What a person can do in his entire life? Human being is blessed with unbounded possibilities to live life but can we really do many a things in the same life? I am not talking experimenting with failures, but I am talking about the creative activities that we can do in our life. Well, 25 years old Sunny Kapoor, who goes by the pen name Wicked Sunny, is a multidimensional personality. He is a graphic designer, a poet, a book writer, a gamer, a recipe book writer and much more. We asked him very intense questions, and the answers that he has produced are a worth reading.
Speakbindas: Welcome to Speakbindas, Sunny. Tell us about you, your age, education. Where do you belong?
Sunny Kapoor: I want to thank Devang and the Speakbindas team for giving me this opportunity.
I am 25 years old and single, living in Kolkata, India. I studied Science for my + 2 from St. Joseph’s College, Bow Bazaar (which was in the news recently for the All India Topper, who scored above 99% in ISC).
After school, I switched to Graphic Designing. I’ve been a hardcore gamer all my life, so I wanted to learn Game Developing. I was disappointed to find that in India, though game designing is considered a million-dollar industry, no multimedia institute was really equipped to teach game designing properly at that time. Either the technology lagged far behind the US game industry, or there were no good faculties available. I had practically no support in this field and at the end I studied it all by myself.
I studied multimedia from Arena Multimedia and joined Wigan & Leigh, U.K. for advertising. Although Print Media didn’t especially interest me, it is very helpful to me now that I have started writing my own books and handling publishing works. Later I continued to learn by myself, online, studying different graphic techniques and software.
Quite frankly, my experience, nurtured through different fields of education, is the reason behind my current success. My studies in science help me to grasp the technicalities of any new software I learn. Today I can work with ease on any kind of multimedia project, from book formatting to web designing, from T-shirt illustrations to 2D/3D Animation. And it does not end there: these different fields, even helps me in cooking, and in writing poems, flash fiction and graphic novels. This kind of work and learning has opened new doors for me, where I can divide my time among personal work, volunteer work, and learning new fields like hydroponics and robotics, while writing my books.
Speakbindas: You go by nickname Wicked Sunny. Why this particular nick?
Sunny Kapoor: My pen name is “Wicked Sunny.” I go by this pen name on different communities and online games, and use it for my books and website.
We humans have a tendency to jump to instant conclusions. We have created boundaries around us – tagging things as good or bad, right or wrong, divine or evil. But we do not necessarily perceive truth at first sight, or draw correct conclusions about truth. The name “Wicked” has customarily been limited to the description of evil. However, ”wicked” does not always inevitably imply “evil,” and I chose this name to depict this broader perception.
People with good names can do evil things, while people with bad names can do good instead. Time and mind control their actions; their names do not. Whether a person is wicked or not cannot be decided through the name he or she bears, but only through the actions he or she chooses to perform.
Speakbindas: You met with an accident in the year 2007 which is said to have changed the course of your life. Tell us about that accident, if that doesn’t hurt you.
Sunny Kapoor: In 2007, I had an accident that changed the course of my life. The accident wasn’t major, but its aftermath was. I fell and ruptured my left knee ligament. My knee cap came up on my thigh. I had to undergo surgery and was bedridden for almost eight months. Once the cast was removed, my thigh muscle had contracted. Only after many months of physio-therapy did I manage to bend my knee 90 degrees again. In the process, I experienced excruciating pain; but I also learned lessons to remember. The effects on my life were vast: my priorities changed completely. My Yaksha comic, based on Indian Mythology (which was launched just two months before my accident) had to be discontinued, pushing my career to the edge.
This experience also changed my view of this world, and especially of people around me. I realized it is only when the going gets tough that you discover whether people around you really are there for you, or for their own needs or desires.
There is an old saying that “when the ship starts sinking, rats leave it first.”
I am very grateful to God that I went through this phase, which helped me to rid my life’s vessel of such rats. Not only that, but this accident also helped me to search for the true purpose of my life – a search which today is helping me to write poetry and other books.
Speakbindas: Basically you are a Graphic designer and an illustrator. And a writer too. Which are the areas you cover for writing?
