Today we have a person who disparage the double standards of the system through his book, Humbling and Humility.
Let’s Welcome Rian Nejar.Well I will be perhaps the first person to reveal the clandestine pseudonym reality. Yes, Rian Nejar is a Pseudonym. To serve the mysterious purpose, I won’t be adding his photograph.
Hi Rian or should I call you mystery man?
Welcome to the Virtual Tete-a-tete
Thank you, Rakhi. Glad to be here.
Tell us about your life in US. How would you relate the two cultures?
Eastern and Western cultures are in many ways similar, in for instance devotion to one’s beliefs, to country, to family, and to children. But approaches adopted – and priorities – vary, and are often very different. So are social results seen. There is a distinct focus on spirituality in the East, and materialism in the West.
Life in America is not what is commonly believed worldwide: a paradise of opportunities and riches. For most, it is a struggle for survival, and for immigrants and minorities, hurdles and challenges are more severe. Humbling and Humility (let’s call it HnH?) gives you a window into many such aspects.
Humbling and humility is about the double standards of the western system. Do you feel that comparatively slower system in India is better?
There are flaws in any system…if you mean the American legal system, looked at critically in HnH, I have learned of a flawed and corrupt side of it, though it is aligned with the ideals of a deeply contemplated constitution, and not vindictive, as penned in the book. There is a ‘Shoot first and ask questions later’ approach adopted in America, a rush to judgment, and a highly adversarial system in place. An ‘assembly line’ mentality of rapid disposal of those they believe to be responsible for social ills. This is the ‘Swing of the Pendulum,’ an extreme approach.
I am not familiar with the current legal system in India. If by a ‘slower system,’ you mean one that is considerate, and inclusive of gender and cultural differences, slow by careful design, I think that may work best to resolve difficulties and discord in families. Criminal prosecution should be the last resort in such conflict, not the first.
Shooting first may leave nobody alive to answer questions…
Why did you include the context of Priyavani? Do you think that she erred?
What happened to Priyavani, and others before her, played a significant part in motivating me to write HnH. A daughter of an Indian diplomat in New York was similarly arrested and faced agonizing and wrongful incarceration some years ago. Police excesses and brutality in America, against minorities, is now commonplace knowledge.
Did Priyavani err? I am sure she thought she was doing the “right thing.” Don’t we all? But we sometimes do not pause to consider many long-term consequences of our thoughts and actions, and their impact on our children. Perhaps that additional dimension considered could’ve helped her, as I did indicate in the book.
While reading the book I felt that it is an autobiographical account. What do you say about this?
I’ll let readers judge that aspect.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote HnH so the journey, and commiserating thoughts, may help others. So injustice, and corrupt systems, do not go unaddressed.
Besides, speaking up is a principal responsibility in a democracy, no?
Well that is a topic to be discussed and debated. On that note, tell the readers more about the book?
HnH is really less about criticism of systems or pursuits, and more a journey of discovery…of empathy, compassion, and humility through selflessness. I think of it as learning through pain and suffering, as enlightenment.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
He is a lover and warrior at heart…loves others, his children, family, and all life.
Sitting Bull, one among noted Native American leaders, once said:
“The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another’s life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of Humanity.”
In a land where materialism rules, Humbling and Humility’s protagonist found in himself traits of a warrior, of a suppressed culture native to this land, one that has through a quirk of history also been named ‘Indian.’
How do you market your books?
Blogs and book giveaways on Amazon and Goodreads help me connect with readers, and help develop an Author Platform. Conversations in literary and professional groups increase my visibility as a writer. As a new self-published author, this is something I learn about every day.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
It appears to be an indispensable channel in the present day.
Which social network worked best for you?
I am new to social networks, but Goodreads participation has been educative and useful over the past year.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
No, I haven’t done anything formal yet, though Library Journal did select HnH for distribution in libraries of Arizona early this year.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read voraciously, prepare diligently, write passionately with your heart, and edit carefully with your mind.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rian-Nejar/e/B00OC9LN88/
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Thank you for this opportunity to connect with your readers, Rakhi!