Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Interview with Tomichan Matheikal, famous blogger and author of Nomad Learns morality



Hello readers,
Today we have a talented writer with us. A famous blogger, writer and author of Nomad Learns Morality, Tomichan Matheikal

Hi Sir,
Welcome to my virtual teté-a-teté 




          Q      Tell us a little about yourself and your backgroun
       Hi, Rakhi, first of all, thanks for reviewing my book, The Nomad Learns Morality.

 I have been a teacher throughout my working life and I enjoy being with youngsters.  I      started my teaching career in Shillong and then moved to Delhi before returning to              Kerala a few months back, having completed three decades of nomadic existence.

 
              Q      Please tell the readers about your book.

       The Nomad Learns Morality is a collection of short stories most of which were                   written during the last two years of my life in Delhi when drastic changes took place          in my life as well as that of my colleagues because of the change in the management          of the school where I was teaching.  The new management was not interested in                    running the school.  They were in fact grabbing the 15-acre campus by subjecting the          school to euthanasia.  Many staff members were tortured psychologically in order to            eject them from the school.  False allegations were leveled against them even in the            court.  Some were beaten up by thugs.  The happenings shook me especially because          the people who committed such atrocities were the followers of a godman.                            Everything was apparently being done for the sake of religion.   The cult to which                they belong has a few million followers in India and abroad.  I began to wonder how          so many people could be fooled by religion.  Many of the stories in the book came as           a result of the questions that arose in my mind about religion. 


             Q      We can see your strong take on several social aspects in the book. How do you view religious fanaticism?

Religion has played a very dominant role in my life and this is the chief reason                   why I find it impossible to cut it off from my life.  I have come across all sorts of                  religious people from genuine devotees to absolute frauds.  For most of them,                        religion is merely a career, a means of earning livelihood and securing good                          positions,  and has nothing to do with spirituality.  They make use of other people               for their petty personal victories.

Religious fanaticism is still worse.  The fanatics hoodwink themselves and victimize others.  They presume themselves to be the custodians of god-given truths and persecute other people with those truths.  Religious fanaticism is the biggest challenge that the world faces today after ecological threats. 


           Q      Most of the stories under the contemporary fiction, had connection with Kerala,                   Shillong and Shimla and revolves around  school backgrounds. Is there any real                   life connection?

        Kerala is my homeland to which I returned on annual vacation very religiously.                  Some of those visits inspired certain stories.  Shillong is the place where I spent the             first 15 years of my life as a teacher.  It is a place which taught me many lessons of               life in ways that so were beyond my grasp that I had to leave the place in                               bafflement and despair.  It was my inability to cope with certain situations more                   than other people’s wickedness.  Shillong appears even in the novel, Black Hole,                 which I am now seralizing in my blog. It is a place which remains imprinted                         indelibly in my psyche. Shimla is a place where I spent a holiday and presented me              with some romantic memories.  The Mall Road watched over by a gigantic figure               of Hanuman that towers in the background forest is one of the places that still                         triggers quaint feelings in me. 


            Q      Tell us about your blogging experience.

   Blogging has remained my most beloved pastime in the last many years.  It is my                way of rising above the pettiness that life inevitably thrusts at us.  It has been a                      very happy experience, a liberating experience.


              Q      For a blog we are our masters. But that might not be the case with publishing.  Can you share your publishing experience?

   It has been a rather unpleasant experience which I don’t wish to speak about. 


           Q      What are you working on at the minute?
Black Hole, my novel. 
Q   When did you decide to become a writer?
I loved to write even as a student.  It was not a decision.  Writing occurred to me as naturally as singing would occur to a singer or painting to a painter.
Q      Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Not seriously.  I suffer from bouts of depression occasionally during which I can’t write.  That’s not the same as writer’s block, however.
Q      Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
I didn’t go out of my way to promote the book.  Some friends were generous enough to review the book in their blogs and also list it with Goodreads. 
Q      What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write from the heart.  Probe the depths of life.  Embrace the pain of truths if necessary. 
Q      How can readers discover more about you and you work?
There is no other way than reading my work.
Q      Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
It’s been my pleasure and thanks to you for asking some very interesting questions.