Ashutosh Mehndiratta was born and raised in New Delhi. He holds an MBA from the University of Alabama and has had a long career in
Ajay Gupte : My Characters Would Resonate With The Readers
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Ajay Gupte has a demanding corporate career; however, his love for writing and the stories swimming inside his head have been materialised into a book of short stories – The Peerless. We had an endearing conversation with him.
On balancing both sides of life – a corporate employee and an author
It is not easy to balance two a profession and passion. Ajay Gupte has, however, done this beautifully in writing and publishing this book of short stories.
“I live two personalities and I love both. With a demanding corporate job, I am often on the run with very limited time for myself and my passion. However, there is another lighter side to life, filled with humor and curiosity to explore. I have always tried to balance both and extract the best out of anything. I strongly believe that once you decide, its only you who can stop you from doing it!”
“The lockdown helped me complete the stories..”
We have heard about a few good effects of the lockdown on peoples’ lives and Ajay Gupte brought out the best of it. He could finish the stories he was writing and published the book – The Peerless.
“I always wanted to write, and I loved reading short stories. However, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown gave me a golden opportunity to spend time on this passion. While the first story of this compilation was written almost four years back, there was an absolute lull till I picked it up again during the lockdown of in March 2020. Since then, there was no looking back and in a year or so, I could complete the process.”
‘The Peerless’ – Let’s get to know more about the book
‘The Peerless’ is a book of short stories about characters all around us, the ‘common people’, as we say. Ajay Gupte describes in detail about a few of the characters.
“I always loved short stories so writing short stories just came naturally to me. I love interacting with people, but my objective is to look beyond the individual and peep in his story or understand him as a human. The curiosity to look beyond the natural face and understand the deep emotions within often presents a different character. Many of such characters made their way in the book.
The readers would resonate with most of the characters of this book as they could be part of their earlier days (like a postman or the schoolteacher). The objective of this book is simply to push you back to your memory lane and reimagine those golden characters who may have been a part of your life. Some characters may be very far from the readers world but the stories will help them build a picture to imagine the personality.”
“There is no method to this madness..”
We love to know about authors and their rituals, quirks while writing. Let’s see how Ajay Gupte writes.
“There is absolutely no method to this madness. I have a few instances where a story clicked, and it was completed in the next two days and then there was gap for almost five – six weeks till I picked up another character. In summary, there is no process… it was a simple flow of thoughts.
I have a corporate job with a leading technology company and the tough schedule demanded regular travel to different places / countries. This took a huge toll on the passion as I could rarely get in the mood to pen down thoughts. Pandemic and the lockdown gave the breathing space since travel was cut down to zero and weekends were completely mine to think and key in a thought.”
From Enid Blyton to Sudha Murthy – their writings inspired Ajay Gupte
“I grew up reading some books like ‘The Famous Five’ and ‘The Secret Seven’ which would force us to move away from your present day and imagine yourself in a different world. Authors like Sudha Murthy inspired me to think in a slightly different way – her ability to paint a real-life character with his background simply impressed me to think on those lines. When I got this opportunity, I chose to follow her footsteps and bring some of the important characters to life. This book is simply an attempt in that direction.”
“Story-telling is an art..”
Ajay Gupte’s words of wisdom for aspiring writers.
“For me the objective of writing / publishing this book was simply to express myself. Story telling is an art and if one has an inclination there are no bottlenecks. I can do much better in marketing the book and reach out to wider audience and that’s an important aspect in this whole journey. However, the primary objective to publish a book for yourself was very fulfilling and exciting in itself.”
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