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Prasanna Raghavan's Author Page

 

How did She become a fiction author?

The first spark of creative imagination connected the dots in her brain at 7. She remembers sitting at the cosy corner of an open shed behind her home, scribbling her first story in her school notebook using a blunt lead pencil. Her guard dog misbehaved with a homegrown hen pounced upon her--a neighbour’s intervention in time saved her --the previous day’s incident was her story theme. 

What Inspired Her?

 A book from her father’s library--nothing fancy, an arrangement of books and his medical references on a shelf in a small room.  Vischinnakankanam--broken bangles--was its title.  Read it in a single sitting, no author’s memory. It planted the seed of story-writing in her. Storytelling wasn’t alien to the culture and the place she grew up--Ranny, a hilly region in central Kerala. For everything, there was a story in the form of an anecdote to pass on a moral lesson--a nasty action begets nasty reaction.  

Her father was a practitioner in the indigenous branch of medicine--Ayurveda. He was the only medical man in their village before English medicines and the hospitals made their appearance. They lived in a rural, fertile part where landscapes rose and fell softly, refreshed by the chirpy brooks wounding around before dashing off to the distant water bodies in the lowlands.   

Her mother was delighted with her story, but she encouraged her to graduate in science. In a society, formal education is considered more significant than life --she was right. None famed as a writer, or an artist had earned a decent living in the entire area. 

 She graduated in physics and education earned a teaching career. After getting married, in 1978, she joined her teacher husband employed in Africa. Together, they served a string of African nations—Tanzania, Nigeria, Lesotho, before South Africa.

Her Research in Maths Education

 In South Africa, she taught maths at a high school in Alice, a town in Ciskei, a homeland, a setup of the apartheid government at that time. The learners in the classroom exhibited inadequate conceptualisation in the subject--a global issue but particularly in the area. The problem bugged her, and she decided to research it as part of her master’s degree at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and published her thesis.  

SEALS Digital Commons published her thesis here

Not a Super Woman!

She wasn’t a superwoman. Juggling a full-time job, family responsibilities, children, and troubles from hostile in-laws living in India pushed her to near breakdowns in several instances. However, the fire kindled by the first book wasn’t willing to accept defeat, chasing her. And she got the minimum publishing opportunities at which she rejoiced a story here, essays there. The advent of the internet and blogging gave her immense hope to hang on with her creativity.


How has she fulfilled her childhood passion?

She took early retirement with plans to prioritise the left-out passions—writing a definite, as per suggestions from her daughters, she registered with All About Writing, an online creative writing course, which took her ambition to a different level. She received everything about the story structuring --however, to practice them into livening up a story in her imagination needed more time and patience. 

She observed a vast difference between academic writing and creative writing-- creative writing is a different ball game where you flow your creative juice. In the mathematical and scientific milieu, you seek prescriptiveness. For example, the displacement between two points is a straight directional line vector. Creative writing is an expansive narrative, never linear. You make it colourful, exploding with emotion, and blasted with situations.

How Does she Divide her Time?

She divides her time between reading, writing, cooking alone or in the company of her husband. Preparing sumptuous dishes to entertain their daughters and their husbands and in-laws during visits is a matter of extreme joy and pleasure for them, which the Covid has cut short. They live in Cape Town visit their home in Kerala last time in 2019. 

Her Debut eBook.

Being a non-native writer, she needed long hours to master her chosen language’s semantic and syntax aspects, making her author journey challenging but rewarding. She got fulfilled when she typed the last line of her eBook-Under the Bakula Tree in August 2021. Then she had no notion of the struggle ahead to get it published.    

 Two months and days after she completed the last line, she published, Under the Bakula Tree on 18 December. 2021.


The story blurb:

Living in modern, marvellous bungalows, married to globe-trotting husbands, educated, earning salaries, the female inmates of a luxury residential complex at Kochi, Kerala, must be living their life to the fullest, enjoying each day. However, the reality is different. Sara’s life is in the gravest peril, a widow, a mother of two—her schoolmate turned the love of life is waiting for her to join him. She has no genuine scope to reach him—it’s impossible to break out of the surveillance of a stranger her in-laws have entrusted her life with and to chauffeur her around, the church set up, even the gatekeeper. 

 

Under the Bakula Tree, away from the family surveillance, they meet, forge an unexpected sisterhood that provides emotional stability, support and strength and a commitment to one another. Can it accomplish the impossible for Sara?

 

 Genre: Fiction. 

The story sheds light on the contemporary women’s family life in Kerala, the State in India she was born and raised. 

It is an eBook published in Amazon Kindle, Unlimited.

 Where can you buy a copy of Under the Bakula Tree?


It is available on multiple sites, including,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NFSM2P9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09NFSM2P9

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B09NFSM2P9

Her Next Book

She is about to complete her next book, a crime thriller. Some short stories collecting dust in her laptop need shinning up to bring to the outside world.


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