Allow me to introduce Jatin Kuberkar. He wears multiple hats, we, however, came to know about him during our communication with him in the context of his third book – The Treasure Syndicate.
From our team, I got a chance to read – The Treasure Syndicate – and reading it turned out to be a pleasant experience for me. You can read my detailed views about the book at the link below:
It is said that if you have a will, the ways come searching for you! Jatin has a passion for stories. His job, however, is demanding (which job is not?!), and thus, he has no luxury to spend time to search for interesting stories. Being an attentive listener (which is a rare quality, by the way) he participates in communication with his fellow colleagues and cab drivers when commuting to the office. During one such ride, when waiting for a friend, he lost into conversation with the cab driver. From that conversation came the idea of – The Treasure Syndicate. He has talked about it in detail in the book itself. Of course, it was just the conceiving of the idea, the story needed research work and it was rewritten almost 4-5 times before it took the shape of the book.
He shared details about his research work on his official blog, and I am sure you will find it interesting to read. Here is a quick link:
Reading the book intrigued me to know more about Jatin and his journey so far as an author, and of course, his future projects (which I must say, I am curious to know about). And, what could have been a better alternative than an author interview with him. He is a straight forward person, so things progressed smoothly and I got a chance to have a small Q/A session with him.
Curious to know how it went?! Well, let me share it with you all right away.
We are glad to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sparing some time to have a Q/A session with us. Your book “The Treasure Syndicate” is getting positive responses in both commercial and critical aspects. Please accept our congratulations for the same. Can you share about the response you’ve received for the book, so far?
The response has been very encouraging. Everyone who has read the book was happy and satisfied with it. The story connected well among all age groups. It was meant to be so… I like my stories to be general, thought-provoking and engaging rather than being targeted to a particular reader’s segment.
The reviews I’ve got so far are far beyond my expectations.
I thank all the reviewers who have read The Treasure Syndicate and encouraged me with their honest reviews.
Absolutely. Then again, completeness is always abstract, undefined… and that is the pleasure and the pain of being a creative person. All of us feel we will be complete someday, but in the words of a poet in me,
जब मंज़िल का कोई इल्म न था
बस एक कारवां कि तलाश थी
ऐसा रंगीन कारवां है आज
अब न मंज़िल कि फ़िक्र है, न रास्ते कि।
For the mortal world, I pretend to be a Software Architect who works hard (or hardly?) in the hours of a day. I am the guy next door, a hardcore Harry Potter fan and a movie buff. I literally ‘live’ every movie I watch, I have strong opinions about its content, and I hate it when a movie based on an interesting concept is messed up for the sake of commercial value. I enjoy watching cartoon shows with my son. I never get bored of listening to the endless chatter of my wife. When I’m not writing, I make toys for children.
But beyond the boundaries of this “cholesterol-rich” coil, I am a rider of rapturous thoughts. I am a thinker, a philosopher, a seeker, a storyteller, a writer, a wanderer and every other thing that a thought can be.
The World is strange, “beautiful” is just an adjective given to make it sound good!
I have used this sentence in one of my writings, and this thing about the world is what makes me the candidate to collect and tell stories from the world. My writings are mainly drawn from the transactions of the real world. They are inspired by people I see around me. Even the issues and conflicts in my works are very much experienced or overheard from someone. I believe this is what makes my narrative more connecting and believable.
Alright, believe me as I say this:
I was waiting for my cab and had a casual conversation with the driver. The conversation ended gifting me the idea behind this book.
I have documented the conversation in one of my blog posts that can be read below
Thankfully, there is no story behind this 😊 It is a result of many trail-drafts and designs. The thumb rules for me, while designing it were, it must be simple yet profound. It must have the feel of the ancient and must be cryptic in nature. The one that you see in the book meets all the set criterion.
This symbol was one of the very first ones that I had visualized. Today, it seems I was only pretending to find a better one, whereas the story was already being written with the current symbol in mind!
It is true with me.
