A medical student at Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Mumbai, Gaurav Dashputra is the new young writer on the block. “And Then It Rained…” is his debut novel. A huge movie buff and a die hard Shahrukh fan, he is a fun loving and witty guy. Here’s what he has to say about the book!
1. Firstly, congratulations for the release of your debut novel. How does it feel?
Thanks a lot for your wishes. And I feel like the King Of the World. haha just kidding. But yes it truly feels amazing and plus the response the book has been getting from the readers truly makes each day seem special.
2. You are a Medical student at Dr. D. Y. Patil University and a writer. Can you tell us something more about yourself?
Well there is nothing much to tell. I was a swimmer back in my school days and have won one gold medal at the national level. And before success could elude me I gave swimming up. I took up football and represented my school team. Tried my hand at playing the guitar and the drums and failed miserably. So there isn’t anything special about my life. I am guy who enjoys doing a lot basic things in life like watching a lot of movies, listening to old school songs and playing videogames.
3. What inspired you to venture into writing?
Now writing and reading was something I was not particularly fond of while I was a kid. I don’t remember ever completing any novel before I reached ninth standard. I wasn’t particularly great at my english itself and used to get fairly average marks in the subject. I think the three people who really inspired me to take an interest in english were – Seema Altaf Ma’am my eighth standard class teacher. She used to yell a lot at me in english and I would never understand what she said to me…so I decided that i would learn so that atleast I knew what she was saying. Then there was Wadki Ma’am who was my English tutor. A lot of credit goes to her for letting me be the way I was as she allowed me the freedom to write some really jazzy essays. And lastly it has to be Mr. Sidney Sheldon the first author that I idolized. That man rocks. It was after reading him that i decided that one day I would venture into writing.
4. Please tell us a little about the plot of the book.
And Then It Rained… is the story of Aman Sarin. It tells you about his life in the three years of 2008 to 2011. It has a lot of elements attached to it like love, heartbreaks, tragedy, lost love, friendship, narcissism. If I had to describe the book in four words i would say that it is AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER RIDE .
5. How much is the protagonist, Aman’s character based on you?
Well Aman is a very cool guy…a lot of cool things happen to him all the time. I am nowhere as cool as him. But that been said. There are a few similarities. We both are swimming gold medalists. Both are die hard fans of hindi movies and SRK. And both of us have a really cool set of friends. And I also find Aman to be a very brave guy. The way he handles the adversities of life. I don’t know if I could do that.
6. After a couple of bad break ups, Aman takes up excessive drinking and smoking. You have also tackled the controversial concept of “friends with benefits”. What is your view on these topics?
I personally believe that every action that a man performs is triggered by some sort of a catalyst. There are good catalyst that shape you into good people by making you do good actions. Bad ones are responsible for all the wrong things you do. It’s totally up to you as to how well can you handle your life’s own chemical reaction. Smoking and drinking is bad and i would never advise anyone to try it. And as far as friends with benefits goes I have given it a lot of thought. Casual Sex is in a way good thing but only till the time it remains casual. But even with all the progress we are making and no matter how broad our mentality is becoming somewhere emotions always play a hurdle. People who can handle all of it well…Hats off to them .
7. In the second half of the book Aman has a very negative vibe to him. How would you explain his feelings?
I think you should personally close your eyes and just put yourself in his shoes and imagine. With And then It rained and Aman I have brought forward a very relatable story so once you stop thinking that it is my story and start perceiving it as Aman’s story all the negativity will disappear.
8. Most books have happy endings. But not your book. Did you worry how readers would react to this?
For me there are just two kinds of stories. Good stories and bad stories. If your story is good it will be received well and people will appreciate it. If it’s not they won’t the funda is simple. I don’t think following cliches and conventions would lead to something bigger and better. Individuality always stands out .
9. Have you tried to convey some message or moral through this book?
The message is simple – Value what you have because you never know when things will go bad for you. As the tagline says – Life ain’t always a fairytale. There is another message but the readers will have to read the book and find that out themselves. i don’t want to ruin the climax for them.
10. As a debut writer, did you face problems finding publishers?
A lot of people as me the same question. they ask me how difficult is it to become a published author. I would just like to tell them all that it is neither too difficult nor a cakewalk. All you really need is the belief…in yourself and in your work. Everyone has different sensibilities so not everyone may like your work but you got to pat your back and tell yourself that you are doing a good job. As for me…god has been very kind. I faced no trouble at all.
11. Any experiences that you faced while writing the book that you would like to share?
One year of unofficial college leave. That is what it took to complete the book. Seriously…I have bunked college for an entire year. Even if I wasn’t writing I was doing something or the other. and when I was writing I did not know what I was doing. I used to sit to write at 12 or 1 at night and write all night and sleep all day. And then there were days when I did not sleep at all. I remember the day finished writing the final chapter. I had written 3 chapters because I wanted to finish it and hadn’t slept in 32 hours. My friend told me I looked like a zombie. I am just very thankful to god that I passed that year in college. Nahi toh ghar waale bahot phodte the. But as I said Gods been kind and now I have a more organised way of going about things.
So will it rain again for Aman? Grab a copy of the book and find out.