25 September, 2014

#Interview :: Tejeshwar Singh, Author of Tamanna

I am Tejeshwar Singh. I belong to a family of scholars, scientists, educationists and people who were always proud of their achievements. And I was kind of black sheep in the family – the least literate one!!! And I strongly feel that education is forever bereft of any kind of word knowledge. I was clueless about what my life would be. I tried, I prayed and I struggled hard to find the best suited thing for me. It took me long 18 years to realise and accept the strong suggestions of my inner voice…and the day I heard it intently, I knew I had my calling. I had umpteen questions about life, about the sorrows, happiness and the circumstances that it gives to people. I went to my room, closed the door and started speaking on the cassette recorder. That day I poured out every unsaid word that was staying in my heart in the form of suffocation since ages. That was the start of my first book in 2007. I started my new profession exactly at the same time. As if the destiny had planned the new life for me. I am happily running my own software consultancy firm….Happily, yes…!!!
I wrote 1st book (I've Had Enough…God!!!) published by Rupa in 2009, then came 2nd (Poor boy from Pakistan) which was a biography and was majorly a private release. The latest book (Tamanna…a true story of forbidden Love) comes from the deepest confines of my conscious.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I was 17 when I started writing random paragraphs arising out of my own experiences of life at that time. But unpredictable turn of events led to the comatose of my talent, which finally awakened at 34. 

What inspires to write?
The impermanent nature of life, my attempts to canvas it permanently in pages, my own instincts and happenings around myself…these are the things that continually inspire me. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
It was almost auto-writing. I was struggling to write a story based on my own teenage. I had no idea that my burning desire of writing a great story and turn of events of real life in my life will invariably make me the character of my own book. I had then no control over my hands. It was smooth sailing after that. It was clearly some higher power that guided my pen. It gave me the insight that every life is designed by some unseen super natural force, and opened the doors to the mystical hidden aspects of one’s own emotionality and life. 

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes, indeed, there are!!! One is the story based on my own teenage, which I was trying to write, at the time when I hadn’t even thought of writing my current novel. Likewise, there are many small stories written by me and kept in my book shelf on A4 size sheets that are waiting to be expanded. 

Tell us about your writing process.
I write all the time. My cellphone is my writing pad. I never miss an opportunity to save my thoughts on my cellphone. Same thoughts never emerge again, and hence I keep writing my thoughts. Sometimes I stop my car on the road side, I even go out of the meeting room to save my thoughts. But the best time to write is the night time. Thoughts emerge more freely when the city is sleeping and noise is minimal, else in the utterly noise and maddening day time one even tends to forget whether actually living or not. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Well, hmmmm…the whole book is close to my heart and is a portion of my life. The scene where Tamanna is talking freely to Arjun for the first time, when Sahnis come for dinner and Arjun’s unpredictable encounter with Jyoti (Eunuch) is shared by Sangini with all others. After trying Tamanna’s phone for atleast 50 times Arjun was damn tired emotionally. His childlike impatience, his guilt and his love towards Tamanna was getting tested to the limits. But that day during dinner Tamanna’s doubts vanish and she opens the door of her friendship and concern wholeheartedly to Arjun. That was the first day when both looked into each other’s eyes and talked at length. Arjun’s happiness was immeasurable that day but were his delusions regarding his feelings for Tamanna. All this shows mysterious nature of human life to a great extent. This scene is probably the closest to my heart. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Well, a writer’s conscious rises to mystical limits while creating a novel. And this is what I did in my first novel. Many a times a writer mixes and matches many lives and binds them in one character. But strangely and mystically speaking, as I said earlier, this book comes from my own life, so gathering some courage, I would say that Arjun is almost me. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Ha ha ha ha ha…. This is easy… I can write and reproduce ideas anytime and at free will. Since I have a knack of typing then and there in my mobile phone, I waste no time in bringing out whatever is there in my mind, word by word. And I mostly write things that are closely related to my own life. 

