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BookChums interviews Sandeep Das

Post by: Kabita Sonowal















This week, BookChums chatted with debutant novelist Sandeep Das the author of Yours Sarcastically. In this exclusive interview with BookChums, he discusses his first book, what prompted him to write it and its take on corporate India. Yours Sarcastically is the journey of an MBA graduate in his twenties from a top Indian B-school and his 'coming-of-age' tale in India Inc.



Thank you for finding the time to do this interview with BookChums. What prompted you to write Yours Sarcastically?

My manager called me to his office one day and said, “Your job is to interview 60 size zero South Bombay women over the next few days. Take them out for dinner if you think they are not opening up adequately during your interviews.” Post that assignment, I was quite sure that I wouldn’t get a better forum to generate content for a book.



How long did it take for you to complete this book? What challenges did you face while working on it?

It took me close to 18 months to complete the book.  The challenges I faced are very common to what most aspiring first time writers face in India – convincing publishers to accept their book and building an initial audience once the book has released. Although now I am extremely delighted with the response the book has got, it has been quite a tough journey over the last 2 years.



Yours Sarcastically is a raw take on corporate India. What kind of an audience did you have in mind?

“Yours Sarcastically” will be enjoyed by most people in the age group 18-30. Specifically, people in their engineering or pursuing their MBA or people in their first or second jobs will enjoy the book immensely.



How would you describe Yours Sarcastically to someone who has not read it as yet?

“Yours Sarcastically” is a sarcastic take on the lives of 20 something people in modern India. It is a saucy journey of a 20 something protagonist through his 20s. The book should be read for the type of experiences that have been mentioned.

Some of the protagonist’s experiences are: - interviewing 60 size zero South Bombay women, negotiating with the right hand man of an underworld don, managing drunken brand managers at corporate off-sites, the extensive preparation done by sales people for ‘surprise’ visits by their bosses and the hiring of cheerleaders by a premier consulting firm to turn around their client’s fortunes.
While free, the protagonist likes to write movie scripts for C grade movies, transform behenjis to blockbuster babes, visit top brothels in Mumbai and indulge in politics and backbiting.



What genres of literature appeal to you?

Over the years, I have enjoyed books across genres. I enjoy books across contemporary fiction, political non-fiction and murder mysteries.



What are you reading at the moment?

I am currently reading To Kill a Mocking Bird and Mao’s Great Famine at the moment.



Are you working on any other book at the moment?

Not really. I am writing a lot of columns for various forums. However, I have a sequel to Yours Sarcastically planned which I will be working on from early next year.



Would we read books based on other genres, other settings, etc. in future?

Possibly – but I haven’t given to much thought to this at this point of time.



Any tips for aspiring authors.
It is tough to be an aspiring first time writer in India. Most aspiring writers believe that writing the book is the tough part. Nothing could be further away from the truth as it is the part after finishing the book that is the toughest part. No matter how good a person’s work is, he will have to face rejections from multiple publishers and it takes a lot of time before someone’s work sees the light of day. It is important to be patient and continuously try to improve one’s own quality of work without expecting immediate returns.


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