Sunny Kapoor: In writing, my main focus is on Poetry. Today, poetry is being written either by University professors or highly intellectual and trained poets. The masses are not concerned about poetry any more. The common man has stopped writing poems for the sake of writing poems, for the love of it. This is evident when they give up after only a few attempts. Like every other profession, poetry has become result-oriented; it offers little or no money, so nobody wishes to pursue poetry. Also, in today’s fast-paced life, people do not have the time to read huge collections of poems.
In a world where looks seem to matter more than content, it is my sincere attempt to revive poetry by writing small books with unique themes. With eye-catching cover packaging, witty titles, and theme-based illustrations, the aim is to entice people to read poems of different genres. These include inspirational, spirituality, philosophy, fiction, science fiction, romance and action.
Winning three International awards for my poems within a year proves to me that I am on the right track. I am getting four more poetry books ready to be published by the end of this year.
In other genres, I am currently writing a graphic novel based on terrorist bomb blasts in India last year, revolving around a young man who lost his family in these blasts.
I also have plans to write a collection of flash fiction stories. My first attempt at this genre during the livejournal.com-Caferati.com Flash Fiction 2008 contest was selected among the top 100 out of 1000 entries. I am confident that I will brew up some very unusual and interesting stories for a book compilation.
I am writing two self-help books right now, titled “A Guide to Removal of Computer Viruses” and “A Guide to Game Developing”. Those who wish to pursue games as a career should look out for this book, as I plan to present several methods and game-development software not known to many in India. These will be followed by numerous books and video tutorials on different graphic techniques that I have learned and used for almost a decade.
I am planning to revive my Yaksha comics, in the form of storybooks for children, in order to take Indian Mythology to the world.
And then there is a series of vegetarian cookbooks. I have completed four, and there are more to come, as I keep experimenting and trying new recipes.
I am also ready to launch my publishing company by next year. It will open its door for those writers and poets who love to write on unique and different themes, just like me.
Speakbindas: What inspired you to jump into recipe writing? I mean, in my knowledge not a single graphic designer or a poet writes books on recipe!
I jumped when I was a child. It appears that I have just landed now J. I have always enjoyed cooking and learning different recipes. Now that I’ve started writing books, I decided to write down my experiments on food as well. Currently, each of my recipe books is based on a particular food item. I started with Maggi, Bread, Smoothies, and now Pizza. My recipes are a fusion of Indian and Western cooking, though they are all vegetarian, containing no meat, egg, or alcohol. Books on Mocktails, Indian Food, and Cottage Cheese are next.
Speakbindas: What is your book “Why He created the world” all about?
Sunny Kapoor: “Why He Created the World?” is my first illustrated single-themed Poetry book, for which I have received two US Book Awards. As well, it was recently reviewed by the Poetry Society of India in their annual journal. By means of small poems, this book tries to answer the most basic question that most human beings have always wondered about: Why did God create this world?
Speakbindas: Your interests mostly resemble to uncommon things or sometimes uncanny. What makes you leave the common road and walk on your own path?
Sunny Kapoor: Now, it may sound as if I am bragging, but the truth is that I am a DaVinci type, one of those people who have a specific genetic element in them, similar to people like Leonardo DaVinci. To learn more about these types you can check out this book - http://www.davincimethod.com/
This trait makes people like me unique, and thus not readily acceptable by others, because our ways of doing specific things in life are totally different from others. I have always tried to negate this difference. However, after my accident, I realized I just had to move on and accept the way God has created me, rather than pretending to be someone else or what others wish me to become.
Once someone asked me, sarcastically, “Do you think you are a genius?”
No, I am not pretending to be a genius. I am unique and I have known it from the beginning. People around me still do not accept that, and sometimes it makes my life very difficult.
I just remembered that my college teacher used to call me “incorrigible“. Definitely I was not her favorite.
But this disobedient trait is the trademark of all DaVincis. Unless we discover the real truth, we never bow down; and once we do find the truth, we never bow down to anything else except that. I can only say one thing: I have found the ultimate truth of my destiny, and thus I am not afraid of walking down the path I have chosen.
