Adventure sails along the life of a mariner; the ocean his mighty companion but it is the breeze that he has to champion for it is frivolous and dizzy with its spirited self. It ruffles the pages of his book of life and then cajoles him as he rides the waves watching over our peace as the guardian of the sea. He keeps a watchful eye on the ripples in the troughs and crests and suddenly smiles as the sun drowns itself to give room to the night. Yet another day has gone by and he looks up at the sheen of the night. He ponders for just a while and his eyes brim with memories that make him smile. Suddenly the wind picks up speed, challenges him with the lash from the sea and the dark sky dissolves the light. In the darkness he seeks and finds a ray of light.
Yes! The winds may ruffle in rage but they always bring in a change. This is what happened with one of the leading fiction writers in India, Kulpreet Yadav. He retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. Also a motivational speaker now, he has spoken at 150+ schools, colleges, and global corporate brands during the last three years. Popular for his Andy Karan series, his latest spy novel is called Murder in Paharganj (Bloomsbury India). Kulpreet lives in Delhi with his wife Seema and daughters Leah and Jeanie.
We are indeed grateful to him for agreeing to do an exclusive interview with the Lifestyle and cultural e-zine Bananivista.
BV: ‘Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.’ What is your take on this quote?
Kulpreet Yadav: We live in a dangerous world at the moment where the difference between fact and fiction is only in our heads. For me, therefore, fiction is just an extension of our minds.
BV: ‘Murder in Paharganj,’ has all the ingredients of a thriller. You have put to use espionage theories that involve crime, psychological warfare, life of agents, intelligence services, the role of media and the police force. Share the way in which you planned your story and assigned roles.
Kulpreet Yadav: This was the most difficult book for me to write for several reasons. One, it took me the longest to finish this book as the sequence of events were getting mixed up in my head and that is something a writer can’t afford to pass on to the reader. Two, both the characters, the protagonist Vicks and the antagonist Jamie are grey—with the difference that Vicks mutates into a better person through the chase. Jamie was harder to create as he was conflicted in a way that had to end very horribly and even he was aware of it, and yet, he had experienced love, which, in his case, unraveled him faster, than it patched up Vicks. Three, my initial plot was less ambitious but as I began writing it, the book took a more dramatic form and expanded to occupy a vast canvas which I could only handle best with breaks in-between my writing. Four, I wanted this book to be short, under 300 pages,and controlling these characters turned out to be a gargantuan task because they obviously wanted more space and action.
BV: ‘Your characters introspect a lot and constantly delve into issues that plague our society.’ Do you agree?
Kulpreet Yadav: Yes, I do. My characters, like us in flesh and blood, are real for me. They feel pain, pleasure, have goals, don’t want to die etc. Sometimes by default,but mostly by design, my characters do stoke some of the important issues we face as humans on the planet today.
BV: The human species learns through stories and storytellers have certain social responsibilities. What do you keep in mind when you assign certain roles and characteristics to your characters?
Kulpreet Yadav: For me, it is always the good winning over the evil. It’s such a clichéd thing to say this many might argue, but that’s how I want to see our present and our future. My stories, lend a voice to the good, who, if I can say, are a minority today in many big cities where business, crime, and politics are the new good even though, actually,they can be best described as organized-bad.
BV: Alcoholism is a menace. Vicks Menon fights it and Jamie upholds it. Do you have a message against alcoholism that would help the youngsters to realize the menace?
Kulpreet Yadav: Alcoholism can be and should be treated with love and care. Vicks is the perfect example. Excess of anything is bad and in the case of Jamie it is not alcoholism alone that eventually takes him down, but it is also his other excesses. Can’t say more as I want people to read the book.
Meet The Characters From Murder In Paharganj
BV: Answer the following in brief keeping in mind your bestselling novel, ‘Murder in Paharganj.’
Your favourite character.
Vicks Menon. A physically weak man fights back with his mind and teams up with the woman who was once in love with him.
Most difficult character sketch
Jamie. Because, he is ruthless, and yet he has been in love and be remembers it even as he sinks deeper and deeper in the hell hole that he has dug himself into.
A social message that has been received well by the readers.
Good wins. Evil comes close, but loses in the end.
Any personal message that prompted you to develop a situation in the novel
None that I can think of.
Your journey so far
I’m enjoying myself. After wearing uniform for two decades and living the adventure thoroughly, I’m now doing what makes sense to me. I’m writing, reading, speaking, and travelling. And I’ve lots of plans for the future.
Share a quote to live by
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