The urge to bring out my story telling capability to the world has been the inspiration to write says Author Anuraag Srivastava whose debut novel ‘Twenty Twenty’ has just hit the market.
Anuraag Srivastava has done his schooling and college from Lucknow and has been a banker for over eighteen years now. He has been interested in reading and writing since childhood. He had written his first rhyming lines at the age of 11 and further improved on writing poems. Anuraag has written more than hundred poems in Hindi and English. A learning guitarist, an amateur photographer, an avid reader has a philosophical and spiritual bent of mind running a blog for sharing his views on spirituality and general philosophy. ‘Twenty Twenty’ is the first attempt in fiction novel writing by the author, we had a confab with him last week and here are the highlights of the Interview.
Q. How it feels to finally see the light of the day as an author of a proper novel after 18 years of banking service?
A. A creation coming to life, it’s like a long desired dream coming true. A piece of art till now behind curtains is now open for public scrutiny. Being in banking have been dealing with different reactions of public towards different products offered in banking and now it feels nice as well as apprehensive to come out in public with one’s own product and see how readers take it among different such products in the market already.
Q. Tell us something about your first novel, Twenty Twenty, what is its USP?
A. Twenty Twenty is a novel of young generations, their aspirations, their dilemmas in life and their approach towards challenges of today’s world. The USP of the novel is it’s fictionalizing the present day ambitions and approaches of the new generation. It also touches upon the sexual desires of today’s generations usually not acceptable in the society.
Q. Which genre you enjoy writing the most and why?
A. I usually write for the current generation presently experiencing very fast paced changes in their cultural upbringings. I enjoy writing it since I myself have experienced those changes in the cultural scene around me over the years since my childhood.
Q. What is your quest as an author? How you balance writing and banking at the same time, isn’t it tough?
A. As an author, I believe fiction writing means a story generated totally from the imagination of the mind which should not have any real life situations but then again as a keen observer of behaviors around us our minds unconsciously register them and that does get creep-in in our writing. My quest is to keep my fiction writing as detached from the real life as I can.
Being in a private sector bank it is usually difficult to find that “Me” time to be able to think properly on developing a plot, but then again life always gives you enough such moments and it is up to you to grab those moments. Moreover, it depends on your own self on how much you bring your office to your home and let it overshadow your own life. As “Job is not the only Life I Have”
Q. What was the initiation point which made you write Twenty Twenty?
A. I have been writing poems since childhood, but there have been many stories coming to my mind which I always tried to form in words but somehow could not. Then being in banking sector I firsthand experienced some fallouts of the global banking meltdown of the years of 2008-10. This gave me the idea of the issues faced by the young generation profiteering from the stock-market boom and then a near sudden fallout, I just started developing the idea and tried to fictionalize it.
Q. What are your plans for the promotions?
A. I am presently focusing on social media and online promotions and will be in consultation with my publishers for other modes of promotions.
Q. We heard that you have written over 100 poems in Hindi and English, can you please tell us few lines from one of those which defines you?
A. I am usually an introvert person who is more comfortable with his books and love to remain near to nature. Some lines which define me may be as such:
The drops of rain on the window sill,
bulls of breeze blushing away at will,
A gathering converging in a crowd,
The blast ready in each of the clouds
Drops of moistness touching the glasses,
the tree tops moving in gushes,
And here we are inside the walls,
Doing that which does not enthrall,
the keyboards chattering,
Hard pressed mouths yelling
Time bound targets approaching,
And when I see out of the window
Alas! Life is calling, the life is calling.
Q. Is finding a publisher was a challenge? How is your experience so far of working with Srishti Publishers?
A. Yes, it has been a challenge as new authors have to pass through too many doubting eyes and do not carry a history of success or a readership tag to make publishers comfortable.
I am truly thankful to Srishti Publishers for giving me the opportunity as they look upon new authors with a different mindset. It has been a truly enriching experience working with editors at Srishti who advised for the right content at different stages of publishing.
I usually take years to befriend someone but meeting Mr. Arup Bose had been a totally different experience as if meeting a person with the same wavelength.
Q. Who are your favorite writers and also tell us about your favorite books?
A. I have been reading Munshi Premchand, Fredrick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramanian and many other Indian fiction writers. Along with fiction, I am also interested in reading biographies, philosophical and spiritual books by great thinkers, especially Swami Vivekanand and the religious texts of Upanishads, Yog Vashisht, etc.
My favorite books have been “The Road Less Travelled” by M Scott Peck, a psychological treat and those of Fredrick Forsyth for their description of events.
Q. Who or what is your inspiration to write?
A. My own urge to bring out my story telling capability to the world has been the inspiration to write.
Q. Can we see a book on your poetry collection in future? Any plans?
A. I usually write poems in Hindi as I find it better to express the poetic side in my mother tongue only. I do plan to get the poems also published, maybe sometime in future.
Q. Tell us about your personal life a bit and your interests?
A. I am mostly a family man enjoying company with my family and friends. I love to express myself better in written words rather than in form of oratory.
My interests apart from reading and writing are listening and playing music, enjoying nature and capturing it through my lens, meditating and yes I am a food buff, love to enjoy different delicacies.
Q. Any message for the readers and budding writers you want to give?
A. Life gives us enough time to pursue our dreams, it’s just that we need to identify our true dream and make it the purpose of our life. There are priorities in life and it is we who have to decide the order of that priority list.
To budding writers I would say that we are the artists who paint with words and develop a different image of the plot to every reader who reads it, so let’s make a plot which keeps the readers’ minds engrossed.
You can order his novel Twenty Twenty, click here.