Speakbindas: You say “I do not write for fame or money. Hence I do not market, advertise and promote my books, except recipe books and self help technical books. You will find my books either on their respective sites/blogs or amazon.com or through distribution channels in local book stores. I also do not use adsense on my sites to generate revenue because money does not mean every thing to me.” So may I ask, what is prime earning source for you?
Sunny Kapoor: As I said, I am a designer by profession. Designing is the prime source of income for me. I have recently started www.publishinggurus.com, a website focused on helping other authors to publish their books by providing editing, formatting, and designing services, with my partner and editor Betsy Gordon. Betsy lives in California, and she is one of the best editors I have ever worked with. Her editing is the reason behind my recent poetry award at the Canadian Poetry Association Contest. I am grateful to work with such a wonderful lady, and our partnership has already begun to bloom. Clients who are impressed with the quality of our work repeatedly come back to us for help with their next books.
Other than formatting books, I handle matte painting works, vector tracing, 3D modeling, T-shirt illustrations, Cartoons and Corporate Identity works, sometimes even website designing, as and when I get time.
Games are my passion and soon I will be creating my first game as well.
I decided one thing after my accident – that I will not pursue earning money, like most people in the world. I will make an effort to earn only enough to help me to run my family smoothly, thus giving me enough time to pursue my other interests. Even fulfilling my hobbies is not my top priority. When Leonardo DaVinci was dying, realizing the truth beyond his end, he screamed that he had wasted his life. I just do not wish to repent like him.
Speakbindas: Which are your favorite books?
Sunny Kapoor: Nowadays I have very little time to read books. If you mean literature -Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, “The Tempest”, “Merchant of Venice”, Rabindranath Tagore’s poems, Ghalib’s poetry, Bullah Shah’s Kalaam, and Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” are my favorites. If you mean novels for entertainment, Dan Brown’s “DaVinci Code”, the Harry Potter series, and all three of Chetan Bhagat’s books are my favorites. I have read every one of Michael Crichton’s science fiction books, and “Hannibal” is the only dark thriller I like.
Speakbindas: What you really think of the common people of the world? What you see is lacking into them?
Sunny Kapoor: Nothing is lacking; everything is perfect in this world. If there is an imperfection, then it is in our own eyes. God has created everything in perfect harmony with everything else. It is our mind that makes it look imperfect because our mind is restricted to our five senses, and we cannot really perceive the reasons beyond it. Every one of us is exactly what we once wished for. Do we even remember what we wished a year back, or even a month back? We endlessly wish and forget, but the law of this universe does not. It remembers and gives us exactly that, when it feels the time is right. It is just that we have forgotten we once wished for it, and do not welcome it. Incredibly, our own wish becomes the source of our pain. We always become what we wish to become, and thus we should always be cautious about what we ask from God.
I come from a family and a spiritual lineage that teaches to, “keep the eyes down while the thoughts elevated.”( nazar neechi aur vichaar ucche). Hence I cannot really find fault in others, knowing well that even I am not completely different from them. They are as common as I am, and I am as unique as them. At the end I was also born as a common man first.
Speakbindas: Tell us about your hobbies. In other words, what are you really passionate about?
Sunny Kapoor: Except designing, which is my profession, everything else I do is a hobby. This includes playing computer games, writing books, learning martial arts, robotics, practicing hydroponics, playing cricket, and even cooking. And by now, all of you must know how much passionate I am about my hobbies! J
Speakbindas: Now that you are a recipe writer yourself, which are your favorite dishes?
Sunny Kapoor: In western food, my favorites are cheese garlic bread and Pizza; in Indian food it is Paneer Butter Masala and simple Dal Chawal.
Speakbindas: Any special message you would like to give your book readers?
Sunny Kapoor: Follow your heart and use discretion of mind, and sooner or later you will achieve what you wish to.
(Sunny does not believe in self-promotion or promotion of his books. This is the reason he wishes to remain anonymous, and therefore uses his Wicked Mascot, instead of photos of himself).