As I said earlier, the facades of the world inspire me a lot. We see many people around us. Everyone is different, unique and to a large extent, unpredictable!
I have my share or experiences with the shades and colors of people and their mentality, which I try to pour into my characters who are an amalgamation of one or more such personalities.
The situations I have created in my book are a living witness to the fact.
Take for example, the scene about ‘house deal’ at Patthar Galli in my book. This is how people change their mind, this is how they read the mind of the seller/buyer and this is exactly how property dealings go… ultimately, it is the emotion that wins. And I tried to depict the same in my description!
I am not an avid reader, but I do read a decent amount. I have never ‘read’ mythology. The source of my knowledge about the subject lies in the rich and vibrant stories told by my Grandmother during my childhood. She was a treasure trove of knowledge and had a special knack for narrating stories. They were so effective that I can hear them resonate in my memories even today (in her own voice).
Sadly, this generation is missing it big time!!!
But anyway, so, how did I connect my story to Mahabharat’s Kaliyug story?
This happened naturally. After getting inspired by the cab driver’s version, I indulged myself in research. A working draft was being written, re-written and getting discarded almost every day. Then… the problem became clear to me. I was just recollecting and retelling to myself the same version of the story from the driver over and over again. I was not working on a story but on an essay…
I left it there for a few days to let something hit me naturally.
Then, I don’t remember when and how, but the story of Parikshit came to my mind. It was a perfect one to set the stage for this story that I was about to tell. It was interesting, intriguing, wide in context and most importantly it was perfectly fitting in my narrative.
Ok, time for some revelations then,
Jabbar the digger is based on a factory worker. Kumar is a carbon copy of the driver who narrated me the treasure story. Mahesh is based on a Marwari friend, Srikanth is vaguely inspired by someone I see in the mirror while combing my hair.
Acharya Agnihotri is heavily and truly Amitabh Bacchan!! I wanted to create a non-stereotypical, believable, and close to real character of an astrologer. When I was searching for a reference point to carve out this character, a scene from a movie flashed on the TV screen and I decided to star him in my novel! 😊
To answer your question: I just follow the instincts and let the story take me where it wants to. It has always worked in my favor!
Nothing is planned.
I write as per the mood. But I must admit, I think/plan/plot a lot during travels and commutes. That is when I mentally write the story, after which it’s just typing it down!!
The most painful part for me is editing my own work. The treasure syndicate’s first completed version was more than 70k words!
This is when planning or a methodical approach is needed. This I do with a grudge!
Well, I don’t have an incline towards a set genre. I just want to write stories that can entertain and to some extent make people think.
My first book, “While I Was Waiting”, it is a collection of short stories all inspired by my own waiting experiences at various instances. The next one, Cabbing all the way is a real account of my travel in a shared cab – the little adjustments, miseries, tragedies of life, draped into comedy. And the latest one, The Treasure Syndicate is a “derived fiction” from a bunch of stories and facts.
I want to experiment with unique stories and ideas.
Show the world a different perspective.
I think the most important thing I noticed in many successful writers is their hold on the subject.
Here there are 2 things worth mentioning – Knowledge and Research.
Having knowledge about black-magic, for instance, is completely different than writing about it. A person who has absolutely no knowledge about the subject will be lost in lieu of a very subtle background about dark magic. Hence, the story of “Brahmin and Thugs” finds a place in my book. This was something we’ve read in school; but, this is how “vashikaran” works. A modern equivalent for that would be systematic brainwashing…
Likewise, we read news about a particular species of snake that is often smuggled because it has “treasure-sense”. Hence the Red-Sandboa finds a place in the book.
The key here is to connect these interesting facts with the right research. Make the bells ring. Connect a concept with a context and the work is done.
Yes, designing the book cover was a lengthy process. The team at The Book Bakers – my literary agent, Suhail Mathur, did a tremendous job on the cover.
I just gave them the idea I had in my mind along with the note that the symbol has to be prominent…
We did a couple of iterations and that’s it!
