This Republic Day, Youthopia talks to one of India’s unconventional author Sachin Garg. He gets candid about how India needs a revolution and how it has to start from the common man.
Few excerpts from our conversation about his upcoming book, pursuit of his passion to write, his shift from a traditional rom-com genre, and a lot more. Read on..
Sachin, tell us something about your new book, the inspiration behind it, and why did you choose to write on this topic?
My new book is called “We need a revolution”. Its very different from anything I have delivered till now. I started with romance, but around 2013 I decided that I don’t really connect with romance as a genre, and I thought that my writing should also evolve. Now that my books were reaching a certain number of people, and I was beginning to get emails from people stating that “Your books have shaped me as person”, I thought I need to write books which have a message and take-away for the reader… This book is the first step in the journey of writing something, which has more impact and caters to my social responsibility. This is very different from the books I have written so far!
Has this book also got the semi autobiographical touch like your previous books?
This book is a work of fiction. But it addresses a very burning social issue of Jarawa tribes in Andaman Islands. All incidents related to Jarawa tribe in the book are inspired by the real life incidents. Places described in the novel are real places, but the characters and their relationship are a work of fiction
It took you two and a half years to finish this book, what took so much time?
When I started reading and writing about Jarawa tribes, it fascinated me immensely! I realized that there is so much literature, and there are so many people I had to meet. I even filed an RTI to get more information, which took months to resolve. I had to make sure that I was covering all aspects and had researched thoroughly. I wanted to ensure that I had done justice to the topic, and this required huge amount of in-depth research and which is what took so much time.
You are shifting your genre from romance, through this book. What challenges did you face as an author? Was this shift easy?
The entire focus of this new genre is to write about a burning issue, in the backdrop of a story. You have to connect with the character, understand the dilemmas, and understand their point of views. Writers tend to absorb a lot from the surroundings, and basic framework of the book came from the time I spent in Andamans. I have tried to write the book to the best of my abilities.
Any specific reason you picked Andaman for your settings?
I was on a day trip to Baratang Island. It was then I came across these Jarawa tribes. The moment I saw them, I felt that the Indian mainland should to know more about them. When I spoke to people in Andamans, there were so many contrary points of views for Jarawas, that I felt it would make a very interesting debate, for people in mainland who were not even aware of the existence of Jarawa tribes!
Interesting! How do you do justice to the topic while presenting two contrary point of views?
I think a very good example is politics. When you listen to two opposing views, at times both appear right. You listen, you absorb and you find the side you support, in such cases.
Do you think your readers, who are so used to of reading your rom-coms; would they be interested in reading this intense work?
I understood my reader base when my first book was released. Prior to that I never wrote keeping any specific target segment in my mind. Maybe that’s not a very good market practice. Ha! Ha! But the reviews coming in are really good! People are glad that somebody is writing something other than rom-com, and something meaningful.
You have written six books so far, which is your favorite baby?
“We need a revolution” is so far definitely my favorite baby. Its because it has taken more time than all previous books put together, writing it was a very intense process for me, I evolved a lot as a writer, and the initial response to the book has been overwhelming. I have several reasons why this one is my favorite baby!
You are an engineer, an MBA grad, and now a celebrated author. Your own life’s story is about following the passion and inner calling. Can you tell us something about the Sachin Garg who followed his heart to be where he is now?
For me it was a very organic process. I as a personality cannot sit idle, and all this began with my blog. I began with blogging in my early undergrad days, when everyone has a lot of spare time, ha ha! That blog grew in readership. During early 2000s, those infant days of social networking and blogging, my blog used to get some sixty-five comments on one post, which was crazy!
In 2007 I started with my book. It was picked up by a publisher, and for some reasons it did well. SO that’s how it all started. I wasn’t really planning anything, I never had any plans, it was all very organic.
Perhaps the only thing, which mattered, was that I was honest and committed to my drive and myself. I wanted to write, so I went ahead and wrote. I did not wait for anything or anyone. When I thought it’s the right time, I moved on and began with my entrepreneurial stint for my own publishing company “Grapevine India”.
I meet numerous young writers, who tell me that I am learning writing, and all I advise them is that they should pick their laptop and start writing. That’s the only way!
Is there something else you want your readers to know, about your new book?
“We need a revolution” is a book about ordinary people. Through my book I am asking a question, that can ordinary people bring about a revolution. It’s a book about five people in their mid-twenties, who don’t have any special skills or contacts, but they feel very deeply about a cause. The launch of the book is on 6th of February ’16. I welcome all my readers to read and review this book.
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