- How did you end up as an author?
– Well, I always had a skew towards writing, from my schooling days. The written word, in any form, be it poem, story, essay, comic strip, fascinated me. I started by writing essays, then moved onto poems and four-liners. I loved the idea of telling a thing in as less a words as possible. Slowly I graduated into writing short stories. It gave me immense high and I realised I was decent at it. I would definitely like to hone my craft further and I am working on that.
After completing my education and getting into a work life I realised that I could try and give my hobby a much more meaningful shape. That’s where I decided that even if I am half decent as what my friends and family gave me credit for, I could try and get my stories out to the world to read. And that’s how ‘Different Beads of the Same String’ happened. After a bit of hiatus,now I have come up with my new book ‘The Sameness in a Consistent Change’. Hopefully the next one will not take as long as this one took.
- Can you tell us about yourself?
– In all fairness, you can call me a brooder, a dreamer, a story-teller, a guy next door, a professional, a husband, a son, a son-in-law, a friend; all rolled into one.Now, professionally I am a Chartered Accountant and also have a degree in law and commerce. I work with Bharti Axa General Insurance Company Limited as a Senior Manager – Underwriting. As I said earlier, I am quite passionate about writing and story-telling and that has prompted me to pursue my interest more seriously. My love for books is not too old but pretty firm, but my love for writing dates back to the time I was in school.I love to be alone at times and at other times I like the company of my loved ones around me. I can be moody but I am quite actively passive that way – active in the mind and passive by appearance. You might feel that I am almost non-reactive by nature but that’s just how I look. I am deeply affected by what goes on around me and I choose to talk about all of that through my stories.
I like to go on long walks, explore paths and books as well. I also love following cricket and table-tennis. Although I don’t play table tennis any more, which I used to do once, it continues to be an integral part me. I have learnt a lot from the sport and I continue to carry the learnings with me. So that, in a nutshell is what I am all about.
- Tell us a little what this book means to you?
– Oh, needless to say that it means a lot to me. I have worked through the nights to get this out. Not to make it sound like a lot of hard work but I enjoyed carving out the story and the characters. To be honest, I tried to challenge myself with ‘The Sameness in a Consistent Change’. I have literally taken the risk and tried to change my writing style and storytelling abilities. I understand that this style may not be relatable to all the readers and some might feel that there may be an issue with the pace of the story. But this was a risk I was willing to take to try and evolve as a writer. I do not know how successful I have been at it, but it sure gives me joy when my readers reach out and tell me that they saw a noticeable change in the manner in which my second book is written and they enjoyed it. And it pleases me, while accepting the fact that this may not please everyone. But as I said it was a risk I was willing to take.It makes me happy to know that readers have felt a more nuanced form of writing where story and characters both have been sketched and brought to life in a different way.This is very close to my heart and I would like to scale upwards for my next one as well. This learning process is intriguing and I love it. And hopefully better myself, in my third one.
- Ramanuj seems to be the 21st century man who is confused and doesn’t know what to do. Can you put a little more light on him?
– Oh indeed. We are filled with people who know exactly what they want to do and then there are others who are the exact vice versa. In fact so many of them out there cruise through their lives not knowing what they want out of it. And before they realise it, the imminent end is near.
Ramanuj is a confused boy as well. But he is happily confused. He does not know what he wants, is an indifferent hopeless and is not bothered about it. That’s who he is, in essence. And then when a drastic event happens you would think that it would prompt a change just like we have been brought up believing thus. But human nature is a mysterious enigma. A drastic event may suggest a change but may eventually not cause it.Ramanuj deals with the pangs in his own way. Lethargy and slowness is a trait he has imbibed and he deals with the drastic change in his life in his own languid manner. The impact of the grief is uniform across personalities but people have their own way to deal with that. And Ramanuj, the core introvert does it in his own style. He loves, but his love is different. It doesn’t lack the passion and pureness, just the expressiveness. In elation of love and even in heartbreak his outward manifestation is similar. This character is very close to my heart and I just wonder how many of them live their life on their own terms and how many live it because they are dictated by extraneous circumstances.
- The incidents are taken from your very life or is an imaginary story?
– Well, I have seen people being caught in crossfires of what is right and what is perceived to be right. And then just to show this aspect of being right, they have to end up doing, what they would otherwise not do. Perhaps for a year, perhaps for more than that, and perhaps even an entire lifetime! But that doesn’t change the way they look at things. Times change, habits change but internal core comes out as only it should. A fiction is just an extension of reality sometimes, and the story in my book is a classic example.The nostalgia is so inherent that when death is imminent one rushes to whatever he/ she would have rather done the entire lifetime. Isn’t this strange? And isn’tthis true as well. May be that’s why they say that truth is stranger than fiction. And ironically my fictional story is the closer to the truth for some of us.
- What are you expecting with your second book?
– That is an interesting question. I wish that it reaches out to the readers and what they can get out of it is what a reader derives from any good book. A character that is relatable, a story that is interesting and finally a reading experience that is worth the reader’s time. As I said earlier, I hope I have honed myself as a writer with this one. I do believe I have, but some of my reader’s may not agree, which is quite acceptable.
But on the whole I am satisfied with what I have done with my second and I would like the process to simply continue. I do hope a lot of readers buy my book and it is worth every penny for them.
- Your favourite quote/dialogue from your book?
– Oh there are so many. I can list down a few
- The past was coherent and sturdy. The permanence embedded in it was resolute, so resolute that nothing could obliterate it.
- Human mind is a strange piece of puzzle. Sometimes it draws a conclusion first and then leads you on to that by some pre-conceived notions.
- He had a habit of blaming nature for some things in which nature didn’t have much to do.
- The idler in him craved his past. The compulsive ambition in him looked to the future. In between lay his present which wasn’t sure when it would snap when pulled at either strings.
- Any troubles you face while finding publishers?
– Not for this one. I used KDP and it worked just fine for me. It was pretty quick and efficient. And I hope I can reach out to maximum readers through this medium.
- Are you reading any book currently? What do you like about it?
-I have just started reading Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot collection, which has been on my reading plate for quite a while now. Incidentally my wife gifted this on my birthday. I’ve been through a couple of stories and loving the reading experience thoroughly. There is so much to love about the character called Poirot isn’t it!
- A small guidance/word for our readers/writers?
-It’s a simple mantra. You have to try and evolve with whatever you are doing. So hone your skills, understand your strengths and work on your weaknesses. But do not be scared to take risks. It may or may not pay you well, but you would have definitely come out enriched.
And keep reading and writing. It will hold you in good stead.