Quick Take: Babu K Verghese

A fun chat with writer, journalist and historian Babu Karimkuttickal Verghese

He is a writer whose books provoke people into thinking, questioning, reasoning. A man of words, he is better known as a writer, historian, and journalist. Meet Babu Karimkuttickal Verghese, the writer of several books in English and Malayalam, including Burnt Alive, My Encounter with Truth, Speaking Stones, Just One Passion, Inquilab, Leharikum Appuram, and most recently, Let There Be India!. His books have been widely translated into several Indian and foreign languages.

Born in 1950 in Mylapra, Kerala, he holds a Masters in English Literature, PG diplomas in Phonetics and Indian Languages, Business Administration, Journalism, and Public Relations, and a PhD in Linguistics. He has worked in several newspapers of repute, both in India and the Middle East.
Excerpts from an interview:

What best describes you — writer or historian or journalist?

Seeker of truth; in history, and the news.

Your books require painstaking research. How do you go about accessing historical facts for your writing?

Visiting libraries, meeting with subject experts, and accessing information from varied sources.

What is your writing process? Do you have a writing routine?

Yes, am at my creative best from 4 to 7 am at my home in Mumbai. It’s a routine I religiously follow.

What have been the reactions to your writings, other than the reviews, of course?

Generally positive. People ask me a lot of questions about my books, and that’s a good sign.

What are you most proud of writing?

My book, Just One Passion.

How do you deal with criticism?

I actually welcome it. Criticism means my writing has affected the reader in some way, that they value my writing. The hallmark of any good writer is the willingness to accept criticism.

Your literary influences?

Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and R K Narayan, among others.

Your current read...

Books on international politics.

What’s on your plate next?

My book Tomorrow: The Future of the World’, scheduled to be
out in February 2019.

A cause dear to your heart...

Social development of humanity.

Your most cherished dream...

...that my books influence
people into thinking.

In two words, your life as a writer...

Enjoyable, full of passion.

What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

Being productive, disciplined, and meeting deadlines.

One person you admire...

APJ Abdul Kalam, without any doubt.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Impacting lives with my writing.

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