Saturday, 1 October 2016

INTERACTIONS WITH LEADING MEDIA ON MY BOOKS, FEMINISM, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MORE


Name: Mehrab Irani

1.     When did u find yourself lost in the world of words? 
The correct question should have been that when do I don’t find myself lost in words. And actually speaking when does any person living on the planet not find themselves lost in words – the difference being that some express themselves while some don’t.
We are all born into genius. Sadly, most of us die in mediocrity. We all are going to someday shed our earthly bodies and leave for another voyage – the journey of the soul. But then, does the journey of the soul begin when we actually die physically. Is the soul actually alive when we are here on this planet? A child knows what it wants to accomplish in life. At that point, everything is clear and everything seems possible. As children, we are not afraid to dream and yearn for everything. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince us that it is not possible. By repeating the same pattern again and again, are we moving towards the death of our very soul?
Everybody has a ‘personal calling’. This is the promise between God and us. It is the promise each one of us makes to God before embarking on our earthly journey. Whoever you are, you have a personal calling, a desire that originated in your soul. This is clearly your mission on earth; the purpose of your very existence on this planet. My words, my writings are a medium of connecting myself with others, linking myself to the creations of the creator and through them to the Creator Himself. Remember that in prayer, we talk with God; in meditation, God talks with us, in prayer, we listen to our own voice; in meditation we listen to the voice of the Universe, and for me writing is a medication wherein I listen to the voice of the Creator Himself – it is He Himself who conveys His message through writers like us.

2.     Do you believe that self-experience is important to keep your pen flowing? What motivates you to write and just keep writing?
When I was young, I dreamt of having a career which will help make an impact to this world, help others realize their higher self, show them how small a life they are living when they are actually born for greatness, remove the hurdles between man and his dreams, make everyone realize their true self potential and encourage them to answer their soul calling.
To have knowledge and not share with others is being selfish. I would like to say my journey and purpose behind travelling the important journey of being a senior person in corporate investments to an author. I still continue with my job in the Tata group as my job keeps giving me ideas and helps me in meeting new people and interacting with them. I have been working in the finance field for the past 17 years, both on the buy and sell side, in equity and in debt, in research and in fund management as well as in dealing, in mutual fund as a Fund Manager and also as an investor in mutual fund products and more. In my this experience, I have seen that even today there is lot of misconception about money, finance and investments. Today, most of us have become slaves of money – wage slave of the employer, tax slave of the government and loan slave of the bank. I felt very pained when I saw humans being turned into financial slaves. Today, in this physical world, money is the most important factor which comes between man and his dreams. And therefore I thought that I have to do something in this regards. Today we see there is only one Sachin Tendulkar, one Amitabh Bachan and one Shri Narendra Modi while each one of us have the talents and capacity to become someone like them. God has given each one of us some special gift, an unique talent, its upto each one to recognize their gift, develop their talents and then utilize it for the common benefit. Most of the people have abolished their dreams in the search of a safe secured life. Take the example of a young teenage boy who is very good at cricket and wants to become a cricketer. May be his very purpose of embarking on this earthly journey is to play cricket and entertain others. However, the whole world, including his parents, teachers, elders and all are busy advising him to quit playing cricket and concentrate on his studies to become a doctor or engineer and live a “safe secure life”. In the name of this so called illusion of “financial security” the boy is pushed into leaving aside his dream and live a whole life of slavery. That is what pains me a lot. Hence, I decided to share whatever little knowledge, experience and wisdom which I gained over my so many years of working with everybody and hence embarked on this important journey of being an author.
I wrote the book to free humanity from financial slavery so that they can then achieve their true higher purpose and fulfill the very reason of their existence on this planet. The two most important things in this world are – entertainment and money. I thought why not combine both of them. Most of the people are afraid of the term money. So, I thought to present money in a thrilling suspenseful entertaining form. We all like to learn from stories and fables because we have been taught that way since our childhood. So, why not learn the most important subject also in the form of a fable? And that is when I got the idea of writing a “finance fiction”. My book “Mad Money Journey” is a completely new refreshing book which combines finance and fiction in a manner never done before. “Mad Money Journey” combines the principles of money, finance and investments on one side and of life and its wisdom on the other side in an inspirational, motivational and intuitive manner bringing out the relationship between man and money, entertaining in a thrilling suspenseful manner, promising to be a page-turner, helping and guiding its readers on a new path towards self-discovery, a financially free life wherein everybody, rather than being slave to money is actually able to live a happy successful life achieving their highest self and fulfilling their very mission of coming to this planet. The readers taking the Mad Money Journey will permanently change their journey by putting themselves in the right path wherein they will be introduced to their own inner self and true path.
To summarize, my motivation of writing is to inspire others on the path of financial freedom, on the way towards true freedom wherein they recognize their dreams, understand their higher purpose and fulfill their mission of existence on this planet.  

3.     What are your views about Feminism? 
Thanks for asking this question. What is Feminism? It may be said that it is a fight for women’s right and equality amongst both the sexes. But when will women be treated as equal to men. A woman will be treated as equal to man when she herself will believe that she is equal to man. And when will she herself believe that she is equal to man? She will believe that she is equal to man when she is able to equally do all the work which a man can do.
Humans are social animals. We have been in existence for thousands of years. Its only that in the past few centuries that we are living a civilized existence but before this for thousands of years we were like wild hunting animals living in caves. Men used to go out in the wild, hunt for food and protect their wives and children from the jungle. Many men used to perish in this constant quest with the wild in the jungle life. Women used to stay within the safety of the caves and protect, nurse their children. But nature did not want human species to perish. Hence, it provided males with certain hormones like testosterone which would multiply his sex drive by several times. The reason was simple. The surviving men had to plant their seed in maximum women so that the human species was not wiped out. Women were nest bearers. They did not just require to conceive but wanted to be made pregnant by that man who would respect and protect them while also taking care of her offspring. Women does not need sex but needs sex with the right man who will protect, preserve and nurture herself and her family.
During the primitive ages, there was no money. Its only over the past few centuries that money got invented and then came the pride and power behind it. Male being the hunter and provider took the responsibility of earning money. Hunting got substituted with earning money.
In the good old days there used to be barter system – goods and services used to be exchanged for goods and services. Then man created money as a medium of exchange and store of value. However, over a period of time – the creator himself became a slave of his own creation. And women by not managing their own money are not only becoming slaves to money but also slave to men which then encourages men to exploit her – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s time that women wake up to this reality and take charge of the situation. In the modern age, a woman can handle her education, her husband, her children, her elders, her family, her job, the boardrooms and the government and much more than how on earth can she not handle money or investment?
Managing money is as much a scientific process as is an art and a psychological thing. When women will start on her financial freedom journey she might receive lot of negative advice from lot of people. The more she worries about being applauded by others and making money, the less she will focus on doing the great work that will generate applause and make her money. To double her net worth, she has to first double her self-worth because she will never exceed the height of her self-image. The most dangerous place is her safety zone. I want each woman to come out of her safety zone, recognize and connect with her dreams, get the courage to live her dreams, become financially independent and answer the calling of her soul.
Why do so many women delegate their financial security to their husband or significant other and allow divorce or death to plunge them into poverty? Why do so many women spend more than they earn and become mired in debt? Managing money has nothing to do with gender or sex. Money is not masculine or feminine. Money is money and it is neutral towards male or female.
Nobody wants to live a life where they have to spend their time, which is limited, in exchange for somebody else’s money which is available in abundance. People spend their time on earning money which they don’t value, take loans which they can’t repay, to buy goods which they don’t require, to impress people who don’t matter. It’s the birthright of each individual to achieve financial freedom. And it’s more so for a women who even today in a liberalized Indian society might be educated and working but is primarily expected to take care of the family and house. As stated earlier, when we ask a woman that what you are doing with your money the typical answer is that, “I don’t know, my husband or father is looking at it”. Even a working women earns money but is seldom part of the financial decision. A woman, whether working or not, is always made to depend on male for her financial needs. A woman takes care of her work as well her house, a woman attends to her husband, children as well as the adults, a woman keeps the house as well as the image clean, a woman perfectly blends and unites the family with her love, dedication and sacrifice. But then why the same woman is denied financial freedom? Is it not her right to live a financially free life wherein she can also explore her dreams, listen to the calling of her soul and fulfil her higher self-actualization goals? Yes, women, even the educated and earning ones, do shy away from taking financial decisions and besides other factors the primary reason is that somewhere deep within her mind, body and soul it has been incorporated from childhood that she is not supposed to be part of the financial decision. Men and women are equal and it is only when women themselves believe that they can take financial decision and attain financial nirvana is that they will actually achieve equal status with men in this modern society.

