Interview with Eshwarmurthy Pillai, author of “Hang on – A Second Wind”

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Eshwarmurthy Pillai was born in 1972 in Mumbai, a city of dreams. His grandfather had influenced him immensely towards leading a social life. Starting the professional career as a Medical Representative in Mumbai, he experienced patient’s trauma closely, which still continues. Working with two great pharma giants, he developed a passion for writing and innovative thinking. After completing his MBA in 2003, the pharma journey continued and gave him an opportunity to travel across India. In the process, he went on acquiring knowledge by interacting with people in various fields.

Hang On – A Second Wind, the first book of the series “Hang On” results from those acquaintances from the farmers of the drought-affected regions. 

Ques1. Hang on – A Second Wind  – The first book of the serious “Hang on” outlines the predicament of poor and debt-ridden farmers who are committing suicide. How did you come up with the idea of this story in the first place?

It’s a six long year of journey with the book “HANG ON – A SECOND WIND”. The journey began in 2015, wherein I use to hear and read a lot about farmers committing suicide nationwide. The situation was pathetic and deteriorating day by day, year after year. When I dug more, it was quite surprising to know that the farmers suicide was happening for many years and in big numbers. Farmers from all the Indian states had committed suicide with Maharashtra, Karnataka, UP, Bihar, Punjab, where the incidences are in big numbers. When I went through all those data, I found that debt, drought, and depression were the major factors responsible for those farmers committing suicide. Every farmer story which I read was painful and felt shameful. The debt amount which haunts those poor farmers are so meager, compared to the loans that we city people take and enjoy. We are just allowing them and their family members to die one by one.  My visits to the villages and remote places in the drought-affected region, during my profession, provided ample evidence. The interaction with the farmers and villagers there helped me with more authenticity. All those collections finally helped me in writing this book which I want to dedicate to the farmers in India and all over the world. 

Ques 2. In this book, you differentiate suicide in two ways. 

               “Suicide, a thin line between life and death

               One who sees it doesn’t cross it

               One who doesn’t see it, cross it”.

Have you ever come across any person with whom you felt this situation? How did you tackle the people involved within it?

During our final year graduation exam in 1992, I came to know about a friend of mine who committed suicide by jumping into a well. That came to me as shocking, as he was a very cheerful guy. The same year, even I failed my exams and the same thought went into my mind. Since I felt that my life and future is shattered, I decided to end my life. As I was approaching the railway track near my residence, lots of things were going in my mind about my family after my death. I was continuously thinking about the pros and cons of my act but couldn’t draw a conclusion. From nowhere I just started praying and begging God to give me a chance to fight the odd. Later, I just turned back and returned home. Many years later, in 2010, I again decided to end my life because of frequent fights with my wife. She became very suspicious about my living style. This time again I sat just next to the railway track in Kolkata thinking about the suicide. As the train approached close the fear of death and my daughter’s pic on my mobile fixed me. My suicide attempt went on for a couple of hours as the train passed by one after another. Finally, my daughter’s pic saved my life and I cried deeply returning home back.   

Ques3. Why do you choose Clever fox Publishers as your Publisher? How was your working experience with them?

Working with Cleverfox Publisher has been a wonderful experience right from the beginning. In fact, Mr. Ranjan Mohapatra the CEO is so approachable and amicable. He was always available for me during my publication journey. Prior to Cleverfox Publication, I already burnt my fingers with a couple of self-publishing houses. They simply exploited my time energy and money. After seeing Mr. Ranjan’s humbleness and genuinity, I decided to go ahead with him. His entire team are worth a penny. Even my forthcoming books will be published through Cleverfox very soon.

Ques4.  As a medical representative, you traveled across the world and interacted with different cultures and people. Share one beautiful memory with us of your journey.

I have traveled to most parts of India except for the Northern part. Working for Sanofi Aventis in Bengaluru from 2003 to 2008 was one of the best moments of my life. Based in Bengaluru I used to cover the entire Southern region of India for the cancer medicine business. Cancer as a subject was always scary and I used to run away from it. But couldn’t run away from destiny. While meeting the oncologist in that area the patient’s miseries used to bring tears in my eyes every now and then. One such patient I came across was Mr. Shankar and his wife Mrs. Gowri in Bengaluru. Mr. Shankar met us in June 2004 and passed away in June 2005. That one year was more pleasing and blissful as they treated me and my wife as their children. Even we started calling them Shankar Appa and Gowri Amma. They didn’t have kids of their own. So even we felt lucky to have parents like them. During one of his chemotherapy, Amma informed me that Appa wanted a unit of blood as his hemoglobin level dropped. So I arranged it for him as my blood group matched with that of Appa’s blood group, AB+ve. He was so thrilled for the same blood group and hugged me continuously while lying on the hospital bed. In June 2005 he succumbed to advanced Esophageal Cancer.   

Ques5. Despite having a bustling profession, how did you get the time to write on such a well-researched issue? 

My medical sales profession helped me a lot in my research for this book. Since my job involved extensive traveling, I got ample opportunities to interact with a lot of farmers and villagers in many districts across Maharashtra. Whenever I used to wait for my doctor’s call, I would interact with a lot of patients. Quite a few turned out to be farmers and that helped me to know more about the subject. After knowing I used to scribble it down on my laptop going back to the hotel. I used to write the whole night and connect all the dots needed for my book. All those interactions and the dry barren fields fine-tuned my thoughts process for this book. 

Ques6. A Second Wind is a very mindful read that covers certain aspects of life. Do you really think that this book will be able to touch millions of people and help them to understand Suicide and how it changed someone’s life? 

Suicide is a very delicate and daring act in which the mind is overloaded with negativity. The person is fully conscious about the act but is ruled completely by his negative thoughts. It’s just a good glimpse, a positive sign, and a ray of hope is needed to transform that person’s complete negativity. I can vouch for it from my own experience of committing suicide, not once but twice. The first time, my family and their living circumstances saved me. The second time, my daughter’s pic on my mobile saved me. Now, those negativity has vanished completely and I always search the opportunity for living for my family and society at large. HANG ON – A Second Wind, is one such attempt of mine to inspire all those in deep stress and on the verge of committing this act. Though the book is focused on farmers committing suicide, a few mentors mentioned that it is meant for all people. We read and hear highly qualified professionals like doctors, entrepreneurs, cops, college and school students, working executives committing suicide. I just pray that my book reaches all those distressed people across society. In order to reach the mass, I am planning to launch my book in various languages in the future. 

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