Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with Aruna Gurumurthy, author of DIYA: A Megawatt Approach to Change.
FQ: First, I wish to thank you for sharing DIYA: the thoughts and key statements (I feel) will truly help everyone who is struggling to understand the world today. Now on to our questions!
Your bio states that you are a medical researcher; what made you wish to branch off into the writing realm?
GURUMURTHY: Between juggling life as a medical researcher and a wanna be med student, I was thinking and talking science a lot. Simultaneously, I was observant about life around me and have been so for over 3 decades. I have always been a creative thinker and spontaneous at expressing my thoughts. I wrote long, interesting letters by snail mail to friends and cousins. I won writing competitions as a student in India, did well in essays in school and since about 2008 been an active contributor to writing on Facebook. My book DIYA is an extension of this prolific interest. I found joy and thrill in writing about almost anything under the sun and my excerpts made people happy and reflective. I figured out there is a lot I could do to help people and the world through my writings. And this is how I made the transition to the
FQ: Your book is formatted much like a personal diary - were most of the thoughts/advice/information and stories given in DIYA part of a personal change or alteration in your own life? Perhaps you can tell readers a bit about your background?
GURUMURTHY: Sure. I was born in Bombay (India) and owing to my dadís profession, we as a family moved around the country quite a bit. I went to a few different schools and faced the challenges of being the Ďnew kid on the block.' Not only that, growing up I felt that my views seldom met eye to eye with my peers, family members or teachers and I was criticized for being different. I clearly had a mind of my own and reacted emotionally if someone interrupted my thoughts. I felt cornered by the envy, mockery and hatred inflicted at me and this became a pattern in my life from school to college to some family, roommates and friends. I suffered quite a bit due to
this seclusion that I felt and extrapolated my experiences to our world and the problems we face today. DIYA has been an intense and emotional journey. It took me years to undo the fear and anger within myself and Iíve made that change primarily because I wanted to be a happy and content person. Today as a mom, I have that power to share what I learned, with my little daughter and make her a strong person.
FQ: Is there a way, in your opinion, that regrets can become a thing of the past in all lives?
GURUMURTHY: Absolutely. I am a living example of how I discovered tools to overturn the unhappiness in my life at certain points. The key to that is to understand what it is that bothers you, a person, a circumstance, or full blown dissatisfaction about your life and choices and almost study it like a math problem. Once you have a clear picture, and you can use help from different sources, you start executing, one instance at a time, one person at a time. You are essentially diagnosing your
own insufficiencies and using a positive frame of mind to help execute your thought process. Practice, practice and practice makes you perfect.
FQ: If you have to pick one piece of wisdom that you feel is of the highest priority to pass along Ė what would that be, and why?
GURUMURTHY: Thatís a hard one! But I would say STOP comparing yourself with others. There is no person, infant, vegetable or country inferior to another. You are who you are and the sooner you learn to embrace this fact, the more liberated your soul will be, the more peace there will be in the world. We are all equal. :-)
FQ: Is writing something that you will continue in the future? If so, are you looking at staying with non-fiction or are you interested in also branching off, perhaps, into fiction of some genre?
GURUMURTHY: I am super spontaneous, I donít have a five year plan! That said, I do enjoy talking (in my mind) and writing what I discover, for my own benefit and for others. Regarding the genre, I donít like that things get put into strict compartments. Even from DIYA youíll notice that there is an overlap of genres. This system has to change for multifaceted authors like me. But my interests in philosophy, psychology, poetry, essays, science, text book medicine promise to set my readers into a sense of newness and wonder. And oh, I would like to top it all off with an autobiography some day!
FQ: What brings you the most peace? Is there a scene in your mind (or a real location) that brings you the most tranquility?
GURUMURTHY: I am going to answer this in 2 parts: One is my happy family. And a happy world. Where people are friendly and suave in their interactions with each other, where there might be borders, but not mental borders. Where hatred, terror, horror are a thing of the past. Where poor people have clothes, and hungry people get food. Where children can ask wild questions in the classroom and have fun in the playground. Where medical illnesses are treated and cured. Where we
all learn from each other, because each one of us is special. Where the World is ONE.
FQ: I always like to end with this question, because readers like to know: If you could have lunch with one person who you would most like to find out about, or ask them questions to hear the knowledge they own, who would it be, and why?
GURUMURTHY: I would like to have a lunch date with Aishy. Aishwarya Sriram. She is my friendís sister who is in her thirties and autistic since she was three. She is amazing at art and her mindís got to be brimming with knowledge that no one knows to date. At lunch, I would congratulate her on her beautiful mind, her journey, and on being strong. Why? Because, I would like to look into newer ways to cure autism. Because I canít stand when people are branded with it. And are forced to live with it.