Q1. Tell us something about yourself Pulkit and Ila?
Pulkit: I am quite a simple guy from a very small town of Western U.P. i.e. Bijnor. I have literature and poetry running in my blood mainly due to my father and my birth place. Professionally I am a CA Final, CS Professional and Law student. I am a passionate writer and has worked as Content Writer for various platforms. I started writing with a diary and some random poems, but CA gave a professional look to my writing skills.
I got associated with CAclubindia in 2008 – India’s no. 1 Interactive Platform for Finance Professionals with over 11 Lac Members and soon got popular among its members due to my unique genre, where I used to link current life situations with CA life, which proved to be inspiring for students as well as professionals. I was voted “Favorite of the Club” in 2011.
Just like any other guy of my age I love listening to Hindi music, watch all kind of Hindi movies and follows Cricket and Tennis very closely. I have participated in debates and plays at school level.
Ila: I love writing. It is a passion; a compulsion; something that gives me an avenue to express myself. I write when I am happy; when I am angry or when an issue touches my heart. I resort to write when I am restless or when I am on the verge of breaking down. I have a huge collection of poems on different genres. Besides that, I love to sketch and click pictures! Apart from being an avid reader, writer, reviewer, and editor, I am an active blogger too. I blog at ilashininggem.blogspot.in, where you can find some of my random articles, poetry, random thoughts, interviews, movie & book reviews.
My debut novel is going to be released soon by a reputed publishing house. ‘Life and Promises’ is my second novel.
Q2. What is the source of inspiration? How did you get an idea for the novel?
Pulkit: It was due to my roots i.e. birth place of Late Dushyant Kumar (one of the foremost Hindustani Ghazal Poet during the 20th Century); I got attracted towards literature and poetry. I have grown up watching my father conducting National Level Kavi Sammelans. Padma Bhushan Neeraj ji (lyricist of Mera Naam Joker, Gambler etc.) and Santosh Anand ji (lyricist of Kranti, Shor, Prem Rog etc.) were regular in those programmes. We used to chat for hours about Literature and Life, which later proved to be an inspiration for me. Even my inspiration i.e. Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji was a great writer and a poet.
It was my idea. ‘Life and Promises’ is very close to me. It relates to my life in parts. I have lived a life as engineering as well as a CA aspirant both. So this novel is all about that journey. Though the story is fictional and may be the only similarity that one can find is that Rachit, the protagonist is an engineer turned CA aspirant, just like me. All rest is fictional yet it is imbedded with true emotions. I hope all my readers enjoy this novel.
Ila: While adding words to the book, my sole inspiration was my coauthor, Pulkit. He was very sweet and encouraging throughout. It was mostly his idea; I just got lucky to be a part of it.
Q3. Tell us something about your book?
Pulkit: ‘Life and Promises’ contains all the things which a person goes through in his life i.e. Relationship, Friendship, Love, Success, Failure, Frustration, Separation, Pain and Death. At one point of time, it tells us that it is Challenges which makes our life interesting and on the other hand it also gives teach us the lesson that we should not ignore other important things while overcoming such challenges. I have read it somewhere, “Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop”. This statement is very well explained in our novel.
Ila: ‘Life and Promises’ is a story of an IITian turned CA aspirant. The novel travels across the realms of his life and unfolds his journey of becoming a CA aspirant from an IITian. Also, it reflects on the snags it brings to his relationships as he keeps on ignoring all the close ones in his life to chase some dreams and prove himself. It is an inspirational tale which compels you to think what matters more: dreams or people who love you. It’s about tackling dilemmas and emerging as a hero or regretting some unchangeable decisions.
The amount of emotions portrayed in the book at some moments makes your heart beats faster while at other moments, your heart ceases, you become numb.
Q4. Pulkit, share some of your interesting memories you lived while writing this book?
Pulkit: Well as I have told you before that this novel is based on my life, It makes me cherish the time I had as an engineering student. Crush, Class Bunks, Healthy Ragging, Movies, Last night study, fighting for extra coffee in college mess, roaming around with friends, and first T20 World Cup were the important part of my engineering life. I still remember that we danced on our Dean’s car after India won the World Cup after defeating Pak in 2007. We watched Chak De India in a group of about 25-30 people and whistled on every dialogue in a South Indian Theatre. I relived all that time due to ‘Life and Promises’.
Q5. Ila how was your experience working with Pulkit and Vice-versa? How did you both handle the conflict in the writing Process?
Ila: Though the plot was more or less pre-decided. But yes, I do remember a time when I had some doubts about the flow of the novel, and I called Pulkit. He then told me how he reached that point and convinced me. The time did come when we both ended up pointlessly arguing and got mad at each other. There was also a phase, when I completely disagreed with him, and we reached a mid-way! There were days when I suggested some modifications, and he consented to all of them. And then there was a day, when he gave the total authority to me to reform it according to my choice.
Though in the end, we managed to develop an understanding and complete the novel without any major conflicts.
Yes, I agree it was tough initially and even today it is difficult to work together at times, but Pulkit guides me well and happy to have him as the lighthouse in the middle of this sea!
Pulkit: Let me tell you that this girl is totally mad, and it’s near to impossible to work with her. I should be awarded with a Gallantry Award for that. Jokes apart, yes we fought like anything on some points. I have got a very good convincing power and I have convinced her on most of the points. But yes I have to spend a lot of my time and balance over it (winks).
