• Friday, July 19, 2024

Interview with Philip George & Geetha K, Author “Racket Boy - Where's My Country ?”

Read an exclusive interview with Philip George & Geetha K, authors of 'Racket Boy - Where's My Country?' discussing the themes and inspiration behind their compelling novel.
on Jun 20, 2024
Interview with Philip George & Geetha K, Author “Racket Boy

Philip George's life is a testament to the RB formula: Hope + Vision + Effort + Hard Work. From his Malaysian roots to four decades in England and eventual retirement in the tranquil San Romano, Tuscany, his journey resonates with resilience. A seasoned traveler, he embraced diverse roles, from factory worker, psychiatric nurse to banker, stevedore, bookie's runner, and waiter/bartender. Sporting feats, legal prowess, and pro bono dedication intertwine in this narrative, reflecting the RB formula's core principles. This book honours triumph over insecurities, a tribute to every underdog's journey marked by hope, vision, effort, and hard work. Philip's core message: "BOOTS on the ground. Walk the talk.

Geetha K is a Malaysian educator turned writer. She spent two decades as a language teacher before transitioning to writing and editing for independent media outlets. Geetha has completed a masterclass in memoir writing in London and has published two books, including her first novel, The Seat, and an autobiography co-authored with Philip George, titled Racket Boy – Where’s My Country. Her third book is set to be published in 2024.

Frontlist: Your book, "Racket Boy: Where's My Country?", offers a fascinating glimpse into your life journey spanning six decades. Can you tell us what inspired you to write this memoir?

Philip: The inspiration to write my memoir stemmed from reaching an age where reflection becomes inevitable, and the unprecedented COVID pandemic offered a unique pause. It was a time to reflect on my life, assess the crises I've faced, and share the valuable lessons I've learned. It seemed the perfect moment to turn crisis into opportunity and capture my journey in writing.

Frontlist: The title of your book, "Racket Boy," hints at your passion for badminton. How has sports shaped your life and influenced your experiences?

Philip: Sports have always been my "chill pill"—a source of oxygen and liberation. Engaging in badminton and other sports has given me a sense of freedom and joy, allowing me to soak up life fully. It's been a vital part of my routine, helping me maintain balance and perspective within the complexities of life.

Frontlist: Your upbringing in Malaysia and subsequent migration to England are central themes in your memoir. Could you share some insights into how these cultural transitions have impacted your identity and worldview?

Philip: Growing up in Malaysia often felt restrictive, like a prison. The societal and cultural norms were confining, and I constantly felt berated and put down. Migrating to England was a liberation for my mind and spirit. It allowed me to think freely, expand my knowledge, and pursue education in a way that was completely different from the rigid academic approach typical in Malaysia and other Asian countries. This transition profoundly shaped my identity, broadening my worldview and fostering a sense of independence and self-worth.

Frontlist: Throughout your life, you've been involved in sports at various levels, including international badminton and county-level squash. How has your involvement in sports contributed to your personal and professional development?

Philip: Involvement in sports has instilled in me essential qualities such as discipline, reliability, and endurance. It has taught me the importance of continuity and staying the course with enthusiasm, passion, and positivity. These attributes have been invaluable in my personal and professional growth, helping me navigate challenges and stay committed to my goals.

Frontlist: Your memoir includes anecdotes of your travels and adventures across the globe, from England to Ecuador and beyond. Can you share some memorable moments or lessons learned from these experiences?

Philip: One of the most memorable and intense experiences was when Hungarian gangsters stole all my cash, passport, credit cards, and personal documents on a train from Sants Station in Barcelona. In a moment of sheer determination, I confronted the three burly men, fighting them in front of a train full of passengers. Despite the imminent threat of being knifed, I managed to retrieve all my stolen possessions. The lesson I learned was clear: sometimes, you must confront danger head-on and be brave. In certain moments, it's the only option.

Frontlist: As a member of CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports), you continue to offer legal consultancy on a Pro Bono basis. What motivates you to continue your professional pursuits even in retirement?

Philip: I am deeply motivated by the desire to help the less privileged, particularly the underdog. Offering legal consultancy on a pro bono basis allows me to give back to the community and support those who might not have the resources to fight for their rights. It's a way to use my expertise to make a positive impact and keep me engaged and purposeful in my retirement.

Frontlist: Your memoir touches upon themes of identity, resilience, and finding one's place in the world. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Philip: I hope readers understand the simplicity and beauty of life that can be achieved through hard work, diligence, and determination. I want them to recognize that each of us is unique—"there is only one of you"—and that embracing one's individuality while staying resilient can lead to a fulfilling and meaningful life.

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