One of the best things that has happened to me, during A to Z Blogging Challenge 2017, apart from debuting as an author of course, was the golden chance of connecting with some brilliant minds and the most tender hearts.
One such amazing person is Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan from Kannur, Kerala. It is my absolute privilege and honour to have him in the house today.
When I first approached him a few days back for an interview, he graciously accepted without a second thought, warning me well-in-advance about his braggadocios blog. Honestly, it is a tough call for even an interviewer to talk about him without falling into the bragging zone.
Where do I begin? Really! Talking about his achievements would run into several pages. But, for the readers, let me try summing it all in a pretty piece of pearl shell for you.
Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan is a real life take on ´Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde´. An Anaesthesiologist by day and an avid blogger and a published author of several books and anthologies by night. Dr.Roshan is not your conventional medical doctor. He is a maverick of sorts which works perfectly well in the writing or blogosphere. Yet again, Dr. Radhakrishnan is not your conventional author with a ´head in the clouds´ stereotype persona. He is the perfect blend of responsibility, practical wisdom and idealism which works perfectly for both the occupations.
His writings bear the perfect testimony to his versatility as a writer in several genres with equal adept and ease. Whether it is humour (The scheming doc), satire, fiction or serious thought-provoking articles, Dr. Roshan delights his readers with his authoritative intellect and astute insights.
His blog ´Godyears´ won the Best Creative Writing Blog in India (Win’14) by BlogAdda. His inspirational short story ´Prisoners´ bagged the first place in the Write India Season 1 conducted by ´Times of India´ in 2016. Dr.Roshan has been featured in several media publications across the globe from BBC (I will never allow you to become a doctor), Forbes USA, Huffington Post, BBC Radio, Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, NDTV, The Quint, The News Minute, Indian Express, Hindusthan News, Today, Financial Times, Herald Goa, Manorama Arogyam, Vanitha, Medicos India, Docplexus, Bombadil Publishing UK and more.
Apart from being an exemplary writer and doctor, Dr. Roshan is one of the finest human beings you can come across. Humility and Kindness are his individual hall-marks. I personally think he is the ´Robin Hood of Writers´ because he truly stands up for the under-dogs. His writing are marred with love for humanity. Be it featuring unsung heroes, the sad plight of doctors in India (Why I will never let my child to become a doctor in India), the suicide epidemic and its prevention (My Friend, Are you thinking of committing suicide), marital rape (Is Rape sanskari too now?) or simply the voiceless in all his stories, it is extremely hard not to be touched by his writings at the deepest emotional level.
Over to Dr. Roshan himself with a quick sixer of questions –
1. How do you manage to glide so smoothly in two boats (being a doctor and writer) at the same time and still come out a stellar winner? What is the secret, doc?
A. Wow. None of those nice words – smooth, stellar, winner, beautiful, perfect, balanced, competent, brain – are usually associated with me!! Jokes aside, I can’t lie. It does get hard balancing a medical career with writing (regularly for the blog as well as keeping track and writing for literary contests), especially with the hours and stress of the former never providing a good atmosphere for the latter. It helps because there is a certain amount of overlap. Ideas that get formulated for blogposts get jotted down during work hours and then can be fleshed out and expanded later on. My Evernote app is filled with 100s of such posts that never saw the light of day. In the end, it comes down to wanting to be heard and making the extra effort for it.
2. What is that one moment that you realised that you had it in you to become one of the country´s leading contemporary writers that we have today?
A. I don’t believe I’m ever going to reach that level but your question brought up an old memory. My first published story was in ´Chicken Soup for the Indian Doctor´. And I remember thinking I had to work harder to prove that this wasn’t just a flash in the pan. That led to being selected for ´Urban Shots: Bright Lights´. Still, the fear persisted! I didn’t want to be ‘that guy who got lucky twice.’ So I participated over and over, winning with Penguin, Rupa and most publishing agents who hosted anthologies in India, across all genres culminating finally with winning ´Write India´ contest in 2016. That, for me, was my ‘Okay! You’ve arrived!’ moment.
3. If the readers had to start with one book of yours, which one would you recommend them to begin with and why ? Any personal favourite authors and books?
A. Most of the stories show a part of me or my journey in life, just dressed up in a different location and face. The easy one to recommend is ´Write India´ because alongside my own story, you get some excellent stories that were chosen by the best selling authors of India. The character closest to who I once was would definitely be the protagonist from ‘Father of My Son’ in Urban Shots: Bright Lights.
When it comes to authors, I still enjoy a wide variety. I love John Connolly’s almost poetic darkness in his Charlie Parker series. Jeffrey Deaver’s ´Lincoln Rhyme´ series is a gold standard of modern crime procedurals. Where once I mocked his style, I’ve come in recent years to appreciate Stephen King a lot over the years. Jk Rowling just for how she’s inspired an entire generation.
4. You have managed to stay so humble despite such big wins in the blogging as well as your mainstream profession as a doctor. Whether it is responding to newbie bloggers or featuring unsung real-life heroes in your blog ´Heroes of Kindness´, you come across as a really open, approachable and humble individual? What or who helps you to stay so grounded?
