Tanmay completed his Mechanical Engineering from RGPV, Rajiv Gandhi Prodyogiki Vishvidyalay, Bhopal. Later he completed MBA in Marketing from ICFAI University. Currently he is working as a Country Category Manager – Commercial Run Rate Business in Hewlett Packard India Sales Pvt Ltd.
What inspired you to start writing?
I absolutely love reading and have been a voracious reader since childhood. Reading inculcated the joy of telling stories into me. I started spinning stories for my friends and my cousins, as a kid. As 12 years old, during the summer holidays my cousins and I would make and design comic books for fun. In college, I wrote a suspense story and shared it with my friends and they absolutely loved it and encouraged me to write. The writer in me kept growing silently, but I never felt the urge to publish until a day, 7 years ago, when my daughter was born; that’s I started penning down the first page of my book ‘Just Six Evenings’
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Like any young kids, I fell in love with comics. The comic characters would range from ‘Chacha Choudhary to ‘Super Commando Dhruv’ to ‘Phantom’ to ‘Mandrake’ and then when I grew little older I started relishing ‘Hardy Boys’ and ‘Famous Five’ by Enid Blyton. I loved reading Hindi classics like ‘Mratyunjay’ and ‘Yugandhar’ by Shivaji Sawant. It was before Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown and JK Rowling entered into my world of reading.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The greatest challenge while writing a book is to find the right word that would express the exact feeling that I am going through while writing a character and wanting the reader to feel it exactly while he/she is reading the book. The most enjoyable part is that, with the help of words and your story, you are able to take thousands of readers on a journey into your world that you have imagined as a writer and make them laugh, cry, love & hate the characters that you have created.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I believe that any character that you write has to be real and only then readers would be able to relate it to them and that involves a lot of research into the background where that character is based at. Since this book is inspired by real life characters and the setup is modern corporate world which I am part of it was lot easier for me to write about characters which were closer to my life and whom I have seen them grow in front of my own eyes.
What motivated you to write the book “Just Six Evenings”?
Born and brought up in Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) I received the upbringing of an average middle class Indian boy. I completed my education in engineering and MBA. So after almost 12 years successfully working in the corporate world when Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, I looked back at the youngsters like me, from small cities running in mad rush to become ‘somebody’; I felt I should write something that would try to bring forth the other side of ‘India Shining’. Today for a young boy or a girl there is a whole system that wants him or her to become ‘someone’. IIT/JEE classes offering sure shot admissions in prestigious institutes. Professional Institutes offering sure shot placement. Your family’s prestige is attached to your CTC and your ‘Offsite’ placements. It is this because of this mad rush, we often see and read about in media that youngsters are caught in corruption and they toss their ethics in search of success, fame and money. This ideology is what inspired me to write my first book, on a topic that is close to my heart and on a life that I have lived.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Just Six Evenings”?
Renowned Filmmaker, Mr. Prakash Jha was one of the first readers to get back to me and offer a blurb for the book; in his words, He loved the concept of the book and praised it by saying, “It’s a Unique and engaging love story”. JSE is a love story at its core, coated with a light spiritual message on understanding life, its purpose and relationships. The backdrop is the modern corporate underbelly and all the characters are inspired by real life situations. The events that happen in the span of six days and six evenings in the protagonist’s life are the dramatic tools that have been used to tell the story; we read it in the protagonist Atul’s voice, who is a below average declared loser in life. How he meets a girl and what transpires between them in six evenings of their unison, which becomes a life changing moment for Atul’s life (twice) is the crux of the book. There’s a fine line drawn between right and wrong and good and bad here; about how easy or difficult it is to choose between ethics, love, respect, lust, power and relationships and how many times it’s always one at the cost of another. Since we follow Atul’s life as someone who’s starting out in the corporate world to when he’s at the peak of his career, the journey he takes is something not taught in an MBA school, but everyone in the corporate world will connect with, simply because everyone’s lived this life at one point or another.
How did you come up with the idea of writing romantic fiction genre book?
There is love story hidden in every story ever told. Ramayana was a great love story, as are other famous epics. Love is a feeling that can make human being strong and vulnerable at the same time. The greatest poetry is created and the biggest lessons are learnt by people who are/were in love. A unique love story is a path that can lead a writer very easily into a reader’s heart. For my first book, I went with a love story for this reason. My next two projects will be far and wide from the emotion that is Love.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dan Brown, JK Rowling, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follett
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I lead a very busy life as I work full time at HP and writing has always been more of a passion and hobby. But since getting published and with the accolades and warm response my book has received from the readers, I have decided to continue writing and that leaves me with no choice but to be really careful about my time management. I only get time to write on weekends and I am absolutely religious about it. I have made a strict routine of reading for about 45 minutes before I go to sleep every day and write for at least 7-8 hours on a weekend. I would though completely love to take a break from regular life, go to the hills or the beach for a few weeks to really dig into my story.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
My piece of advice to the youngsters would be to have patience. It’s a writers dream to see his/her book getting published and available for selling, but often due to the long time taken by publishers one gets impatient and fall into the trap of self-publishers who drill lot of money out from those dreamy eyes. So, if your writing is good and your effort is honest you will get a break. Dreams do come true.
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