My dream was to become a musician.
Rajnikumar Pandya is a well known name in the field of Gujarati literature and pen portraits. He chose to quit his banker job against his desire to become a full time writer. His novel ‘Kunti’ brought him great popularity and some troubles too.
Recently, he pen portrait Upendra Trivedi’s life. He is also working on composing ‘Meghdut’-Kavi Kalidas’ famous creation in such a way that even a common man can understand it. It will be in song format.
After having a tea, he shares many unfold moments of his life with Speakbindas.
VIDEOS OF INTERVIEW
Q.: You are heartily welcome at Speakbindas.com. You are a full time writer, a literary person, a music-lover, a researcher and there may be many other aspects unknown to everybody. So, if Rajnikumar Pandya himself is requested to introduce Rajnikumar Pandya, what would it be?
- Amm.. A Lost Human! I wanted to become a musician but became a banker. I pursued B.Com instead pursuing a course in art. My first hobby was music, but I couldn’t become a musician. Rest, I became a literary person and that to after serving as a Banker for 30 years. So I feel that I am not a successful person. Today as you are interviewing me doesn’t introduce my success. Because what I should have done 30 years before, I am doing today, and now how many years are left in life?
Q.: And can we have some specific reason behind such feelings?
- We may call it situations, circumstances, or false decisions. It depends on the kind of parental atmosphere a person is brought up, his own revolutionary and independent nature etc. I feel that if I was a revolutionary kind of kid who could deny to his father’s decision, I could have been a different kind of person today. It happened with in my life for my job, my marriage. I have suffered a lot for my weakness of not able to say “NO.”
Q.: Which is your favorite activity?
- To keep listening music of old films, share it with friends and acquire from them the same. Today I am doing the same in addition to writing.
Q.: Literature has many forms, which one you like the most?
- Short stories. It is a tough form of literature but I am quite good at that. I also like poems. Many of my novels too have been popular. Apart from short stories, I also love Pen Portraits because I can bring in the story element in it. It doesn’t matter which form of literature I do write, you can find the story element in it. It’s like if you ask a singer of Shastriy Sangit to sing a song of Sugam Sangit, you will somehow feel the presence of Shastriy Sangit in it.
Q.: How do the professional and literary writings of Rajnikumar Pandya differ?
- You are right with that. I can say that, a writer who writes professionally has the effect of literature too in his writing. I quit my banker job in 1989. I was branch manager of Vijaya Bank. I had to quit it despite the salary and position was good, but demand of writing had increased. At that time, facilities like V.R.S. was not available, no question about facility of pension! And I jumped into writing filed as a full time writer. As a writer it wasn’t a time when I can totally sustain my life by writing short stories. So I accepted the professional writing too such as Pen Portrait. But whatever such professional writing I do, you can find the touch of a novelist in me. So it is quite difficult to differentiate professional and literary writing.
- Yes, it’s true that the writings that I have written for my own pleasure can be called literary writing, and which I have written on project basis is professional writing. For example, I am working on ‘Meghdut‘ which is created by Kavi Kalidas. Being a director of this project, my first hobby of music has helped me a lot to compose Meghdut with music. And hence, I could suggest Praful Dave for singing, Asit Desai for composing this Mahakavya.
Q.: You are more recognized and known for your novel ‘Kunti‘ based on which twice national television serials are made. It is said that this novel has also brought troubles for you. Would you please shed some light on it?
- It is also translated into Hindi. At present, ‘Kunti’s’ fifth edition is in printing. I have added a new chapter in it by title “Thodu Sukh, Jaja Sanga.” So to say, it has given me happiness and popularity like the eminent actors like Dev Anand became close to me because of Kunti. It also earned me good money. At the same time, it has also brought the troubles for me. How? Kunti is based on true life story of an Indian woman whose son was adopted against her permission in Sweden. She wasn’t neither aware about this nor was in a position to enquire about the same. Then she got married again, had more children. But she was craving to see her first son once in her life-time. And three decades were passed for her craving. She met big heads like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru requesting them to help her at least to see her son for once and hear him saying ‘mother.’ Nobody helper her for several reasons.
- Ultimately she came to me. And through my efforts, she found the address of her son, who was living in Sweden, and I also helped her to raise fund for her trip to Sweden and after 30 years she met him. I helped her to fulfill her impossible dream.
- So based on this true life story, I wrote a novel, being myself one of its characters and I gave it title ‘Kunti.’ And as it was a novel, I added many new characters, incidents, plots, sub-plots, anecdotes in it. Theme was based on her life but the novel was full of many other incidents.
- So initially, she liked all this, but later by someone’s influence of telling that I earned a lot from this book, she went against me. She came to me and complained me saying that I have earned lacks from it and why I haven’t given anything to her? I clarified to her that it’s a novel I have written and has much more than just her life-story. I also told her that even she can write a novel herself. She also complained that by writing this novel, I badly affected her privacy.
- Court told her that she has told her story to newspapers, media prior to release of ‘Kunti’ and hence it doesn’t remain a personal story anymore. Ultimately, she lost the case. But it gave me mental troubles for five to six years. Ultimately she asked for my forgiveness and recently wrote me a letter expressing her gratitude. So such kinds of events are part and partial of writer’s life.
Q.: What would have become if not a writer?
- A musician, no doubt about that. And even a singer.
Q.: Any such a thing that you wish to learn even today?
- I would like to learn to play harmonium.
Q.: Who are your favorite writers?
- In Gujarati, Jhaverchand Meghani. I also like writings of Chandrakant Bakshi, Mohammad Mankad, Joseph Macwan. And in non-fictional I like Urvish Kothari. In fictional I like Manto, Chekhov, Krushnamurti.
Q.: Lastly, any special message you would like to give to readers of Speakbindas?
- It’s not a message but request to those who are watching this video right now, particularly youth that Take Your Own Way. It’s a biggest punishment to do the things that doesn’t match your passion, that I am suffering from. As parents also, observe your children aptitude, passion and support them in developing it.