A. Loss. It’s a surprising answer, I guess! I know what it’s like to lose and I know the feelings of insecurity, despair and pain that comes with it. That is perhaps why I gravitate more towards those I feel could use a helping hand.
Of all the posts I’ve written over 13 years of blogging, this year’s ‘Heroes of Kindness’ series will always be one of the blog´s greatest achievements for that reason. I wanted people to see the good that exists but I also wanted these unsung heroes of kindness to know that people appreciated them. From Tabrizis, the fine dining restaurant owner who shut his restaurant to the public just so he could feed the homeless thrice daily for a week during trying times to Chris Dempsey, an ex-marine who gave his organs to an absolute stranger, I’ve looked to personally track them down for interviews and shared these posts with them so they know that random people from across the world salute them. I want people to know their names too. I want people to remember that good guys still exist.
5. What does your personal blog ´GodYears´ mean or represent?
A. So many people ask me this and many have been hesitant to even enter assuming it’s a religious site. The truth is that this blog was created when I was doing my internship after passing my MBBS. It was pretty much my entry as a legit doctor into the world. I don’t personally subscribe to the ‘Doctors are God’ philosophy everyone speaks of so decided to do an ironic take on it. Thus, the blog which I assumed would feature my ‘Doc Years’ became my ‘God Years’.
6. Any advice to aspiring authors, including me. 🙂
A. Follow my philosophy – “Read. Write. Listen. Evolve. Repeat.” If I’ve been published 20 times, I’ve been rejected 40. Read and write are obvious points, I guess. As a blogger, we have an advantage of good literary critics from our peers who often give genuine feedback on grammar, style and what can be modified for better impact. Listen to them and slowly evolve. Move away from your comfort zone. Stray away from romantic stories and venture into angst. Try your hand at horror. The more you write, the more feedback you receive and the better you get if you listen to them. If I’ve won in 2016, it’s because I’ve been receiving invaluable feedback from friends right from the days I was writing short stories and screenplays inside classrooms and dissection halls in 1997 and 2000.
Dr.Roshan Radhakrishnan blogs at http://www.godyears.net.
You can check out his list of published books and anthologies on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6994907.Roshan_Radhakrishnan
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Loved this interview. I got to know Dr Roshan in the blogathan challenge. The various awards and accolades he has won is indeed commendable. The Robin Hood of blogging is a title apt for him
Thank you so much, Akshata! Absolutely, he is an amazing role-model for anyone to emulate, not just writers or doctors per se. I was thrilled when he accepted to give an interview as part of the Write Tribe Challenge. Most gracious of him, indeed! Hahaha…Yes..the Robin Hood is apt for him, me thinks too. Rare to find such gems. But, that´s why I think his blog is a must read…not just for the variety but for the sheer soul and passion that goes into it for humanity. I loved your take on today´s prompt too..was lovely. Hugs!
Thanks Akshata. I kinda like the ‘Robin Hood of blogging’ title too 🙂
Love the interviewed and I’ve enjoyed his stories too 🙂
Hi Janani! Firstly a warm welcome to my blog! Thank you so much! Glad the interview made an engrossing read. I loved his A to Z Challenge posts this year and he has an experimental rather innovative style to his writings which I love. You cannot compartmentalise him in one box alone. That´s a treat for his readers. 🙂 Keep reading! Love and Cheers!
Thanks Shree Janani… I try to be different with each story. Hence a lot of genres come into play in the final list of published stories.
That’s exactly why you are an inspiration to me Doc! That versatility. Great good!
It is highly encouraging to know about Dr Roshan. A very deep interview I must say, Tina
Hi Geethica! Absolutely! He certainly is an inspiration. Both medicine and writing are pretty demanding in nature…in a different way of course. I love his persistence and readiness to take on the double challenge and come out still a winner. I am glad he agreed to this interview because he´s simply inspirational the way he is naturally. Deep..Hahaha! Well, Dr.Roshan, from what I read and understand of him, is a fun individual ..quirky too. And, I have a fun side as well. Maybe, since we haven´t yet met in person, that barrier hasn’t been broken as yet. I mean it´s a different equation when you meet and know the person versus connecting merely over the web. Besides, I wanted to keep the tone of the interview serious, informative and inspiring for readers. Keep reading! Hugs! 🙂
Thanks Geethica 🙂
Tina you couldn’t have featured a more amazing person than the doc! During the AtoZ 2016, I was quite inspired by seeing this brilliant blogger coming up with such well-researched posts everyday of the month. I quit my cribbing of, ‘I don’t have time to do this everyday’ when I saw this man handling a more than full-time profession alongside blogging. I still think he is only part human…he is a superhuman (Doc, khush toh bohot hoge tum aaj?) I loved reading more about Roshan. He is without doubt the most talented doctor. Hats off!
