“Every interaction is an opportunity to learn”
Recently I got an opportunity to be a part of the book tour for “Cabbing All the way” a new novel by Jatin Kuberkar. In this regard, I was lucky to get an opportunity to interview Mr. Jatin Kuberkar. Cabbing all the way is the second novel by him. A great observer of life Jatin has the ability to derive gems of lessons and anecdotes even from mundane things in life. His humour and passionate spirit is quite contagious and it was a pleasure to interact with him. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
In a recent interview, you called your book “Cabbing All the way” as being more of reality fiction than fiction. Why do you prefer to call it so?
‘Cabbing All the Way’ is a real story with fiction added here and there for the sake of it being presentable. I was part of a crazy cab group that had 12 people travelling together. There was nothing common among us except for the NEED of travelling together because our office was 40 km away from home. Otherwise, we could be comfortably called ‘aliens’ from different planets who had come to earth for a break.We were completely different in the way we thought and acted, we had our own egos and priorities, different goals and varied ways of leading life. Every day we had a unique problem and hence a new story to tell.
I mean, who would need a fictional plot when an excitingly fresh story presents itself every other day?
Tell us something about your new book “Cabbing All the way”.
‘Cabbing All the Way’ is a story of 12 people who decide to commute together to the office to ease their travel pain. What seems like a novel idea soon proves to be ‘Mission Impossible’ without Tom Cruise to the rescue! It is like a twelve-headed Raavan trying to rope walk with each of his heads proposing him something different.
The story is in many ways, a reflection of our own life. While reading the book, you would surely connect to Mohan, as a person in your life, who speaks butler English but does not bother about it. You may find a Saina who is arrogant and self-centric, you may remember a Sushant who likes to give lengthy sermons about life, then you may also see Nagesh who is a slapstick and has a perfect satire for every situation.
How did this idea of writing a book on carpooling come to you?
I like to write about real situations as they inspire me a lot. They are filled with things (read knowledge) that we often tend to ignore. I believe that ‘Struggle’ is not a word to be used only in the context of a poor or desolate situation,there is the struggle in everything and it is everywhere.
Travelling 40 km to office in a city like Hyderabad is also a struggle of a different kind. We as a group had gone through it and had served as an example for many others. At a point of time, I realised that this little story of our struggle was worth telling and hence, I decided to write about it.
Can you share one of the most memorable incident from your carpooling experience?
Of course,there are many memorable incidents in the cab it is impossible to pick one and say that this is the best of all.
This one happened when we were driving on the outer ring road.One day we saw a familiar person asking for a lift. To our utter disbelief, it was Mr. Narayana Murthy, a famous Telugu movie actor/director. His vehicle had broken down and he wanted to reach somewhere urgently. We gave him a lift and saved the day! While travelling with him, we spoke about his upcoming films (and our instant desire to be an overnight sensation) and even took photographs with him.
Were there times where you got irritated and wished that you could commute alone? At times when you desired some silence and you were in carpool, what did you do?
(Laughs) Irritation was the most common thing in our cab. As for the reasons, we had many while in the cab people were seldom punctual, they did not maintain discipline, they were very bad at accepting or rejecting changes, loud voices, yelling and shouting you name it and we had it. The best part, we had to adjust to all this just because we did not have a comfortable alternative to commute alone.
Silence? What is that?! The noisy cab folk changed the definition of Silence as a rare, nearly non-existent phenomenon ☺☺
What would I do for peace, you ask? I’d better not try, else they would prey on me . ☺☺
What inspired you to be a writer? Which authors inspire you?
Writing comes to me, naturally. Observation is my habit and all that I write/tell are based on real observations. There are people and then there are situations; both inspire me to write them out with different, sometimes strange, at times trivial perspectives.
My tastes are classic! I read R. K. Narayan as if I am reading a holy scripture. So much life in his works!
Except for R. K. Narayan, I don’t really follow author ‘brands’.
Any specific genre which you read more? Which are the latest book you have read and your favourite book of 2016 so far?
I read anything that inspires or interests me. I enjoy relatable stories. Short stories are the best to be read while going to the office or returning back home.
I read Asura the Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelkanth recently and loved the way the author derived his perspective. I think this is what an author should do. Show the world something different, tell a new story, derive inspirations from almost invisible or oblivious source.
In a recent interview, you said that you are working on 3 more books. Can you tell us about them?
I am working on a socio-mythological-reality fiction that is almost complete and is in for a Beta read.
Another one is, what I consider as my life’s best work. It is still cooking in my mind’s creative kitchen.
And when not doing anything else, I keep writing short stories under different titles. When I feel that I have written enough under a title, I look out for a publisher.
‘Here and Now’ is one such short story collection that has tales picked up from everyday life.
Can you give some advice for new authors in India who wished to get published?
The only advice that I have to give to the new authors is
“Do not rush to get publish” take your time. Sharpen your skills
You are doing a full-time job in addition to being an author. There are many aspiring writers who lament that they do not get time to write due to their jobs. What is your advice for them?
Every writer has his own way of handling his ‘writer personality’. Honestly, I do not have any special time or schedule for writing. But, I invest time in thinking, I compose/write in my mind and just type it in when I have time. I hand-write drafts because I find it easy for all the obvious reasons. Just pick up a pen and book and get going. To me the process of writing in completely unorthodox.
This is my way of doing things. If it helps anyone else, you are welcome ☺
About the Author:
For the mortal world, I pretend to be a Software Engineer 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 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 (Doremon, Dora and Choota Bheem) 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. At times some of these figments fire out of my thoughtful bowl and command me to write, muse, create, recreate, destroy…EXPRESS!
Who Am I? I have been asking this question to myself since 33 years, and I got a different answer always. Sometimes I get confused and think, am I asking the right question to seek the correct answer? Or maybe that am I missing the whole fantastic universal drama around me while I am busy finding an answer to an irrelevant question?
Does the answer even matter?
About the Book:
Twelve people agree to an idea of running a shared transport service from a common residential locality to their out-of-civilization office campus. Twelve different minds with equally diverse personalities gel with each other to fulfil a common need. At first, the members collide on mutual interests, timings, priorities and personal discipline, but in the course of their journey, they become best friends, make long-lasting relationships, mentor and help each other on various mundane matters. The journey goes on fine until one day some members try to dictate terms over the group. The rift widens with each passing day, the tension surmounts and finally all hell breaks loose… Will the journey continue? Fasten your seat belts for the journey is about to begin…
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