Meet Ravi Valluri, writer by heart

Prof Dr Shiv Sethi

Ravi Valluri is an accidental bureaucrat. His heart beat to write, learn Hindustani classical music, da

       Ravi Valluri

bble in theatre and public speaking. His serious writing forays began around 14 years back after recovering from alcoholism through the breathing technique of Sudarshan Kriya. Today he is a multi-faceted personality doffing several hats as bureaucrat, author of several books, faculty of the Art of Living and founder of a literary website Rustleof Words ( along with his wife.

Can you tell me about yourself and your professional background?

Briefly speaking I am a bureaucrat, a faculty of the Art of Living and an author, with interests in dramatics and Hindustani classical music. I would count my blessings that I could crack the Civil Services Examination and thereafter opted for the Indian Railway Traffic Service. It is a matter of great honour that I was decorated with the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Medal while working as the Director, MILRAIL (Sena Bhavan) for my contribution to troops mobilisation during “Operation Smiling Buddha-2”.

Tell us about your books.?
Over the years, I have written in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, anthologies and collating quotes of eminent personalities including the Hon’ble PM of India and Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. My works of fiction include short stories and drabbles(where I look at the darker side of the human personality), spiritual fiction and my autobiographical account. Non-fiction works are focussed on personality development through the relentless practices of yoga, pranayama, breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya,meditation, counselling alcoholics and drug addicts and those coping with stressful situations. Besides, I have written on places, travel and personalities(both known and unknown). I have contributed to papers like Life PositiveE-Magazine, Free Press Journal, The Hindu, Sakshi Post and The Pioneer.
At what age did you start writing?

My first foray was in the school magazine. Subsequently, the craft was honed at St Xavier’s School, Delhi, when I participated in several music-theatre workshops and wrote along with fellow participants under the guidance of eminent theatre personalities like Barry John and Param Vir to produce musical plays. Later at Hindu College, Delhi University under the guidance of noted trouper Pankaj Kapoor, learned several tips on the art ofwriting. Thereafter, as a probationer on Indian Railways, I began writing one-act plays and staging them which provided me with an “Aha!” moment on the voyage of writing.

Who is the wellspring of inspiration for you in the field of writing?
I have always been inspired by our epic, The Mahabharata,Zen stories and The Panchatantra. Characters, particularly in my works of fiction, emerge from these tales and I give them a modern spin. Secondly reading various biographies and autobiographies provided me with the ballast to write inspirational and self-help books. After I recovered from alcoholism, I embarked on the journey of writing my story to inspire those suffering from this pestilence to overcome it.

What challenges does an author have to face from writing to publication?

Once a book is written, marketing the book, ensuring that the book reaches bookstores, that it gains widespread publicity are onerous tasks which any author faces.A book should be available both online and offline which fuels the passion of a writer to proceed on this journey further.

Fortuitously for me some books were published by Red Ink Literary Agents, Leadstart Corporation, The Write Place, Become and thus were available for sale. Still, I do admit that a well-oiled marketing machinery would have ensured far more visibility and presence to my books in the market than what they have achieved.

In the modern-day gizmo age, the reading habit is on the decline among our youngsters. Your take on it.
In this country textbooks and books meant for competitive examinations are the biggest sellers. There has been a decline in the past decade, due to online downloadable versions and audio books. However, a good story (be it fiction or non-fiction), if well-crafted and marketed does get the eyeballs and we have best-selling authors in the country. Various writing portals, social media sites, and translations of books are providing a platform for aspiring authors.Writing is a lonely profession, but I do enjoy the aroma exuded by a paperback copy.
What is your take on modern day literature?

Modern-day literature has produced a whole spectrum of writers across the world who have mirrored the conditions prevailing in the society. Modern-day classics continue to be sold in large volumes across the globe.

Writers like Somerset Maugham, Oscar Wilde, Harper Lee, Stephen King and Indian authors like Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth and Girish Karnad fight for a place in the sun with classical writers Dickens, Eliot, Orwell,Tolkein or even Shakespeare for that matter.

But all this helps in the growth of the craft and the industry as a whole.


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