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.
Here is our conversation with Deepak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Definitely, and the most important lesson would be is that greed is NOT good.
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.
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.
TOO numerous to list!
Again TOO numerous to list!
Music, movies, travel, food.
In India, Goa. Aboard, California and South Africa.
I love rock. Currently my favourite band is Coldplay.
Thank you very much for your encouragement! I am planning a fiction book around climate change.
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.
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.
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.
I’d love to see the book done in animation.
Writing is a deeply satisfying yet frustrating profession. You have to keep grinding the axe till your writing is sharp.
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.