Kaasyapa, the pen name of Parsa Venkata Ramachandra Rao, is the author of the book ‘Que Sera Sera’. He named his book so because he believes that life follows this very same rule that the famous song ‘Que Sera Sera’ talks about. He is an active bird watcher, and is interested in music, politics, and reading.
Aditi: How did you come up with the pen name Kaasyapa? What does it mean?
Kaasyapa: Kaasyapa is the name of our family Gothra or lineage tracing down from the Rishi who we believe was our great great ancestor. Kaasyapa is one of the Sapta Rishies of Yore. We believe we are his descendants. I chose it so that I am known by my Gothra and not just by my worldly name given to me by my parents. Here, let me clarify, Gothra and Family name are both different. Family name is “Parsa”, as our family is identified by this family name amongst our relatives, friends, and our community people. Whereas Gothra is the identity we get from the Rishi who we believe was our Ancestor.
Aditi: You have many hobbies like bird watching, listening to music etc. Which one do you enjoy the most and why?
Kaasyapa: I love music and bird watching equally, because both soothe the Soul when in distress as well as in Happiness.
Aditi: After having served in the public sector for many years, how did you get down to writing?
Kaasyapa: My younger brothers are journalists in Delhi. So it runs in the family, perhaps, the strain of writing !
Aditi: How would you define politics? Why do you choose to stay away from it?
Kaasyapa: I define politics as a natural happening in everyone’s life, as it engulfs our existence every day of our lives – provided of course you have the concern for social justice and fair play in all dealings. I keep away from politics because it is totally devoid of any ethics whatsoever, in the present day. In the 40s and 50s of the last century, politicians were made of a different stuff altogether. They had some morals and a sense of fair play in all their dealings. They followed established norms and rules of the game. It was a pleasure in those days to watch Parliamentary debates and how Issues were discussed and solutions found cutting across party lines. Today the Parliament is a fish market – not worth watching, leave alone aspiring to be in, as a member.
Aditi: Which was the last literature event that you participated in?
Kaasyapa: The last event I participated in was a book launch at the German Cultural Centre, Goethe-Zentrum – it was a book on the Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It was very satisfying to interact with the author who answered questions from the audience.
Aditi: Do you think authors of today should participate in literary events? Why?
Kaasyapa: Yes, I do think today’s authors must participate in literary events, to keep themselves abreast of the writing trends of the present day.
Aditi: You have a blog. Tell the readers a little about it.
Kaasyapa: I write a Blog, “parsakashyapreport.blogspot.com”, on whatever subject that interests me and is in my head at the time of writing. It’s on a variety of subjects, every day events, social and political events of the day and so on.
Aditi: How did you come up with the name ‘Que Sera Sera’ for your book?
Kaasyapa: The title ‘Que Sera Sera’ appealed to me as whatever we may plan or wish for, we ultimately end up with what is destined for us. The story of Sagar, my hero in the novel, also has this element throughout his life. There was a popular song sung by Doris Day in the 50s, with these words, which is my all time favourite.
Aditi: What is the story all about?
Kaasyapa: The story is all about a normal average middle class family that enjoys happiness and faces adversities of life with the blessing of the family bonding and the resultant strength to withstand any storms in life.
Aditi: What are some of the most important values of family life?
Kaasyapa: The most important value in a family is, as per my belief, the respect for the bonding of a joint family which in turn delivers all other values needed for happiness.
Aditi: Do you think that the book reflects a little about your own life?
Kaasyapa: The story reflects my experiences in life, my unfulfilled dreams and the expectations I had, though not realised, in life. Roughly, I would say it is 30% my real life experiences and 70 % dreams, fulfilled and unfulfilled.