Ques: 1- First of all, I would like to pay my sincere thanks for write a novel in Hindi language? Please tell us what drives you to write thriller.
There is nothing new in my writing a thriller. I am a thriller writer since day one. My expertise in only in this genre of fiction writing. So my own initiative has to drive me to write a new thriller. Hence the COLABA CONSPIRACY.
Ques: 2- How do you see the future of Hindi literature when stories are based in urban locations and language goes bilingual?
I cannot comment upon Hindi ‘Literature’ as, unfortunately, my kind of writing is not recognised as literature. This is popularly termed as pulp fiction, although I don’t contribute to this erroneous label. The trend of language going bilingual has just set and I am of the opinion that if given proper attention by the related publishers, it can go far. To illustrate my point I will reiterate that if CC is translated and published in English, it will enjoy much better sales and readership in English as compared to Hindi which, after all thins said and done, is nothing but a regional language.
Ques: 3 – Will you please tell us about the changed response of Indian publishing industry towards Hindi literature and Hindi writers since 1959 when your first story published in Manohar Kahaniya?
The Indian publishing industry is prospering like anything but their response towards Hindi ‘Literature’ (!) leaves much to be desired. Compared to English writers, a Hindi writer is looked down upon by international names in publication. Even the local players in the field will always be on the look out for another Chetan Bhagat and they will not give it a distant thought to give the same attention to a Hindi writer. My every book’s first edition is from 40-45 thousands copies but it is not an event because I write in Hindi. A guy writing in English will be declared a bestseller and the event will be celebrated with great fanfare if his book sells 5000 copies. Even media will cover the event with much enthusiasm. But a Hindi book selling 50000 copies is not worthy of there attention. English is treated as a housewife entitled to all niceties, Hindi as a harlot to be looked down upon by all the high-nosed englishwallahs.
Ques: 4 – Did you ever get the chance to write for films in your long experience of last five decades as a thriller writer?
I never got an offer to write directly for the films but got many offers to get many of my novels to be adopted for films and for tele-serials. Nothing worked as I was required to move to Mumbai which I never will. Secondly I am doing very well in my own trade of books in Delhi, so I am not very particular at my age (74+) to have a Mumbai stint.
Ques: 5 – Do you think that a Hindi writer can earn his or her living by devoting time to write literature? Please tell us about the money making part for writers in this industry.
This is a very vague, very general question but I will try to reply. Firstly I cannot imagine Hindi writer writing in English. If there is one such fellow who is capable of this feat he will definitely forego writing in Hindi. Why be a ‘koopmandoop’ when there is a whole world to conquer. There are Indian writers who write in English but there is hardly any who writes in his native language too. He only waits to get his work translated in English and there are not many who get this opportunity and gain fame and acclaim more than what they enjoy in their native language i.e. if they enjoy the honour of being best sellers in their native language. Secondly a writer in India cannot earn his living, run his family, by writing alone. He has to pursue some other profession (the way I did by working for Indian Telephone Industries for 34 years) to make a decent living for himself and his family. There are a few exceptions in India like Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Wikram Seth etc. who have minted money but they too can not match the earning of J.K. Rowling (richer than the queen of England), John Grisham, Sydney Sheldon etc.
Ques: 6 – How did you define the success of a writer in any part of the world?
There is only one measure of the success of a writer who writes for money (‘No one but a blockhead ever wrote except for money’ – Samuel Johnson): His print order. Number of editions that each book ran into. Huge royalties. If your writings make you wealthy, you are successful otherwise you are ‘also ran’, sometimes only ‘has been’.
Ques: 7 – What is your next project post Colaba Conspiracy?
Next book by me after CC is entitled JO LARE DEEN KE HAIT and will also be published by M/s Harper Collins in due course.
Ques: 8 – Will you please give your valuable suggestions to young Hindi writers, who dream of becoming The Surendra Mohan Pathak or The Shri Lal Shukla of Hindi Literature?
If a person has printer’s ink in his veins, nobody on the God’s green earth can stop him from writing. He will write without giving it a thought whether it will be published or not. But if a guy wants to pick up writing as a profession, that too as a lucratively paying profession, I have only one word of advice for him: DON’T