Author Interview: Ravi Dabral | The Author of Greed Lust Addiction

Ravi Dabral was born in Uttarakhand, famous for spiritual ashrams and known as ‘Devbhoomi’, the Abode of Deities and Gods. The influence of this land of spirituality can be seen in most of his works.

By profession, he has been a commodity trader for over two decades and is based in Singapore.

Ravi Dabral has obtained diplomas in ‘creative writing’ from Open Minds International, Singapore and ‘script writing & direction’ from Film & TV Technology Institute (FTTI), India. He has also done a ‘creative writing, acting and dance’ course from Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.

Ravi Dabral has multiple post graduate qualifications in economics, political science, laws, commerce, and so on. His keen interest in entrepreneurship, psychology, philosophy and spirituality make him a well versed and fully equipped author to write non-fiction and fiction books in the domain of ‘materialism versus spiritualism.’

TBE: Tell us about your book, can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Author Interview: Ravi Dabral | The Author of Greed Lust Addiction

Ravi Dabral: This fiction book “Greed Lust Addiction” is about materialism versus spiritualism. This book is presented to the readers in a unique and creative writing style keeping in mind their sensual and spiritual pleasure. Contents of this book not only take care of readers’ entertainment but also enlighten and empower them in today’s stressed personal life and professional rat-race razor-sharp and cut-throat competitive corporate and business world.

There is an interesting incident behind writing this fiction novel. I had heard and read a lot about many famous international personalities such as Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple) and Mark Zuckerberg (Chairman and CEO of Facebook). They went to Uttarakhand in the Himalayas (known as Devbhoomi, the abode of Deities and Gods) to learn spirituality under the patronage of ashram gurus and yogis, and after that became very successful, renowned and wealthy personalities.

I was embarrassed to know that foreigners understood the importance of the spiritual powers of gurus and yogis of the Himalayas in India, but despite being a native of Uttarakhand, I never understood their role and significance. For around fifteen years I conducted extensive studies, research, exploration and investigation, and interacted with many Himalayan yogis and ashram gurus. Finally, I found the secrets to getting spiritual peace and material wealth, and the way to inculcate virtues and values, and how to eradicate vices such as greed, lust and addiction which I am sharing with global readers in an engaging and enlightening way through fiction novels “Greed Lust Addiction” (English) and “Laalach Vaasana Lath” (Hindi).

During my stay at the ashrams in Rishikesh, Haridwar and up the hills of Himalayas, I interacted with some renowned international personalities and came to know about their real-life experiences. On the condition of anonymity, they agreed to share their enlightening experiences for the benefit of global readers and citizens.

Also, I would like to provide the readers with an incredible and mesmerising experience through these exciting stories which have a lot of twists, conflicts, romance, drama, suspense, mystery, thrill, etc. so that it not only fascinates the readers but also keeps them engaged throughout the novel.

I feel that after learning from these enriching experiences, together as a team, we can make this world a better and more peaceful place to live in.

TBE: Why did you choose this subject for your book?

Ravi Dabral: The reason to choose this title “Greed Lust Addiction” and subject “Materialism versus Spiritualism” is that more than ninety per cent of crimes in the world are due to vices “Greed Lust & Addiction” (materialism approach). Materialism is the mantra of the modern generation, whose motto is to ‘eat, drink and be merry’.

This philosophy gives rise to ‘Greed, Lust Addiction’ which are vices within us. As against this, spiritualism believes in having ‘virtues, values, morals and sanskars’ to live a contented, stress-free and purposeful life. Time has come to awaken people about the role of values, virtues and morals but in an engaging, entertaining and enlightening way.

TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

Ravi Dabral: How we can eliminate vices within us to live a stress-free personal and professional life by adopting virtues, values, morals and sanskars (spiritualism approach) that is ‘victory over vices makes you champion’ is the main theme of the novel “Greed Lust Addiction” in English and “Laalach Vaasana Lath” in Hindi.

TBE: Not too many authors opt for fictional storytelling while discussing spirituality. What has been your perspective in this case?

Ravi Dabral: Spirituality, soul consciousness and philosophy are very simple concepts to understand and implement to live a quality, contented and conscious life. Who made these concepts so complex beyond the understanding of common people? Is this because of our materialistic approach in life? Is there any conspiracy by religious gurus, preachers or priests?  Why did they do so? Is it to keep us narrow-minded, superstitious, stereotyped and prejudiced under their control in nexus with rulers, politicians, business houses, so that they can exploit Mother Nature and us for their selfish purposes?

These few questions were striking my mind for so long, and hence I planned to write this novel in a fictional storytelling style to reach to the masses decoding concept of spirituality with an easy to understand language.

As per materialism philosophy, enjoyment is the end of human existence.  The materialistic way of life is the way of enjoying the pleasures of the five senses, mainly bodily enjoyments leading to vices such as greed, lust and addiction, thus ignoring the sixth, the common sense, intellect and reasoning power for virtuous and righteous decision making which are the domains of spirituality.