4.     What is social media for you? How do you see social media? 
When one is writing then he / she has to just concentrate on writing. The person has to be pure and honest to one’s ownself and write what he / she actually believes in. Once the manuscript is ready then let the editor do their work with full independence. The editor is the first person who is reading the manuscript and brings a whole new perspective and thought process to it. Don’t interfere with the editor’s work. After that the copyediting, book title, cover design, production and many other things go into it the making of a book. Once the book is ready then that is your final product. Now, we have to go all out in creating awareness, branding, publicity and marketing of the book. A writer writes because he / she wants the world to know of his / her idea. Wants to connect with the world, wants the world to read his / her work and that can happen only when the book actually sells. So, if writing a book is a project then I would say that it has two components – the first being writing, editing, title, designing, production etc. and the second being branding, publicity, marketing and sales. Without the first one being good there is no hope for the book to succeed but just because the first part is good does not automatically mean that the book will succeed unless the second part is put in place.   
Marketing will be the traditional medium like press, newspapers, TV, radio etc and also the new age media like the social media. While I feel that the traditional media is still important to reach out to the masses but at the same time social media is assuming increased significance because this is the medium which has a two way communication. This is a platform where the seller and buyer interact, preferences are known, complaints are registered and there is tremendous scope for engagement and improvements. Hence, although traditional media is still important to reach to the masses, social media is of great significance to engage and keep the readers interested.

5.     Most memorable life event.
In life, one has many memorable events like securing a major degree, watching the smile on the face of their parents when we fulfill their small yet significant wishes, listening to the voice of your child when first time it calls out to us, finding the love of one’s life and so on. I have had these and many more memorable events. But the most memorable moment for a person would be when the person gets connected to the Creation through the existence of his / her work. I had some similar moments and experiences through my book “Mad Money Journey”. Although, the book teaches on money, finance and investments but contrary to conventional wisdom the teachers in the book are unique like Afghan terrorist, Bangkok prostitute, Chinese mystics, Kenya marathon runner and so on. When I was writing the book, I was creating those fictional characters with imaginary situations but hoped and believed that someone like them would be alive somewhere in the world in similar kind of situation. I regularly get emails from my readers from across the world. And there have been many emails from people who have been in similar situations. For example, the few young widows with small children who wrote to me connecting with similar character from the book or even a marathon runner from Africa writing to me and his feeling about the Kenyan marathon race runner from the book. These are those memorable moments when you feel the whole world has submerged within us and our work has actually reached the Creator.     

6.     Are you currently working on any future publications? 
I would always like to connect with other people. Books is the primary medium but there are others also like talks and speeches, TV and Radio shows, press and media as wells as movies. I myself learn while connecting with people. And connecting with people helps me to understand humans better and then produce want is the real need. And I want to connect with the masses. That is why I write articles in press, appear on various TV shows and books. I am currently working on a sequel to Mad Money Journey. This book will delve into the very core of humans and their relationship with money, realizing dreams, knowing their ownselves, their spiritual mission. It would be a very thrilling suspenseful journey which will challenge and explore the very core of one’s being and relationship between human existence, love, sex, spirituality, dreams and money. It will further explore and investigate into the life of various people who are going through some kind of mental, physical, emotional and psychological struggle because of money. Take the example of a housewife. She might be educated, reasonably rich, having a loving family – husband, children, in laws but might feel attracted to a neighborhood man who is financially more successful than her husband. This physical attraction because of money might be draining her emotionally and physically. What is the solution for her? I would like to dig deeper and deeper into such struggles which we humans face in our daily life because of the interplay between man, money and our dreams. 
Also, after a certain point books have a limit of penetration since there are some people who would simply never want to read. Hence, to connect with those people I am exploring other mediums like movies and TV shows. I am in talks with various industry people to explore the idea of converting “Mad Money Journey” into a movie or TV serial. I am also planning to do a TV show on money and finance which will be very different from the rest. It will be a thrilling yet emotional show which will explore and connect people with their dreams and show them how money and finance is preventing them from achieving their highest self in life. The show will not just teach to earn money, it will help to fulfil dreams.

7.     What would you like to convey to the young writers? 
If you think that reason for writing a book is money — then, yes, one of the reasons for writing a book should be money because money is an important factor in this physical world and if an author is struggling physically then how will he / she will be able to express his / her inner feelings and thoughts through words. God has given everybody a gift and we have to use that gift to our maximum advantage. I have the gift of writing and I am using it to my advantage. However, I would like to add one more point here. We have to use the gift of God not just for the purpose of earning money or pleasure; we must also use it for a higher purpose — for the service of mankind. If we use our gift just for the sake of earning money, wealth or fame then I am sure very soon we might lose our gift and not succeed in our mission. Therefore, while one of the reasons for writing a book is certainly to earn money but there has to be a higher purpose as well. Unless there is a higher purpose of writing a book there is very little chance that the book will succeed and leave any impact. And, remember, there are easier ways of earning money than writing a book!



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