What is your usual writing routine?
I mostly prefer to write in the middle of the night or early morning. That’s the time when I get least disturbed by the usual chores of family life. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I do read a lot. My first encounter with books happened at the age of 6. I used to read a whole world of comics. Then at 11 I noticed my sister (elder to me by 9 years) reading Mills n Boon novels. She also used to read Sydney Sheldon, Daniel Steele and some other authors. Likewise I also started reading them, though it was tough for me t understand them at that age. But I developed interest towards stories. In my 20s I read a lot of inspirational books such a Power of our subconscious mind, magic of thinking big. I also used to read biographies such as Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekanand. Each one had a distinct effect on my fertile mind. I started understanding that story telling is an art, which needs lot of concentration and dedication. My favourite author is Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. His books are like life anthem for me. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Keep your ideas crisp…keep it short yet meaningful. Make the story intriguing, serious and humorous at the same time.” Ha ha ha ha ha …this is what I have been listening to from my wife since the day I started writing.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Well….am I fit enough to give advice??? I will try sincerely though….. Writing means exploring your conscious, your existence, and your thoughts to the deepest core. A writer sees things that remain unseen by the other people. A writer has the gift of penetrating deep into the human consciousness and dig out marvelous hidden realities. Never cease any opportunity to ponder over the thoughts that come into your mind upon seeing or encountering any life situation. Treat your life as a work of fiction by some higher power. Infact we should treat every life as a work of fiction. This world is interesting and has so many shades. Everyday we encounter so many stories. So, as a writer we must surrender ourselves wholeheartedly to the situations that otherwise pass off as routines to most of people. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Dream cast for my book??? Hmmmm…. Sushmita Sen and Deepika Padukone as the two lead acteess for my book, undoubtedly!!!! Sushmita as Sangini and Deepika as Tamanna. Actually Tamanna in my book has resemblance with Deepika Padukone.  

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Ha ha ha ha ha …… That’s tricky again….without thinking twice, I would carry 2-3 best satellite phones with GPS and reserved batteries. Some long lasting food items and ofcourse some essential medicines. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I like to listen to old Hindi songs (particularly from 1970s period)….I also a great fan of Ananda Shankar and his mixes of Indian classical and western music. I prefer to sit at home on my favorite bamboo sofa, sip beer and listen to my favourite music. \

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Well, I can only say that life is impermanent and passes by right in front of our eyes like a flash. We must never forget this. I remember this and try to document whatever happens around me or in my own life. Love I feel is a highly underutilized and least understood term. People get into the trap of attraction and later suffer. Attraction fades away with time. Love is a mystical phenomena. We must never shy away from our own feelings and must never live in an old stale mode, thereby wasting this precious gift of Mother Nature. 

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
No.1. I laugh a lot. I laugh without reason and in some of the most delicate moments. The school boy in me is still alive, who would struggle to control his laughter during the period of the toughest and the most strict teacher. I am still the same….I can’t live without humour. Everyday I crack practical jokes and try and make others laugh. Wheter I am in office, or driving my car or sitting at home, I need my humour to stay healthy all the time……No.2. I still wear what I used to wear in my teens, like absolutely torn and self painted jeans, self painted T shirts, sport all kind of fashion colours on my hair, and I even wear these clothes in my office and official meetings…..  No.3. I am in love always and remain romantic always.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Ha ha ha ha ha ….now what do I say here?? May be a book with a female protagonist…see, there are two worlds in this world…one belongs to males and the other to females.. There are two kinds of upbringings likewise… so, I am thinking on those lines. But currently working hard to make my present book the best seller.  

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Life is precious. Even the whole treasure of this world is nothing in comparison to one extra day of life. Life has endless possibilities. Life is to be enjoyed, to laugh, to help others, to make others smile, to learn more about Mother Nature, to see the hidden potentialities of human life, and above all to maintain and make this place a better place for the coming generations. Ultimately we all are guests here. Even the mightiest of the mightiest will turn into dust within no time. What are we so proud of, then? Our arrogance, selfishness, our smiles, our love, our kindness and our life, will all vanish sooner than we even think of. But our acts can have catastrophic effects on the future generations. Why?? Let’s celebrate life everyday and spread smiles as far as we could.

True love is like a permanent state of madness, one that makes us end up doing things we always thought ourselves incapable of. The same happened with Delhi-based Arjun Singh. As a teenager, he made fun of romantic movies and love songs. Even when he got married, he only gradually fell in love with his wife—their love was mature and pure and had none of the madness that love stories are made of. But his story only begins here . . . One day at a party, he meets Tamanna, who looks breathtaking beside her overweight and pompous husband. Her arrival turns Arjun’s life around. He does everything love-struck teenagers are known to do—from writing poetry and letters to checking his phone every few minutes. He pines, he sings, he cries, he obsesses, he hyperventilates, he regrets, he scolds himself, he broods, he dreams, and he loves—truly and helplessly. And as time passes, the gradual revelation of Tamanna’s maturity, her thoughtfulness, and her witty personality leave Arjun completely awestruck. But his is not a usual love story, for he is married, and so is she. Heartbreaking and inspired by the author’s life story, Tamanna is a journey through a man’s heart, exploring, as it does, how it is possible to love more than one person at the same time, and how love heeds no reason and no boundaries . . .