For centuries, high-class people in the society propagated materialism philosophy for self-fish motives and linked spirituality with religion through well-planned propaganda.  I have decided to spread awareness about spirituality in an entertaining and enlightening fictional storytelling way to engage more and more readers worldwide with the ultimate objective to make this world a better place to live in.

TBE: Often it is said that spirituality is a niche segment. Is it really so or do you think that spirituality itself is a contemporary segment which is easily comprehensible?

Ravi Dabral: For centuries, people link spirituality with religion which is not a correct way to understand and interpret it. This may be due to conspiracy done by religious gurus, preachers or priests to rule and fool the common persons.

In layman terms, spirituality is to live a quality, contented, meaningful and virtuous life in synergy with Mother Nature. Soul means having virtuous qualities within us so that we can live a happy life and let others live a happy life as well. Knowing and following spirituality in our everyday life means having peace of mind and ability to face any difficult situations by using intellect and reasoning power.

Thus, spiritual inclination improves our personality by imbibing attributes like discipline, patience, focused approach, positive attitude, humbleness, and kindness, which eventually help in achieving the material goals of life together with peace of mind.  Hence, we can say that money, fame, intelligence, and knowledge are related to the spiritual state of a being after developing reasoning power and intellect.

In the modern material world, marketing experts, paid media, event management companies, politicians, businesspersons and psychoanalysis experts encash on the materialistic, stereotyped, prejudiced mindset of the general public. They kill our intellect, reasoning power and conscious decision making with the help of glamourised events and celebrity endorsed advertisements, thus forcibly imposing their products or thoughts or religious and political ideologies on us believing that general public has herd mentality and ultimately they brainwash or make us slaves to their thoughts, ideologies or products driven by market forces.

In a way, this is the height of consumerism.   Multi-National Companies (MNCs) are becoming richer and richer (concentration of wealth in few hands) by adopting such tactics by treating humans as ‘products to consume their products’.

Spiritualism helps us to develop our intellect and reasoning power to make us free from the shackles of stereotype thinking, prejudice mindset, ignorance and superstition thus to make a conscious decision to buy products or to follow any ideologies to uplift, enlighten and empower common people for a better society and environment.

TBE: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Ravi Dabral: All my characters are from real life based on my interaction with real people and observation of incidents happening in modern day corporate, media, political and business world.

The main character, Suraj who is an investigative journalist exposing mysteries of corrupt material and media world and at the same time exploring why there is degradation of human values, virtues, morals and sanskars.

The second main character is Guruji having knowledge of both material and spiritual world and who believes that “first we win in our mind than in the field” thus giving importance to mind and soul powers to face any difficult situations and circumstances in personal and professional life.

Third character Vijay. He is a corrupt police inspector and conveys to readers the main reasons behind corruption whether due to our material mindset or due to forces in the outside system.

TBE: What was your writing process for this book?

Ravi Dabral: I see writing more than just a hobby, in fact, a mission for me to empower and uplift the society through literature to ultimately make this world a peaceful and better place to live in harmony with Mother Nature.

Although this is a fiction novel but is a research-based novel. For around fifteen years I conducted extensive studies, research, exploration and investigation, and interacted with many Himalayan yogis and ashram gurus.

Finally, I found the secrets to getting spiritual peace and material wealth, and the way to inculcate virtues and values, and how to eradicate vices such as greed, lust and addiction which I am sharing with global readers in an entertaining, engaging and enlightening way through this fiction novel “Greed Lust Addiction”.

During my stay at the ashrams in Rishikesh, Haridwar and up the hills of Himalayas, I interacted with some renowned international personalities and came to know about their real-life experiences. On the condition of anonymity, they agreed to share their enlightening experiences for the benefit of global readers and citizens.

In today’s online world where smartphones, television, internet and social media channels or platforms are replacing a reading habit, it is a challenge for the writers to keep readers engaged through their writings. In my opinion, creative fiction writing works not only entertain but also enlighten readers in an engaging way.

Through my creative writings,  I want readers to develop reading habits and have an incredible and mesmerising experience through the exciting stories which have a lot of twists, conflicts, romance, drama, suspense, mystery, thrill, and so on, so that it not only fascinates the readers but also motivates them to live a virtuous and stress free life.

TBE: How long did it take you to write this book?

Ravi Dabral: The book was written in two years supported by the research of over fifteen years by visiting various Ashrams in Uttarakhand to interact with many Yogis, Gurus and learners staying there. Also, the book has the crux of my forty years of knowledge and experience as a student of various subjects such as economics, political science, business management & administration, commerce, law, arbitration, mediation, psychology, philosophy, spirituality to name a few areas of my studies and qualifications.

TBE: During your journey from the idea of this book to the publication, what was the most difficult thing you faced? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Ravi Dabral: I found the editing stage most difficult and challenging. The editor suggested many changes, e.g. to keep some difficult words in the novel so that readers or critics feel that vocabulary is rich from a literary work point of view. As against this view of the editor, I was in favour of keeping simple words easy to understand for common readers.

