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Brilliance comes through the depth of knowledge: Kiran Trivedi

Kiran Trivedi

Kiran Trivedi

Reliance is squarely responsible for degradation of business ethics and whole business field and middleclass is just emulating this Reliance model of corrupt practices for profits by hook or crook


Hi, I am Kiran Trivedi, born on 10th of June 1956, I am a middle aged person. A happy-go-lucky type (as I love reading, movies and music), who is not ready to accept this ‘middle age’ criteria! But very comfortable with what I am and whatever I have, because what I have is due to what I am and destiny has no role in it.

I was privileged enough to study B.Com., B.A.Fine (i.e. fine arts, advertising) and Dramatics. I was born in Bombay, did schooling/B.com at Rajkot, Fine arts in Baroda and then settled down in Ahmedabad. Commerce to Fine arts, via Dramatics and then doing business in a profession (I run an ad design studio, www.manavmedia.com).

There was a method in madness, which is now clear at middle age, in light of what I am engaged in. I am passionate about Humanism, I address my concerns through writing and activism on many a socio-political issues.


Q1: Welcome to Speakbindas, Kiranbhai. What led you to shape the career in the field of art? Any inspiration?

Ans.: Compared to you Devang and my young son, I must have been a slow-wit. I had no defined career plan, I drifted a lot as you can make out from my introduction. I studied commerce because my family insisted, I opted for further study in fine arts as it was less challenging then finding a job, I did dramatics because I liked movies, I settled in Ahmedabad for a career in advertising because Bombay was frightening! It would be cheating if I talk about some superficial inspiration. SpeakBindas, you say and I subscribe to that! Why we have to make stories where there is none.

What led me to arts was my liking towards drawing, singing, dancing, play acting and reading a lot. The praise that I got for these things led me more and more to it.

Q2: For last 25 years, you are associated with Advertising and Communication field through your company ‘Manav Media.’ How has been the experience so far?

Ans.: Manav Media’s forte has been communication expertise from the beginning. Learn while you earn is an advantage in India! Manav Media helped me in earning bread and butter while I learned the ropes not only in advertising but also in fields of my other interests. I did lot of theatre, including street plays, TV serials, creative writing, attended activities of various socio-political hues, got engaged in institutes like Guj Lekhak Mandal, Guj Bhasha Parishad and Guj-Mumbai Rationalist association. I suffered loss of business at Manav media due to this indulgence, but even then, could achieve an income stability and some growth.

If we talk of the experiences so far, Invent of PC (desktop computing) had a devastating effect on advertising in 90s, but Manav Media survived and excelled due to my expertise of communication. Mere designers were thrown out of race, because PCs democratized arts. Then came the age of electronic communication, SpeakBindas is an example of that. I was able to excel in website making and multimedia productions due to my varied interests. After year 2000 in Gujarat, Manav Media was delivered blows of floods and earth quake in Ahmedabad, communal killings in the state and now economic downturn. In the modern times of greed n globalization, I have seen many colleagues scaling ambitious heights and then falling miserably; while Manav Media being slow and steady has survived.

Q3: Being an actor, director, producer and writer, you have been associated with the filed of drama and television. Shed some light on this corner of your life.

Ans.:  As I am not a celebrity, your readers would appreciate to read more about prevailing times, my circumstances and the final outcome. Here it goes…

I spent 2 decades on theatre first and TV later, with an aspiration of someday making it to movies. Theater is non-paying, TV is tiring and movies are only for those who are ready to ruin their life. I found my groove in to writing-directing after a stint in acting, but simultaneously I was deep in to business as well; so couldn’t pursue that non-paying profession at the cost of well paying one. Also, what I experienced and understood was that it’s a field of mediocre (at least in Gujarat) and knowledgeable people were like a threat to them. It was easy for me to mount a full fledge TV serial on my own than getting some work in to others’ serials. I wrote, co-produced, co-directed and acted in one serial (Dhumbakdhumba) with high ideals and higher production cost; so it failed. Bad business! TV and Cinema are business first and creativity last. That put me off.

Theatre was and is stimulating, but totally impractical. You rehearse for 2 months and get to do 2 or max 10 shows. I left theatre in 90s, declaring it dead for me. Today it stinks. Gujarati plays are poor producers’ cinema, patronized by rich club-class Gujjus.

Q4: You are also associated with social, humanitarian and rational activities. Would you please share the same in details with us?

Ans.: That understanding of complex social issues developed with my theatre activity (particularly street play). In the 1980s, theatre was still attractive proposition for creative people. Ahmedabad’s theatre scenario was very different from Baroda’s, where we were mostly doing entertaining dramas. Here the milieu was quite progressive beside being creative. Socially relevant themes and radical political ideas were tackled, making us debate and discuss our own point of view as well. Mumbai’s stinking cinema-like theatre has now taken over Ahmedabad as well (barring few).

