We interviewed published author Anurag Anand recently.
Anurag Anand hails from a small town called Chapra in the state of Bihar. The quest for quality education took him far from the comfort and care of home at an early age (five years) and since then he has been fending for himself in various cities across the country. He completed his MBA in the year 2002, and thus began his stint with the corporate world. He has worked with different organizations across sectors like FMCG, Pharmaceuticals and Financial Services. He is currently employed with an MNC Bank in Mumbai.
So here goes:
Tell us something about your novel - Reality Bytes. Any specific reason for this title?
The title actually is 'Reality
bytes Bites'. The 'byte' here refers to digital information and the 'bite' to the impact it has on the protagonist whose life till then had been a merry saga of fun and frolic.
How did this book happen and why did you choose to write about it?
The life I led in various hostels, particularly my school, Delhi Public School - Mathura Road, left me with memories and anecdotes which often test the borders for people's belief when narrated to an outsider. Nevertheless not many are able to resist the the intrigue and excitement they are laden with. I always wanted to share some of these memories with people and in the bargain make them recall similar phases from their own life and hence the choice to give it the form of a book. The story of Reality Bites is incidental, it is the anecdotes and characters that form its lively soul.
When did you take to writing?
I have always been an avid reader with a keen interest in writing. However, for a better part of my life I remained preoccupied with engagements which ensured that I remained deprived of the 'good boy' tag and I am sure those would not qualify on their appropriateness for this forum. As a result I never took my vocation seriously. It was when I found myself stranded in a small town of Gujarat due to the callings of my job that I took to writing my first book. The fact that I had nothing better to do with my free time had a critical role to play in my first experiment with writing.
Where do you usually write? What is your favourite setting to write in?
As much as I would love to say that I like to sit facing the sea with pen and paper in hand, that is not how it actually works. I prefer minimal disturbance (any kind) when I am writing and hence it is the solitude of night that works the best for me. So, behind every one of my published works there are numerous Friday and Saturday nights spent not partying but on my desk, writing.
Did this story come to you easily or did you find yourself stuck with a writer’s block sometimes?
The writers block for me does not pertain to the flow of a story (I usually have this bit sorted out before taking on a new venture), it is instead the language flow and presentation that i find myself struggling with, at times. This usually happens when I am in a hurry to put down all the random thoughts that are bubbling within my head. The solution too is simple. I take a 1-2 day break from my writing and then resume again.
Does this story have anything to do with your personal life? Or is it a story of someone close to you?
As mentioned above, the book indeed draws heavily from my own experiences and those of my mates during my hostel days. The story though that these characters and incidents weave together is completely fictional.
Tell us about something your books other 'Reality Bites'
Tell us about something your books other 'Reality Bites'
Reality Bites is my fifth published title. Preceding this, I have written two other books in the fiction genre - The Quest for Nothing (2010) & Tic Toc: A tale of love, hate & terror (2008). My first two books were in the self-help genre and were titled, 'Pillars of Success' and 'Corporate Mantras'. The Quest for Nothing has been the most appreciated among my works, becoming a National Best-seller within 6 months of its release. The book was also included in the long list for the Vodafone Crossword Book Awards 2011.
Tell us about your life online and the sites you maintain
I am not very active online and my interactions with the worldwide web is limited to some social networking and e-mail sites. However, I make it a point to respond to every e-mail that i receive from my readers. My official website, www.anuraganand.in, is expected to go live within the next fortnight.
What are your thoughts on life – The one thing that it takes to live it?
I think the below lines that I had written in my introduction for Reality Bites summarize my thoughts about life most aptly:
Some day, the flowers shall ashen and the sun will cease to shine,
These divine moments are all that will stand the test of time.
Why should tomorrow then cast a shadow on this beautiful day?
And why shouldn’t I make the most of what is offered by today?
How has been your experience so far in the literary world? Any highs or lows being a part of this space that you would like to share here?
The biggest high for any author is to receive appreciation for his work. The mails and comments (on Facebook) I receive on my works from complete strangers work the best for me. The one low that most authors face, and so did i, was sharing my first manuscript with the potential publishers only to be shown the door by most. But that is a part and parcel of the game and has to be taken in ones stride.
Tell us something about your work & hobbies?
I work in an MNC Bank, handling their Asset Products for Business Banking. Too technical? I guess that explains my dabbling with writing so as to provide an able outlet for the creative side to me. When I am not working or writing, i like meeting and making friends, watching movies (any kind that catches my fancy) and sleeping. Yes, i am a compulsive sleeper.
So how did it feel when you finally finished writing the book?
If you are referring to my first book, that was quite some time back and the memories are no longer vivid. But finishing the manuscript is just the first step of writing and much more goes into it before the finished product hits the shelves. So, I am definitely elated whenever one of my works is finally out. It is like fathering yet another son everytime (thank god they don't count these as children in the population census).
Top 3 All-time favourite books.
1. One hundred years of solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. Madhushala - Harivansh Rai Bachchan
3. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
|Anurag, 2nd from left, with his book Reality Bites at the launch event|