Anusha’s debut non-fiction book, ‘What Am I? An Existential Conundrum’ was well received by the readers. The book is an interesting read on the concept of true identity search.
She speaks to NEWS WORLD INC about her book, other projects, and much more.
NWI: How do you see yourself as India’s rising philosophical/non-fiction author?
Anusha: Firstly, I must say thanks for acknowledging me as an author. Even as I knew that I had it in me, I couldn’t put myself together to such an extent (of writing a book) all these years. Now if I recollect, it all narrows down to my curiosity, love for words, and reading, language and expression skills. Having said that, I am not very keen on branding myself as a non-fiction author. As long as I remain passionate about language and expression, I will keep writing what I know or experience. I am loving the process and am not planning on the destination yet. And yes, I know I will make a good non-fiction author.
NWI: What inspired you to write this book?
Anusha: I have always had so many questions in my mind. We all do. I could never convince myself in simply following commands, even if it is in the name of God. Most of us grow up without reasoning or questioning. I have always wanted to explore more on these aspects. And through reading books, observing the world around me, my life lessons… everything put together, I just gave them a shape. I wrote the poem Who Am I? (in my book) eight years ago. Of course, I had no idea then, that it will take me till here. In short, my inspiration is my inner master.
NWI: How did you get the concept of identity search in your book?
Anusha: Nothing like that. I wasn’t hunting for any concept as such. As I said, I keep writing as and when I feel like. And I came upon the KDP pen to publish contest last year. I thought I could use it as a push to collect the pieces in a coherent manner. That is how my first book was born.
NWI: What is the message in the book?
Anusha: I don’t intend to be preachy though I may want to make a difference, in whatever small way I could. I don’t want to mark anything as message. If the readers get connected to my words and content, they themselves will infer the message.
NWI: How did you get the conceptslike perceived identity, ripple effect, etc. in your book?
Anusha: Basically, I read and observe a lot. I try to connect everything happening around. I try to break down complicated things into simpler units, hoping they will be easily understood. Especially for those who think philosophy/spirituality is old and boring. (Talking with my son is one of them. I do admit that reading core philosophy is bit distracting and complex. Reading Descartes, Socrates and Aristotle directly is not as simple even if one is interested in them. I just thought of conceptualizing whatever I understood. That is all.
NWI: How did you do research for this book?
Anusha: I read a lot. Mostly non-fiction. Philosophy and self-help types. And as I told before, in an attempt to find answers to those questions within me, I started making notes from whatever I read. And I realized that almost all books on philosophy and human existence are complex, though unintentional. There are a certain basic concepts or moral values that are taught to us through various ages and various forms. Philosophy or spirituality is neither as complicated as we think nor far away as we keep giving excuses. Existentialism and Self-realization are parts of ourselves. But we don’t give our time and energy to explore them inside. I wanted toexplain the connection of human existence and self-realization in simple terms.
NWI: What’s your take on real identity?
Anusha: Real identity lies in our thoughts. As I told in the book, only thoughts are non-perishable. Human thoughts either remain as art forms or travel across generations. All other means of identity are temporary. To an extent, our choices and actions may determine our identity.Our karma makes us what we are.
NWI: Would you mind telling a bit about your next book?
Anusha: I haven’t decided on that yet. Still indulged in this conundrum. I have a few ideas though.Something tells me I will end up in a fiction work this time. Actually, some characters are getting shape in my head. But there is no rush. Moreover, I am not into full time writing yet.
NWI: What authors or books have been great influences on you?
Anusha: The first and foremost is Thirukkural by the great Saint Thiruvalluvar. Right from school days, I used to ponder over them as I read. And the next major influences are the great Indian Epic Mahabharatha and thoughts of Swami Vivekananda. Mahabharatha is so holistic that one can draw parallelism with every character and philosophy behind them. And not to forget, I was able to get the bigger picture only after I started reading western minds. To name a few, Stephen Covey, Daniel Coleman, Edward de Bono, Eugene Sadler Smith. As I began to pick diversified authors, I started realizing the connect between west and east, ancient and modern, scientific and spiritual. As we know, Swami Vivekananda could influence the western minds. Though they seem dichotomous, they have a fine thread connecting each other. Finally, it is the power of human mind that stands out.
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