I consider myself as one of the person from liberal progressive group existing in Gujarat today; uniting and voicing against the pseudo-progressive, communal class and establishment of Gujarat of new millennium. People like me were very disturbed by the communal pogrom of 2002, executed in connivance by this class and Government. We friends got together and created a platform named “Sahit – Creative people for peace”, where writers, directors, actors, dancers, musicians, architects, painters, advertising – television – media professionals got together to raise voice of protest. Over the period it was clear to me that such timely protests are important but long-lasting change will come by some sustainable activity to affect and change social mind-set. Rational-critical thinking and Universal Humanism was my way of life, so I started writing about and promoting those ideas n ideals.

Today I got myself engaged with this Humanist group, GMRA (Gujarat-Mumbai Rationalist Association) and am trying to reach-out to socially concerned rational minded people in society, uniting them for the cause of creating an ideal “Rational Samaj”. Utopian, is it? Well, as specie, humans are capable of it !!

Q5: Which are your favorite areas for writing? So far, which mediums have you written for?

Ans.: Well, it had been theatrical plays and screen plays for TV or cinema, but I had to leave it due to my incapacity for struggle before success. All-in-all, I have written one act plays, street plays, TV episodes, ad films, corporate films, multi-media presentations, songs, jingles and short stories. Now I write articles mostly on socio-political issues, current affair, critic on media and of course advertising copy writing for bread and butter. Critical analysis of anything is my forte. I write a lot of edit-stuff and idea forming content in the 3 institutes I am engaged with. Recently, I wrote a series of articles radicalizing social beliefs, “Fervichar mangta khayalo” ( Questionable Concepts). Now I am preparing to publish it in a book form.

Q6: You are Founder member & Secretary of Gujarati Writers’ Association (GWA). What’s your take on emerging Gujarati writers? And what platform GWA is providing to them?

Ans.: In regard with scope and rewards, the conditions are pathetic for emerging Gujarati writers. It has been so, always; and that was one of the urge for us founding members to create a united front like Gujarati Lekhak Mandal. Idea is to protect writers’ “Hak, Hit ane Gaurav”. To protect member writers’ copyrights, monitory benefits and professional and personal dignity; GLM fights individual or larger cases against publishers, media houses, institutes and even Government departments. We publish a magazine and some special books, arrange seminars / debate groups, provide registration of manuscripts, issue public statements for relevant causes; all under very democratic functioning. GLM has more than 500 writers as members. I have noticed that Bloggers are new writers on the block and have brought this to GLM’s notice. A ‘reach-out-to-bloggers’ plan is under way.

My commitment towards GLM is in line with my vision of working for some long term change in social structure. I see writers as one of the ‘change agents’ and want to equip them better for the battle. GLM tries to instill social responsibility and progressive ideas in writers through above activities. Also, making writing a well-paying profession can contribute in bringing better talents in it, helping society at large.

Kiran Trivedi

Kiran Trivedi

Q7: What made you chose your company’s name as ‘Manav Media?’

Ans.: By reading above answers it is simple to understand why I chose to name my company, “Manav Media”. My faith lies with mankind – not godkind; I believe in human values – not material values, I am a writer and a communication person whose target is human mind etc. etc. But that’s now. At the time of naming 25 years ago, we can presume safely that though I didn’t understand all these reasons; they were there deep in the mind. That’s how you are what you think and believe.

Q8: What’s your take on present Gujarati media? Press and Electronic both.

Ans.: The process of turning media in to business, which began with Times of India; has since long taken over every media house all over India. So, Gujarati media is no different. They are very shallow, pro-establishment and are addressing only elite middle-class readers only. Gujarati papers have modernized due to competition forced by ‘Divya Bhaskar’s entry, but content wise they have become more regressive than progressive. Alternative views from writers like me, are not given space in there. So, there is no challenge to blind-faith religiosity, corruptive and exploitative business practices, communal and dictatorial Narendra Modi and money-minded middleclass!

Gujarati electronic media is non-existent for urbanites like me. Like theatre (which apes cinema), local TV apes national channels. Then why anybody should see it? Gujarati channels are run as a part of the advertising package for media houses, nothing more.

Q9: Who are your favorite writers?

Ans.: I have favourite subjects of content, not the writers. I am not ready to read everything coming from a single person. Like, I can say that I am impressed by Arundhati Roy‘s non-fiction writing, but can’t read her literary fiction.

Q10: You are an active member of Gujarat-Mumbai Rationalist Association (GMRA). What is GMRA all about? What are its activities?

Ans.: Rationalism and rationalist words have become untouchable, due to aggressive and offensive style of protest of rationalists themselves. Till now they had a single social reform agenda of opposing God and Religion. GMRA came up with Humanist agenda like Democracy and Secularism, Gender Equality, abolition of Cast and Community discrimination, Human Dignity beside Atheism. It is trying to unite all rational minded activists and groups under one federation. We are undertaking various types of workshops for school and colleges, publish booklets, arrange seminars, held group discussions, release public statements on social issues, organize protest rallies and associate with other social groups for such activities. In short GMRA wants to get engaged with society and aims to create a truly ‘Rational Samaj’.

Kiran Trivedi in the GMRA Meeting

Kiran Trivedi in the GMRA Meeting

Q11: Which are the other social activities you are involved with?

