After he returned, someone asked him what he thought of the kidnapping experience. Pat came his reply: “It was nice!” That’s a classic Shreekumar response for you – deadpan and witty! And that’s also how he lives each moment of his life!
People know him as a celebrated writer, playwright and poet. He is also the scion of the erstwhile Travancore royal family and great grandson of the legendary Raja Ravi Varma. But, to me, Shreekumar is deeply spiritual, and, for the most part, unflappable. “I look at whatever scares me in the eye. That’s how I survived captivity in Senegal. My fear gave me the courage to stay strong,” he says.
Shreekumar believes that immersion in what you love doing leads you to happiness. “Life has a way of knotting you up. To remove those knots, dive deep into what you love doing, and that, in turn, makes you happy,” he explains, adding, “Happiness is a sense of freedom. It is knowing that you are on a path and trusting that this path will take you to where you must arrive.” Shreekumar says understanding both the pre-ordained and the impermanent nature of life helps immensely too: “Some call it destiny. Whatever it is, understanding that life is inscrutable, is a great coping device. I employ this understanding so, at most times, I am happy.”
While he writes prolifically, shifting between the genres of fiction, plays, poetry and children’s writing, he equally loves meeting people. “Life is really thriving, happening, in the people around us. Connecting with people gives me a high,” he points out. But he quickly advises: “If you don’t expect anything from anyone, or from life, you are so much better off. It is thoughts of controlling someone or something that causes misery.” What does he do when he’s challenged by the vagaries of everyday life – how does he overcome insecurity, anxiety and stress? “Oh, they do come calling every once in a way,” he confesses, continuing, “I immerse myself in writing when worries arise. It is so refreshing to write than to sit depressed and worry.” '
Immersion in writing and looking for humor in all situations help Shreekumar to stay happy. Why not borrow a leaf from his book?
@AVISViswanathan is a Life Coach, Happiness Curator & Author of ‘Fall Like A Rose Petal’