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In Conversation with a Writer
by Unknown

Recently children’s writer Mr. Ramendra Kumar visited Arunodaya Public School, New Delhi. He conducted a Creative Writing Workshop. Neeharika Chaudhary and Abhishek Rawat of class XII interviewed him. The excerpts of the interview as submitted by the School are given below:

Neeharika (N) and Abhishek (A): Sir, first of all we welcome you to our school

N : Sir, please tell us something about your childhood.

Ramendra Kumar (R.K.): My childhood ! I grew in a literary kind of atmosphere. My mother was a Hindi writer and my father was a professor of Hindi. And there was so much Hindi at home that I decided to shift my focus to English. As a result I write only in English. I studied in Hyderabad Public School where the standard of English was very good. My English was pathetic at that time because you know the atmosphere at home was so Hindi oriented. As a result doing well in English became a huge challenge for me.

A : Why do you write ?

R.K.: I don’t write for money and fame. Writing is my passion, my obsession. I have been writing since my college days but I shifted to writing for children because of my kids. They wanted a story everyday. One day I decided that instead of telling them the usual stories from Panchatantra or some other such fables, I should tell them my own stories. My children lapped them up and encouraged I typed them out and sent them for publication to children's magazines. They were accepted and the editors actually wrote to me asking for more.

N : Were you always fond of writing or it just developed with time ?

R.K.: Interest in writing was always there but I never went about it in a such a planned manner. When I got my job and I settled down and then I decided to have a very systematic approach to my writing. Everyday I sit on my computer for a couple of hours to write short stories, satires, poems, answer my mail – any activity which keeps me in touch with the written word.

A : Happiest moments of your life?

R.K.: My happiest moments are those that I spend with my children. I do not spend my time in parties. I do not go to the club or socialize. I spend most of time with my family and on my creativity. My daughter topped the state of Orissa in class 12. The moment I got to know about it from the internet was one of the happiest moments of my life. Also, when my son won the first prize in hurdles race competing with much bigger boys, was also a moment I’ll treasure.

N : From where do you get inspiration?

R.K.: I get inspiration from children. At times they come up with such thoughtful observations which form a kernel of a story. They are also very frank in their comments which trigger off ideas. I very rarely write about once upon a time, long, long ago. I just write about children of today and the problems they are facing. I write about ordinary children coping with extraordinary situations not with magic wands and potions but with their own weapons of guts and gumption, courage and conviction.

A : Is writing for children difficult?

R.K.: Let me tell you an incident. Once I went to an international conference. There was a lady who said that writing for children is very difficult because one has to go down to their level. I stood up and said I think you have got your direction all wrong. Writing for children is difficult because one has to rise to their level as children are very close to God. Writing for children also means a great responsibility. Kids tend to believe and trust the written word, Hence a writer has to be very careful what he writes.

N : Any comment on Bangalore and Ahmedabad blasts?

R.K.: Terror is within not without. Terrorists are not born they are created by our society. Hence the solution should also come from within the society.

N and A: Thank You Sir.

R.K.: It was my pleasure.      

Views: 8957
It was awesome.
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