Jitendra Anand believes in surviving tough times and moving ahead in life. People largely believe in success by parameters of achievements; for him, success means pursuing dreams in spite of failures over a period.
In this candid conversation, he spoke at length about how he ventured in this literary world, with a Civil Engineering background and professionally demanding tough times for achieving one milestone after another, leaving no space even for family life. The charisma of his personality is mesmerizing, who meet him even once by chance.
Let’s explore this dynamic personality.
QUES: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Jitendra: I am Civil Engineer by profession, studied from MREC, Jaipur, and the University of Roorkee. I prefer to remember them by older names, always feeling nostalgic.
When I retrospect events in life, I feel engrossed by the chain of places, people and circumstances. They may not appear interconnected in one comprehension. As time passes, sheer interdependence of actions and reactions, approaches, words and behavior interact with each other. In deep fathoms of mind, awareness of their good or bad actions seems to have been planned unknowingly. I am very much concerned with this aspect of a mysterious life.
QUES: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Jitendra: I never imagined to be an author.
I passed time with tough task-driven assignments and they never ended. They kept on pouring one after another. Change of job or company did not matter much. I realized with time that new faces and different spaces in this profession hardly matters. They speak the same language of targets and timelines.
I joined GOALS (Poverty) project under UNDP in Dec 2016 unexpectedly. I was reluctant to join initially, however, my friends persuaded to switch over. Joining government back as a consultant in the Ministry of Rural Development, GOI was least expected, as I resigned from CPWD in 2007.
It was a roller coaster ride. I literally covered India barring few states and met hundreds of people at the village level. Far away from the world of calculations, drawings and contract management, meeting villagers was a different learning experience. As I explored life in these villages, I came to know different perspectives with their problems, ambitions, and struggles.
Coincidentally, I was assigned the task of writing a book for the Ministry of Rural Development. I have been an avid reader but never thought of writing books myself.
After meeting initial resistance, I started and learned the whole process of the publishing world. This unexpected assignment triggered a passion for writing in the heart. It has been a terrific fast-paced journey and full of happiness. I feel immensely rewarded after completing 12 books.
QUES: What inspires you to write books? What are the things, which catch your attention?
Jitendra: Life has problems associated with it, some are temporary and some are permanent. Uncontrolled emotions overwhelm us, and because of pain, the memory of problems does not die even after solutions. There is a pain in assuming responsibility for our problems. Of what possible significance could we be, as individuals or even as race, buffeted by internal chemical and psychological forces we do not understand, invisible in this enormous universe whose dimensions are so large that even present science cannot measure?
I feel inspired to write more, take up one more book after seeing the struggles of people around me. The mutiny written over their faces has become a driving force for me in this literary world.
QUES: How long does it take for you to write a book?
Jitendra: I completed 12 books since May 2017. Now there is some consistency. I have observed that it takes me three to four months for writing a book. Editing and publishing are different aspects which follow afterward.
QUES: Tell something in brief about your books. How did the idea of coming up with these books strike you?
Jitendra: I took up Tumahre Liye.. a collection of 50 poems in Hindi initially, uploaded on Amazon Kindle, then self-published and learned more about the publishing industry. Then completed some books like ‘WORDS WILL REMAIN WITNESS’, a motivating compilation or summary of more than 20 books; Ektinakahawa men- another collection of 50 poems; a collection of 100 funny quotes; Climate resilience – a perspective with MGNREGS, a collection of 10 short stories in Hindi that I plan to expand to 50 short stories.
I completed ‘Noida Express’, my first novel in the month June 2018, based on the concept of the sound gun and weaving around the plot of a crime. Then another novel ‘New Delhi Square’ based on political finance of companies, it will be available in paperback next month.
I took up one ambitious project ‘The Verdict of Mahakaal’, as incidentally read the legends of Chuarasi Mahadev in Ujjain. I have tried to connect quantum physics and existence of a universe, human nature, cycles of births and rebirths; throwing light on mystic connection with known-unknown people we meet in the journey in this life. The work is under revision and I hope to complete next month for further editing and publishing.
‘AkhiriKasam’ is in progress and will be a crime thriller novel in Hindi, as per requested by friends and family. I hope to complete the work soon.
QUES: How do you manage your time between writing and work?
Jitendra: Difficult to manage, it is the drive and passion inside me. To become a full-time writer is a tough proposition in the publishing industry.
I plan to write four books in a year.
QUES: What is the greatest achievement of your life to date?
Jitendra: I quote one good example from the book ‘Road Less Travelled by Dr. M. Scott Peck’, that I read six times (no other book repeated so many times).
It is difficult to answer why a person survived under similar set circumstances, while others did not. Rather, he became a responsible person and contributed positively to family and society. So many times, it is difficult to define the word ‘achievement’ in life. It may not be visible to eyes and words may not suffice to describe.
QUES: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Jitendra: I learned many facets of our rich heritage while writing ‘The Verdict of Mahakaal’. I tried to connect the same with modern physics and felt the connections in my heart.
I feel amazed by the sheer inter-dependence of actions and reactions of people around me. Life does not leave any chance to surprise me.
QUES: How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading in India?
Jitendra: I read somewhere, now there are more authors than readers.
I have decided to publish my works under my own banner of ‘JAI3E Books & Publishing’. The market is flooded with self-publishing companies, charging huge money and leaving authors in the lurch after payment. Big publishing houses do not take any interest without intervention of Literary Agents. There is a web of delusions for an upcoming author.
I plan to promote authors in future as I am getting enriched with experience in this highly competitive publishing industry.
QUES: When you are not at work and not writing, how do you spend your time?
Jitendra: As of now, focused on work, writing and traveling. I have limited choices with many responsibilities.
QUES: Have you ever gotten a writer’s block? How did you come out of it?
Jitendra: It is there and it will remain; not much concerned.
Sometimes, I do not like writing for days altogether. In spite of the desire to write, I find difficult to sit even for half an hour. It is acceptable to me.
QUES: Which one is your favorite genre?
Jitendra: Thrillers, science fiction and yes, stories of survival against odds in life.
QUES: The best piece of writing advice you would like to give to the budding writers?
Jitendra: Why to complicate a simple task with so many ideas. Sit down peacefully and write; you will meet a good editor someday.
QUES: Do you read books? If yes, which one is most dear to you?
Jitendra: Not many, time is limited and constraint. However, I research a lot while writing a book. I have started researching various aspects for my next book titled ‘The Conspirator’.
QUES: Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project that you are working on?
Jitendra: ‘New Delhi Square’ will be published in June 2019.
Both collections of poems will be available in a paperback edition next month.
‘The Verdict of Mahakaal’ and ‘AkhiriKasam’ will follow.
The work on the new title ‘The Conspirator’ has started.
*We wish Jitendra Anand all the best for his future endeavors.*
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