Neel Preet: Firstly, Congratulations on your book, “Rawal Family Of Amka!”
Well, can you please share your experience about making your work come in to
the form of book!
Mahendra Singh : Thanks, Neel. I never thought of writing a book like this. My father died in 1985. He left a huge bundle of papers. I did not know what was in it. Many times, I thought of destroying these papers as I felt they might not be relevant now. However, I did not have the heart of tear down those documents. In 2018, after 33 years of death of my father, one day I decided to go through these papers. I was surprised that it was a treasure of old letters written to him by many big dignitaries of the time. There was his high school marks sheet of 1923. His graduation degree from Agra University of 1929. Numerous Photographs from 1922 till he was in service. Incidentally, 1818 was the year when our village Amka completed 200 years of its existence. On understating the importance of these papers, I decided to write a book so that these documents are preserved for posterity. At the same time, I also decided to include all other great, imminent personalities of the family in the book to make it as comprehensive as possible. So in this manner, the seed of the book blossomed,
Neel Preet: What inspired you to write this book? What was the impetus behind
this work of yours?
Mahendra Singh: I think this question is answered above.
Neel Preet: Your book title, ‘Rawal Family Of Amka’ is very catchy! So, can
you please explain the reason for going with this book title to the readers?
Mahendra Singh: Yes, many titles were considered. But since the book was about the family, I thought that the Title should clearly and unambiguously describe the contents. There could have been no better title than this to describe the whole book.
Neel Preet: While writing the book what was the mind-set you were having?
What are some of the learning is that you gained from this work of yours?
Mahendra Singh: My mindset was very positive. In such a big family, all are not of the same views. While interviewing family members, I made it a point not to ask any question, which may hurt feelings. I extracted the information, which was needed for the book. No controversial matter was included in it. I learnt that if you handle family members rightly, they are all supportive and cooperative. Never hurt their self respect.
Neel Preet: A part from family history writings, in which other genre would
you like to contribute?
Mahendra Singh: I have no intention to write another family book as I am 82 years of age. It takes a lot of hard work and energy to write. Still if I undertake a new venture, I will like to write on the interpersonal relationship of a big family. Why there is discord, jealousy, intention to look down upon other family members, their internal politics etc. When conflict and dispute reaches at the pinnacle, some family members cannot resist and resort to crime including murders.
Neel Preet: This book is seriously impressively, so which segment of readers
are you targeting with the book of yours?
Mahendra Singh: It is a family book. So, naturally family members, their relatives, friends and near and dears shall be interested in the book. However, I also want that there are numerous families with glorious past. This book should be a source of inspiration for them. It may motivate many others to make an attempt to write similar book about their families.
Neel Preet: Next, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had
Mahendra Singh: Regarding this book, none. However, I am a great fan of Munshi Prem Chand, Sharat Chandra Chattopadhaya, Jai Shankar Prasad. Guru Dutt, a Hindi novel writer of 40’s and 50’s. In English, I mostly read spy novels etc.
Neel Preet: Is there any message that you would like to convey to your readers?
Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!
Mahendra Singh: Only message I would like to convey is that one should always remain connected to the family. Once you are disconnected, you are just like a kite flying aimlessness in the sky.
Saint Kabir has described it beautifully patta jharta yun kahe sun taruwar banrai, abke biichude na mile door padenge jaye.
Neel Preet: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know
about your future projects.
Mahendra Singh: There is no plan in the near future.
Neel Preet: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very
best to you for future and your book too!
Mahendra Singh: Thank you very much Neel. It was a great pleasure in answering your well thought of questions about my book. Thanks again.