Journey From A Prey To A Victor

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Journey From A Prey To A Victor
Author John Balian

Journey From A Prey To A Victor

DNA December 6, 2012 Thursday India

Armenian author Dr John D Balian, recently visited the city to launch his debut novel Gray Wolves And White Doves, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story of the author himself

by Ishani Bose

Most of the important things in life are achieved by people who never give up trying, no matter how bad the circumstances are. Hope is the only weapon they have to rise above all their miseries and achieve all that they've ever wanted to in their lives. Dr John D Balian's debut novel, Gray Wolves And White Doves is a similar story of a child who overcomes tragedies and turmoil of a changing world, through hope and perseverance, only to find a better life for himself.

"It is a story of a young boy's (Hanna) journey into adolescence amidst turbulent times in the Middle East," says the author, who was in the city recently to launch his book. "It is an inspirational story that talks about how Hanna, the protagonist, despite all the atrocities and adversities he has to encounter along the way, triumphs by never giving up on his dreams," he adds.

Dr Balian also claims the book to be autobiographical on many accounts. "I was also born in a secluded village in Middle East to a family that was uneducated and poor. I lost my family, and faced a series of life-changing events, at the time of a political exigency.

It led me to wander through several Middle-Eastern and European countries in search of a home. Eventually, someone took me to USA, where I started my life from scratch," he says.

On reaching USA, Dr Balian, attended Columbia University in New York City, on a full scholarship, and received a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. Today, apart from being a physician, he also works as a senior executive in a multi-national corporation.

Recently, he also got elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Center of Columbia University.

Being an Armenian by heritage and a victim of the second most serious genocide of all times - the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the author talks about his own experience through the life of the protagonist, Hanna. The title of the book, Gray Wolves And White Doves, carries the connotation of the hungry predators meaning the 'Solluk Kurt', a 100-year-old Turkish secret organisation on one hand, and the innocent prey such as the Armenian race on the other.

The author considers the book as a medium to share stories about his past with the world at large, which he could never muster up the courage to do, in all these years, even with his wife. "My past has been very disturbing and until recent times, nobody, not even my wife, knew about it. Every time, I went back in time, my mind was filled with fear and I could never bring myself to talk about it. Writing this book has been therapeutic," says the author who took eight and half years to write the book.

"I wanted people to get a vivid picture of all that I had been through, so that they too could believe in themselves and achieve their dreams, no matter what the situation," he exclaims, adding that he would love the possibility of a movie being made on the book. "The book has all the ingredients to make a phenomenal movie -- the good, the bad and the ugly and most importantly it is based on a true story," he adds.

Having received a wonderful response for this book, the author wishes to start working on the sequel soon. "Whoever has read this book, has loved it. I will definitely come up with a sequel to this book, and it could probably be about my life after moving to the US. It is just a vague idea as of now but I'll start working on it soon," he says with hope.

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