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Interview – Sumit Agarwal (The Four Patriots)

It so happens that the first author to be interviewed for my blog is a debutante, and one of the very few Indian writers who have actually made a mark on me in recent times, and when I had the opportunity to interview him, I couldn’t miss. Following is a snippet, hope you guys enjoy it and get to know Mr. Agarwal better! 

Q: A little info about yourself.
A: I am a Chemical Engineer from IIT-Kanpur 1998 batch. I am the Managing Director at MLA Group of Industries, Kanpur. I also sing and make music…I run an NGO which focuses on improving the quality of education.
I always wanted my country to march ahead, hence I started writing so that I can inspire people to start doing their bit in our country’s progress.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: The desire to inspire people to work to make things better around them inspires me to write. It is said the silence is consent and inaction is betrayal. There is so much agony, misery, and wrong in this world simply because people are indifferent or they feel that things cannot be changed. I write to make them think otherwise and make our country, our world a better place.

Q: Is writing a full-time job for you? If not, do you plan to in the future?
A: As I said earlier, I’m a full-time businessman and have to sneak out time for my writings… But as I love both, I think I would continue to work on both…side by side.

Q: How did “The Four Patriots” happen?
A: I had been a full-timer businessman since I qualified from IIT-K in 1998. Then came the NGO in 2007. Five years into running the NGO, I started feeling this was just a drop in the ocean, and something more needed to be done. I noticed the growing trend of virtual patriotism and the need to translate it into action. I felt we have huge potential but somehow we do not work that hard as we should. We want to win back our lost pride but don’t want to take pains. So I painted this picture which shows that all of our dreams about the country can become a reality if the youth works towards it.

Q: How was your journey from the first draft to the published work?
A: It was hard, very hard. It took me around 3 years to complete writing the book…Then came the publishing part. So I wrote to many publishers and had to go through every possible thing that a first-timer has to go through, but finally signed up with RUPA.

Q: An author whom you idolize? 
A: Dan Brown, Sidney Sheldon, Chetan Bhagat.

Q: Your favorite/comfort/all-time read?
A: From one of my favorites, it is Angels and Demons.

Q: What is the next project you are working on?
A: Another thriller, with a new and even more interesting flavor. I’m writing it currently.

Q: An advice to the would-be authors.
A: A book is your dream, don’t give up on it! There are many who start writing but stop at some point, being pulled into the grind of their work and other responsibilities. So even if there is a six-month gap, just go back to those twenty pages you had written, read them over, even if it is to add just one line to it. If you can do that, no one can stop you from completing your book. Do a lot of research to bring in the elements of reality. Work hard on making your book reach out.

Q: A message for the future patriots of India.
A: Don’t just show your patriotism on social media… its time that we switch from virtual patriotism to some real heroism and when I say heroism that does not mean you have to only fight on the border. You just have to do your bit, no matter how small it is…do not hesitate.

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