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Interview of Deepak Kaul | Author of Corpokshetra

Recently we got a chance to interview Deepak Kaul, a talented aspiring writer. His book Corpokshetra: Mahabharata in the MBA Yug is a retelling of the Mahabharata (as the name suggests).

Deepak have seen the world of accountancy from very near and he might have witnessed many board meetings and tactics during his career. In his own words:

I am a chartered accountant by profession. I have over 20 years experience in international taxation. I took up writing as an avocation and now hope to flip it into something fruitful full time.

And all these experiences make him authentic when exploring the stuff on the canvas. The love for Cricket in India is very well known, author have researched about the sports of Golf for Corpokshetra: Mahabharata in the MBA Yug; showing his commitments for his work.

Author Deepak Kaul In A Funny Mood

Author Deepak Kaul In A Funny Mood

Here is our conversation with Deepak.

Congratulations for getting your book published by Westland and Bloody Good Book. Please share your feelings for this achievement.

It’s a great feeling to be published. I have been very fortunate to have the acceptance and backing of BGB and Westland. BGB made the process of submission and selection of the manuscript very easy and transparent. I did not have to go through the struggle that most debut writers face of having their manuscript vetted and accepted by major publishing houses.

Can you tell us more about your journey as an author?

As mentioned above, I took up writing as a hobby since I have always been very fond of reading. Corpokshetra was my fourth book. It takes time to hone your skills as a writer. As with anything, practise makes perfect. I also strongly believe that writers should write to entertain themselves and hopefully readers will follow. Writing to popular trends to try and achieve success as a writer is not a good idea.

You have self published some books on Amazon, how is the response? How it is different from traditional book printing and launching from a publishing house?

The response has been lukewarm. Hopefully with the publishing of Corpokshetra, the interest in my self published books might pick up. There is no comparison between self publishing and traditional publishing. The efforts put in by a publishing house to market a book will be noticed far more effectively by prospective readers. I also believe that the traditional publishing platform is the true litmus test of whether a book is suitable for publishing from several perspectives. Self publishing is a vanity option really, and that has resulted in a proliferation of ‘vanity publishing’ that has flooded the market with sub-standard books.

As you mentioned in the book, you like Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s book on Mahabharata. Can you tell us a few points from that book which made you to write your own version of Mahabharata?

Mr Tharoor’s fabulous book married the Independence struggle with the story of the Mahabharata. It brought the story forward from its traditional setting. That was my inspiration to bring the story further forward into the 21st century.

And there are books “Karna’s Wife” and “Jaya: an illustrated retelling of Mahabharata” also mentioned in Corpoksheta (acknowledgements segment), please share your thoughts about these books for our readers.

As mentioned in the Afterword to the book, I have also been deeply influenced by the way Mahabharata has been reconfigured in Karna’s Wife, The Palace of Illusions and The Winds of Hastinapur. Each of these books provide a very interesting perspective on the Mahabharata from the point of view of female characters. However, these books are still told in the Mahabharata’s traditional setting. I wanted to retell the story from a modern perspective.

We like the way you have summarised the lessons of wisdom from Mahabharata in Corpokshetra. Of course everything from Mahabharata is a guideline for every generation. Can you tell us that, what in your opinion we must learn from it?

The lessons from the Mahabharata are too numerous to list. What’s important is that every generation should heed these lessons which have remained relevant even to this day. The lessons summarised at the end of my book are in tune with the tongue and cheek nature of the book. However, these lessons have a deeper meaning.

If you were to design the syllabus of management studies (BBA / MBA / CA) would you like to add lessons from Indian mythologies? What would be them?

Definitely, and the most important lesson would be is that greed is NOT good.

It seems that you are an avid reader. Can you share with us the list of books you love reading the most?

I am mostly a non-fiction reader which is paradoxical since I write fiction. I enjoy reading history and business related books. I also love travel writing.

Which are the books you are currently reading?

I am reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I picked this book up because it is fantasy fiction, a genre I enjoy very much if written well.

And What are your all time favourite books?

TOO numerous to list!

Which other authors you really love to read?

Again TOO numerous to list!

What are your other hobbies?

Music, movies, travel, food.

Which are your favourite tourist destinations in India and Abroad?

In India, Goa. Aboard, California and South Africa.

Which kind of music you love the most, any of your favourites?

I love rock. Currently my favourite band is Coldplay.

What is your favourite cuisine?

Indian Chinese.

By the way you wrote the book it a nice fun ride for the readers, at places it reminded us PanchTantra tales and Hindi Film “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron”. So we are sure that you have had a fantastic career as an author ahead. We would like to know what is in your radar for the next adventure?

Thank you very much for your encouragement! I am planning a fiction book around climate change.

Are you seeing yourself writing a non-fiction?

No. Too much hard work and research required! Having said that, I am doing a lot of research into climate change for my next book. I might write a self help book later in life encompassing life lessons I have gathered from my experiences.

Can you tell us about your writing process and habits (some writers love to write at specific time of day for example)?

It is VERY important to stick to a schedule. Full time writing should be treated like a job. You have to write everyday, whether it is one para, one page or one chapter. Some days you will struggle, on other the words will flow.

Which scene(s) of the book you enjoyed writing (in both the books) more than the others?

I loved the challenge of adopting each relevant scene in the Mahabharata to modern times. Every adaptation was a challenge since I had to make sure it did not degenerate into a farce and retained the character of a witty satire.

If there is a TV Serial/movie to be made based on your book, whom do you like to play the central characters 🙂 ?

I’d love to see the book done in animation.

Is there anything you would like to share from your end?

Writing is a deeply satisfying yet frustrating profession. You have to keep grinding the axe till your writing is sharp.

Over to you:

We hope that you have enjoyed the interview session, may be even more than us 🙂

Do you have any other questions for her? Which other authors you like us to interview for you? Do let us know your thoughts and remarks via comments below. Do not forget to share this article with your friends over various social networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and others. And yes, you may like to subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on various Social networks to get latest updates for the site to land right in your mail box.

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