He overcomes odds to become successful writer

He overcomes odds to become successful writer

He overcomes odds to become successful writer

Ratneshwar was nicknamed story master in school

When he was barely a four-year-old, he lost his father. When he was appearing for class X examination, a division of property in his undivided family left  him with merely Rs 7. Faced with acute poverty and eking out a living from a nominal Rs 7, the 1966-born Ratneshwar is today an author writing best sellers like “Jeet ka jadu”, a script-writer for TV serials, and president of Centre for Readership Development (CRD), all rolled into one. “Magic in you”, the English version of one of the best-sellers of 2015 “Jeet ka Jadu”, saw pre-booking orders for 20,000 copies.

 Besides, an international movie is likely to be made on his forthcoming book “Rekhna Meri Jaan”, which is not only based on global warming but also depicts an unusual love story with Bangladesh in the backdrop.

However for Ratneshwar, who turns 50 this year, the road to success has not been a smooth one. Born in Bihar’s Warsaliganj, Ratneshwar childhood was spent mostly at Barahiya in Lakhisarai district in the company of his three step-brothers. The property dispute and division of assets later rendered Ratneshwar poorer.

At a tender age, he was also slapped with a notice of loan worth Rs 10,000, which was taken during the wedding of his elder brother’s daughter. Ratneshwar sold his mother’s ornaments to repay the loan and took to farming to eke out a living.

“I would walk 8 km every day to reach my farm where maize and wheat were cultivated. My mother would give me sattu, salt and onion as lunch. In the absence of father, I faced acute penury in the early childhood days,” he told Deccan Herald.

But despite hardships, the son of the soil from Lakhisarai never gave up. His family sent him to Pataliputra school in Patna for further studies. When he was in Class V, he used to tell stories to his classmates. Soon he was nicknamed “story master”. He would be invited to other classes as well to narrate stories, where he would speak extempore.
“I was not very good at studies but when it came to telling/narrating stories, I would do so impromptu,” said Ratneshwar, who later, with the help of one of his relatives, left Bihar and shifted to Nagpur for higher studies.

 “There I completed my Class XII from St Francis College and then graduated from Nagpur University,” he said.  In 1988, when he was barely 22 years of age, he wrote a story “Main Jaichand Nahin” which was published by an Hindi publication. This story received wide acclaim.

The features editor of the newspaper invited him over for a cup of tea where Ratneshwar expressed his eagerness to work for the Hindi daily. He was told to meet the editor next day at 10 am sharp. “That day, it was raining heavily. I did not have an umbrella. But still I rushed to the editor’s office where I reached 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

When the editor saw me completely drenched and enquired about it, I said: “I had to reach your office on time, although I did not have money to purchase an umbrella.” Deeply impressed with my honest answer, the editor called in the features editor and asked him to show me the desk where I would work,” averred Ratneshwar, dwelling on his beginning as a trainee journalist. He did not continue with the newspaper for too long. But writing continued to be his passion. So he authored one book after another, all in Hindi, which sold like hot cakes.  In between, Ratneshwar shifted to teaching where he taught Mass Communication at Dr Zakir Hussain Institute. This was followed by becoming a guest lecturer at Patna University, Ranchi University, IIMC, Delhi University and Benaras Hindu University (BHU).

In 2006, Ratneshwar shifted to Mumbai. Struck by the glitz and glamour of the tinsel town, the author made his debut as a script writer for the TV serial “Mano Ya Na Mano”, for Star One. Later, noted film-maker Prakash Jha, amazed at his multi-tasking ability, assigned him the job to launch a news channel Maurya TV. In the meantime, Ratneshwar continued writing. In 2011, “Lt Hudson” followed by “Jeet ka jadu” became one of the best sellers and won him plaudits.     

“In December 2015, the English version of “Jeet Ka jadu,”  worked wonders for me. There were pre-booking orders for 20,000 copies of ‘Magic in you”, something unusual for a book being translated from Hindi,” averred Ratneshwar.

At present, the author is giving final shape to his latest book “Rekhna Meri Jaan”, based on global warming. “It’s not only based on global warming in Antarctica but it’s a love story in the backdrop of Bangladesh,” he says, refusing to share more details as a Hollywood movie is slated to be made based on his book. “Talks are in the preliminary stage. But since it’s an off-shore movie, it won’t be prudent to share more details right now,” he signs off.