I've spent all my professional life in the world of words and visuals: The New York Times, Newsweek International, Forbes, The Earth Times, social media, and TV documentary production. And although I regret exiting journalism -- particularly The New York Times, which nurtured me -- I find book writing quite rewarding emotionally and intellectually.
The great fun of being an author lies in the opportunity of listening to people across the social, economic, and political spectrum, especially women. Why women? Because they are far more evolved than men, and they embrace and occupy a wider bandwidth of life. Book writing means that you are a "story teller in the bazaar," as the late novelist Irwin Shaw famously said.
Authoring books is very demanding and stress inducing, however, and not for the fainthearted, nor for those who yearn for quick gratification that a daily byline provides.
My experiences in the world of writing will be recounted in my memoirs, which I'm writing while also at work on a biography of the late Capt. C. P. Krishnan Nair, founder of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts (HarperCollins); helping with autobiographies of Dr. B. R. Shetty, founder of NMC Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates (Aleph Book Company); Mohsina Kidwai, the legendary politician from Lucknow in India's Uttar Pradesh (HarperCollins); Sarosh Zaiwalla, the Mumbai-born solicitor who started the first South Asian law firm in London; and Dawood A. Rawat, former chairman of the British American Investment Group of Mauritius.
Yes indeed, book writing and/or ghosting books offer tons of fun.
Is it easy for a man of 68 with long years of experience? Nope. But daily and weekly journalism, which consumed me when I was much younger, wasn't easy either.
Ernest Hemingway once said: "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
I bled when I was hunched before a typewriter in my youth. Now I bleed even more on the keyboard of my computer. How times have changed since Hemingway's time. And how the tools of my trade have changed. What hasn't changed is that there's always a story out there, waiting to be told in the great global bazaar.
What's needed is a cohort of storytellers who write after listening and absorbing, and not parachuting into some place carrying inappropriate - or worse, ignorant - preconceptions of what they'd find.
As an old fashioned man still bewitched by the romance of story telling, I believe after all these years of turbulence and triumphs that we'll never run out of material for our stories. And the stories we tell - and will go on telling - will outlive all of us. We are still reading Irwin Shaw and Ernest Hemingway, are we not?
My energy and appetite for more stories to tell remain undiminished. No sooner than we complete one story, we will find another story. Life is a continuum.