Thanks Kala Ravi. I am quite proud of the A to Z challenge and all I achieved with that. That is why I place it higher on my side bar than even the accolades and winner medals 🙂
As for superhuman, well… you should see me around a buffet! I am a magician… make all the food vanish!
Hi Kala Ravi! I agree and this is my sheer good fortune and timing. Also, most gracious of Dr.Roshan to oblige my request. Personally, I love his passion and his courage to take up any challenge that comes his way. Keep reading! Cheers!
Loved knowing him more through this lovely interview. Thanks for sharing pieces of his Life with us Tina.
Thanks Upasna. 🙂
Hi Upasana! What a pleasant surprise! Firstly, a warm welcome to my blog. Glad you liked this interview. I had fun featuring this one in particular. My first interview, all thank to Write Tribe and Dr. Roshan. Fantastic experience. Keep reading! Love and Cheers!
A very big fan of Dr.Roshan. Reading,writing,listen, evolve and repeat .Taking this away with me .Wonderful interview.Superb questions and great intro .Lived this Tina
Trust me… that mantra has helped me a lot over the years.
Hi Dr.Amrita! What a pleasant surprise! Firstly, a warm welcome to my blog. Absolutely, some wonderful words of advice there. 🙂 Thank you so much for your appreciation..really means a lot considering this is my first interview. Boosts my morale tremendously. Lots of Love and Hugs!
Doc has such an awesome personality, he is one of my favorite bloggers. Loved the interview and this characteristic humble replies 🙂 I don’t know how he manages a busy career as doctor and then write super-amazing blog posts.
The day I can do all those yoga poses you do, that is when I will consider myself super-amazing! Till then, I am just normal amazing… sigh 🙁
Hi Rajlakshmi! It is a puzzle to me too how he balances the two.:) Keep reading. Love and Cheers!
‘If I’ve been published 20 times, I’ve been rejected 40’ – A line I will remember. Fear of rejection is really holding me back. I need to get over it.
My list of rejected stories is far larger. People rarely get to see the times we fail… isn’t that how it always is?
Hi Lata! Firstly a warm welcome to my blog. Absolutely, these lines are very encouraging for anyone. I do hope you get over the writer´s block and write unabashedly. 🙂 Keep reading! Love and Cheers!
I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Having the pleasure and privilege of knowing Rosh for over a decade now, I can vouch for his humility, and down to earth nature. He is a storehouse of talent…a winner all the way!
Hi Pri! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about Dr. Roshan! I only know him through his writings so far and am glad to hear more about him. 🙂 Keep reading! Love and Cheers!
A great interview of a writer I have enjoyed reading too – Thanks to AtoZ! Great to see you talk about yourself Roshan and give us a glimpse into you 🙂
Hi Ishieta! What a pleasant surprise! Firstly a warm welcome to my blog. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts about Dr.Roshan! This is such an informative interview, I agree! Keep stopping by! Love and Cheers!
Hey Tina 🙂 thank you for the welcome dear 😘 happy to be here.. Will be back often ☺️☺️☺️
Super! Looking forward to the association.
For may of Us he is our Radhey ,
No dr no blogger just an old calm and compose college friend ,
I wish him all the very best in his medical profession and as a writer .
Hi Dr.Shams! Lol..that is interesting to know. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about Dr.Roshan! Keep reading! Love and God Bless!
A great interview & reading too , wonderful to meet you & greetb you here .
Hi Sapna! Absolutely! This is such an informative interview! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Cheers!
Lovely interview of Dr. Roshan. Hes a very rare human… Always helpful and out there to support anyone and everyone. His blogs are always very inspiring!!! All the best Doc!!
Absolutely! I agree and thank you so much for reading and sharing your wonderful thoughts. Keep reading! Cheers!
M so glad that Dr. Radhakrishnan accepted your request for the interview. I, unlike everyone here, came to know about him through the TOI Write India challenge. And he has once again, helped me in believing ‘if one believes in their passion, a lil hardwork, and they can achieve their goal’. This is one post I will refer time and again, cuz it has so much to learn from and keep going. We all need a push every now and then, and this interview here is all I need.
Thanku so so much for the post! Cheers!
i am still new in the blogging world yet Dr Roshan was one of the first few persons I read about initially. He comes across as a very humble and inspiring personality. Every time I hear his interview or read about him, there is something new to learn, something new to gather and something new to absorb! I will take this blog with me and sleep over it…
It was great to know more bout Dr Roshan, I have read many of his posts however wasn’t aware of so many of his achievements.
I have been reading his posts for more than 5 years. Even I had the question how does he balance his boat? Thank you for that question. And I always look forward to his Blogchatter’s AtoZ challenge as he comes with a unique theme.
Good to know more about Dr. Roshan througj this interview Tina. His work is so worth reading and his latest book is also well written.
Dr.Roshan is an inspiration and amazing writer.I dont think I could even start to
describe how talented he is.
Doctor Roshan is an inspiration. Not only he fulfils his duties as a doctor, he is an amazing writer too. I have never met him or talked to him in person but his commitment and work inspires me.