His book is a window into those bygone days when we could sense openness and closeness with friends and family alike. Those were the days when there was no influence of internet on our daily lives; those were the days when air travel was not accessible to all; those were the days when email was not known; those were the days – which are elaborated in his book.
Let us dive into what all he has to share with us through the passage of this interview.
BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
N.S.R: I am a senior professional from the commercial sector with more than forty years experience in senior positions, covering public and private sector companies, with exposure both in India and outside especially in Europe and Africa.
I am a postgraduate in Economics from university of Delhi who can be called a Delhite considering that I did all my sixteen years of education in Delhi and now live in Delhi.
Having been very happy and satisfied with my first effort I have decided to focus myself in trying my hand further in writing.
BNI: So, What all you have written / published till date?
N.S.R.: This is my first book and I have no other publication to my credit as on date.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
N.S.R. : My interactions with well qualified youngsters especially below thirty years which made me feel they have been deprived of getting even a rough outline of how our country has evolved over last fifty years was the sole inspiration.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book
N.S.R.: Proud to be an Indian and inspired by the progress made by the country in 50 years.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
N.S.R.: In the 60s when I was a student a song with the same name sung by Mary Hopkins was a craze and it was one my all time favourite.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
N.S.R.: The book is meant for anyone who wants to know how the country has changed over last 50 years. It is for people above fifty so that the nostalgia it would generate will make them open up to youngsters of the current generation and help then appreciate and understand how great this country is and why they should be proud to be an Indian.
BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
N.S.R.: There was nothing easy as far as I could recall since it was a new and unknown territory for me. To remain and maintain the focus was challenging not hardest.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say
N.S.R.: I have had interaction with readers – some were unknown and some old friends. There were suggestions for few more topics which I could cover if I ever decided to revise the book. Some friends especially from college days felt I should have written more on the university life. I was happy to have made my maternal uncle and aunt who are well past 90 yrs to make an effort and read the book. Mothers of two of my friends read the book from cover to cover and told me they literally relived their life, which was one of the best compliments I could ask for.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part-time?
N.S.R.: My first book was something which I wanted to give back to the society. I would say at that time it was a passion to complete the book. Unfortunately or fortunately it has made me crave for more and I intend to write three more books as on date for which I have my outlines ready. This will keep me busy for next two years after which I would take a call.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
N.S.R.: I was and am a great fan for humour in writing with writers like Oscar Wilde, Wodehouse, Gordon, and Henry Cecil being few of my favourites.
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
N.S.R: I think we Indians lack humour in general since we take life very seriously. We thus look for something as a change. Our film industry has understood this very well and that is the reason we have /had so many song and dream sequences. Even the settings if you have observed are rich unlike in real life.
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
N.S.R.: The hardest part about writing is maintaining focus and continuity. This is for any writing but in most of the other writings, which for me were reports and projects as part of my pro life, there was a deadline to be met.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
N.S.R.: I am way past the age to have ambitions about writing as a career. I indulge in writing for my pleasure and satisfaction. If I can ensure that what I churn out is not rubbished that would be enough.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
N.S.R.: I have not received any criticisms as yet. Compliments are there in the sense that who so ever has read it has found it to be good.
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
N.S.R.: I am not a great fan of book series especially story oriented. I have been disappointed very recently when reading the recent Archer book, which in itself was probably the fourth part, when I reached the end it was evident that there was more to come. Mind you it is not the suspense but the time gap. I am from that generation where we used to read a full Phantom story which used to appear as a comic strip in the illustrated weekly and looked forward to it.
Books like the chicken soup group belong to a different category and are really not a series but for the usage of few common words in the title of the book and writing or narration style.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
N.S.R.: I do not think I have any right to start giving advice to new writers after one book.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published
N.S.R: I knew nothing about publishing a book and how to go about it. I also did not know anyone who had got a book published. Fortunately the electronic age made things easy in knowing who were in the industry and by visiting their site one could easily move forward. There were quite a few rejections plus many who did not even bother to reply, but I was able to ride it.
BNI: What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
N.S.R.: The last chapter of the book is my favourite and even now whenever I read it I get an extra ounce of energy and become sentimental.
BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
N.S.R.: One incident which I would like to share is the way educated people pumped in for private airlines when they were allowed and used to gulp free beer whereas even today we talk about free liquor being used to influence voting in rural areas trying to deride rural people whom we feel are not educated enough.
BNI: What are your expectations for the book?
N.S.R.: I hope lot of people would read it and share the story of our country’s transition over the last fifty years.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
N.S.R.: No. I have over the years bought and read a lot of books .I do not recollect cover being instrumental in influencing my decision. Good cover is an asset but not a necessity. Probably in case of adult magazines yes, but not in case of books.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
N.S.R.: For me who is old fashioned and loves to boast of a book collection it is the printed version any day.