The Treasure Syndicate has taken my writing to a higher level, in its own way. Call it the will of the story or anything else, but this was the first time I was not satisfied with the edits until it pleased the god inside me. During the process of editing, I was never impatient nor was I in a hurry to get the stuff out for publishing. The editing phase (incl self-edits) itself took 8 months where I literally rewrote the book almost twice.
There was certainly something that was driving me towards perfection.
I think, these traits are here to stay with me and will make me a better writer (and person)
“Ancient” literature to me was Chandamama and my grand mother’s stories. And when I think about it now, authors like Mulk Raj Anand, Premchand, Kushwant Singh, Rabindranath Tagore etc, who came through the academic reading did influence me.
To be very honest, I started reading only from the year 2003 and the first book I had read completely was Sudha Murthy’s Wise and Otherwise. The book had profound impact on me. It encouraged me to read more. And then, I was introduced to R.K Narayan! Under the banyan tree gave me the affirmation that even simple stories (that I had in my mind) can be impactful. After that, it was Ruskin Bond and others followed. When it comes to poetry, Sri Aurobindo influenced me a lot.
I don’t read a lot of Foreign authors… I think Indian English literature has enough rich stuff for me for this life!
There is just one author whom I keep in the top most category… and He is R.K Narayan.
I love reading any Indian Author… no favorites.
Currently I am reading Visions of the summer past written by my friend Avishek Gupta.
As I type the answer, my bookshelf has about 30 unread books – planning to complete them soon!
I am also researching for my next book and hence reading a lot of climate related stuff on the internet.
I am a toy maker. One day I want to take this up as a full-time occupation.
Marketing a book is the toughest task for any author.
In the world of social media, I think video trailers give the book a fair amount of visibility.
By the way – Thanks for asking this question.
I want to encourage and help authors in marketing their books. To help make their book visible, I make trailers for them out of passion.
Change is constant! And the taste of readers is changing. The literature is in a constant struggle for existence amongst flash-fiction, BOT based story-telling and WhatsApp message tales. Unfortunate but truth.
The future is EBook – agree or deny!
The living spaces are shrinking. People are living in “Coffin homes” in cities in China.
I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 10 years physical books would cease to exist!
It is already available and be found at https://www.amazon.in/Treasure-Syndicate-Jatin-Kuberkar-ebook/dp/B082PR3GGK/
I love reading. Ebook or physical copy… as long as the stuff in it interests me, I am in!
My grand mother was a master at story telling. All my summer holidays were spent in listening to her stories – one story a day! There was moral, entertainment, fun, learning…and the most important of all, they were filled with imagination. I think my story telling skill is a direct product of the legacy my grandmother had passed through me.
I’d say, we have lost it.
And it saddens me to tears.
Absolutely, here is an observation I’ve derived of late…
Children who grow up listening to stories from grand-parents are more active and dynamic. They tend to adjust quickly to situations and revive effectively from failures.
These stories instill confidence in them. Makes them spiritual and courageous. If you notice, all these traits are something that the whatsapp generation is lacking to a large extent.
I am writing the next Treasure Syndicate story, but it is not a sequel.
The concept of Treasure Syndicate is my own and I will keep developing it.
Apart from that, I am also writing a reality-fiction and a self-help book.
Here you go
- Acharya – Amitabh Bacchan
- Sumati – Rohini Hattangadi
- Mahesh – Arjun Rampal
- Kumar – Rajpal Yadav
- Jabbar – Nawazuddin Siddiqi
- Srikanth – Akshay Kumar
- Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/jatinkuberkar
- Facebook authors Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJatinKuberkar/
- Blog: https://jatinkuberkar.wordpress.com/
- Twitter Handle: @jatinkuberkar
- Instagram: @kuberkarjatin
Over To You:
I hope you have enjoyed the Q/A session with him. And many of your questions might be already answered. Let us know that what do you think about this Interview session? Do you want us to ask anything else to heron your behalf? Do let us know. Also, let us know which other authors you like us to interview? 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 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 mailbox.