In Conversation with Mahesh Ratnam Rajan, Author – Illusions of Control

Illusions of Control
In Conversation With is a flagship series of Thought Habitat. In the 1st ever episode we’re with Mahesh Ratnam Rajan, Author – Illusions of Control.

Being a budding writer is always exciting. Well, I wanted to become a published author and, in that pursuit, I became a Journalist, Content Writer and now a Content Marketer. Many people out there seem to be publishing their own books. I came across Mahesh Ratnam Rajan, a Management Consultant who eventually became a writing product owing to his pursuit of reasoning. His first book Illusions of Control is all set to hit the market soon and before that he is sharing the thoughts behind the book.

Illusiona of Control

Edited Excerpts

You would have had a wonderful journey to write your first book? How did it feel and what inspired you to keep going?

Becoming writer was not part of the plan. Even if someone had asked me the question in early 2020, I would have said, “No.” I generally write small notes as I travel. And the major push to write came up when I was in New Orleans for my studies. It is notable that New Orleans is the birthplace of Zombies, Vampires and that makes their style of storytelling in a completely different level. The experiences we had there was the trigger point I would say. Then whenever I watch movies, I always wonder the decision styles of a character and its impact on the story-line.

And this thought of reverse storytelling and the inspiration from Vampires and Zombies prompted you to become a writer?

Yes, kind of, but also the prompting came from my visit to Thanjavur Brahadeeshwara Temple. When I visited the place, I started digging up through the mysteries. What could be behind those closed doors? What was the reason to come up with this structure? I tried to come up with reasons for all the mysteries.

So that reasoning behind the mysteries made me write short notes.  Then, I began to travel widely since 2010 and that is when I noted architectural similarities between the temples here and in other South East Asian countries such as Cambodia. This prompted me to make a few more notes. Then every temple shares a strong ancestral connection and folk stories. All these led to a few more notes. Also, I work as a Management Consultant with a few IT firms and the role of AI is something we deal with. There are a ton of ideas over there too to take inspiration from. That also can be taken as an inspiration.

So, AI is a source of inspiration too?

To a couple of the narrations in this book, I would say yes. Infact, AI and the thirst for the human knowledge where you tend to break boundaries. When I wrote this book, I first made a story and sent it across to the people in my circle. Fortunately, they all liked it. One of them even passed it on to a Journalist in The Hindu and he could not recognize that I’m yet to become a published writer. Then he pushed me to write further and that was the external boost I first had.

Speculative Fiction is the term you are giving to your book. Can we expect a management flavour in it?

There is nothing that are more directly connected to my management consultant experience, but predominantly things that deal with mismanagement is a part of it. Moreover, Illusions of Control is about human behaviour, reasoning and the thirst for answers as mentioned before.

In a nutshell, what to expect and what not to expect from your book?

I had a lot of plans for 2020, but everything went into the drain because of the pandemic. So, I began writing this book when I was at home during strict lockdown restrictions. However, we all plan, it doesn’t go as a straight line. There will always be ups and downs and Illusions of Control emphasizes on it pretty much.

Well, there is yet another Author booming from nowhere. It is no wonder that India is a land of writers than readers. Keep visiting this space regularly as more such interesting books and authors are to be interviewed.    

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