GIIS Leadership Lecture Series with President's Swarna Kamal Award Winning Author Mr. Balaji Vittal at GIIS Whitefield
“The secret to becoming a good writer begins with the habit of reading”
Global Indian International School, Whitefield hosted GIIS Leadership Lecture Series with Mr. Balaji Vittal on 16th June, 2017. Balaji Vittal is an eminent writer who has co-authored two books and has received wide acclaim. His first book, R D. Burman: The Man, the Music (2011) won the President's Swarna Kamal Award for Best Book on Cinema at the National Film Awards. His second book Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (2015), was awarded the Excellence in Writing on Cinema at the 17th Mumbai Film Festival.
Mr. Balaji shared reading tips and the art of writing a book with the students of Grades 8 and 9. His experience of three years while compiling his first book R D. Burman: The Man, The Music was a case study that offered valuable insight. The students enjoyed this interactive session and asked plenty of questions related to balancing their hobbies with academics.
Magic of book reading
"I am a time traveller and have travelled for more than 70 years, even when I am much younger," said Mr. Balaji Vittal as an ice-breaking session with the students of Grade 8 and 9 of GIIS Bangalore. The students gave interesting answers of which the word 'books' was the exact one. He gave valuable tips on reading, writing and choosing the right career. His calm composure and the friendly talk with the students made the session so interesting and informative. Mr. Balaji Vittal gave a presentation to validate his statement of being a time traveller with pictures of the places such as Morocco, Tibet, China, Peru and many other places along with a story. He said that he was familiar with the customs and the culture prevalent in most of the countries in the globe because of his reading habit that he had imbibed ever since childhood days. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense novels, Enid Blyton (Famous Five series), Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew series) and J K Rowling (Harry Potter) were the authors whose style and stories are an inspiration for novel readers and aspiring writers.
Power of visualization
The author said that the present generation has social media channels to interact and communicate while in his times the best and the powerful social media was a gathering of like-minded people who discussed many topics and shared knowledge to benefit each other. Whether it was novels, stories, sports or political news, there was always the live communication that helped people connect and gain information from one another. A beautiful comparison between a novel, comic and television was stated to show the receptivity of our human mind. Where a novel encouraged the power of visualization, comics were an exercise for the eyes to skim pages and the television was regarded of hardly any use. The technology centric generation of today have more access to electronic gadgets and this has its own pros and cons.
Prepare for Alternate career choices
Mr. Balaji shared tips of how to hone ones interest in writing. While he said, he is an accidental writer who had plunged into the IT job to satisfy the social obligations, the students of today have an array of choices. Most students wanted to pursue other careers options than cling to IT. He said that the key is to follow ones dream and work towards fulfilling ones passion with dedication. As they say, Rome was not built in one day, he said that a writer's journey while compiling a book takes a lot of time, patience and motivation. On the similar lines, he said that one should choose a career that makes him/her feel happy and content. One can always build on a hobby with passion while they pursue a totally different career. It is always better to have a backup plan as experienced people say, so does he. Unlike in other foreign countries, in India, the formal years of education is mandatory while a student can choose to take up a hobby in music, arts, sports or writing as well. This helps them maintain a balance in their professional life, get money inflow and also invest time to pursue a passion.
Book writing tips
The question answer session reflected the interest of students to know how best to unleash their writing skills. Mr. Balaji said that the students were all writers in some way or the other as they use the social media for interacting on a daily basis. So all that they need to do is focus on their area of interest and keep writing on a daily basis to identify their writing style and inspiration. Sports, Nature, arts, music or politics, they could write freely and express their views. He said that the habit of reading a newspaper and pages of a novel/story book each day will help them evolve as good writers in the future!