Editor commented on my focusing more on the narrative style of writing than descriptive writing.  These suggestions from the editor tend to increase creative differences and affect early completion of writing work. It also took more time than expected to publish the novel.  Finally, it is teamwork, and the editor and author have to work to give the best book to a reader finally which has happened in my case as well.

TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

Ravi Dabral: How to eliminate vices by adopting virtues and values to live a stress-free personal and professional life is the message given in this book in a thrilling, interesting and educational way keeping in mind both sensual and spiritual pleasure for the global readers.

Through my writings, I want to emphasise how value system, morals and ethics – the spiritual traits, play a vital role in today’s materialistic and dynamic world to live a healthy (physical, mental, social and spiritual) life. My vision is to make the world a better place to live in – and I wish to achieve this through spiritual pursuits, striking a balance between material and spiritual worlds. I have a mission to instil virtuous traits in students and the young generation.

TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for a budding writer?

Ravi Dabral: In the modern publishing industry, it is considered that writing consists only 30 per cent of the literary startup project and 70 per cent role of the author as an entrepreneur is to market and sell books to become a successful autherpreneur.

Nowadays, there are thousands of self-published authors mushrooming up to publish their books.  Book publishers have no financial budget to do promotion and marketing for them. Hence, promotion and marketing burden is on published authors.

So, the real challenge is to market and sell the book in good numbers as a Key Performance Indicator (known as KPI) for the success of the book and you as an author brand.

TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?

Ravi Dabral: I am a fan of Indian author Premchand who focussed his writing on the burning issues of his time in a straightforward and lucid style.  Nowadays, there is a great need for writers like him to both expose and explore contemporary issues in the modern material world and to awaken the general public as well.

Among foreign writers, I like detective novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (best known for famous characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson).

Del Carnegie is my other favourite foreign author for his non-fiction books, e.g.   “How to Win Friends and Influence People” focusing on the requirement of soft-skills to live a stress-free life.

TBE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Ravi Dabral: I like to read both fiction and non-fiction books. I watch YouTube videos for my research work on different topics such as politics, economics, environment, spirituality, etc.   While doing a walk as part of my daily physical exercise, I listen to a series of Crime Tak in which crime stories are narrated by famous crime reporter Shams Tahir Khan.

TBE: Have you ever learned anything from a negative review and incorporated it in your writing?

Ravi Dabral: Yes, of course. I value negative reviews very much.  Writing is a journey, and in this journey, healthy and constructive criticism helps a lot. Readers have different background with different perspectives and perceptions and share their reviews basis multiple factors.  As authors, we have no control over their thought process, but only control we have is to learn from their perspectives.

TBE: In your opinion, what is the most important thing about any book?

Ravi Dabral: The most important thing about any book is that it should be a ‘page turner book’ fulfilling both entertainment & enlightenment needs of the readers.

TBE: What was one of the most surprising things you learned during the creation of your book?

Ravi Dabral: First, initiation or planning to write a book may take time but once you start then creative ideas for writing will automatically flow into your mind.  E.g. when you begin writing dialogues then you will find that conversation or exchange of dialogues between characters is happening smoothly. I consider this as divine power helping you while writing.

Secondly, to me personally writing the book was easy but it was surprising for me that editing and proofreading were very time consuming and tedious stages. If writing is laying the foundation, constructing pillars and brickwork in a house then editing and proofreading is interior work inside the house.

TBE: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Ravi Dabral: While writing, you are in a triple role, as a writer, character and reader so first you need to have confidence before delivering any unique creative piece of writing to readers.  For an author, it is essential to be creative in terms of original idea and writing style or craftsman.

There are many unexplored and authentic areas to be explored, e.g. I have explored ‘materialism and spiritualism’ domain.  Readers always want unique and innovative concepts to be presented to them in an engaging, convincing and entertaining way.

TBE: A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, and they are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?

Ravi Dabral: I don’t agree with this statement at all. Authors write what they observe in their surroundings or in society. To write characters of their creative work they closely and carefully observe behaviours or mindset or psychological patterns of people in their surroundings.  For settings, plot, twists and turns through descriptive and narrative writing style in their creative work, they give attention to the happenings or incidents they see in the society.

Authors are considered as keen observers or deep thinkers, and this gives a wrong impression that they are socially inept. Another factor is that when it comes to writing creative work then for sometimes, authors need to be in a vacuum for better concentration and imagination. When they are in a vacuum then the general public, family members or relatives or friends think that authors are socially inept.  In reality, authors are the best observers who know what is happening in society and very well know two faces of people living in society.

TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

Ravi Dabral: Yes, the second part of “Greed Lust Addiction” is coming soon.  The plot of the first fiction novel was based in India. In the second part, the plot will shift to international level, and mysteries of international crime & conspiracies and the spiritual world will be investigated and exposed to Indian and global readers in an entertaining, engaging and enlightening way.


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