Mr Gautam: 'Love in Crazy Times' is an engaging tale of search for love and freedom, braving heart-breaks, evil bosses and family pressure. The story shows how India, after the economic liberalization, is offering immense opportunities as well as challenges to young people. It is a racy and pacey story that has elements of romance, humor, emotions, drama and a bit of social message.
CJ: What inspired you to write a book and that too on this topic?
Mr Gautam: When I see young people, I feel they are faced with many issues, whether it’s their love, life or their career. Young people are more than often forced by parents to choose a career or a life partner different from what they want. This situation makes me think. I decided to tell a story which mirrors what the young Indians are going through.
CJ: What is your target audience?
Mr Gautam: I write for young readers, whether they are living in a metro or a small town. I try to write easy and engaging language so that people find it both interesting and easy to read. I don’t want people to need a dictionary to read my book.
CJ: What should the audience expect from this book?
Mr Gautam: They can expect an interesting and engaging story, which both entertains and enlightens. The story is also inspiring to some extent. It’s about chasing your dreams and not caring for social pressures. It’s about following your heart.
CJ: What are your future plans? Are you intending to write another book or thought about a topic or would continue with your current profession?
Mr Gautam: I am currently writing a screenplay for a Hindi film Hum Honge Kaamyaab. It will be a comedy film about corruption. I intend to direct the film as well. I intend to write another book after this. It most likely will be a non-fiction, some self-help or inspirational material.
CJ: These days every budding author idolizes Chetan Bhagat, who are or is your idol?
Mr Gautam: To give him his dues, Chetan has made Indian publishers realize the potential of Indian stories and Indian writers. Before Chetan came to the scene, most publishers were happy publishing just those boring British Raj stories or stories of pains of an NRI. It was both ridiculous and stupid to completely ignore stories of a billion people. Now things have changed a lot.
Frankly speaking, I do not idolize Chetan Bhagat or any other person. In my childhood, I used to idolize the legendary cartoonist R K Laxman. I have also dedicated this book to him.
I started my career as a political cartoonist for national newspapers. Later I got interested in entrepreneurship. Currently I run a media company in Delhi. I have future plans to make Hindi feature films. I am already working on my first Hindi film Hum Honge Kaamyaab, to be produced and directed by me. I follow my own path. I am my own idol.
CJ: Did you ever think of writing a book or some incidence from your life made you into an author?
Mr Gautam: As a youth I faced a lot of issues. In personal life it was social and family pressure, and in professional life sadistic bosses. In spite of being a potent power in the nation, youth are exploited and blackmailed almost everywhere. How many young people have the right to choose a career or a life partner of their choice in India? The majority don’t have. Parents still want to decide the course of life of their wards. I have met so many people who either chose a career against their wishes or marry a wrong person due to family pressure. This is objectionable. We are creating a nation of unhappy people due to this.
All these issues made me think and I decided to write an entertaining book about these issues. Love in Crazy Times is the result of all my experiences with young people. When you read the book you will know that I have also discussed issues like forced marriages, superstitions, caste system and the exploitative nature of the corporate world.
CJ: Do you see your book being made into a good Bollywood or Hollywood script for a movie?
Mr Gautam: One blogger friend of mine sent a book review saying that Love in Crazy Times reads like a Bollywood story. I don’t know if some filmmaker will show his interest in the book or not. Though, I think it will make a good Bollywood film. I have three story ideas for films. One is satire on corruption and society, another is a comedy about blind faith and the third is a humorous take on life of a struggling artist. I am already working on the first story and making a film on it. Maybe once I have made all three stories into films, I will myself think about turning Love in Crazy Times into a Bollywood film.