Q6. How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
Pulkit: This someone can be a different type of people like you Co-author, your family or your critics. If they have a valid point, I acknowledge it and also make changes according to it. Well there is nothing wrong to change for the good. You learn from your mistakes, and there is always someone who makes you remind of it.
Ila: It depends on who is that someone. If it is someone close, I try to make them understand, and if that does not work I close myself from them for some time to delve deeper. If it is a friend or reader, I take it as a critic on my work, and if it can be improvised I do the needful otherwise I simply ignore the remark!
Q7. What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
Ila: Oh well, I guess it is editing. It requires a lot of patience and accuracies. Also, meeting deadlines is perhaps a hindrance in expressing our emotions beautifully.
Pulkit: Editing, editing and some more editing.
Q8. How are you planning to promote your book?
Pulkit: Well my target readers are CA, CS and CMA aspirants. I will visit the classes of various commerce faculties and will promote my work there. It will also help me to cherish that time when I was on the other side of the stage. I will also try to launch it in some regional chapters of ICAI, Engineering colleges and my own college. I think that would be enough.
Ila: I have decided to organize some contests to promote it. Also, Pulkit and I are thinking of organizing several book launch events. The World Book Fair 2013 is also a good platform to promote it. In addition, we have our official song and trailer coming up too. Pulkit is selecting the music for it these days.
Q9. What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?
Pulkit: I hardly get any leisure time due to the Professional Courses I am doing and my office. But still if I am free you can find me exploring new places, spending time with nature or watching/reading any sports stuff. I love travelling and a sports freak.
Ila: In my leisure time, I love to watch Korean movies, listen to Sufi music, chatting, and travel to new places.
Q10. These days Sequels of the books are much in demand. Will you plan for the sequel of the book?
Pulkit: It all depends on the response I get for ‘Life and Promises’.
Q11. Ila, what is the one thing that you appreciate about Pulkit? And what is one thing that Pulkit dislike about Ila?
Ila: I really appreciate the amount of patience he has. The way he handles things, the way he does all the right things, and of course the way he handles everything so perfectly well. I remember a time when I irritated him a lot with so many of random things, and he would just smile and say nothing. But that doesn’t mean he would compromise, he always made it a point to express himself at the right time. I love this desire of expression in him.
Pulkit: Her punctuality. Yes, you have heard me right. She is a punctual person when it comes to writing. She set some targets on a daily basis and made sure that she achieves them, while I, on the other hand, is a very lazy person. I don’t believe in planning. I enjoy life as it comes. For e.g. I was supposed to do something important related to our novel yesterday, but I postponed it for the batting of Rohit Sharma and bowling of Shami Ahmad.
Q12. Ila, this is your second book slated to be released in Feb’14. Also, your debut book is released along with it, probably in Jan’14. How does it feel to have two books in the market one after the other?
Ila: I am overwhelmed. The first book was planned, but the second one almost came as a surprise, all thanks to Pulkit for believing in me. I would like to thank everyone around me who is part of my success.
Q15. Pulkit, you have showcased a very versatile personality over the past few weeks. Your book created much hype on the very first day of its announcement. How are you feeling?
Pulkit: Well there is a mixed feeling. I am really happy with the love we are getting but also under pressure to live up on their expectations. Our whole team of Life and Promises i.e. Ila, Priyanshu, Rachna and Ritesh are really working hard. We have given our best, and we hope people like our work.
Q13. Do you want to give any message to the aspiring writers?
Pulkit: Patience…yes, patience is the key to success. Don’t get disappointed with rejections. ‘Feeling’ is as important as your ‘Vocabulary’. You need to write with passion and more important with your heart. It is not necessary that a person with a good grammar and vocabulary will succeed in this field. Such things can and will improve with time. Main thing is how you express yourself. Don’t write for others but for yourself and trust me you will get unbelievable results.
Ila: Everyone has a different way of seeing things, of behaving, and I try not to judge others. I am not into giving sermons. I find a lot of talents around, but the execution is flawed. There is not enough description and nuances in some books. A book has to appeal to the senses. It should have the capability to shake you from within. A few of the books I read have a lot of grammatical errors. This is something, I despise. So, dear budding writers and bloggers work a little more on that raw write up, make it presentable, hire an editor if you must, but never let the first impression go wrong. Best wishes!
Q14. Pulkit how to you feel to have 1Lakh+ Readers?
Pulkit: I joined Caclubindia in 2008 when I dropped engineering and joined CA. It was very difficult time and to divert my mind; I started posting articles on CCI. I never knew that I will get this much love. Instead of writing in the Professional section like Taxation, Auditing etc., I choose Inspirational. Within few months, my readers increased, and I was awarded with various titles and gifts. I still can’t believe that my work has been read by 1 Lakh + work. It gave me the necessary confidence for this novel. I don’t feel like a debutant anymore.
Q15. What are your future goals in writing?
Pulkit: I will take a long break after ‘Life and Promises’ to focus on my studies. After that, I will work on my dream book which is slated to be release in 2015.
Ila: In the past few months, I have turned much focussed. My debut novel is going to be released soon followed by ‘Life and Promises’. My poems have been recently selected to be published in Minds at Work 2. A lot of books have been lined for reviewing. In addition, I have an editorial assignment. So for now, my hands are full.
Author can be contacted at:
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Ila can be contacted at:
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All the best Pulkit and Ila for your Debut novel. Wish you lots of success from My side.