Sudhanshu Rai, a renowned Storyteller, Life-Coach, and Motivational Speaker who has been transforming the lives of people through various techniques directly affecting their mental wellness. His master strategies and coaching methods involve a mix of physical as well as mental training, helping people take better control of their day-to-day issues related to Stress, Relationships, Work-life balance, Spiritual Awakenings to name a few.
The lastest work series by him includes sound-based therapy, breathing exercises for a better mind, and positive thinking modes for holistic living. He is an avid writer, storyteller, serial entrepreneur, and spiritual practitioner. He has recently ventured into an initiative to bring alive the art of storytelling through a bouquet of short stories written and voiced by him, that are launched under the name of “Sudhanshu Rai”.
He is a regular yoga practitioner and a spiritual enthusiast who enjoys the company of enlightened saints and leaders. His source of inspiration is not people who reached the peak of their professional ladder, but common masses who are happy, lively, and spirited inside-out.
How has storytelling been part of your childhood? Delhi is known for many stories. Did the city play any role in your stories?
The most crucial aspect of storytelling or story writing is observation, and if there’s been one attribute of mine since childhood, it is being a keen observer. Storytelling was different for me than how others usually pursue the art. Everything I saw was a story for me. For instance, something as simple as parents dropping off their kids at schools was a story for me. The expressions of children when dropped at schools and the mannerism of parents when their kids went inside came to me as different stories.
As far as Delhi is concerned, the city has played a very significant role in making the storyteller that I am. It started when I went to Nayi Sadak with my elder brother on a rainy day to buy some books. That was a very different and new world for me. Each narrow street, crowds of people from different walks of life, and their conversations were narrating different and discreet stories in front of me. Merely by observing all of it minutely, different stories were getting conceived at the back of my mind. This was the starting point of different impressions in my subconscious self that went on to add values to my stories. Besides, the Capital comprises different cultures and languages, and this cosmopolitan virtue of the city gives you an experience of everything at some point or the other, eventually helping in making me a storyteller.
How did your journey start as a Life Coach and a storyteller? What drew you towards it?
My journey as a life coach as well as a storyteller started when I realized that there’s much more to life than merely following a pre-conditioned run-of-the-mill path. When you are born, you do not sign a contract for compulsorily pursuing a set pattern of leading your life. These norms and conditioning have been set by the society we live in.
We have come to this world to live life to the fullest rather than just struggling to walk down a pre-defined path. In the rat race to achieve professional success, people tend to forget that they are primarily supposed to live and enjoy the little happiness of life. Therefore, I decided to remind them continually as a life coach and storyteller.
You recently published a story about Detective Boomrah, any particular reason to go for a murder mystery?
Not just recently, but I have written quite a few stories with Detective Boomrah as its protagonist. As a matter of fact, Detective Boomrah is a recognized keyword on the internet today, thanks to the overwhelming response that the fictional character has garnered. Now as to why I went for writing mystery stories, the prime reason is the dearth of good stories in the genre. Even in Bollywood, there are hardly any good detective stories, despite the fact that the genre has a considerable chunk of audience. While few phenomenally good detective or mystery flicks do well at the box office, most of the movies hailing from the genre fail to click with the audience. So, there is always an audience for a good detective story but there is a considerable gap when it comes to content. And as a storyteller, I try to fill that gap.
You seem to have an affinity towards horror and mystery stories. Is it easier to grab the audience’s attention with such plots?
On the contrary, it is the most difficult to grab the audience attention with horror or mystery stories. While a plot in every genre is difficult, it is even more so in these genres. A horror or mystery story requires an imagery for a spooky setting, timely jumpscares, gasps of shock, and moreover, a unique concept and innovation. The audience’s attention can be grabbed most effectively with innovation, and that is the USP of my stories.
Apart from this, I write stories outside mystery, horror, and detective genres as well. I have written inspirational and love stories as well. I write motivational poetries as well almost every week and they have been well received by the audience.
You wear multiple hats of Storyteller, Life-Coach, and Motivational Speaker. How do all these things connect?
Any life coach or motivational speaker speaks from his or her own experience, and storytellers to conceive stories in the same manner. So this is the very first connecting point between the three.
People need to realize that there cannot be a better motivator than self, but there is always a need for someone to remind people of the motivator within. A life coach, a motivational speaker, and a storyteller – all three fulfill this responsibility. They further help in channelizing and evolving the thought process of any individual.
Where do you find your inspiration and stories?
Mostly, I discuss my stories and ideas with my wife Manisha Sharma, who is my first audience and adds value to the stories with her suggestions and feedback. I would add that the most critical role here is that of imagination and observation of the world around us. And to top it all, it is the acceptance by the audience that gives the most required kick and inspiration.
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What are the various habits people can incorporate in day-to-day life to tackle stress and lead a balanced lifestyle?
At first, people need to realize what the objective of their life is and how clear they are about it. They need to know as to how they want to lead their lives and what their hobbies & interests are. And once that realization syncs in, it’s needed to make those hobbies & interests a part of our day-to-day lives and habit. This practice will help a great deal in leading a balanced life.
Apart from this, there is an intrinsic need for a person to be as close to nature as possible. Lest we forget, we are a substance of nature and it is the nature around us that channelizes and enhances the energy within us.
To ensure a balanced life, we should not merely choose an ambition, but we should pause and check the perspective of our lives. We also need to inculcate knowledge sharing habits such as book reading, indulging in healthy discussions with informed and qualified personalities, reading blogs that are of significance, and following the paths prescribed by motivated individuals. Furthermore, we should also pay adequate attention to our physical and mental wellbeing. It might be in the form of performing yoga, doing meditation, or regular exercises.
How do sound therapy and breathing help in creating a positive thinking mode?
Sound is crucial to our self-being, both directly as well as indirectly. Sound plays a significant role in mental health and defining the overall personality of an individual. It starts right from our respiratory system as we observe the sound of our breathing while inhaling and exhaling. It directly relates to the mental and physical status of any individual. When a person is in aggression, the sound of our breathing is different than what it is when we are in peace. An individual can make a drastic change in his/her personality by simply controlling the sound of his/her respiratory process. There are several other tools of sound therapy such as the sound of humming/Bhramari, sound of music, and sound of chanting, etc.
Off late storytelling as a way of entertainment is starting to get popular, what are you looking forward to in this industry?
The future plan includes getting into the field of production. I would want my stories and concepts to make it to OTT platforms as well as a big screen. Possibly, in the near future, you would see the fictional character of Detective Boomrah personified on the screen.