Lipin Raj, a civil service official, has become a symbol of self-confidence and hard work for thousands of readers. His latest book, A Phoenix With Broken Wings, is an inspiring story for that someone who is in search of his path to success.
Here’s the author sharing his thoughts about the book.
1. Why did you choose this title?
For all those who seek perfection in anything and everything, the answer to that lies in the title of this book. Even though the phoenix bird is known to have risen from fire and ashes, from my perception the phoenix bird has had always been with torn and broken wings. This world doesn’t just contain perfect beings and things; on the contrary it also contains a huge category of much more imperfect beings and things with broken and wrinkled sides with deformities. When today’s market and marketing strategies meticulously select or choose the perfect ones; there exists a whole lot of imperfect or damaged ones who are excluded from the mainstream. Some showcase themselves as perfect, and it is pure vanity to tell others about perfectness.
Maybe only if a child’s mind and childhood is being meticulously driven on a rope line, then he becomes an asset to the society. This is yet another facet of life that this book brings out. Even if he doesn’t become a role model of success to others later, at least he would emerge as a good person in this journey of life where his parents, teachers, siblings, friends, relatives, society, and government all might have played significant roles to shape him. And this too is mentioned in this book.
This book inspires all those imperfect ones to figure out the beauty and celebrate a unique sense of freedom in their imperfections. At the same time, this book also underlines the fact that such imperfectionists are capable of assuring growth and attaining equality in any adverse situation of life. Even when others proclaim your weaknesses, and you agree to own them, then too you do possess the capacity to seize success; is what the title of the book basically puts forth.
2. “I did what my heart said all the way”—Where did you find the strength for that?
The one who misses to taste the sourness of failure, are the ones who juice out the sourness of all their failures and convert them into the sweetness of success and drink it in one go; thus, praising the intoxication that it provides them with. The blessed souls are those who make the right choice in choosing their ways in the initial attempt. On the other hand, the ones who carefully polish and sharpen their skills to conduct their journey from failure to success are raw human beings. For someone like me, who, when lay drowned in the pit of failure, changed the strategy and rose to attain success has never given much importance to it.
For me, success is not a full stop, nor is it a medal one receives at the victory stand with which one can end the game. It should be an endless phenomenon that rejuvenates and inspires one for more perfection. It should also be beyond the constraints of time and space. The energy that I imbibe as I incessantly chase success, fills me with a kind of happiness that helps me to see success and failure as mere perspectives. In between all this, I enjoy the shade that I experience at the sideways which are instantaneously converted into magical moments and are adorned with meanings. Such unknown shade trees that I encountered at such sideways have been mentioned in this book.
3. People often misinterpret laziness with lack of motivation. How thin is that line?
To enjoy leisure is a waste of time, and that one should forever remain productive and endlessly produce moulds of perfection is a line of thought that would produce pressure in an individual. It is only when one sits idle in between that one’s observation skills get enhanced and curiosity get aroused. It helps one’s mind to become creative and bring forth innovative discoveries into being. Newton discovered the law of gravity when he was leisurely sitting in his garden and not while he was working at the office or sitting at the laboratory or library. Archimedes shouted “Eureka” and ran out, not from his research lab; but from his bathroom. Life is often like a pool of murky water from which no inspiration whatsoever can be extracted. Failing to inspire oneself, life looks like a dead body placed half way through into the burning pyre.
4. Teachers have played an important part in your life. What according to you should be the one quality that every teacher should possess?
My first teachers were those who followed the nineties stereotypical thought process and served to inspire students to follow such models of life to attain success. Maybe that was the reason why they advised me to opt Science and become a nurse or a physiotherapist rather than take up Humanities in which I had genuine interest in. On the contrary, I secretly admired those teachers who were a bit different and shocked me with their teaching skills. They took us off from the classroom to the center of a paddy field. I had a teacher who showed us how to de-weed the fields. We also had a teacher who once took us to the busy market place; and taught us counting by picking up sardines from fisher-woman Rahelamma’s basket. Back then when we used to wrinkle our noses over the pungent smell of sardines, our teacher used to tell us, “Imagine your mother’s plight as she cleans and fries these sardines for you every day? All meals that reach your dining table has a story of uncleanliness that others have to deal with just for you.”
Teachers should know how to swim in the sea, and also teach the students to do the same; as the students they teach have to swim not just in swimming pools or streams or rivers in future, but have to swim with ones who leap and swim against the tides and sea currents.
5. What is your current read?
My current read is Food Mood Connection written by Uma Naidoo MD. The book analyses about the deep connection between the food we eat and the mood we have in detail. Consuming a lot of vitamin D would reduce anxiety, and many other interesting information can be understood as one reads this book. For someone like me, who has had the opportunity to taste different cuisines of different regions across India; I have a whole lot of recipes of such vivacious cuisines. Looking at pickles and rasam from Kerala is quite different from seeing it from a pan India perspective. The book is not just about how the food we consume influences our mood; but also, about how one should be selective as to what one consumes is also jotted down in the book by the author who also happens to be a cancer survivor.
Click here for the e-book.