This week on Friendly Fridays we have with us Jerry Pinto, a Mumbai-based Indian writer of poetry, prose and children’s fiction in English.
Lets start our rendezvous with him.
Team ED: How appropriate do you think moral based stories are for children?
Jerry Pinto: I believe that the more moral tales we tell children, the more decisive they become to be immoral or amoral. Stories are the wrong place for morals, they are place for delight and even instruction but not a place for morals. They cannot be taught! We simply need to live life in such a manner that when children look upto us they draw inspiration. You want a child to live a moral life, live a moral life for them to watch and learn. You should construct morality in a way that you want your children to follow.
Team ED: Talking about constructed morality, what do you have to say about the differences in what one generation considers to be moral and what another considers amoral. Say drinking or having sex before marriage is considered amoral by adults whereas the younger generation is not rigid about it, how according to you should that be dealt with?
Jerry Pinto: As long as you are being paid for, you need to listen to your parents, to adults. I am a very firm economist, I believe you have to enter into a dialogue with them, persuade them and you can present your case. However do not present your case when you are angry. After that if they are not ready to listen to you, you’re still eating their food, still dependent on them, you’re morally obliged to listen to them. If you disobey them then you should be ready to face the consequences. Therefore I would encourage everybody to start earning as soon as possible, to become independent.
I see a the younger generation spending in coffee shops, buying more and more clothes than they need, spending on conspicuous leisure! I do not have a problem with how you spend your money but then don’t lecture your parents on how you have intellectual independence.
Team ED: What’s your take on unconventional careers?
Jerry Pinto: I believe there should be no conventional career, just unconventional ones. However if you want to become doctors, engineers theb that’s upto you.
Many usually complain that their parents want them to take up conventional careers. They need to understand that the only reason behind this is that your parents love you and want you to be secure.
What you need to see is that will the security give you happiness or not? I am an unconventional career person and I am not rich.
Parents encourage conventional careers because they are most protected by time tested structures and will secure you jobs and a bank balance. However this won’t promise happiness to everyone. On the other side there is independence, but again you aren’t promised happiness there either.
So both have their own advantages, one needs to decide if they are the conventional types or unconventional types.
Team ED: On a personal note, If you could go back 10 years, is there any thing you would do differently?
Jerry Pinto: I would want to do everything differently, I can say that because I know no one will give me that choice. I feel the mind is too kind, with time it lets you forget what you didn’t do right, all the people you weren’t kind to and all the opportunities that you missed. I would have been a lot kinder, a lot gentler! From this perspective I can see how much I have been helped by acts of kindness but I haven’t given it back in the same measure. So I would have been kinder and gentler to the people I met.
When you’re work in progress, you can only wish for a better you.
Team ED: What’s the craziest thing that you’ve done?
Jerry Pinto: Talking about my life to strangers who come and interview me (Laughs). Consider this situation, you and I may never meet again and here I am talking about my personal life and beliefs.
Other than that, I don’t do the crazy things. Maybe I like taking risks with language.
Team ED: Lastly, one advice for the readers?
Jerry Pinto: If you’re a reader you’re already ahead of the rest, you do not need an advice. If you’re not a reader, then whichever art form, whether its film or music or dance, be vigorous about it.
Read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’, if you can not read it, let me tell you in 2 words – 10,000 hours. Just put in your 10,000 hours of practice and you would be better than the rest.
Thank you so much, Jerry, for giving us time. We loved every bit of this Friendly Fridays interview with you.
With that, it’s a wrap of this fun-filled edition of Friendly Fridays. We will be back again next week, with some more fun and friendly chats.
Hope you enjoyed this one as much as we did.
See you again next week, till then, Adios!
(Interview Conceptualised by Pratishtha Mahajan)