What is your writing process like?
Writing is like catching fireflies, shining bright in the pitch-black darkness of night. Fleeting thoughts – here now and gone in a flash. The best practice is to catch these fleeting thoughts as fast as possible, even one at a time. Keeping a pen and a diary by the bedside was a time-tested toolkit (incidentally toolkit has become a much-maligned word these days), but the ubiquitous smartphone with its notes feature has made my thought-catching exercise a lot easier. All it requires, even in the dead of night, is to silently operate the device, net the thought, store and lock it in there for incubation, and to be expanded at an appropriate “later”. How convenient! Even an old-timer like me is getting addicted to this game of catching these dancing fireflies.
What in your opinion makes a good story?
There are no tried and tested formulae for writing great stories. If this were so, everyone would be creating best sellers. Although a few basic rules such as simply comprehensible language, right sentence construction, a gripping style matter; what matters most is striking a right balance between the head and the heart. Think with the head but write with a warm heart. When one does it with passion and warmth, others invariably empathize and believe in the sincere story coming straight from the heart. The same is true of the other spheres of human endeavors as well. “Elementary, My Dear Watson” as Sherlock Holmes would tell his assistant.
What is this book all about?
The title says it all. As an observant traveler records his experiences of a new place, its landmarks, beauty, its contemporary mindset, and problems, etc, so is the narration by this trillionaire intergalactic traveler. During his sojourn on this planet, he makes a few similar entries in his diary. A collection of his thoughts on the beauty, grandeur, and a few memorable events on this blessed planet, some problems too. What a huge privilege to be visiting this part of the universe! A sense of sincere gratitude is the glue – the common theme throughout the narrative.
The most overwhelming thought you experienced while creating this book?
Sky, stars, and the universe have fascinated me from an early age and been objects of life-long curiosity. More it is said about this vast firmament, the less it seems. Unimaginable, incomprehensible, and wondrous are some words that come to mind. Looking at the skies, this beautiful panoply of stars and the universe at large is as calming an experience as it is humbling. We humans, so used to consider ourselves at the center of everything, are at once reminded as to what a minuscule dot of a planet we inhabit, and how insignificant we are in front of nature and the all-encompassing universe. These experiences truly enable us to look at things from an altogether different perspective and bring us down to earth, literally. Life here is the greatest miracle.