NILAVRONILL: Do you think literature or poetry is really essential in our life? If so why? And how does it relate to the general history of mankind?

L SR PRASAD: NO. It is not necessary as an essential element in life. But it is the hidden energy occasionally surfaces in emotional jolts and with a poetry maker or literate or artist it gets transformed into high voltage word art, or art word, or a sculpture. The reproduction or mimesis with camouflage with music timber is the secret of poesy.

NILAVRONILL: Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life. Why literature or poetry in specific interests you so much? Who were your favourite writers during the early period of your life? And how they have paved your early routes in literature?

L SR PRASAD:  My mother tongue is Telugu- the Italian of the East- suitable for music and fine writing. The credit for my proficiency in Telugu, Sanskrit and English goes to my parents, teachers and books.  By reading and understanding the Classical and Modern Literature in Telugu and later in English, honed me to in to a poet, translator and author of 160 books so far.  Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, P.G. Wodehouse, Bammera Potana,  Sri Sri , Tilak, to name a few. Studying classics improves diction, vocabulary and the music quality of our own writings. The more we read the more we write.

NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole, is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

L SR PRASAD:  The physical body is from my parents; the core belongs to my built-up; the etiquette is from my brought up; the mind and soul from the divine inspiration; the vision from my introspection; the clothing is from the society. In brief, culture came from home; acculturated by society.

NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature in general?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

L SR PRASAD: When people are busy Literature is shut in cupboards.  But wherever there is pathos and hurt poetry comes out like hot spring.  Everyone is a poet unless proved otherwise. All fibs are fables in the hands of expert story tellers. Late coming husbands, unfaithful lovers, mischievous children concoct great stories. With modernism and greater availability of audio visual elements the imaginative power in people has taken back seat. When instant, readymade food is available who bothers to cook? Slowly in our households the kitchen rooms are disappearing; likewise books, reading rooms and outdoor games too. Couch potatoes and obese- overweight sloths rule tomorrow’s world.  Consumerism and life styles have changed the priorities.

NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the present time and the socio-political space around you, in the other.

L SR PRASAD: Existence is an adjustment with milieu interior and exterior. Compartmentalization of issues and time management are the ways towards mental peace.  As a Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgeon I deal with ‘birds on the wire’; during those tipping points, for me poetry works as a relaxation technique in between heartbeats. Most of my themes are from the socio-political topics only. During this Covid- 19 period I could write trilogy on this subject in Telugu.

NILAVRONILL: Please give us some idea about your own views on the contemporary Indian literature written in English.

L SR PRASAD: Social Media and Search Engines gave enormous scope to poets to learn, improvise, and exhibit their talents. Unfortunately, the side effects have dominated the health portfolio of poetry. A few Facebook groups are doing yeoman service to the poetry by publishing, encouraging and honoring the members of the poetry community. Contemporary Indian Literature is progressing tardily but effectively. The lack of effective criticism, poor readership. exhibitionism, group rivalries and intolerance are the thorns and sharp stones on the main walk.

NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have largely been extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general? Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul; how do you respond to this present time?

L SR PRASAD: Columbus found America; but the continent was there before him. The dimensions of Literature are also there, we are finding them, naming them anew. By translating Greek, Latin, German, English, Spanish, Polish, Mexican, Russian, Chinese, Nordic, and Tamil epics into Telugu- I found my vision broadening beyond my belief.  Wandering bards created epics. Unless one travels to distant lands and lives his creativity gets blunted. As a medical professional I see Lockdowns of different nature day in and day out. But the present lockdown and unlock has made people as metaphorical fifth horsemen of fear;  and the isolations, quarantines and social distances did damage the will power of many and society in general.

NILAVRONILL:  Do you believe all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And what are the factors which pay dividends and which become obstacles for your ultimate growth as an international writer even beyond your time?

L SR PRASAD: It is the mother tongue problem; and some extent to the social status, religion, caste, creed, customs, beliefs and the area of residence, peer groups and physical ability and disabilities. Adopting universal themes, unique style, inventing new metaphors, soul touching rendering, ear pleasing phonetics, mystic music and time sense, contemporary subjects and clear objectives connects a poet to the readers. Most of my themes dwell on death, war and love lost.

NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future? How do you react when innocent peoples suffer immensely in Gaza or in Iraq, Syria Afghanistan or elsewhere? Whether it is state sponsored terrorism or sponsored by individual terrorist groups. Innocent peoples are the first victims. Your response.

L SR PRASAD: Money is the root evil. Wars are fought to acquire precious metals, properties, beautiful women and money. War is a male dominated; women suffered bloody mindless game. Woman, gold, lands, cotton, oil, slaves, opium, coffee, tea; now water is the primary war theme for that purpose religion, language, skin color, race, country borders, sex, drugs, bacteria, viruses are used as vehicles. Power is aphrodisiac.  No one is innocent. It is the firing power that decides the result of skirmishes. Big companies control rich countries; rich countries threaten little countries. It is the big fleas’ story. Ad Nauseam.

NILAVRONILL: We all believe in individual liberty and human rights, yet these two are the constant targets of attacks from various quarter of power, even in India. How you would like to respond to this situation?

L SR PRASAD: Liberty is an imaginary aspect without proper dimensions. There is nothing like individual liberty; there are no human rights un- abused. From individual to human world there are innumerable space circles that crisscross to threaten liberty. Liberty has its own space depending upon the context. The perimeters of liberty and human rights are not constant. Utopian ideas do not work in money controlled societies.

NILAVRONILL: Dear poet tell us; do you believe one day may be in the distant future this world will be a safer place for every new born? When we will see each other as an equal in dignity and embrace everybody as human being overcoming all the differences of ethnicity, religion, nationality, racism? Bringing the world altogether?

L SR PRASAD: No! There is no safe place for the future generation. They have to live in constant fears of war or virus or pollution. That’s the truth. There is a term known as Mass Extinction. Then also it may not be possible. Genes themselves are selfish. It is survival of the fittest!  Equality is not a law of nature. Society works to some extent to see that equality is maintained. Practically it is a lost and found idea.

NILAVRONILL:  Many thanks for spending such a wonderful time with us, we would like to conclude this interview with a personal note, are you satisfied about your own achievements in your life?  What are your plans for future? And how do you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations from the younger generation?

L SR PRASAD: Thank you dear sir. I have great respect for the sages and learned people like you. About the contemporary literature I had the opportunity to translate (English to Telugu) more than 35 poets from all over the world. They are all good and especially the woman writers are creating wonderful poetry especially- Arabic, Polish, Italian, Indian and Chinese)

my message is-

Read, study, render;

Walk, steady, wander;

Live, let live; go yonder;

Comeback, introspect, surrender;

Dr. LANKA SIVA RAMA PRASAD (Dr. L. S.R. Prasad) is a Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgeon by profession and a poet, translator, novelist, story writer, cartoonist, and animator by intuition. He has authored so far 160 books and the recent ones being ‘The Making of Mahatma; An Epic on Kashmir’ the Casket of Vermilion’ The legend of Yang Guifei, Penning with Penguins, Yuddhopanishad and Tjukurpa. His book The Casket of Vermilion was translated into ten languages. Dr. Prasad, an outstanding writer in Telugu, has published many poetry & prose books: more than 10 volumes in poetry and 15 books in stories, novels and essays in Telugu. Bhagavatam, Soundarya Lahari, Bhagavadgita he trans created in to English. In addition to his original contributions to Telugu poetry, stories and novels, he has enriched and enlarged the Telugu language and literature by profusely translating the literary Classics and treasures from different world languages into Telugu: From English (Milton, Bunyan ), Greek (Homer, Iliad, odyssey, epic cycle, Sappho poetry, Three Greek Tragedies), From German (Faust by Goethe) , From Latin- (Aeneid- Virgil, Dante- Divine Comedy,) From   Persian-  (Rumi- Masnavi, Fariduddin- Birds Conference, Omar Khayyam- Rubaiyat,)   and,  From Russian, Polish and from Spanish- ( Neruda, Lorca), Nordic- Eddas, From Chinese-, Arabic, Tamil-, and Hindi.  He was the host, sponsor of World poetree Festival- 2017 under the banner of Pentasi-B India World Poetry Festival at Hyderabad. Attended many International Festivals in India and abroad- China, Morocco, Ghana, Singapore, Australia, Greece, Poland, Italy, and Philippines as guest of honor. He won many prestigious awards nationally and internationally.



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