Author Subhrashis Adkhikari puts forth five pertinent questions in his latest read
A geologist by profession and inquisitive by default, Subhrashis Adhikari launched his second book -5 Questions of the Inquisitive Ape, that throws five pertinent questions on human civilisation. Adhikari who holds double masters from IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Bombay is currently working in a multinational company loves reading, blogging, science and philosophy. He firmly believes that geology is the bigger brother of history and challenges conventional thinking with the latest read. Excerpts:
This is your second book. What inspired you to write 5 Questions of the Inquisitive Ape?
I guess there is more than one thing that inspired me to write 5 Questions of the Inquisitive Apes. If I have to boil down to one, it would be my core strength - Geology. Being a geologist is about asking questions; it is about reconstructing the past and in doing that you fall in love with the bygone era. History asks the question of how human civilisation evolved into the modern world. Geology is like the bigger brother of history. It stretches that question further back, since the beginning of time. No wonder, my first book was about Indian History. When you combine historical time with geological time to understand the present and predict the future, you get an inquisitive ape. That's what my last book was about. It asks a few key questions that try to challenge conventional thinking. It may not be apparent but all of them are connected, and at the heart of all this is geology.
How long did it take to write it?
It took my two years to complete the book, but parts of it were written four to five years back in my blog. I still write on my blog.
Tell us about the five questions that the book talks about.
All five questions were close to my heart. The questions are - How we came to be? Was it a chance episode, or were things pre-determined?, How we make sense of the universe around us? Are we hallucinating reality?, Is sex bad? Are we naturally monogamous?, Who are we? Is there a unique us? and How to be happy? Can we hack our brain and control the bio-chemicals?
A lot of scientific research was required to do justice to the questions. Being from the science background I am comfortable reading scientific papers. They form an important part of my research. I also read a lot of books, travel around the world and interact with a lot of people. I ask questions to people and even send surveys to my followers. That forms the framework of my research. I just hope that I did some justice to the topics.
What were the challenges?
Finding time to write is a challenge in itself. Sometimes I do get hit by writer’s block. Then I take a break and do something else till the writer’s block gets bored and leave. All writer's block comes with an expiry date. The lesser you worry about it, the faster it will expire. The trickiest part about writing, however, is to stay away from your own prejudices. Any author who wants to live behind a positive impact through her or his writing needs to understand what ones favoured perspective is, and then try hard to look at other perspectives with a neutral eye. Ignoring my cognitive biases is the part I find most difficult. But it is also fun and self-revealing.
I am writing a manuscript. It is a self-help book that follows on from my last book 5 Questions of the Inquisitive Apes. Apart from being a geologist, I am also a certified happiness coach. So, my book is about sharing my learning’s to help people develop multiple perspectives and lead a happier and healthier life.
Available on Amazon