Ask Santhosh Sivaraj

Answering reader's questions have always been special for me. For the benefit of the readers in large, I have decided to include it in my blog, three questions at a time. If you have a question for me you can send it to me as well, I shall try to answer them. The anonymity of the sender shall be maintained until unless , they wish to be named.

Question 1

Your writing seems simple; in fact, it is being read by every section of readers. Is it an intentional one to reach all the readers' segment?

The simplest books to read are perhaps the hardest ones to write.

Writing things in their simplest form is something that I have been trying ever since I took up writing. No matter what, every word ever written will resonate differently for different people based on their intelligence & imagination, and my words are no exception.

I remember and quote the following words written by Author Ruskin Bond in one of his introductions.

Ruskin Bond

People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are really alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity.

'When you talk, you sound quite complicated,' said a friend. And I had to explain that I've spent forty years trying to simplify my style and clarify my thoughts!

Of course, some people want literature to be complex. And there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.

I can't add anything more to this.

In all humbleness, I intend to help an average person with my book and not impress any English professor. This will also be my success.

Question 2

How has your journey been as a writer?

I personally believe writers are the most selfish as well as the selfless people in the world.

Selfish because they see a story in everything they see irrespective of the condition of the situation. This is perhaps a gift they possess and cherish.

Selfless because they want to share those stories with the world in its purest form.

While most writers took up writing as a passion, my writing has reasons. I aspire to take up different issues, including the social ones, in my book and try to seek a solution. My books are not for entertainment, although they might be entertaining. I invest lots of research and time into every book of mine to make sure it can make at least a little difference to its reader's mind.

Question 3

When did you decide to write?

Well, the preface of my first book, "The Blue Moon Day", describes the incident which pushed me to take up my distant dream of writing. I had been writing blogs during my college days; however, I felt writing a book is a bigger responsibility. As a writer, I feel more responsible towards the society I live in as well as the society the future will live in long after I am gone.

Below is the preface of my book "The Blue Moon Day ", which is true to its description.

It was 3:30 AM in the Pacific when I got ready for my 4:00 AM duty at the ship. I started my rounds from the open deck, inspecting the machinery spaces. On top of the deck, I noticed abnormal coloured smoke emanating from the funnel. I ignored the warning, thinking it to be the regular boiler emission problem.

Later, I entered the engine room and took over the charge from the third engineer. His red eyes with the slow catwalk confirmed his excessive indulgence of Vodka on duty. At this juncture, expecting machinery data from him would be like expecting expenditure data from your wife after her shopping. I wished him goodnight and got back to my duty, all alone, as the other motorman who was supposed to join me on duty was sick.

I manoeuvred through the machinery spaces and checked the critical parameters. Everything was normal, except for the engine room temperature, which in my view was relatively high. I kept spying around for any indication which could confirm my judgment, and that was when I noticed smoke near the turbocharger space. I panicked, and without even raising the alarm, I rushed to the spot for inspection.