Monday, 15 April 2013

Dollar dreams of an NRI!!! Ketan Bhagat!!!

This is an Interview of Chetan Bhagat published at Refer this link.

A sensitive guy with a great sense of humour, Ketan Bhagat is almost ready to launch his first novel — Complete/Convenient. Postnoon chats with the nervous wreck to find out more.

Competition among siblings is quite the norm—we practically grow up competing with our elder and, in-their-imagination, wiser brothers and sisters. However, competition at school level or even college might not be as tricky as one on a professional level.

Ketan Bhagat, who’s the younger brother of celebrated author Chetan Bhagat, is all set to launch his first novel next month. Titled Complete/ Convenient, the book focuses on the life of an NRI. Whether the book will change the relationship the two brothers currently share, only time can tell. For now, we give you the excerpts from a tete-a-tete with Chhota Ketan, who has his fingers tightly crossed.

Q. What compelled you to write the book? Was the success that your brother enjoys a factor?

Ans: I started writing the book in 2010, a little before I decided to move back to India, giving up my almost perfect life in Sydney. What an NRI goes through once he gets to live the dream he’s been dreaming is a topic that is very close to my heart. It was what I was going through personally that provoked me to write the book. Like the lead character Kabir, I too, was a typical Indian boy who always dreamed of going abroad and earning in dollars. However, there is a cost and sacrifice all NRIs have to make to leave their home country. My book is about that. It is a representation of what life abroad is like, it does not say if that is bad or living in India is good. It’s just a story of an NRI’s life through Kabir.

It took me about two years to finish writing. While I hadn’t started writing with the purpose of making a profit out of it, now that its release is barely a month away, I want people to pick it up. Chetan being what he is was a major factor, yes. But not because I wanted a piece of his success or anything, it was a factor only because he knew much more than me about the market. And, about writing in general.

Q. Did you consult your brother about the book? Has he read it? Do you think your book can cause a serious sibling rivalry?

Ans: Initially, he did say that I’d be ripped apart by the people and I needn’t get into anything in such a rush. However, after reading the book, he did say it was a good read and is very readable. Plus, both of us somehow can’t agree with each on creative subjects. We never have.

My intention is not to compete with my brother — I can’t. The way a newbie who wants to set up an IT Company can’t compete with Narayan Murthy, I can’t compete with my brother. He’s huge in India and I’m very happy about that. I just needed to pen down what I felt, and things just led to a book. Plus, a living successful example within the family was only reassuring.

Q. How would you describe a typical NRI life?

Ans: The book will answer that question. Anyway, everything in the book is based on real characters. It will give the reader a significant insight into the life of an NRI. It talks about how one is surprised by other countries that are so beautifully run, where one doesn’t need to fear cops, etc. But then, there’s that longing to return home. For instance, there is a chapter on what an NRI couple goes through during Diwali out of India.

Q. When is Complete/ Convenient releasing? Do have any ideas for a second book?

Ans: The book will release on May 15. However, the publishers—Shrishti — suggested that we release it online before that. I have a topic for another book though I had vouched not to write again, but it is too addictive. The next one might be about the relationship between a father and his child. Again, the topic is very close to me. I’m a very sensitive person and can only write about things that matter to me personally.

Q.Other than a passion for writing, what other similarities do the Bhagat brothers have?

Ans: We have very similar names, thanks to our non-creative parents. But, the similarity ends there. While he’s always been the topper in the family, I’ve been the one barely going through. Even when our parents were called to school, the reasons varied in my case and in his. For me, the teachers only had complaints and for him, it was always praise.

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