Gaurav Sharma has a degree in mathematics, and has done masters in English Literature. He currently teaches mathematics in his institute at Ghaziabad named as ‘INFINITY ACADEMICS’. So, he has a brain of a mathematician and heart of a writer. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was eight years old when on Holi, I wrote a poem in Hindi. My father, who worked in Indian Air Force, appreciated it much. He gave me a couplet and asked me to expand it. There was no looking back since then. However, it remained a hobby. Struggles with the tyranny of life didn’t allow me to pursue writing as an occupation. When my father passed away in 2007, I thought of writing a novel to dedicate to him. That is how I ended up writing ‘LOVE @ AIR FORCE’. Fortunately, it got published and was much appreciated.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
The credit of inculcating reading habit in me goes to the Air Force School, Pune, where I studied for 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Every week, the librarian would issue us a novel of Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ or ‘Secret Seven’ series. The craze for these books was such that I used to wait for the library period that fell once in a week. I have read almost all the novels of these series’ during those three years. In class 9, my Hindi teacher, Sh. Ved Prakash Mishra sir, suggested me to read ‘CHITRALEKHA’, a very famous novel by Bhagwati Sharan Gupt. I read it many times.
In class 12, we had ‘Mrs Packletide’s Tiger’ by Saki. That inspired me to write in English.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The greatest challenge in writing a book is developing the plot and organizing your story according to the plot. It is like driving in lane. If you don’t stick to it, you surely, are in danger. Also, you must do a thorough research about your subject, about the dome of your characters and about the sphere in which you want your story to take place. And, as they say, learning the art of showing rather than telling, is also essential to make your story intriguing.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
A lot. Both my books ‘LOVE @ AIR FORCE’ and ‘RAPESCARS…‘ are out of my zone of life. I do know a little about the life of Air Force personnel but I set my story at Air Force base Agra. I have never been there. So, I had to research hard. It was a challenging story to write for a debutant. To take up the rank discrimination and rank obsession that prevail in the armed forces, and taking the prestigious Indian Air Force by the horns did scare me. So, I wanted to be thorough. Same is the case with RAPESCARS… I have told the story from the mouth of a girl who is half of my age. I had to deal with the difference of sex and the generation gap. I researched a lot for the legal aspects and the terminology. Thanks to a lawyer friend who arranged a case file of a rape case for me.
What motivated you to write the book “Rapescars”?
The crime of rape is a frequent occurrence in our country. The rape-laws annoy me. The problem in our country is that there are many stakeholders to everything. Some press against the capital punishment, some don’t want castration and the result is that we have a weak law that is more for the culprits than for the victims. That’s the thought behind RAPESCARS… Five, seven or ten years imprisonment is no punishment for a heinous crime as rape. In jail, a rapist lives comfortably without having to worry for livelihood. He is helped to live away from the humiliation that he may face if he lives among the acquaintances. Does the punishment reform a rapist? No. Most of the time, rapists are repeat offenders. That’s the thought behind RAPESCARS..
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Rapescars”?
RAPESCARS… is the story of a girl who is a rape survivor. It is about her fight with the law and the society. After being raped by the man she loves and his friends, she fights for justice. She has to suffer humiliation and insult at every level. In the police station for lodging an F.I.R., at the time of medical examination by the lascivious doctor who presses for the Two-Finger test, in the courtroom by the defence lawyer who asks obnoxious and vulgar questions, by her neighbours and by the relatives. Although, the case is decided in her favour, she refuses to accept a mere five years imprisonment for the culprits. She pleads to the court to ask the main accused to marry her.
In the end, she becomes a lawyer and aspires to become a Judge to bring about a change in the Rape-laws.
Who are your favourite authors?
My favourite authors are Jeffrey Archer, Sophie Kinsella, Ruskin Bond, Vikram Seth and Nandita Bose.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
I teach mathematics for eight hours a day. That leaves me with a few idle hours. However, I manage a couple of hours for writing.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Anybody who aspires to be a writer must read a lot. I believe that storytelling involves no technicality and one must use more heart and less brain. Think of a plot, sit at your desk and start writing. Let the words flow. Let the story take its own course. Best stories leak out. They can’t be forced out.
I have finished my next novel ‘DAWN AT DUSK’ and have submitted it to my agent. It’s a May-December love story of a younger man and an older woman.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful conversation. Authors enjoy talking about their books and giving them that opportunity is the greatest favour. I am humbled and obliged, dear Nikhil.
You can buy his book now: