Hrishikesh is a young author. He is pursuing Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from Pune Vidyarthi Griha’s College of Engineering and technology. He is a final year student. He is also a Taekwondo Black Belt & a National Referee. He has won several medals at various Taekwondo Tournaments.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was compelled to pick up the pen to create a world of my own. Writing is… very simple and at the same time very hard. Travelling down this virgin territory, I discovered hitherto unknown, unraveled places inside my own head lying dormant for long… beautiful and profound, yet tinged with a hint of melancholia. Writing is one of the most candid forms of self-expression. Writing this book has been a turbulent and soul churning journey, leaving me with a sense of satisfaction.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
In school I practically thrived on Harry Potter and Enid Blyton. I have read all the 7 Harry Potter books atleast 7 times each. And I have read 52 books by Enid Blyton. And then I moved on to Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Literature, particularly fiction, is a delicate art of building a bridge between imagination and reality. The story must seem realistic and at the same time should be very interesting and entertaining. And it is very crucial and difficult to strike this balance. A proper research is necessary before writing a book.
Writing a stroy is kind of like proving complicated theorems… there are a hundred different ways in which it could shape up. The trick is to pull out the one perfect thread and create a gripping plot.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I had to do plenty of research before writing. For instance, the make and the names of pistols & weapons used. Research about Indian Intelligence agencies like RAW and IB and their hierarchy. I also had to read about important international events and the various terrorist organizations. I also watched the documentary about 1999 Kandahar plane hijack. I also had to do research about the details of flying a plane.
What motivated you to write the book “Checkmate”?
In Paulo Coelho’s words, “It began with a glimpse of passing thought and ended up in an obsession,”. I was on Srinagar airport three years ago and had a moment of inspiration when I saw a placard proclaiming the number of VIPs exempted from security frisking. I spotted a flaw in the airport security system and started developing a plot involving a plane hijack. A year later I started writing and the story developed into a suspenseful plot.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Checkmate”?
Checkmate is a work of fiction, belonging to the espionage or suspense thriller genre. Checkmate is a story of aeroplane hijack, and the battle between the terrorists and the Indian Intelligence. Checkmate is pacey and a relatively small book and hence suitable for the light readers and beginners as well. The story of Checkmate is grounded in reality, having a great contemporary relevance.
Checkmate points out a real flaw in the airport security of our country, and I do hope that the concerned authorities will make a note and act accordingly. Checkmate has a a few raunchy sexual content, which I am sure will be enjoyed by the young readers; not that the senior citizens wouldn’t enjoy it as well. Checkmate, also has undertones that strongly warn against the horrors of misguided passions and religious fanaticism.
Through the nuances of its characters, this novel professes a prolonged argument for the freedom of thought, tolerance and the courage to follow one’s dreams, revealing the beautiful vistas that lie upon following the passions of one’s heart. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading Checkmate, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
How did you come up with the idea of writing Fiction genre book?
There’s a certain freedom in the world which you create. And there’s a mystique satisfaction in creativity. I have always enjoyed reading fiction and now I enjoy writing it as well.
Who are your favourite authors?
It is impossible for me to choose between JK Rowling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyale. That there is magic in Rowling’s writing is undisputed. But apart from her brilliant writing, I find her life story and struggle very inspiring as a writer myself. From being a single parent working as a waitress, struggling to feed her baby, to becoming the most successful writer in the history of world literature, her life is an enchanting story in itself. I also admire her as a human being, for, she was the only billionaire author in the history, and is the only billionaire who lost her billionaire status because she gave away so much to charity.
I also admire the works of Khaled Hosseini, Ayn Rand, Jeffrey Archer, Ian McEwan, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and Agatha Christie.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
It is my dream to be able to write daily. Engineering schedule does not permit me to write at all in the months of submissions, vivas, practicals and theory exams. My writing patterns are pretty irregular. If I am in full flow, I sometimes bunk college and sit in the cafes for 4 to 5 hours at a stretch and write. But in case of a writer’s block, I am unable to produce a single word for months on end. The longest writer’s block I have had while writing Checkmate, lasted for three months.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I am not sure if I am wise enough to impart wisdom. But I’d say that write from your heart and believe in yourself. Never take no for an answer when it comes to things you love. Be glad that you have found your passion, that is writing. Everything else is just noise.
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