Saturday, 5 January 2013



Brief profile of the author: The author was born and raised in Mumbai, India. He came to the US in 1989 and lived in New York. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Q  Your novel India was One, has been a big success. In your view, what have been the main reasons for its success?

           I think it is a simple story of love that appeals to everyone. Not just love between a boy and a girl, but love for friends, parents, country etc. It’s not just well received by Indians, but by non-Indians too. And not just Indians in India, but Indians all over the world. I think that a professor from UCLA summarized it very well in his review. He wrote: If you are not from India, you probably know a co-worker or a neighbor who is from India and possibly works in the IT industry. You know a bit about him or her but really not very much. If you read this story, you will understand how he or she thinks, the environment in which he or she grew up, in a light, easy, and breezy read. If you are an Indian-American who was born in the U.S. and grew up here, you will also understand a bit more about how your parents and other extended family members from India think. Those who grew up in India will relate to the story and the characters in the story immediately.

For the first two thirds of the book, it is a nice story with nice characters - no one is nasty, no one is mean, no one is conflicted but it all seems real though not very deep. The last part of the book has a Kafkaesque quality to it. It is a metaphor for the secular, humanist India of the past that many of us could relate to while growing up but then we suddenly wake up to a different India that reeks of fundamentalism, conflict and differences. The author, who has chosen to remain anonymous, is an idealist who worries that the door to the India of the past may be closed. Permanently? He fears. Perhaps not, he hopes. The book is also liked a lot by second-generation Indians who have never been to India. Here is a review by an Indian who has never been to India: I would further like to inform that this book has been submitted to be considered for inclusion in ALL the School Libraries across America (over 26,000). There were 15,000 books submitted, and after passing through all the rounds, India Was One has entered the final round.


Q. How many book-reviewers have reviewed this book and what is the range and average of their ratings of this novel?

            Apart from reviews and ratings on various on-line stores, there are reviews on various personal blogs and media too. And not only in Indian media, but in the US and Canada too. Amazon US had 38 reviews with average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, Goodreads had 30 text reviews and 33 ratings with average rating 3.82 out of 5 stars, Smashwords had 18 reviews with average rating 4.28 out of 5 stars. Among the media in India, reviews were posted by Times of India, Indian Express and India Empire and in US, by India Post and India West and in Canada by The Asian Connection, besides blogs all over the world, mainly on Blog spot and Word press


Q. Which book-reviewer comes closest to your own assessment of this book?

             As you can see, the book is received very well by folks all over the world. So it is very difficult to single out one thing. However, here are some of my favorite quotes: “The author has now managed to put India on my bucket list of places to visit.  I wish all my geography books had been written like this – I might have learnt more.” “I had never read a book about India and truth be told - I didn't really know much about the country. Everything I knew about India I learned from "The Amazing Race" LOL (which was not good stuff).

              I am glad the Author takes us on this journey through the beautiful country of India introducing us to its culture. For me I got to see a different side of India that I don't think many Americans get to see.” “When the novel ended, I was a little disappointed!  I was not ready for it to end.  I wanted the story to continue for many more chapters, and for more character development.  Maybe there is a part two on the horizon?  an Indian??I think this novel will be enjoyed by many people, from different walks of life, from different countries, including people from India – whether living in India or living in other parts of the world.”“It's one of the most amazing books I've read” “It resonated with me for one very important reason. I live in a country that has threatened and constantly threatens to split because of cultural differences. My wife and I originate from opposite sides of that potential split just like the couple in this book.”


Q. Under what circumstances, did you get the idea about the plot of this novel?

             This plot has been playing around in my mind for quite some time. I finally decided to pen it in January of 2010. Once I decided to write it, the thoughts came pouring down. It took me less than a week to write down my initial story. I knew exactly how many chapters I wanted, what they should be titled, what I wanted as the beginning artwork of each chapter, etc. It then took me over a year to expand, fine-tune, correct and edit etc.


 Q. The present title of this book apparently seems to indicate that India is not one today? How do you reconcile to this comment?

         On the contrary, the book is trying to say India is One. We all love India…in our own way.


Q. The novel brings to light and highlights the inter-state and inter-language problems in the lives of the persons of India. It does not appear to do any good to the country.

            I agree that the novel highlights the differences between various Indians. But I disagree that it appears not to do any good to the country. The message is very clear. Though we are different, we are all Indians.


Q. Was it not possible to do away with the use of some Hindi words in this novel?

             Sure, it was possible. However, it didn’t make sense to me. You have to remember that this book also is read by folks who don’t understand Hindi. So to them, it is very appealing. Those who know Hindi tend to skip it. Moreover, there are just a few words, with their meaning in English and how they are pronounced phonetically. It’s not like there are full sentences in Hindi that break flow of the story.


Q. What are the possible reasons not to disclose your real and full name? Has the present pen name helped you substantially?

              As I said in one of my interviews, I really think that labeling my name as a Hindu, a Muslim, etc. would have pre-conceived notions in the reader’s mind. It is more important to me that it was written by ‘An Indian.’  A review in a newspaper summed it up very well.  In order to honor the concept of India, in order to remain true to his Indian-ness, the author has rightly avoided naming himself. For by doing so he would end up disclosing his native state, and that would give cause for judging his thought process and the reader’s biases would set in.


 Q. What has been the contribution of your spouse in your writing career?

                “Writing career”!!! Although I am the author of this book, I don’t consider myself a writer. I am a software developer. I enjoyed designing and developing my book’s website ( as much as I enjoyed writing the book. My spouse has helped me a lot, but the person who has helped me the most is my brother.


Note:  The book is not only available in India and the US, but all over the world. The best way to see its availability, is to visit the book’s website ( and click on Availability. Folks can also join on Face book ( or Twitter (











No comments: