My trysts with words

I grew up in Kerala, a narrow strip on the west coast of India, till I completed a Master’s degree. Then I have lived in many regions of the world. During my international career of forty years I have been a banker, director, and consultant with multinational banks, oil and gas corporations, and international NGOs. Now I manage my strategic consultancy. I am a member of Mensa International and teach very special courses like Power and Politics for MBA programs. And I compose Indian music. I have been happily married to a very special person for 41 years and have two children chasing their own dreams. That’s more or less me.

My romance with words and creative writing started quite early. My first novel, written when I was 18, was the first rendezvous with words. My publications in English and Malayalam include several novels, short stories, and a business and articles.

My writings echo serious concerns about human conditions. Travel and exposure to different cultures have made me smaller and bigger; smaller as they relentlessly challenge my philosophies and what I know by exposing alternate ways of life; bigger by adding to what I know, to my feelings, and to the ability to see human conditions from different “logic bubbles”. They help me see different sides of fierce conflicts often based on differences in points of view.

The quandary of the common man forces me to write. With snowballing conflict in many parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East where I spent many years in different countries, losses to the common people are alarming. Immense political ambitions design conflicts, within which people are just political or military fodder; often just ‘collateral damage’. They are relegated to the backyards of history. And the negative impacts of conflicts are disproportionately high on women and children.

As an academic, teaching Power and Politics requires me to think and understand the political world including Machiavellian strategies. It is a matter of the Head. As a writer, I feel for the people who are pawns in those same political games and lose the tender relationships that shape the subtle cultural fabric dear to them. I try to give voice to the laments of the common people. It is a matter of the heart.

I try to reconcile what I understand and what I feel with my constant trysts with creative writing. What choice do I have but to write?

My latest book KING PAWN, set against the ongoing war in Syria, epitomizes this conflict.