Serendipity: Mangalam Shiva
We read a book titled Empty Fists. Here is our rendezvous with the author Mr Mangalam Shiva...
GR: What description will fit you in real life?
MS: I, Shivkumar have risen in my life from a humble beginning. After
graduation from Bombay University, I started my career as a Quality Control Inspector. With dedication and hard work I entered Marketing field as a Sales Executive and over the years rose to the level of Vice President (Sales) with M/S. Cello Thermoware Ltd, Mumbai and retired.
As an Idealist, I expect and wish for Peace, Tolerance, Honesty, Hard work, Intelligence, and Happiness to prevail among all human beings.
After working as a Marketing professional in Mumbai, India for forty years, author Mangalam Shiva finally took up the pen. A keen observer of life, the author has been following the myriad incidences of social injustices, inequalities, corruption and abuse of power that India has been beset with and its impact on the common man. Unable to initiate direct action in rectifying these social evils, he hopes to create awareness through his short stories. By touching a chord with the readers, somewhere a life may change for the better.
GR: How does it feel to be a published author/writer? What are your preferred genres?
MS: The feeling is great that my creation of ideas, thoughts, and feelings have come out in the form of a book which is shared with several readers. My preferred genres are Fictions and Anthologies. The high point in writing the stories is the flow of ideas in my mind and heart. I have happiness in living with my characters in the stories and feeling as they do. The low point is the slow process of copy editing of my work. The eagerness to ensure that there are no mistakes in the book created tension in me. Fictions and Anthologies keep my attention, interest and concentration while reading.
GR: What does your writing place look like?
MS: The writing place is my cozy nest which ensures peace, silence and the right environment for thinking and writing. The study room has one P.C., a Laptop, a desk, writing instruments etc. The P.C. has speakers on either side for listening to Old Hindi songs, Ghazals while working on the key board of the P.C.
GR: Which fictional character created by you is closest to your heart? Why?
MS: In one of my stories in the book EMPTY FISTS, the character Mala in the story “STIGMA” is very close to my heart. Here is a young, honest, hard working Good human having a happy married life. She is doing a good job in her work. But fate intervenes suddenly to shatter her life as she was molested by some human animals. She fights against her physical trauma but gets sucked into mental torture by her husband and his parents.
She does not buckle down to the stigma attached to her but fights boldly against all odds to succeed in her new life. As she prospers in her new life, she involves herself in helping other unfortunate women and orphaned children by financial and physical participation. I respect her feelings and bold approach in the story.
GR: What, according to you, are your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
MS: Positive traits--- Ideas emerging in my mind and heart are emotional, thought provoking and convey moral values which are becoming rare in our society. The language and style in the stories are simple which can be easily understood and appreciated by all types of readers irrespective of age, sex, gender, religion and taste.
Negative traits—I am very poor in marketing my book which is absolutely a new field for me.
GR: Describe your latest book. Where can we buy it?
MS: My book EMPTY FISTS is an anthology of 17 short stories. Nine of the stories highlight the daring deeds of Raju the intelligent stray dog who saves some innocent children and some gullible adults from calamities. My idea of letting Raju to think and feel sad about the various atrocities committed by humans is a novel concept well appreciated by all the readers. My book is available at notionpress.com, Amazon.com/Amazon.in/Flipkart/Kindle.
GR: Who and/or What inspires you the most? Why?
MS: The realities of life in India inspire me the most. When I see various types of atrocities against women/children/weaker sections of people, corruption in the political and administrative sections, callousness among the privileged society, indiscipline, dishonesty give me the ideas for my stories.
GR: What all do you do when you are not writing?
MS: When I am not writing, I involve myself in reading fictions, watching news in TV channels, listening to Old Hindi film songs, Ghazals by gifted artists, keeping track of sports activities, walking and helping my wife in shopping.
GR: Which writing project are you currently working on?
MS: I have written more stories for my second book, with different themes and ideas.
Blurb— Rajesh Kumar, great exponent of Urdu Ghazals was keeping the huge crowd in Royal Albert Hall, enthralled with his performance. When he concluded his session the entire audience rose on their feet and gave him a standing ovation for at least ten minutes. Many in the audience had tears in their eyes after listening to his soul searching Ghazals.
Rajesh was delighted that he has reached the pinnacle of his singing career after the concert in Royal Albert Hall. The Destiny laughed at his arrogance and vanity as it has started playing its cruel games in his life----
GR: If you could rewrite one Fiction/NonFiction written by another author, which would it be and why?
MS: I have read many fictions by authors like Robert Ludlum, Robin Cook, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Fredrick Forsyth, Harold Robins, Jackie Collins, Tom Clancy, James Patterson, David Baldacci and many others.
They are all Master story tellers. I am not at all competent to even to think of rewriting any of their master pieces. It will be an insult from me for these giants. Allow me to pass this question.
GR: Thank you for your time.
MS: Thank you for giving me an occasion to answer all of your questions.