A legacy of his own

Author Interview

In a career spanning close to 15 years, he has worked with various MNC banks and now lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter. If God Was a Banker, his debut novel,  is a national bestseller. His next book, Devil in Pinstripes will hit the stores this month. Excerpts from an interview:

Can you tell us a little bit about the book?   
If God was a Banker captured some staunch realities of multinational banking. In my yet to be released book Devil in Pinstripes, I make an attempt at capturing a different side of life in corporates. In this book, I explore the life of a young couple — Amit and Chanda, who by a quirk of fate see their relationship metamorphose from being man and wife to professional colleagues. They are thrown into the same organisation and become subjects of intense political manipulations. What happens when you are dragged into a pit full of muck? Can you come out completely clean?

What inspired you to write it? How much of it is inspired from real life?
I strongly believe that all fiction is an exaggeration of facts. It is normally inspired by real life incidents. While this book is largely fictional, there are segments which have been inspired by incidents of political manipulations, frauds, superficial relationships etc., that I have seen around me in the 17 years that I have been in the corporate world.

Can you tell us about the readership ?
This book has something for almost anyone who reads fiction in this country, particularly the youth of today. Banking is the largest industry in this country and a large number of people aspire to join it. That section will be naturally inspired to read this book, as they would want to know the going on in their own industry. That said, this book holds relevance in any industry. This could pretty much be a story in a software company, in an engineering company, in a FMCG, in fact in any corporate. Youngsters would want to read this because they would want to know what corporate life is all about. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want to leave people with a thought that there could be a huge variance in what you perceive people to be and what they actually are. Do not take people at face value. There is a devilish streak in even the most polished and accomplished individual. And well, I know I am treading in a controversial territory here, but it may not always be wrong to be a devil. Sometimes to deal with devils in pinstripes, donning a Satan’s robe may become essential.

When and why did you begin writing?
I have always wanted to write, so it has been more a question of ‘when’ and never of ‘if’. I started writing way back in 2006. I remember that writing the first 10 pages was quite a challenge as I had never written in my life and I didn’t even know any author from whom I could take some tips. Hence I learnt on my own. And once I was past the first 10 to 15 pages, then the desire to see my work completed kept me going. Another motivation for me to write a book was that, long after you are gone from this world, in some corner of the world in some library, the books will make people remember you fondly. By writing books, I believe that one also leaves behind a legacy.

What are your current projects?
After Devil in Pinstripes, I am now giving finishing touches to my next book, The Imperfect God. It is an interesting story of a foreign banker who is born in a traditional conservative South Indian family.

What do you aspire for — critical acclaim or higher sales?
It’s quite an irony that critical acclaim often does not translate into higher sales. Both have their place in the sun. However, if I was asked to pick one of the two, I would pick sales numbers over critical acclaim. Simply because I write books so that people read them. Awards if they come along the way are incidental and are good for a momentary ego massage.

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