Indian authors have been in the limelight in the past for all the wrong reasons, but in the last week, I had an opportunity to interact with a young Indian author named Vikash Sharma, who is writing a book – “Les Just Not Only Be Friendz(I)”.
I was intrigued to know what made him write the book, and here’s an excerpt from the interesting interview:
1. How did you come up with the idea of penning down this book?
Actually, the idea comes up while I was pursuing post graduation from Delhi in 2009. Coincidentally, during the same time period there was a boom in publishing of Romantic books and novels. And during the same time period, while reading a few good novels, which touched and moved me, I fell in love with an amazing person. Everything started changing afterwards.
Also, I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have an amazing friend circle since then, out of which, some of them rightly deserved to be penned down in a novel. Why? It’s because first, they were different and compelling characters and second, a lot of the instances of their life are extremely interesting. So, overall the idea comes up out of the summation of my education, relationship and friendship.
2. How much emphasis did you put on characterization?
It’s a partly character driven and partly situational driven novel. And that’s why a lot of emphasis has been put on the characterization.
If you’ll analyze all the characters in the novel closely, you’ll not find a single character to be monotonous. Everyone is different and everyone is relevant to the story. All the characters are strong, have multiple layering’s and have something worthy to contribute to the story. Each one has their own graph of emotions, where sometimes they drive the story forward or sometimes the story drives them ahead.
3. Which character do you relate the maximum with?
To some extent, I can relate myself with the character of Aakash. The reason being, firstly, the protagonist also hails from the middleclass family and with typical dreams of succeeding in life. Secondly, the protagonist lacks experience and confidence in matters of love, which was the same case with me during my post graduation. And thirdly, the protagonist understands the importance of love and friendship in life.
Hmm… No, not that. You can omit the last point. Actually, the protagonist does a really shitty job in that area. He always messes everything up. He’s an Idiot, who later corrects his mistakes somehow, which makes him a smart Idiot.
4. When did you realize your knack for writing? When did the potential for writing dawn upon you?
I really don’t know about that. I just wanted to create something meaningful and worthy with good content. The motto was to create an interesting, raw and realistic story with the help of interesting, compelling and unique characters. I believe, a story needs to be told if it’s worth telling. Regarding the knack and potential, I think everyone has it.
Because of lack of resources, I had not been lucky to read various acclaimed writers from a young age, but I don’t regret it now. I somehow followed what I have to do. It’s all about setting the goals and achieving them with full capacity, conviction, honesty and strong will.
5. Which piece/kind of writing is your favorite and why?
All of Munshi Premchand’s works, Mahashweta devi, Vikram Seth, Ruskin bond and others. Among those stalwarts, all of Munshi Premchand’s works will remain my favorite because of his unique and quintessential storytelling methods which entails the deepest details with the help of simplest words.
6. Who’s your target audience, for this book?
Since this is a romantic novel, the target audience is the youth. However, anyone in the age category of 13-60 years can read and enjoy this novel.
7. What kind of a response are you expecting?
It would be really wonderful if people like this first novel of the trilogy. The positive response of the readers is very important for the remaining parts to be published in the near future. Personally, the kinds of response I wish from the readers were to start reading again, the way the old generation used to. Reading should never become uncool. It never was. And so, It should never be. I understand that in the current scenario, where our life has become too hectic, it’s a lot that I am asking for. But tell me one thing honestly, aren’t books our best friends anymore?