An acclaimed management industrial consultant as well as an accomplished author, I am honored to feature Dr. R. Durgadoss and #TheIndusChallenge to Eloquent Articulation. He has had varied experience and incisive views on writing, life, and learning. A never give up attitude makes his words and books equally insightful.
‘Experience is the greatest from of Education’ says Dr. Durgadoss. He has also along with Dr. Yerram Raju, his co-author, he has penned down this book on Character driven Competence, which elucidates practical ways of ‘Winning without Sinning’. He always says ‘Momentum leaders don’t wait for the waves; instead they build their waves and ride on them’. A consistent Top Rank holder and a Gold Medallist throughout his academics, Mr. Durgadoss has had a career spanning 30 years comprising of depth from industry and width from management consultancy. He shares his insightful ideas about his book, writing and why he chose this particular challenge while writing his book #TheIndusChallenge.
Welcome, Dr. Durgadoss.
- When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
The following are the triggers for my fiction writing
- The countless inventions of Edison, comic genius of Charlie Chaplin, the magic of boundless compassion of Mother Theressa and the charisma of Mahatma Gandhi-all are awe inspiring to us. It is not an extraordinary knowledge of a Superman, but the exemplary conduct of an ordinary man that gives the leadership status. “Leaders realize the ideal while followers idealize the real”. We need more leaders to realize the ideals and we do not want the people to alienate the leaders on the ground of idealism, while many leaders lived a simple living. We need to take this to the younger generation.
- Further, It is not every man’s duty to guide the nations, but it is every man’s duty to guide his personal life and rule his turbulent mind to win for himself, what the state can never give him. “The greatest wars are fought in silent chambers of our soul.” The champions are not made in a gym but are made in inner chambers of our soul. To enable the younger generation, to valiantly fight these battles and to convert their inner sparks of “possibilities” into flames of “achievements”, I thought I should make an attempt through my writings.
- I want to tell them that life is not a 100-meter race but a marathon. Momentary setbacks can be compensated in a longer run up in a marathon race. Even if we fail momentarily we should not lose our spirits. A good warrior does not lose his spirits even when he loses his war. Hence I wanted to reach the younger generation through my imaginary heroes – the warriors – the fighters.
- Having decided to reach the younger generation the best foot forward could be in terms of storytelling – why?
- In a corporate, if we present the slide without storytelling effect, it is a guarantee, on your third slide the audience sleeps. The serious subjects have to be presented in a story format. In a team building exercise, we tweak the hare and tortoise story. The conventional story we say first. Hare loses after it sleeps. We conclude complacency leads to catastrophic. Then we tweak the story a little, we say there was a second race called by hare. It realized its mistake and focused on the race and won. We conclude – ‘Your concentrating attitude alone can lift your attitude. Tweaking it further, this time tortoise took the hare in front of a river and challenged for a race to cross the river. The hare could not swim, the tortoise crossed the river. The message given was – ‘Focus on your core competence, you will win the game’. Further tweaking of the story was the masterstroke. Both hare and tortoise realized as to why they compete and waste their energies. Instead, they entered into a pact by which tortoise will climb on the hare and cross the land faster and on the water, the hare will climb on the tortoise and cross the water. The message: synergy of five fingers combined together will provide more energy than a single finger. This story leads to an everlasting image in the minds of the executives. This is the power of the stories.
- Give us three good to known facts about you (Be creative)
- Corporate warrior turned passionate storyteller – Having held my audience spell band with powerful storytelling during my corporate presentations, I thought it was time to turn into a public storytelling
- When history is a mystery, it is a creator’s delight – such creative spin turned out to be my passion.
- Greatest wars are fought in the silent chambers of the soul. The young generation is seriously fighting such wars today. Given this scenario, I have styled myself as a stress buster and hope builder for generation next. This is how I decided to first write, then decided to write fiction.
- What has been your motivation for writing this book – ‘The Indus Challenge’
Dr.DD’s inspiration, thoughts line, essence of the script “The Indus Challange”
- “Pursue your passion unmindful of the outcome. Failure is an option, Fear is not”
- The world recognizes performance and not passion. But for Dr.DD, every unsung Hero who passionately follows his vision is a celebrity, irrespective of whether he reaches the top or not.
‘The result may crown you or crucify you on the cross. But we should focus on the roots rather than the fruits. Chase your passion, but at the same time learn to face the outcome, as they unfold.
The essence of the script:
The history captures the extraordinary performances. But many pursue their passion diligently, make a mark in the society but do not get showcased. There are unsung heroes of the history, who gave their best for their country, unmindful of the rewards. Bring them out ….
- Of all the characters you created, which is your favorite – why?
Of all the characters, “Rudra”, the protagonist of ‘The Indus Challenge’ is close to my heart.
Through the events in his life, he brings to life the following great thoughts –
- Great people build names with stones thrown at them. They were never afraid of losing. They never gave up the spirit.
- Laughing does not mean ‘absence of sorrow’. It only means the great men have the ability to deal with it.
- Failure is an option, fear is not. Navigating on shallow waters cannot lead to discoveries. A calm sea never produces a skillful mariner.
- Your attempts may fail, but never fail to attempt.
- You may be disappointed if you fail, but you will be doomed if you don’t try.
- Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
- What lies ahead of you, behind you is nothing in front of “what is within you”.
- Count your blessings not your troubles, as many as your blessings are your hidden treasures. Make the most of yourself by fanning your inner sparks of ‘possibilities’ into flames of achievements.
- There is no wind that blows forever. The night is the darkest before dawn.
Rudra brings life to these thoughts through several events happening in his life.
- The cover is worth thousand words, how much of the cover design for the book as well as other two books – did you choose or is it designed by someone else?
The cover design plays a key role in making of the book.
Once the plot is finalized, it is sounded to a team comprising of me, the author, my creative team, my media partner. From the summary of the story, key milestones are derived. Then a constructive discussion takes place within the team as to what should be highlighted on the cover – the hero, the prominent character, the climax scene or the key place where the plot occurs etc., The team discusses as to what message has to be thrown up by the cover. Based on the discussions, several options made out and tested with a core respondent team. If the message derived from respondents synchronize with the intended message to be delivered, that cover design is chosen.
After this, the colour, text fonts etc… are decided from the point of view of visibility at the shelf from a distance.
This is how the cover design is arrived out.
- Which writers inspire you and why? What is your favourite book? Why?
In non-fiction, I would unhesitatingly say it was Dr. Abdul Kalam.
“The Wings of Fire” by Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the story of Abdul Kalam’s own rise from obscurity and his personal and professional struggles as well as the story of Agni, Trishul and Nag Missiles that have become household names in India.
On the fiction side, these several authors inspired me at different times of my life.
- Charles Dickens with his ‘Tale of Two Cities’ (School Days)
- Ayn Rand with his ‘The Fountainhead’ (College Days)
- Don Brown with his ‘Angles & Demons’ (College Days)
- Jeffry Archer with his ‘Clifton Chronicles’ and (Post College)
- Amish Tripathi with his ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ (Recently)
All of these inspired me.
The plot design, method of storytelling, the twist, and turns, all these played a role in my tilt towards these authors.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us. I am sure it will inspire and guide many writers. Best wishes for many more books.
THE INDUS CHALLENGE