I am sure you all are geared up for A to Z challenge. But well! with a new month comes my new post where I feature another blogger friend whose writing I admire. This time I bring to you Vishal Bheeroo of http://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/ who is a wonderful writer who writes about Mumbai, stories and more. Here is a short interview of Vishal, read and show your love!
Describe your blogging journey for us? How it all began and how has it been?
I started blogging way back in 2007 after Dad passed away. At that time, I didn’t know exactly how blogs work, what hits are all about, never commented on someone’s blog. It was the extension of my persona and happily venting out , writing in my personal space. It was some kinda online diary where I would write about almost everything and I’ve been such a mediocre and terrible blogger.
As I look back, I shiver at my bad command over the language and how badly I wrote. I remember stealing time to get in the cyber café in Mumbai for an hour or so to put in a film review and write small stuffs ranging from my observations bout’ life in Maximum City, street urchins, trains, unrequited love and what’s not. I still remember that one of my first posts was about Mumbai and the first comment came from a former class mate.
The blog is an extension of my persona where I can be myself and it’s like my baby that I brought up with care. It’s only in 2011 I started commenting and getting good, positive feedbacks. I must also say that support to bloggers in form of write tribe steered by Corinne Rodrigues and others, have been a hugeboost that made me grow my tribe. I wouldn’t have been here without the support of write tribe. It’s a tremendous support. The year 2013 was a defining moment where I was able to grow my tribe and meet so many amazing & talented writers. It’s a learning curve and happy to be here.
I write about poems, political satire, movie and book reviews. It’s been a fulfilling journey and look forward to write more and more.
Books or blogs? What do you prefer more?
Aha! You got me here!! Okay! It looks like the Rapid Fire Round and do I get a book as a compensation instead of coffee..lol! I feel nothing can beat the pleasure of reading a good book and by book, I mean the good ole’ print version and not the kindle type or PDF stuffs, though I started reading on I-Pad and lap top, quite recently. Give me a printed version any time.
It’s another thing that I love writing blogs and spend lotsa time reading some amazingly and talented bloggers. If I am allowed a second, choice, it’s definitely blogs as you get to discover some amazing stories of life.
Your favorite authors?
Ah! It’s an endless list but I’ll just spell out a few names, Salman Rushdie, JK Rowling, Chitra Banerjee, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Grisham,
Define your love for Mumbai?
Mumbai is a soulful city like they say, ‘You survive if you got the pace..yeh Mumbai hai Meri Jaan.’ I love everything about the city which is a world in itself, local trains, British architecture the Rajabhai Tower in SoBo, yellow-and-black cabs, iconic CST, Churchgate station, Bandra Bandstand, Marine Drive, Crawford Market, Chowpatty. I coud go on and on.
It’s a city that defines me which I can call my own and be myself. It’s an obsession where life is lived king size. The joy of celebrating life and be on your own in the city is a feeling that can’t be expressed in words. You cannot leave the city and, even if you do, it comes looking for you till you come back for good. I’m dying to be back in Mumbai.
I first landed in Mumbai in 2002 and hated the city. But, fate can be a bitch and when I came back in 2003, it was love at first sight. I love the rush, the local train, the crowd and the fact that you grow in leaps and bounds. I mean, Mumbai teaches us a lot. For the background, we are an Indian family settled outside our home land and now, I am outside India but miss Mumbai sorely. I have decided to be back in Mumbai in one year and a half to make new memories, fight new battles and celebrate life. In one word: Mumbai is an addiction where I find myself and carve an identity. I am in love with everything in the city. I stayed at C Road in Churchgate for two years and made Marine Drive my abode and needless to say, how much Marine Drive means to me. I am dying to comeback for good and as I said earlier, Mumbai is my muse which is haunting me and till I don’t come back, it won’t leave me in peace. So better, don’t incur her wrath and come back to embrace it forever. I should stop on Mumbai here..or else, I keep boring you and your readers..it’s a fascinating city and I could write a book on my city.
Five things you cannot live without?
If you could interview an author, dead or alive, who would it be and what?
That’s one tough question and you are not being fair to me…hehe..May be Khushwant Singh!! I’ll ask him about his fascination for sex and how on earth, he has lead such a disciplined routine of telling off guests at 8 p.m. I’ll ask him who does its obituary while living and how he dealt with controversy in life. I mean you need strength not to feel guilty in a world where every moron equates everything with morality and religion. I’d ask him how come he described raw sex in Train to Pakistan and still got away with it. How did he manage living alone after the death of his wife, why he supported the Emergency during Indira Gandhi rule, a black period, in the history of the world’s greatest democracy. I mean there is so much to ask the man whose mind was like a live wire when he lived and that too, till his last days. I would love to know whether there was a wickedness when he started the column, ‘To Malice Towards One& All’ and how the idea struck. Finally, I’ll ask whether he is planning to resurrect himself in a bid to make our life hell, us fellow Indians and the world who can’t ignore him and how hez spreading malice in his journey. For this atheist, I am sure he is troubling ‘Gods’ and they so wanna get rid of him, cursing Yama for bringing picking the wrong man.J