Dr. Shashi Tharoor is a bestselling Indian writer and politician. A former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and currently MP for Thiruvananthapuram with the Indian National Congress, Tharoor did not let his political career stop his pen. He has authored various fictional and non-fictional literature in English. He has also been a columnist with some of the country’s leading newspapers, including The Hindu and The Times of India.
A man of many skills, there is a lot to learn from Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor started writing at the tender age of six and got his first publication when he was only ten years old. He has been writing since then, through thick and thin. Author of 14 books with his latest one entitled India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in our Time soon to be released, let us see what lessons you can take from Shashi Tharoor’s writing, and his life in general.
1. Find the exotic around
Shashi Tharoor’s novels are all based on India- its people, its history, its myth and its legend. Tharoor has travelled far and wide and has also lived abroad for many years. But when it came to setting his novels, he chose a backdrop that he identifies with the most and where his roots lie. As a budding writer you should also first look around you for inspiration. You do not need to live in an exotic place to write an exotic novel. What you need to do is extract the alluring and unfamiliar bits from your surroundings. Your readers will have something new to read, yet they will identify with your writing.
Shashi Tharoor is the father of multitasking. In fact multitasking can be his middle name. He has managed to combine two different occupations – writing and politics in his life and juggle them both over the years. It is essential for you to learn to multitask too. Because writing, especially if you are working on a novel, takes time, and money takes even more time to come through your literature. You will have to do something for sustenance. You need a job that pays you money so that you can have the luxury of writing your heart out at other times. And you need to balance them in such a way that one does not come in the way of the other.
3. If you have the willpower you don’t need to compromise
Many people will say that in the long run it is essential to let go of everything else and focus all your energy on one thing at a time. But Tharoor proves that you don’t need to really compromise on anything, as long as you have the zeal to do everything with love and genuine interest.
4. The benefits of research
Tharoor’s non fictional works exhibit the qualities of good research, and then the application of critical analysis in order to create a unique perspective on matters. Research is essential and becomes the key point if you are working on a non-fictional piece. Good research always provides your writing with a solid iron backbone and helps you stay steady through your work. And if appropriate to the writing you’re working on, add your own opinion, so that readers get a better idea of your view on the world.
5. The art of satire
If you want a lesson in satire, do concentrate on Tharoor’s work. Tharoor is most noted for the brilliant usage of satire to deliver a serious message. From his works we learn that a sincere, thoughtful and sober argument can be presented in a humorous way that ensures readers do not get bored to death, yet delivers the required message. As a writer you should also learn to make satire your weapon, to address the more serious and candid issues in your writing.
Image credit: uscpublicdiplomacy on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/215888_10150217537488939_1231540_n.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Abhinanda Banerjee is a full-time freelance writer and stage actor. She’s an avid reader, culinary enthusiast, and lover of everything about the sixties.