Today we have Balachandran Kodandath, author of A Tribute to My Dreams with us.
Balachandran Kodandath, also known as Bala, is a passionate storyteller. He hails from the lush backdrops of God’s own country, Kerala. Bala believes that there are unspoken stories in everyone’s life. He devotes his effort to the world the emotions of a common man in these unsaid stories. Balachandran is a rational thinker with a deep-seated belief in Karma. He devotes substantive energy and time for environmental conservation. Let’s know more about him and talk to him about his book and writing journey.
Welcome to our Blog Bala.
Tell us about yourself. Who is Balachandran Kodandath apart from an author of ‘A Tribute to My Dreams’?
Born with the lush green background of “God’s Own Country”, the love for nature and its immaculate beauty was intrinsic to my upbringing. I was privileged to be part of a generation that cherished playing on the field and playgrounds with friends than in front of a 5-inch device. This helped a lot to understand and empathize people and their perspectives. My earliest memories of reading take me back a long way to my primary school days, when my father opened me to the world of used books, mainly the fables and fairy tales.
By profession, I am an Engineering Manager for a major corporation with an extensive traveling around the globe, which came as a by-product of my job profile.
Outside of my work and writing, the conservationist in me takes up shape to see on avenues that could help us retain the lost glory of the once spotless mother nature.
Screenwriting is something which I am planning to work on as time progresses, which incidentally is an acquired interest that I love to develop.
What inspires you to write a book?
Well, there are a lot of factors that inspire me to write, like reflections of my experiences, influences of the books I enjoyed reading or even the characters who come across our lives. I always believe that everyone carries a story in their heart, a story which most of the time will remain untold to the world, and when I look at people with that belief, it inspires me to write on their behalf, often not from what they disclose but from my own design and construction of their world. I also have this habit of dreaming into a virtual world with these characters which had helped me a lot.
Did you always want to write a book?
Yes, I had this dream from my time unknown, and the first book is also a tribute to that dream of me becoming a writer. The dream was there from time unknown, but I am still not able to come to terms that I am off the mark now. I still can’t believe that I am working on my second book and first screenplay.
How much writing a book has changed you?
It has changed me to a great extent. I suddenly become exposed to a lot of open reviews, all of them are exciting with some giving you an opportunity to improve while few let you cherish the milestone. It also changed my whole way of looking at the way I communicate. The point of focus started drifting slowly from what I have to say from what the readers see from their angle. While you write a story, often there are details which are built on your subconscious mind, which makes it easy for me to understand why and what happened on a specific scene, but for a reader, I have to make sure that the background of the scene is created to expect the intended effect.
Taking feedback was one another thing which came up as a gentle surprise for me. Negative reviews should be taken as constructive while the positive reviews should propel you for addressing your weakness. I am happy and thankful for where I am now.
Being a father of an Angel how much you can relate to the protagonist of your story; Abhay?
Father’s love is something which is still debated and not acknowledged to its real magnitude. General opinion starting to make that the love of the father is something which always is supposed to take a role of a second fiddle. They are often not newsworthy or dignified or for that matter not even considered significant. Most of us have not come to terms with the existence of an equally powerful quotient of love, which is on par with the love of a mother, the only difference is how it’s expressed.
As a father, I share the similar emotions to that of Abhay, there is a no bigger asset than a father’s angle.
How do you manage a work-life balance?
Well, Work-life balance is a tough thing, I try my best to prioritize the passion and need in tandem and try to manage my workday. Writing is my passion while at this moment it is not really getting me to support my living, hence it becomes super important to manage and balance both. I have after a lot of wasted years finally have reached a point where I am now fairly able to manage both priorities. I initially had very tough time managing two fronts, it makes me feel exhausted for a short while even these days, but then, the energy within you from driven by your passion keeps me moving.
Any writing project you are currently working on?
I am working on another fiction, more of supernatural-romance. I am hopeful of making it much better than my published work, incorporating the constructive feedback I received for my first novel. The storyline is almost through and I am building my first draft.
Which author do you admire most and why?
Books of Arthur Hailey was always close to me, they are limited in numbers but comes with a variety of plots and settings with details to such an extent that one ends up virtually on the scene.
I also love to read John Grisham and Jeffery Archer. Again, John Grisham for the details and Jeffery Archer for his style of language.
I bumped on Ruskin Bond few years before which made me a fan of Ruskin Bond, the simplicity and structure often resulted in a pleasant “after reading” effect
Last but not the least, “The Bard of Avon” William Shakespeare for playwrights. I got exposed his work through “The Tempest”, it was hard to get through on a go, but then thanks to lots of supporting literature which helped me to enjoy his many great works.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
The first thing which comes to my mind are words of Ruth Rendell which goes something like this “Writing a Novel is like driving a car at night, you can see as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way” The quote was quite inspirational and often helped me navigate the writer’s block with ease. There are times when you have a brilliant outline or a plot but will find very hard to construct something concrete on it, the only way to move on is to make sure that one doesn’t stay there but at least make small forward steps.
No book comes alive overnight, it takes its own time to shape-up and be alive. No idea or story is bad too, our fingers do not have same shape or size, so the valued readers, their taste differs and as long as you can cater or make an impact to even a minor portion of this esteemed community, you can call yourself successful.
Finally, I believe that it is not you that makes you a writer, it is the readers who make you the writer. The ode belongs to them.
Final words for the readers of ‘A Tribute to My Dreams’?
Tribute to My Dreams is based on a rarely explored subject of fathers love and a perspective of a broken family from a not so popular angle, the perspective of a father and the perspective of a child who is yet to understand what is being taken away due to the failure of her family. It is more of an emotional drama.
Incidentally, it is also a tribute to my dream of becoming a writer, I have, in the past worked on few short stories which were on controversial subjects but this was my first full work on a rarely discussed issue. It’s not a story, it is not a tale of fable, It is a social issue which needs better understanding.
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