New Delhi: He is a Sufi spiritualist, an editor, columnist and a writer with eight books to his credit. And Ruzbeh N. Bharucha believes in the power of free will and that there are two parallel worlds -- the body and the spirit.
"Everything cannot be restrained. Heavens do not appreciate puppets," the 43-year-old Mumbai-based writer of "Fakir: The Journey Continues", who was in the capital to promote his book, told reporters.
’The Fakir...’ reflects the writer`s spiritual ideology. It narrates the story of an itinerant, Rudra, and a `fakir or baba` (seer) who guides him through levels of existence into the realm of afterlife. Rudra, a seeker, transforms into the lover and begins to comprehend the ancient philosophy of "free will".
It is the sequel to his 2007 best-seller ‘The Fakir’.
"I always knew that this was going on all my life - there were two parallel worlds, the body and the spirit," the writer said.
Bharucha, whose career as a writer began with the "The Last Marathon" - a journey into the world of paranormal - has explored both the spiritual and real world in his books.
Four of his books, "The Fakir", "The Last Marathon", "Devi`s Emerald" and "Rest in Pieces" probe the esoteric psychological and metaphysical spaces while his non-fiction works are "Shadows in Cages" about mother and child in Indian prisons and "Yamuna Gently Weeps", a chronicle of the journey into the Yamuna Pushta slum demolition.
A documentary, "Sehat...Wings of Freedom", is the story of the HIV/AIDS awareness programme in the Tihar prison.
"The Last Marathon", Bharucha`s debut book, began on an unusual note - a cross wire.
"I was editing a travel, holistic healing and liquor magazine before I took on `The Last Marathon`. I was fired by the publisher after a tiff," Bharucha said.
"I met the publisher of Jaico (a Mumbai-based publishing house), who said `why don`t you write a non-fiction about spirits. I thought he was talking about spirits - but he meant liquor. He wanted me to write a chapter on hangover. But later, he changed his mind and said my idea was better," Bharucha recalled.
He started researching for the book. "I read Adam Brady`s `Warriors of Light`. And started meeting `sadhus` (Hindu seers) and mediums who channel spirits, though I have practised Sufism all my life. They said once you are on this road, you have to take this path. That was the beginning of `The Last Marathon`," he said.
Gradually after a year, the predictions of the seers began to bear fruit, Bharucha said. "I became a seance channelling spirits. Whatever you read in `Fakir` revolves around my experiences in the field for the last 13 years," he said.
The "Devi`s Emerald" is based on the "experiences of a seer, Ma Mookambika Devi, and her medium Swamiji Nayak who taught her to channel the energy inside one`s own self".
"After that, I wrote two social books and made a documentary on juvenile delinquency. `Fakir` came about in a restless state of mind. I was nursing a restlessness - and it just flowed through. I did not plan it," Bharucha said.
According to the author, the "book was a gift from the Sai Baba of Shirdi".
"I wrote the first part of `Fakir` in 2007 and the second just before the Diwali of 2010. The first part of the book is about journey and the second part is about well-being," Bharucha said.
"Ninety percent of our actions are pre-ordained and 10 percent of it is free will. But the 10 percent is as important as the 90 percent - because the 10 percent creates the future `karma`," he added.
A votary of free will, the author believes "we are all spirits encased in a box".
Bharucha is busy conceiving a book on "home schooling". It has been inspired by his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
"Each one of us has inherent strength, weaknesses, capabilities and hardships. When you let a child use its free will and don`t confine it in a packaged programme of school, you give the child a platform to discover his or her inherent being. From thereon, it is the parents` job to encourage and motivate the child," he said.