Monday, 15 December 2014

Interview-Author's Lounge

Dear Readers

I have been sharing the posts of all my three blogs ( www.hrdian.blogspot.in, www.corporatepoem.blogspot.in and www.rajeevianlinesandverses.blogspot.in) in "rate my literature.com"(RML) , a site devoted to featuring the writing of amateurs.

Ms Padmaja Iyengar (who along with her son Etentacles administers the site,) interviewed me for her monthly feature"Author's Lounge which traces the writing journey of various writers who regularly contribute to RML.With her permission, I am sharing the link for your perusal..

http://www.ratemyliterature.com/magazine/read/authors-lounge--in-conversation-with-paddy--mn-rajeev-aka-rajeev_5586.html  (Presently the site is down for maintenance)  



Authors’ Lounge – In conversation with Paddy – M.N. Rajeev a.k.a. Rajeev Moothedath

 M.N. Rajeev (a.k.a. Rajeev Moothedath) is one of those rare persons who straddles a high profile corporate career and his passion for writing with equal ease. It is not every day that you see a busy corporate professional making time to read and appreciate amateur writers. Well, Rajeev does that and how well too! He reads all the blogs on RML and posts his well-considered feedback.

Rajeev deftly manages to write sensitive poetry and interesting HR-based articles with equal dexterity. His presentation of highly complex HR issues in simple terms that is understood even by a layman, speaks volumes of his writing and presentation skills. While in corporate parlance HRM refers to Human Resource Management, according to me, Rajeev is a double HRM specialist – Human Resource Management and Human Relations Management, concepts of which come across so well in his writes. Rajeev’s documentation skills too are noteworthy. He has shared on RML the details of many a corporate program that he has attended, of which he had apparently maintained meticulous notes to be recalled and presented as articles of great value to the reader.
                                                                                               
It would interest you all to know that he holds a key position in a leading automobile MNC in Chennai and is also a member of the Chennai Poets’ Circle.

Come, let’s discover together other facets of Rajeev’s career and personality!


1.  1  Hi Rajeev! Greetings from RML! And a warm welcome to the Authors’ Lounge! Please share something of your background and early life with us.

 Greetings to you Paddy and the RML fraternity .It is indeed a pleasure and privilege to be interviewed by you and to be featured in Authors’ Lounge.

 I was born in Ernakulam, Kerala and had my schooling in Kendriya vidyalaya Ernakulam. I feel it is my school that shaped my personality to a great extent as there was a lot of focus on co-curricular activities and not just on studies. This gave me the opportunity to participate in essay writing, debates, singing and acting in dramas. We were encouraged to read news during the morning assembly. We also had a good library from where we could borrow books and read magazines & journals.

Those days we were required to choose electives of study right from high school. I chose Economics, history & English Literature. This meant being exposed to Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser, Thomas Hardy’s novel “Far from the madding crowd” and also to poetry of poets like Shelley, Keats, Thomas Gray, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others.

After schooling, I did graduation in economics and post-graduation in social work with specialization in personnel management (as HR was then called) from the reputed Madras School of social work. This opened the door to the corporate world and I joined as a management trainee in Visvesvaraya Iron & steel Ltd Bhadravati, Karnataka.  Later, I got LLB degree from Mysore University. Since then I have been working in the HR function in both the public & private sector companies. Presently I am the HOD of learning & development (training) department in an auto major MNC operating out of Chennai.


2.  2  Wow! a great start in life and an upwardly mobile professional career! Amidst all this, when and how did the writing bug bite you?


It is an interesting question. In view of the creative climate at school, I started writing when I was around twelve years. The first poem was shown to the class teacher who had edited it so much that it only vaguely resembled what I had originally written! Later when I was in class X, I send a poem to Indian Express. Those days we did not have separate children’s corner in newspapers. I received a regret reply stating that my writing showed promise but that I need to keep on writing to improve. Although, no publishing happened, I continued to write in a note book which I called “A book of hobby” that now included short stories as well .Our school had a competition for bringing out manuscript class magazines every year to which I regularly contributed. Later I contributed to the college magazines.

After starting work, the “Book of hobby had less and less entries. A poem would come on first wedding anniversary and another at the time of the birth of first child. The priorities had shifted unconsciously. During this period all writing skills were limited to office correspondence for which there was fair scope as I was then working in public sector.

