An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, Mr Pushpak is an acknowledged Data Management authority, a published author and speaker at many international conferences. He spent the early part of his life in India and
then relocated to the U.S. where he now works as an Executive IT Architect in the financial & IT services industry.
His interest in writing grew after he began his journey into the Corporate and Big Data industry. Pushpak ‘s first book ‘Data as a Service’ was published by the reputed John Wiley & Sons and was very well received by the industry.
Pushpak visited the US many years ago, driven by youthful curiosity and restlessness. Since then he has travelled across different parts of the world. Yet the remote hills in north-east India, where he grew up, have always remained home. A place where he feels he completely belongs and constantly yearns for it – especially while he strums his Fender acoustic guitar or hums RD Burman classics during dark wintry evenings. Over time he realised how much he misses the simple, carefree days he spent in the remote hills as a boy. This deep yearning for his ‘lost childhood paradise’ is what led him to write a novel reliving those happy times.
Until recently, Pushpak’s life had been spent mostly between the walls of multiple corporate offices as a busy IT executive. However, his life changed the day he had a life-altering accident while going to work, which nearly paralysed him. As he slowly recovered over the following year, he struggled to keep himself going. Somewhere around this dark period of his life, the idea of writing this novel triggered within him, and he did not look back thereafter as he realised Ratul’s story simply had to be told.
Pushpak is also a passionate musician with a deep understanding and love of classical and contemporary music, and it is music that lies at the very heart of his upcoming novel. ‘The Songwriter’ is a Pushpak’s first attempt in literary fiction.
Regarding his first launched novel and to know more about his inclination towards writing, we recently had an interview and here are some of the bytes which tell us how & what inspired him to pursue his dream of writing?
1. First of all, we would like to know how an IIT graduate, an expert in technology become a writer?
My journey in writing began very early. During my younger days, I would often write short articles and poems for our school and college magazine back in India. Then after moving to the US, I wrote several articles in reputed IT magazines and international sports websites like ESPN.
But then writing a full-fledged book (when my first book got published in 2015) proved a totally different experience for me. At the outset, I didn’t realize that you need to invest so much time and energy. But it was worth it finally. It is immensely gratifying when your book finds favour with the learned readers.
2. Does your technical experience help anywhere in your writing or getting ideas?
Of course, it’s quite clear that technical experience is essential for writing technical (or any other specialized non-fiction) books
However otherwise, my technical experience has never influenced my writing process, especially when I am writing out-and-out fiction!
3. Your first book was “Data as Service”, which was a technical masterpiece, how this steep turn comes and diverted you to write on life, music and art?
There’s quite an unusual story behind this steep turn of events, that led me to write ‘The Songwriter’
Early in 2018, I had a nearly fatal fall that left me nearly paralyzed due to a head concussion. As the ambulance rushed me to the hospital, I was unsure about my possible future, my family and career. I recovered very slowly over the next few months, I remember I was very downcast and restless then as I lay bid-ridden.
It was during this dark and uncertain period in my life that I decided to write this book on a young musician’s life and his struggles.
With help and encouragement from a few close friends and family, I soon was able to actively resume my writing and finally by God’s grace, the novel has come out now.
4. If I am not wrong, the Songwriter is your second book and first novel, so what next we can expect? Are working on some project to touch other aspects of life?
Most of my literary projects are slow works in progress competing for attention with my professional career. However, I do have a few literary projects planned now. These include a new novel centred on sports and the human aspect of life and friendship. It’s still in the early phase of brainstorming.
5. How difficult is it for a writer to write some masterpiece?
In all honesty, since I am not a full-time writer, it usually takes me longer to complete any book. My work and travel schedule as a professional consultant in the corporate sector often keep me busy and it gets challenging sometimes.
However, writing a novel becomes easier when you have people who encourage and support your work. Usually, I have a close group of friends who give me a lot of critical feedback as I write a book and also celebrate small accomplishments along the way. They were especially thrilled when ‘The Songwriter’ briefly featured among the top-ranked new book releases listed on Amazon India.
6. Do you think in this digital world when Netflix and other streaming, games etc options are available, youngsters are now getting away from books and its real value?
It is true that many of today’s youngsters are now getting away from books and its real value. Low attention spans among children of the digital age are, unfortunately, a reality. So the challenge of the literary world at large is to engage them with fascinating stories that appeal to them. Perhaps books can be presented in alternate media channels that today’s youth prefer – whether in the form of audible books, YouTube clips or Netflix movies.
7. What is more interesting and attracts you: technology or books, art and music? And why?
Interestingly enough, I am equally passionate about all these topics.
Irrespective of the genre of writing, it’s always nice to know when a few people are moved by what I write. To me, that is the key motivation for any of my writing.
8. What inspired you to write “The Songwriter”? And what changes this book can bring in one’s life?
As I had mentioned earlier, music has always been a lifelong passion for me. In fact, I am actively involved with music even now, performing at small events and festivals organized by the Indian community in the US. It is this love for music that inspired me to write “The Songwriter”.
The book is however not aimed as a motivational book that changes one’s file, just a work of fiction, So readers should treat it as a story. Hopefully, it will stimulate heady memories of family and dear ones, old-world traditions, and simpler times.
9. Can we expect more technical book in the future or you want to be more in a novel or fictional stuff?
It is difficult to answer this question with complete certainty. However, as I mentioned earlier, the next book I am writing is a novel.
10. There are lots of emerging writers in India but because of life hurdles, family and job, they couldn’t pursue their dreams. So, what suggestion would you like to give them, how can they start their career as a writer, from writing a book to publish one?
I encourage everyone to dream big, especially if you want to become a writer. Because there is certainly going to be a lot of rejections and disappointment from publishers along the way.
I would also suggest aspiring writers should broaden their horizons by reading a wide variety of books, by prominent authors, before they attempt to write their own masterpiece.