Prashant, is an IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Kharagpur graduate. He is the founder and CEO of BodhiSutra.com which trains managers, bureaucrats, executives and students in professional English communication through 1-to-1 live trainer on mobile methodology and prepares them for better jobs and career growth.
An expert in creating learning solutions using cutting edge technology and an educator, he led the development of the 100% practice based proven training technique of live interaction for professional grade English fluency based on global standards.
Communication is an essential skill for individual to succeed in their life. Mr. Prateek Sharma from Vskills, interviewed Prashant Yadav, on his debut novel
Please tell our readers something about yourself.
I run Ed-Tech company BodhiSutra.com. An engineer MBA by qualification, I love travelling, am a martial arts enthusiast and love Bollywood films.
What inspires you to write?
I love writing about things I feel strongly about – that’s when ideas flow and things just find their place. It could be a strong personal feeling or something in the society that I get strong views about. So, it essentially is a case of feelings driving the writing.
Do you have several ideas in various stages of completion at any one point or is it one book at a time ?
“Ideas can come any time. And they may be totally unconnected. Most of the masters of writing suggest carrying a notebook all the time and note down anything, howsoever small, that catches your eye. It could be someone who talks in a certain way or something that draws your attention or an incident, an argument, a kind gesture – anything. Now, a few of these ideas can possibly lead to a separate book in itself and some may find a place as a character quirk or a scene. It is an incredibly powerful technique to strengthen your fiction because at the end of the day, fact is stranger than fiction, despite the cliche. There are things that happen in reality which no one can make up and write – and such things can really fire up your fiction.
Writing a book has to be very schedule driven – what works is a fixed schedule every single day. You should write even when you are on a vacation (easier said than done, though). Also, writing a book is a very immersive experience – you get so deep in setting, characters and the story that switching from one book to another is very difficult. Plus, it will result in a lot of wasted energy. So, for me, it is one book at a time.
That said, like everything else in life, there are no absolute truths. ”
You took a break from your secure and lucrative career to pursue your writing dream. What helped you make the decision ?
My love for writing. I have always been interested in writing and have been writing since college days. What the secure and lucrative career did was delay my foray into writing in a serious way. I won awards for creative writing during Engineering and also kept writing blogs and short pieces all through. That kept the flame alive to a stage where finally I decided to take a stab at writing novel length fiction.
How did you balance your busy life schedule and still got the book done ?
I fixed a schedule and stuck to it. I realized that spending 2 hours pre-dawn every day helps me get enough words on the page and also keeps the subconscious working to find the next twist. Two hours pre-dawn also works beautifully because it doesn’t interfere with my day schedule.
What’s the book “The Jeera Packer” all about ?
The Jeera Packer is a layered story – it deals with peer envy, it deals with our desire to do cool stuff while being forced to do boring, routine work to pay our bills and it deals with lust for power. The protagonist was a genius sharpshooter who quits his gangster life and settles down with his wife and son. He runs his shop for 20 years and gets totally bored with his nobody existence. Then he sees his old friend, much less capable than him who is now a minister. That turns his life topsy turvy – and he decides to kill the chief minister in a perfect murder as a final masterpiece of his art. The book is about his internal journey – from excitement to boredom to frustration and angst to hopefully, peace.
How did you decide your subjects for your story ?
At some point in my career, I got a feeling that a lot of what I was doing was just boring, repetitive stuff which I was doing to keep paying my bills. That feeling was so strong, it became the genesis of the story. Also, there was a lot happening in politics which was damaging in a way, but also, humorous and pointless. Both these threads combined to lead to “The JeeraPacker”
Who was that one reader in your mind, for this book, when you were writing it ?
The central driving idea was – let me write a book I will enjoy reading. It sounds very self centered but that was perhaps the only way possible – to write to please myself as a reader.
Who are your icons and specific to writing, who are the writers you seek to emulate ?
“I admire everyone who works hard to achieve what they want. That said, I think I have outgrown having iconic role models. In writing, I loved Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts and The Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif – so these were my first teachers in fiction writing. Admire Stephen King and am in awe of Vladimir Nabokov’s writing, esp Lolita.
Also, I don’t think a writer can emulate any other writer – one can and must learn from everywhere one can.”
What does Prashant read while he’s not writing ?
I generally read non fiction but have now begun gorging on fiction as well. S Hussain Zaidi, NN Taleb, The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli, Shashi Tharoor, Haruki Murakami are some of the authors/titles on my reading desk now.
What is your piece of advice on writing for our students ?
Read as much as you can. Also, read up a bit about the craft so that you don’t waste time in reinventing the wheel. Write to please yourself. Make a schedule and stick to it.
The book is available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.in/Jeera-Packer-Prashant-Yadav/dp/8175994185
— Team Vskills