannot change. Certain conspiracy theories have become facts recently too. This section deals with such topics. Topics include rock songs about a sick society; how a young man is organizedly harassed; pieces dealing with Psychotronic weapons used for harassment, have been included in this section, besides other topics. Some of these facts were once considered ludicrous conspiracy theories, at one point in time… Newspapers recently discussed the use of ‘Sonic weapons’ on diplomats in Cuba. The use of Psychotronic weapons, is something army personnel knew for decades, but it was ‘classified information’ for way too long a time.. Global surveillance of citizens was brought to light by Edward Snowdon & his ilk (The recent soup that Zuckerberg & company landed in, was also something strange to the common man, but something conspiracy theorists knew for years.)
Feel good pieces:- I wanted to end the book, leaving the readers feeling good. The pieces in this section deal with friendship, happiness, peace & other feelings of their ilk. Whenever the world gives you a cold shoulder, I hope these pieces can rekindle the dying embers of hope & happiness in you.
Where do you find the information and material for the book?
I’ve drawn inspiration & information from the following sources..
Rock songs:-Rock songs have influenced my writing style immensely. Bands like Oasis, The Smith’s, Cold play, Idlewild, have had the most important influence. Robin Sharma once said that ‘rockstars are the poets for our generation’. I totally agree with him on that thought…
Books:- I think more than all the books I’ve read the ones that have influenced me the most are Philosophical & Theological works…
Information:-Information from reliable sources have also provided material for me to write on. Articles on organized harassment, Psychotronic weapons, whistleblowers have all been written after sufficient research.
Name one thing you learned while creating your book.
The one thing I learned while writing this book, was the power of persistence. Compiling material was easier said than done. A good number of pieces had to be completely reworked. I’m sorry to say this, but the publishing company introduced mistakes into my work. I had to re-edit my work nearly half a dozen times. When all is said & done, I’m elated the book is out, & I love the way it has turned out… Judging by the feedback, I guess I was being persistent & not foolhardy.
Do you have any suggestions for me to become a better writer?
An old Zen saying goes:-“If you want to be happy, just be..”
Similarly-‘If you want to be a good writer just write..’
When I say ‘just write’, I don’t mean you write down whatever drivel that comes to your mind. Most, if not all writers, read voraciously. They learn to reflect on what they’ve read.. They set aside time to write.. John Grisham supposedly woke up an hour early everyday, so that he could write one page everyday. He did this though he had a full time job, & kids to look after. So if you want to be a great writer just write(read as find time to read, reflect & write).
After this, are there any plans for your next book. If yes, then on what topic will it be?
I want to keep writing, because the initial feedback from the people who read my book has been awesome.. I would like to work on two books this year itself-one would be another compilation of all kinds of literary pieces, & the second being a book called ‘Say no to suicide’, a compilation of literary pieces to help people start over again in life, instead of giving up on it.
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