Interview: Piyush Jha, director-turned-author of ‘Mumbaistan’by Priyanka Nagarajan on Dec 9, 2012 • 3:15 PM No Comments
Mr.Piyush Jha is a director turned novelist. He has directed the 2009 film ‘Sikander’ among others. He made his debut as a writer with ‘Mumbaistan’. An ardent lover of crime fiction, his book is a delight for all the crime fiction lovers out there. We got an opportunity to interview Mr.Jha.
Q. How did the transition from a director to a writer happen?
Basically I am a screenwriter so I am accustomed to writing scripts for my movies. I call myself an accidental novelist and I say that because as opposed to a film, where the image is displayed to the viewer, I think it is more difficult to conjure images in a reader’s mind. While writing a screen play I decided to compile it into a book instead of making it a movie which later on turned out to become ‘Injectionwala‘ (the 2nd story in the book ‘Mumbaistan‘). My wife encouraged me to write more and I wrote the other two stories (‘Coma Man‘ and ‘Bomb Day‘). Once that was done, I sent out the book to three publishers and all three of them agreed to publish the book to my surprise. It was exhilarating and I was thrilled to no bounds.
Q. Why did you choose to write a crime novel in the first place?
It was my love for crime fiction that egged me to write this novel in the first place. I have spent most of my life reading crime fiction and it was my ardent love for crime fiction that inspired me to go ahead and take up the challenge of writing this novel. Also my love for Mumbai coaxed me into writing this novel. Somewhere in my head, Mumbai and my love for crime fiction got married and this union led to a child which was ‘Mumbaistan‘.
Q. What inspired you to write ‘Mumbaistan‘?
My inspiration has been all the characters that I have met, all the stories that I have read and the various happenings across the nooks and corners of the teeming city of Mumbai. I bring all of this together in the form of a fictional story. What I have read, what I have experienced and what I would like to see are solely what my book comprises of.
Q. Some insight into your next book?
Well, it’s again crime thrillers that I am working on. There shall be this one main character who shares similarities with Sherlock Holmes or a Hercule Poirot. Instead of three different crime fiction stories like in ‘Mumbaistan‘, the plot shall revolve around a protagonist who will indulge in solving criminal cases.
Q. Do you prefer being a director or a writer?
Well, I love both and it is difficult to side with one. Basically, there is always a conflict between me so I keep switching sides. When I get bored of writing, I shall take up directing again. Most of my characters are quintessentially me. Each character is torn between right and wrong. The characters wish to be on the right path but they get pulled into the wrong direction.
Q. Who is your favorite author and why so?
Friedrick Forsyth is my favorite author and he is best known for his thrillers. He writes the most amazing crime thrillers and action thrillers. ‘The day of the jackal’ is my favorite book of all times. The kind of writing that Friedrick uses is totally one that will charm you out of your wits. His writing is such that it grabs you by your throat and you cannot help but get addicted to his books.
Q. Any suggestions you would like to share with the aspiring writers?
If you wish to become a writer, you must read. Reading is a virtue and this is something which should be latent in every single aspiring writer. One cannot become a writer without reading.
Today I wrote a book and it was because I had indulged myself in reading books, articles, newspapers and magazines. When I sat down to write all those things that I had read rushed to me. Reading books will give you ideas for your book, get you acquainted with the kind of language that appeals the masses, the style of writing that one should pursue and other important aspects regarding writing becomes clear. One cannot step into an unknown piece of land and claim to be the king of that place, can he? So also, for a writer reading is a must.
If you find the book interesting, buy from Amazon or Flipkart here: