Q & A

What is ‘3’ about?

3 is short for the ‘The Three mistakes of my life’. It is a story about three boys who start a business in Ahmedabad. The main protagonist Govind makes three mistakes in his life. I really don’t want to reveal more, though I have provided an excerpt.

Why is it called 3?

There are so many links to the number 3 that it became the obvious choice for the name. Apart from the story being of three boys and the protagonist making three mistakes, the book has three main themes – business, cricket and religion. What’s also fascinating is that the number 3 resembles ‘Om’, representing religion and when written in roman numerals resembles a set of cricket wickets, tying in with the theme of the book.

And of course, it is my third book.

The IITs first, then call centers, what is it this time?

This time it is business. I found the spirit of entrepreneurship in Gujarat fascinating and thought the country should know about it.

However, I’ve written a more universal story this time and not targeted one particular set of people. My audience is pan-Indian now, and I wanted to write a story that is relatable to all.

What style is the book written in?

It is written in the style that comes naturally to me, which is in a light hearted manner with some dark themes in the background. I can’t write any other way.

So even though we have business, cricket and religion – there is other stuff, romance for instance?

Yes absolutely. The book is a lot of fun and the love story this time is easily the best one among my three books. I’d love to share more but I don’t want to take away the fun of reading the book.

Are you nervous before the release given the extraordinary expectations?

A little bit, though way less than last time. The expectations are enormous. However, the book has turned out extremely well with a unanimous positive feedback so far from all who have read it. Some say it is better than the previous two books, which makes me reassured that I won’t disappoint my readers.

This time, I am also more confident about the love of my readers. I know they will be there for me.

How has life changed after moving back to India?

I recently moved to India after eleven years in Hong Kong. I couldn’t stay away from my readers anymore. This has allowed me to travel more and I visited several cities in India in the past year.

I met lots of readers and found out that while people read my books for fun, to many the books mean a lot. People have said they have become better persons after reading my books and they see me as a role model. I don’t think I deserve that much love, but do feel my life belongs to my readers now. To make them happy – whether for pure entertainment or being a positive influence in their life – is my key life goal.

How are the films based on the books coming along? What is your involvement with these films and Bollywood in general?

My involvement in Bollywood is related with writing projects, mostly related to the adaptations of my books or select, exciting straight-to-script projects.

I am currently involved with four films:

i) ‘Idiots’, starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor will go on the floors in June 2008. Inspired by ‘Five Point Someone’, this will be directed and scripted by Rajkumar Hirani who has also added his own take on the story.

ii) ‘Hello’, starring Salman Khan, Sharman Joshi, Katrina Kaif, Gul Panag and others is in post production. Directed by Atul Agnihotri, the film is based on ‘One night @ the call center’ and will release in June 2008. I’ve done the screenplay and dialogues for this film.

iii) There are some talks on for the film adaptation of ‘3’, though I haven’t finalized anything yet. More details will come in the following months.

iv) I am also writing a script for Ashtavinayak Films, details of which will be revealed at the appropriate time.

What is your next project?

I’ll be busy with writing a film script. Apart from that, I don’t really plan to take on much else as I need to refresh myself before jumping into another book.

Any message for your readers?

What can I say to people who have given me more than I deserve? Thank you very much for your support. Keep striving to know yourself better. Be a good person, don’t be arrogant,  and always put love above everything else.

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