Skip to main content

Author Highlight: Rajiv Mittal Discusses his New Book ‘The Panchatheertha Part 1’ and Stories from his Life

We are back with another author interview. Today, with us, we have Rajiv Mittal – the author of ‘The Panchatheertha Part 1’. In this interview, Rajiv Mittal talks about his writing aspirations, the route to getting his book published. Stay on...while we chat with him.

What motivates you to write?

All the goodly stuff that is in my mind that I believe is more interesting than whatever is on the internet.

How did you handle the response of this book? 

Pehle, I read the reviews.  Woh acche lage.  Fir socha, ab dekhte hain isko padne wala koi hai bhi ki nahin.   Aur uska jawaab?  Woh kya gaana hai - ‘Intehaan ho gayi, intezaar ki …’

Why did you choose to write a novel inspired by The Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra offered me tremendous scope to be funny and philosophical without worrying about anyone taking offence.  Animals can’t be bothered with those sort of issues.

What are some of your favourite novels and authors?

Favorite novels:  The type Scott Rogowsky reads on the subway.

Favorite authors:  The chap who wrote Calvin and Hobbes, the scriptwriters of the initial seasons of Two and a Half Men & The Big Bang Theory.  Also classic BBC comedies.

Do you think writing a book from the comfort of bedroom is possible?

It is nobody else’s business but I would hazard a guess that any male writer’s performance in the bedroom is not bestseller material other than in a comedy.

Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills?

Go to the beach to write? Saudi Arabia mein shayad ho sakta hai, koi distractions nahin hongi.  Kevin, waise have you ever tried removing sand or seawater from a computer keyboard?  Try karke dekh lo ek baar.

The hills? Is there anyone you know who has ever done that? I think even Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing descended from Mount Everest before they thought of writing something.

I write mostly at home, sitting on a sofa.

What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…

Pehle socha tha koi mythological figure ke baare mein likhoon – lekin sochte sochte dere kar di yaar – koi baaki hi nahin raha!  It seems they are all taken.  Then it struck me – folktales are unexplored territory and always relevant.

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?

How to use Microsoft Word.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?

I told myself that all decision makers in the traditional publishing industry are fakes.

Any best piece of writing advice from your side that we haven’t discussed?

I hesitate to offer advice.  But since you asked, this is what I would tell any new writer:
  • If you are looking for writing advice then that could be the reason why you are struggling.
  • If you become successful as a novelist, you can immediately become an inspirational speaker and start saying profound things.  Particularly in India.  Lekin abhi don’t try to do that in your novel.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

Anyone who buys and/or reads my books makes me very, very happy. 

Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

I plan to write Panchatheertha Part 2.  And till then, it would be great if there are readers for Panchatheertha Part 1 and/or my debut novel Brahmahatya.  By the way, I have written a third which I am silent about in the hope that people will now go searching for it also.

Connect with Rajiv Mittal:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond

Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond is a widely held tale among children, for it depicts personal behavior of animals and birds brought home to add to the personal zoo. Rather a tale of a nature (flora and fauna) lover who loves to keep a collection of animals and birds, at time even reptiles. Grandfather’s Private Zoo is a novella consisting nine well-connected stories.

The story starts with the adventures of Toto, a monkey. The narrator is a small boy and his grandfather loves to keep a private zoo at his home, on the other hand, grandmother abhors troublemaking animals and doesn’t support him with his animals. The monkey being taken from a Tonga driver for the sum of five rupees seems to be indecent. He breaks a lot of kitchen dishes and steals food and whenever grandmother catches him red handed he too often runs away, through windows, to remain inaccessible. Fed up of his indecent behavior, grandfather sells him back to the Tonga rider for the sum of three rupees, at a loss…