Ans.: I think I have already elaborated on this, in other answers, but one worth mentioning is Gujarati language reforms activity, under the banner of Guj Bhasha Parishad. Recently we held rallies and seminars in Ahmedabad and Surat to promote Gujarati language through ‘Gujarati Bachav Zumbesh’. The Zumbesh propagated 4 main messages, 1. Education in mother-tongue 2. Protest against the Craze for English medium 3. Promotion of Gujarati literature 4. Simplification of Gujarati spelling (Unjha Jodni’s acceptance). Zumbesh was received very well in Gujarat’s print n electronic media and also on internet through Gujarati blogs and emails.

Q12: Are you happy with present system of education? What changes you aspire to see in it?

Ans.: In context of Gujarat, I would say, this craze for English as a medium has done a lot of damage. Acquiring of knowledge and then ability to express can come through studying in you mother tongue only. Nobody denies the importance of English as a language of higher studies and international negotiability, but when kids are burdened with this alien language they fail to absorb knowledge and culture nuances coming through it. Being able to read and write English is not being brilliant, brilliance come through the depth of knowledge. This craze has ruined and will ruin generations.

Privatization of education is another concern. It is making education a monopoly of privileged class of society. State is abandoning it’s duty of ‘education for all’. This privileged class has always protested against the reservation for under privileged classes, now when it is being reserved for them moneyed classes; they are happy. How Hippocratic! There must be ways to make good education available to masses and society shall work towards it.

Q13: What do you think about corruption amongst INDIAN politicians/bureaucrats?

Ans.: Why only politician and bureaucrats, the whole elite middle class is totally corrupt in many ways, including moral corruption. Corruption flows from top to bottom, in that sense this ruling class is mainly responsible. But we shall include our top-notch corporate companies as well in this top list. Reliance is squarely responsible for degradation of business ethics and whole business field and middleclass is just emulating this Reliance model of corrupt practices for profits by hook or crook. Even then corruption is a lesser evil compared to basic problems of Hunger, Health, Education and Social justice in our country.

Q14: What’s your overall perception of life?

Ans.: Human life is unique and blissful experience. One should be ambitious and content simultaneously; ambitious and aggressive at goals of life but content with whatever you can achieve. Life is not all money and career, life is having some worthwhile participation and contributions in some of these: arts, science, literature, innovations, socio-political-cultural activity and above all love n concern for people. Rational critical thinking helps a person keeping life simple and enjoyable.

Q19: Any special message you would like to share with people you know as well everyone else?

Ans.: We all have our daily battles, making our life stressful. The old simple dictum is worth remembering, “Don’t worry, be happy”. This dictum is now available in new improved packing from Munnabhai, “Tension lene ka nahi, dene ka!”


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

8 thoughts on “Brilliance comes through the depth of knowledge: Kiran Trivedi

  1. Now I know you much better , Kiran bhai. Thanks to Speak Bindas -my yoiung buddy !

    I liked the following –

    rich club-class Gujjus !!
    Right use of the word Gujju. And some people think , it is a loving way of mentioning Gujaratis.

    I Would like to publish yolur stories/plays on my blog Gadya Soor.

  2. Respected Sureshbhai,

    Thank you for your appreciation. You are an inspiring mentor for SpeakBindas.

    I believe, Kiranbhai has shared very interesting thoughts in this interview.

  3. Chirag says:

    I liked Kiranbhai’s “human” perspective in all his actions. Keep up the good work as in today’s world, there are very few like you.

  4. Bipin Shroff says:

    Dear Kiranbhai,
    Please see Q-7. U have mentioned that “I believe in Human Values–not material values.” Do u consider that Human values are not material Values? Do u consider that human being as something different than physical being? Do u accept the position that whether the man is a part of nature or not?
    I know your intention in using the word ‘Material Values”. But Kiranbhai, it will lead u to take a logical position of rejecting life itself which is itself is the matter.The Humanism pursuits the Happiness of life not to consider Physical Happiness as sin & thing to be rejected.
    Those who rejects this material world they reject the life itself. Gandhi, Vinoba & all religious people despise life.Those who despise life how can they will give vision of good & happy life. Happy life means no less than freedom of people from the vagaries of nature. With Regards.Bipinbhai.

  5. Kishore Prajapati says:

    Respected Kiranbhai,

    I was in search of you since last more than 6 months but, today I success. I glad to see your photo, what about bhabhi. I want to meet you. I think you don’t know me. I am small artist of your play gulam badshah (Natak Chetak). Please call me on 9825744193. Bhabhi ne mara Pranam.


    Thanking You,

    Kishore Prajapati

    1. Hello Kishore,

      I have intimated Kiranbhai personally about your comment.

  6. haritrushi says:

    hello Kiranbhai,

    it’s really good to read about your views on life,business,politics. it takes a lot of knowledge,experience and even guts to cover all above heavy subjects. what i am really keen to understand that can we live or measure issues with parameter like rationalism alone? or as you say in the end “tension lene ka nahin…” attitude is good enough.

  7. neerav patel says:

    yes, i know kiranbhai personally. and also through his writings and debates . a nice human being emerges from this interview. ( bipin shroff’s comment, however, is worth pondering. ) he speaks real bindhast and that is how he is. there are only a few of them in Gujarat. may his tribe increase!

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