An engineer, Kartik Srivastava, finally found solace in ink and authored 2 romance novels at a young age of 20 and 23. His two books – A Love Meant To Be and The Promise Of Love has hit the stores and did very well. His upcoming book Kasturi promises to touch your hearts with its melody.
In this tete-a-tete with him, he talked about his journey as a writer, his passion and what it takes to be the one you want. Excerpts from the candid conversation:
Question: Describe yourself in not more than 50 words.
Kartik: A Dreamer, a Writer, a Traveler. Living one day at a time with a cup of coffee and chocolates! Now, I’m quiet, in fact very quiet and I’ve no backup if one day they stop making pizzas. Also, I’m currently looking for the person who invented the idea of putting cardamom (elaichi) in Biriyani.
Question: What inspired you to author books? I mean, when and how did the writer bug bit the Engineer?
Kartik: Someone whose absence makes a huge difference in my life. I wrote what I couldn’t and didn’t want to forget and then writing became a part of me, an extension of myself to be precise.
Question: What is writing to you? How do you perceive it?
Kartik: Writing is a terrible profession. It is no fun and it sucks yet writing is like breathing for me. I write daily, whether it is a single word or thousands of words or sometimes just stare the laptop screen for hours and hours and don’t write at all but I stay true to it, give time to it irrespective of I write or not. It has become a habit.
For me, writing is just not about publishing a novel or poem or piling up books with my name on them. I see writing as an honest thing. Writers have been known to change the views of the masses by their work and inspire a million more and I see writing in the same way. There is a magic in words and this magic should not be lost in the coming times.
Question: Why you have love as a central theme of your books? Would you like to try out other genres in future?
Kartik: You see, love, is a great inspiration and a heartbreak is even greater( :p). Writing about the things you understand is beautiful which in my case was love but writing about the things you don’t understand is more beautiful which in my case happens to be my inspiration.
Definitely yes! In fact, my third novel which is scheduled for this year’s end is not at all a love story, it is a thriller and writing this one, I enjoyed even more.
Question: Who is your favorite author? Any favorite book?
Kartik: It is difficult. There are so many brilliant writers and books out there which we haven’t even read and as William Faulkner once said you should read everything — trash, classics, the good, and the bad — to study what other writers are doing. Last year, I read a book titled, ‘Eugene Onegin’ by Alexander Pushkin which was very different and I loved it. Now I’m reading ‘Heart Berries’ by Terese Marie Mailhot and it is simply mind-blowing and hypnotic. The narrative is kind of poetic and it talks about the mental illness and PTSD. Depression is a serious thing and should be talked about openly.
Question: How has been the experience so far when it comes to seeing your published work and get recognized as an author?
Kartik: It feels good to see that you’ve done something useful after screwing up the engineering. :p
It motivates me too, seeing that people have started recognizing my books and have been positive about them. It inspires me to write more. As of now, I’ve just started and let’s see how it turns out to be.
Question: How do you plan your day? Is it easy to balance both, the profession as well as the passion?
Kartik: It’s a normal day, always. No planning but surprises are welcomed. Maybe after I choose writing as a full-time profession someday, I can plan my days really well.
Some days, it is easy to balance both the things and some days it is not but you’ve to manage to feed the soul too and for that, wake up late in the night to write or early in the morning or anytime but do not skip writing. Be loyal.
Question: What are your hobbies?
Kartik: I love car driving and enjoy taking solo trips to different places. Besides this, I love writing poems as well and sometimes I play guitar (not an expert) for myself. Oh, and I love making those handmade gifts too.
Question: What is your definition of success? (Money/ fame/ satisfaction) How does it feel to relish the taste of success at such a young age?
Kartik: I feel the definition of success for me is that how satisfied I am with my work. There will never be a proper satisfactory end to anything but I choose to be somewhat near about it and later I should not feel that I could have done it better. It’s like when I read my work even after years, I should feel that there was nothing more I could have written to make it more beautiful. If it was beautiful 10 years ago, it should remain beautiful 10 years later too, without any regrets of having written it more beautifully. Only, then money and fame will follow.
For me, success is not only about money. For me, I feel the definition of success is how satisfied I am about my work and it is being loved by people and so far it is being loved so yeah, it feels good but still, it’s a long way to go.
Question: Which is the best way to progress – competing against others OR competing against oneself?
Kartik: By competing with others, you’ll only become better than them but competing with yourself, you’ll become better than your present self and that is the goal, to be a better version of yourself each day and never stop.
Question: Any advice you would like to give to our aspiring writer friends?
Kartik: Just don’t write to get published or getting famous. Write it because the world needs to hear it. Write because you want to. Write it because it’s your story. The world needs a lot of writers who can inspire people in many different ways. And also, read a lot. Never give up.
Question: Are you totally into the social world or does the real world excites you more?
Kartik: I used to be. There was a time when almost everything in my life found its way to the social media but now, I don’t know how and why it is exactly the opposite. Now I would like to refrain from the social world and spend some time traveling and exploring people and the world.
Question: If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?
Kartik: It may sound lame or old school but the first thing I would like to change is the perception of this generation on love and would like them to see it as a rare form of divineness instead of not believing in it and also how to stay together through every thick and thin, no matter what.
After that, I wouldn’t change anything. I would rather create an alternate world for myself as my escape from all the stupidity. :p
Maybe I could write a book on this idea!
Question: How do you see the culture of reading evolving in India, in future?
Kartik: Reading books is one of the best things a person should practice. There was a time in India when people didn’t find interest in reading novels or books. It was shocking but now people have changed their mindsets and even parents are encouraging their children to read which is good. I think, the first book you choose to read plays a very important role in turning you from a non-reader to a bibliophile. Some credit should go to the technology we have today like eBooks and Kindles. We’ve seen a lot of spike in the sales of eBooks and where people still prefer the paperback copy, some people like the electronic version. Thanks to the young writers and authors of India, who are writing something different which is drawing the youth to read their books and ultimately develop interest in reading. I was not such a big fan of reading but few people encouraged me to read books and now I try to read one new book every week. I prefer eBooks.
Question: Tell us about your favorite quote.
Kartik: So there’s a quote by Master Oogway from the movie Kung Fu Panda, ‘One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.’ This was quoted originally by Jeane de La Fontaine. I love this quote. Each one of us faces a situation in our life where we run from someone or something, only to find that the same path takes us to a place we never expect.
I love one more quote from the movie Star Wars, ‘That’s how we’re going to win. Not fighting what we hate but by saving what we love.’ This quote is simply amazing. We should never give up on someone or something we love. Never.
Question: Do let us know about your upcoming book?
Kartik: I’ve planned three books by the end of this year. Let’s hope all three gets published. I wanted to release my third novel, ‘Sand and Sea’ by the starting of this year but due to some problems it got shifted to later this year. ‘Sand and Sea’ is a thriller, by the way (not romantic :p).
In the meantime, while SAS got delayed, I wrote and compiled few poems in Hindi. The title is ‘Kasturi’. It will be my first book of 2018. It is scheduled to release later this month. I’ll share one line from it-
“Kaash mere lafzo me nahi,
Meri aankhon me jhaanka hota tumne,
To samajh paati ki,
Kitna kuch adhura reh gaya,
Jise abtak poora samajhti rahi tum…!”
Question: The last one, would you like to share your plans for the future with our readers?
Kartik: I’m not a big fan of planning future so yeah, no ‘big plans’ as of now but someday I would definitely love to write something about music.
Connect with Kartik Srivastava here: https://www.facebook.com/kartik.srivastava.391