We recently interviewed published author Vivek Kumar Singh
Vivek Kumar Singh was born at Arrah, Bihar ; a small town on the bank of Ganges. He learned conscience and sensitiveness in the jungles of Jharkhand where he did his schooling at Netarhat, a government residential public school, and a spell at Science College, Patna, made him a politically sensitive animal. At the time of Mandal and Kamandal when he passed out Intermediate Examinations.
He is author of the novel 'The Reverse Journey' published by Frog Books during 2011
Tell us something about your novel - The Reverse Journey. Any specific reason for this title? How did this book happen and why did you choose to write about it?
“The Reverse Journey” is a story about a middle-class, young man faced with a decision - to follow his heart or brain. The heart wants happiness in India, among his family, friends and people who are like him. His brain wants money - without it what security does he have? All his friends are relocating to the USA. He feels isolated. And so he decides to follow 'the rat race'. He travels to America. Will the journey to a foreign land bring happiness? Will money be the answer to his prayers? Or will he finally realize that true joy is the sense of belonging?
Every journey has a purpose. Journey is supposed to fetch you some gratifications. I gave the name “The Reverse Journey” because there was nothing expected from the journey. The protagonist was not sure as to what was the purpose of his journey. He wanted to come back to India but did not know “why” ? His journey had reverse elements of a typical journey.
On my way back to India, I had a long transit at Singapore. I saw bunch of young Indians, enthusiastically taking their flight to USA as if they are about to land into the dream land. I recalled my years in USA and did a detailed Return on Investment (RoI) analysis, albeit on the human count. I was not impressed with the losses one has to make in an alien land. Then the idea to compile my thoughts in a book, germinated.
When did you take to writing?
I took up writing rather early. I used to write for school and college magazines, if asked for. Later on, I started blogging, a great way of self-expression – without having audience in sight. But writing a book was totally different. It needs lot more of thinking and time.
Where do you usually write? What is your favourite setting to write in?
As a married man, with two hyper-active kids and a full time job, you really do not have luxury to choose your time and setting to write in. You have to steal it without annoying anyone. Anyway, I do not have a disciple to write every day. But I make sure, I give at least an hour to myself every day. I ruminate and scheme the plot or article, I want to write about. Once it crystallizes in mind, then I write. Typically I write at home ; outside I am too busy to observe man and nature.
Did this story come to you easily or did you find yourself stuck with a writer’s block sometimes?
I was sure to write about “The Reverse Journey” which I had travelled. So the central theme came to me easily but writing a book around it, took me couple of years. That way blog is different where central them is presently in a page or two. In book, you have keep the reader engaged and alive, all along. Every sentence and page has to be pondered over.
Does this story have anything to do with your personal life? Or is it a story of someone close to you
Though the book comes under ‘fiction’ genre, yes, it is semi-autobiographical. Events and stories are build around me and my close friends. Our collective experiences are shared.
Tell us about your life online and the sites you maintain
Though I am a software professional but not much wired. My facebook id is www.facebook.com/viveksingh36 and the book page iswww.facebook.com/thereversejourney I write blogs on Sulekha.com . I request your fans to share feedback. Typically I am quick in replying.
What are your thoughts on life – The one thing that it takes to live it?
Life is atomic. It does not come in chapters. What I mean is, it is not like - if A happens then I will be happy or if B happens I will be rich. Life is a process and you can be happy and rich even without A or B happening. Do not plan too much and don’t put numerous conditions to life. Live as it comes.
“Belonging” is central them of life. Incidentally, It is also the central them of the book. If you throw yourself into the place or the company you do not belong to ( for short term gain), life would be stressful even you accomplish the short term goal.
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?
This is my debut novel. I am new to literacy world. With my limited exposure, I found it very opinionated. Every critic and journalist has a opinion how a good book should be written. I wanted book review to be done so I approached one book critic. He replied back “One more IITian trying his hand at writing”. Somehow, I persuaded him to read the book and then he came back saying “Witty and Thought-Provoking”.
Tell us something about your work & hobbies?
I am a software professional. I work as Principal Architect with Yahoo! R&D, India. Travelling and Sports used to give me high. But, with life fast approaching forty, I do more “watch” than “play”.
So how did it feel when you finally finished writing the book?
There was a sense of relief – finally it is out of my head. But it was temporal. There are so many stories happening all around us. I feel more urge to write and tell the story. Sometimes, I feel restlessness that we are missing so much by not capturing it.
Top 3 All-time favourite books.
God father – Mario puzo
Love Story – Erich Segal
Madhushala – Dr. Harivansh Rai ‘Bachchan’
Read reviews of his book from popular sites below