Amrit, 24, is an IIM Ranchi alumni and an Analytics Consultant. He is generally a jovial guy with an amazing ability for storytelling. He believes that powerful stories can heal the deepest scars of the society. He is a regular blogger and blogs about the social issues plaguing India and the world. His fresh perspectives on the nitty-gritties of daily living and the quick wit he displays is unfathomable. His pleasant personality betrays the harsh realities he writes about. His clinical analysis of the world we inhibit often makes us question our double standards and hypocrisies.
Excerpts from the interview-:
Q1. “Beginning with a Coma” is a very different Title. Why did you choose this Title?
It came very naturally, Himani. Comma in ‘Beginning with a Comma’ is the hiccup, not only a pause. If you think of it, one can never imagine where a breath, pause, where adolescence can get acquainted with adulthood, its shadow lines, blurred realities which make the appearance and likeliness a mere binary to each other! I have tried to capture that, therefore, I call it a hiccup, an ‘uncomfortable’ pause- one that either continues till you gulp down something else or vanishes forever, miraculously!
I begin with the comma that remains never to end in a period.
Q2. When did you decide to pen down your Novel? While writing the book did you face any difficulty as a debut writer?
This journey has been a long one. It started a good 6 years ago. This journey long it may have been has been an amazing one. There were difficulties. The book may have seen the light of the day much sooner had I blended some ‘masala’ into it. But I chose not to. Good thing for me is that it was worth the wait as the publishing industry has matured and the readers too are very well aware and do not compromise on content.
Q3. Tell me something about your book?
‘Beginning with a Comma’ is a story of a constant struggle and constantly changing ideologies. It is a story of metamorphosis. It happens to be a beautiful effigy of the struggle of an Epileptic boy and his boy to a man's journey. It is a personal journey. The journey isn’t a physical one alone, but one coupled with widened mental horizons.
Q4. Did a lot of research go into the story?
Yes! Though the non-fictional elements that tie up the fictional story are few and far between, they are accurate and it took me 6 years to get here. Readers would not only enjoy a story about a happy go lucky boy who is trying to break into the regular mold, but would also get to know a lot about India and the global socio-political situations which shaped India. Certain insights would also challenge a lot of political beliefs we have about Kashmir, the holocaust of 1990, the partition and the role of Jinnah and Nehru. The book is majorly entertaining and also educational in parts.
Q5. Tell me the genre of your book? And which is your favorite genre?
The genre happens to be fiction and should appeal to all age groups.
My favourite genres are‘political non fiction’ and ‘fantasy’.
Q6. Have you thought of any marketing strategy for promoting your book? And when is the date of Release?
Numbers neither impress me, nor impinge me. I am indifferent to the business side of the game. I would rather have a few happy readers who love what they are getting to read than several people buying the book to decorate their dust covered bookshelves. I would, however, want my publishers to break even at all costs.As a matter of fact, I have great expectations from the book given it draws from some of the major sensitive topics concerning us as a nation.
The book will come out in late August.
Q7. Who is your source of Inspiration?
I never wanted to be an author. It is just that there was a story people needed to know or rather deserved to know. To ensure the story doesn’t go unheard, I chose pen and paper to be the medium. I felt there was a gap I could fill and I turned into an author almost accidentally. But If I were to dedicate it to someone, I would dedicate it to my childhood chum, my best friend. I can’t thank her enough for making me write this and making me rewrite this. This book is as much hers as it is mine.
Q8. Apart from writing do you like reading books? Who is your favorite Author?
Sneha Sharon and Smita Adhikary. Both do not write professionally yet, but in years to come they will conquer the east and the west respectively. Keep looking out for these two names! The world will then call me Nostradamus (chuckles)
Q9. What are your hobbies?
Besides writing, I like to travel a lot and read about various cultures and traditions.
Q10. As a debut author have you taken any help from any literary agency for editing and proofreading?
No. I am self made so far.
Q11. At what age did you start writing? Why did you choose such a concept for your debut book?
I used to write poems even while I was very young and used to send it to newspapers. My parents did not find the concept of pocket money to be cool and my contributions would earn me some ready cash to play Video Games at Gamedrones.
‘BWC’ had its inception 6 years ago and the concept came naturally. I did not choose the story, rather the story chose me.
Q11. Who is your role model?
I do not have role models, but I do have heroes. Renu Kaul Verma and Jayanta Kumar Bose are my heroes as they are doing an incredible job in bringing ‘meritocracy’ back to the industry. They have a boutique publishing houses, but often they outmuscle American giants by their good work. In some way at some stage I would want to work with them or for them.
Arun Shourie is another hero of mine and he needs no introduction. I hope to meet him someday.
Q12. If there is an inanimate thing that you are attached to?
It is not related to the book. It happens to be a stretch. The stretch between Sony World Signal to Diamond District in Koramanagala, Bangalore. That is where I stay mentally irrespective of where I am physically.
Q13. What message you would like to give to upcoming Authors?
Never do things in half measures. Go the full length, do what it takes, do not discount research as you have the power to influence the minds of others. Write to heal the scars of the society, not for fame or money as that may lead you to write things which may weaken the social fabric. Be responsible writers, be responsible citizens.
Author can be contacted:
Thanks Amrit for spending valuable time with us and telling us about your book. Good Luck