Taksh Gupta, a meritorious student of SGTB Khalsa College has been an all-round performer since childhood inclusive of distinction in academics, olympiads, sports and other extra-curricular activities. Currently in the final year of B.Com (Hons), Taksh has authored a book and also holds a degree in Classical Music. He has held various leadership positions at college clubs. A year ago, he completed two graduate courses from Harvard Summer School.
Let’s know more about him as he talks about his book and how it feels to be a young author with Suhani Arora, a former UEite.
1. The moment we hear about you, the first thought that strikes is that while most people at the age of 18 or 19 are still figuring out as to what to do with their lives, you authored a book. Tell us how did this idea come about?
How the idea came about is pretty interesting actually. It was 2011. I was in my 12th standard. I distinctly remember that it was the art period and I was sitting with my best friend, who has co-authored the book with me. I don’t exactly remember what I was saying to him but I am sure it was just gibberish, as most of the boys’ talk is at that age. So, while I was there, narrating nonsense, this guy goes like: “Hey! Why don’t we put it all inside a book?”
I knew he meant it as a joke but I just didn’t find it funny. And from that very moment we began our journey. This is the learning I have derived: you don’t need a big hot-shot mind, all you need is a crazy best friend!
2. Tell us more about your book.
It is a romantic comedy exploring the life of a guy, Adarsh, who has only one love in his life: his books and how one day he finds his books’ saut, Anya, a rare combination of beauty and brains. While Adarsh is busy solving his petty love problems, he is given the shock of his life: Anya gets kidnapped by an international gang. It is then explored that to what extent can one go for his/her love. What’s most important to me is the lesson we have tried to convey at the end that protecting someone is not a liability. When someone has things to protect, he somehow manages to find the strength and power to do so.
While the book has already received international recommendations from the likes of authors like Rachel Tolman Terry and Joseph Ephraim, I still feel like it has a long way to go.
3. How did writing happen to you? When did you start?
As I told you, courtesy the boring art period. The idea had practically zero incubation period. I was just 16 when I began writing Love @ 365 Kmph.
4. The book has been co-authored by a friend of yours, Akhil Ahuja. Did you face any problems meanwhile?
Not really. Akhil and I are such good friends that we know what the other is thinking, so, we never actually had any serious clashes. One of us would write a particular portion, the other one would edit it. Then that portion would go through three to four rounds of re-editing by both of us. In this way, it would become seamless. Each sentence of the book has both of us in it. Today, if you randomly open a paragraph and ask me who wrote it originally, I don’t think I would be able to answer it!
5. Sounds interesting! Coming to the next aspect, writing and publishing a book is no cakewalk. This being your first experience, tell us what all challenges did you face in process of it?
At first when we used to discuss our book by chatting on Facebook, it became really cumbersome, typing all your thoughts and then scrolling up again and again everyday. Around a month later, we came up with a solution. We started discussing the book over the phone and record all our calls. Then we could listen to useful part directly whenever the need be.
As for the publishing part of it, yes, it was really troublesome and even dis-heartening at times. The book got rejected by so many publishers at first that we started losing hope. Fortunately, after a year of running after publishers in vain, Leadstart, the largest distributor of India found it appealing and published it. Today, we are so glad that none of the small publishers said yes. On some level, we feel that it was always meant to go big or at least that is how we console ourselves!
6. Do you have any plans of rolling out a second book?
Yes, by the end of 2015.
7. Share with us what it is about.
It is a work of science fiction- alien invasion to be more specific.
8. You are still studying. How does it feel to have become an author already?
I think it is amazing, it’s breathtaking. I experimented with writing at the right age, especially considering the first novel. I guess it is much easy to write about love when you are in the teenage phase of your life and have fresh feelings and experiences to inspire you. That way the whole book seems more genuine and you can connect in a better way with your audience.
9. What are your plans for the future?
Well, immediately after graduation I plan to do an MBA. In the long run, I look forward to become an entrepreneur. But I am not doing any of this at the cost of my passion, writing!
10. Writing a book is perhaps every writer’s dream. What piece of advice do you have for young writers out there?
I have a very simple one word advice- Begin. Pick up a topic, a genre of your interest and just start writing. From my personal experience, writing a book is like walking in fog. You cannot see your destination but as you walk one step ahead, the next one gets clearer.
We wish Taksh the best for his future endeavours and hope he keeps the pen moving.