Sometime around the year 2000, I developed an interest in writing articles on the corporate life, its priorities and challenges. Some of them were published in the management section- Avenues’ of the Deccan Herald,    leading newspaper from Bangalore. National Institute of Personnel Management, Mysore Chapter also published my articles in their annual magazines.

It was in September 2012 that I decided to write a blog on HR matters. After I had written a few posts, someone suggested that I make it available on Indi blogger for better readership. This proved true But more importantly, it exposed me to creative writing in the form of poetry, short stories etc which prompted me to resume poetry writing and start a separate blog for nonprofessional writing, touching on  general subjects. I also started a blog exclusively for corporate poems. Later another noble soul introduced me to RML and the warmth I received here was an inspiration to keep writing. Today, if I have been able to post more than 90 blogs it is on account of encouraging readers.
  
3.  3  That’s interesting! What is the difference you find when you write a profession-related piece and a literary piece like poetry? And which according to you is more difficult?

The spark is the same whether I am writing a professional article or creative poetry. It is just that a lot more time needs to be spent on the article as it tends to be longer. For me, a quicker output is possible when writing poetry. But the satisfaction one derives on completing either of the forms is the same.

4.    4 Here on RML, we have had the privilege of reading a good number of your professional HR based articles. Do you believe that the principles you speak of, can be applied to our day to day life too? If so how?

You may have noticed that most of my articles are related to the basic human nature like practicing core values, power of appreciation, civility in behaviour and power of storytelling to drive home a point. These can be applied with benefit as much in our personal lives as in a professional environment. As for example expressing appreciation & thanks to your wife for her wonderful cooking would make her happy as would an appreciated employee for work well done.

Disclosing more about yourself & seeking feedback from others (Johari window) will enhance trust whether at home or at work.

5   5  I for one know that you are a very committed and passionate corporate trainer. What motivated you to take up training? And how did you hone your training skills?

In the initial stage of my career I had the good fortune of being selected for a “Train the trainer” program. 21 of us got trained and were expected to train the remaining 520 executives of the company. This assignment was in addition to our regular work. I found myself enjoying this activity. Later, I volunteered for similar OD initiatives. One’s skill, confidence and comfort levels tend to go up over a period of time. I also got the opportunity to see many trainers at close quarters and appreciate the varying styles & its impact on the participants


6   6 How do you manage to divide time between your family, profession and writing? How do you prioritize?

Today, the children having grown up (both sons are working), do not demand much time. On the contrary, we have to demand time from them which they may prefer to spend with peers & friends!

Writing is mostly done in a few lines or para when I get the time & inspiration. When it adds up to a whole article, I publish in the blog/RML.
As ideas come to mind, I note them down in a small book to be developed later.

7   7  Do you read a lot? What kind of writing appeals to you? Who are your favourite writers?

I used to read a lot more than what I am doing presently. The interest & taste in the nature of books have also changed over the years. Enid Blyton books as a child, then P.G.Wodehouse, James Hadley Chase Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason), Agatha Christie and Harold Robins. Over a period, the interest in fiction dwindled and I got drawn to books of Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, Deepak Chopra, Wayne  Dyer, Brian Weiss(Many Lives, many masters), Louise Hay(You can heal your life),Dr Bernie Siegel(Love, Medicine, Miracles), Anita Moorjani(Dying to be me)  and James Redfield (Celestine Prophesy).

Simultaneously the books of management authors like Moid Siddiqui, Edward de Bono, Spencer Johnson, Dr Marshall Goldsmith. Kennath.H.Blanchard and others also interested me. I also read books on spirituality (Eckhart Tolle- Power of Now, Publications of Osho / Ramakrishna mission/ Ramana Maharshi/Brahmakumaris)

  8. What is your message to all the young writers out there, who are passionate about writing, but are caught up in their professional preoccupations and family pressures and commitments?


I only have a simple message for all the bright, talented youngsters who have an interest & flair for writing and are also working. Do not let what happened to me, happen to you.The profession should not put a break to your creative pursuits. Keep writing a few lines every day and before you know it, you would have a substantial body of work in writing over the years. The wonderful internet is today available to you. Therefore publishing & readership is not a problem. So make the most of it!


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