IT professional Tanmay Dubey who is an author by night, speaks about his debut novel Just Six Evenings which highlights the yuppie India – achievers at the cost of personal chaos.
One can state that it’s raining young writers in India. Most are bringing in their experiences in writing and creating stories, which probably touch you in some ways. Joining this set of young writers is Tanmay Dubey, a first time author and IT professional based out of Gurgaon.
His debut novel, Just Six Evenings, seems to have all the elements of the upbeat storytelling of an upbeat India. It is a tale of high flier Atul Shukla, who wants to go beyond the small town. He dreams big and has the gift of the gab. A train journey introduces him to Priya Arya, an MBA graduate with equally high dreams for her family. Six days brings them together and throws them away just a dramatically. Few years down the line, they meet again under different circumstances. Individually successful but emotionally scarred, it’s again six days which changes things for Atul and Priya. What happens ahead is the crux of the rather interesting & young novel. Atul who is a part of the yuppie generation himself, speaks about the book and his journey through it.
The premise is quite interesting and entrenched in Indian corporate world & youth. Was it intentional to begin with, something that might be popular or it just came to you?
When I decided to write my book, I had a couple of ideas in my mind. I was unable to decide which subject I should begin my first book. Then I thought, “let me begin with a subject which I would be most true to while writing, since I am working in the corporate world”. Nothing much has been written about the aspirations of young Indians who are willing to join the bandwagon of Indian IT industry, which is instrumental in changing the landscape of Indian middle class, and has become the biggest job provider for youth in our country in last 15 years. I decided to write on this subject and be completely sure about the truthfulness of the soul of the story.
As a writer, not only do you want to write substance but also the aim is to make your story enjoyable and subsequently popular. Since the story was inspired by real events in my life and the corporate world in general, I implanted some fictional twists in the storyline to make it interesting for the readers.
Living in Gurgaon has influenced me as a writer, inspired me as fitness enthusiast and has helped me evolve as a human being; For Gurgaon is a city which is mostly populated by ‘outsiders’ or working class individuals who are not necessarily born and brought up here. There is no legacy culture in this city, it is deeply influenced, and very accepting of new ideas, whether it is Raahgiri, Cycling Groups, Breweries, and international schools. Everything has a forward-looking, fresh, or a western centric inclination to it. Gurgaon, to me, served as a perfect dreamland for an aspiration filled eyes of a young man like Atul Shukla in Just Six Evenings.
The setting is an obvious crowd-puller. However, there is a fear of getting lost, due to other writers coming up with books with slightly same base.
As a first timer in any industry, you often don’t have the courage to do things completely differently. While as a writer no matter how different your story and setup is, you tend to follow a proven path. Having said that, I believe competition is good for any industry and is advantageous for the holistic growth of publishing industry as well. I am not afraid of getting lost. The success of my book has made me more confident and I am now ready to give readers a tangy taste of my writing style.
How has the response been until now for the book?
The response is phenomenal. I have received appreciation from the media, critics and readers. I am very excited, happy and satisfied.
How does the writer and reader in you perceive today’s Indian Literature aimed at the youth?
Indian literature is divided into two parts – Hindi and English. While the market & content for Hindi literature is big & deep, the youth is not reading them. Similarly, for English Language, the market is expanding for Indian English authors alongside western authors but content-wise, there is lack of depth in what they write. I personally like to read western authors. The Indian authors I admire are Amish Tripathi and Chetan Bhagat.
What brings you to writing? Is it easy, tough, bit mind-boggling or something else?
I simply love to tell stories. Had I not been a corporate Person and a part-time writer, I would have been directing films. Who knows I might be some day. For me, writing is fun. It’s like taking the reader to a journey into an imaginary world with the help of my words. For me, it’s magical to be able to tell a story and make someone happy.
Are you on your next book or are you planning to take things slowly?