Deep Ghatak completed Executive MBA from IIM Bangalore and PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Comms. He is currently working as VP for an MNC bank. He is an Author of “Fish in Paneer Soup (Rupa Publications)“. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was always into writing for as long as I can remember. Whether it was articles or essays or translations, I was always happy to put pen to paper. But in the post-Bhagat era, a lot of writers like me finally mustered the will and courage to publish short novels. Times have changed and while readers still value good language, most of them don’t have time any more to consume five hundred pages.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Adventure, mystery and mythology were my favourite genres. I grew up on a diet of Secret Seven and Famous Five and also read a lot of Amar Chitra Katha comics. Those were some of the happiest moments of my childhood. In adolescence, I was drawn to the writings of Gandhi, Nehru, Vivekananda and Aurobindo.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
However short and simple, every story demands that it’s main characters are etched out in detail and talk to the reader. One needs to think about sub-plots, situations and conversations as they would occur in real life. Time is of essence here. Often, the mind struggles for days before generating a productive thought. Then at times, the ink flows like a river!
How much research do you do before writing the book?
For a story to come across as authentic and to have the readers connect with the characters, it is essential to build references around times, places and things. That does need a few weeks of research.
What motivated you to write the book “Fish in Paneer Soup”?
The title of the book is an oxymoron. It is about young people and about an India where despite contradictions, people and cultures are constantly evolving to embrace the new normal; be it the cosmopolitanism in our cities or the changing views about women and their prerogatives. Som Mukherjee is not my alter ego and it is not my biography. However, the story is not entirely fictional.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Fish in Paneer Soup”?
The book is about a young man from the eastern part of our country migrating to the capital in search of a good education and career. The story revolves around his trials and tribulations and also showcases life in a large metro. Readers from the North, in particular, will be able to closely identify with some of the chapters set in Delhi. The feedback has been very encouraging and the second edition is available to order.
How did you come up with the idea of writing romantic fiction genre book?
I had to choose between an academic book and a fiction title. I decided to go for the latter as it was fun to write it as well. Since it was about young people, it just had to have romance!
Who are your favourite authors?
Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Amitava Ghosh and Paulo Coelho are a few who have left a deep impression on me.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
Being a mass communications professional, I actually write for a living. But that’s a different type of writing. A book may take up to two years of weekend writing to finish. So, between books, I write blogs and commentaries.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I think it is important to stay true to oneself and write what one feels strongly about. Market dynamics should not influence the genre or style of your writing unless that’s your forte. Also, never give up after a few initial rejections. Rejections are, at most times, just a play of fate. There’s something better in store!
You can buy his book now: