Abhijit “AB” Bhaduri is quite easily one of the most talented persons I have come across. Here’s a disclaimer. Before I am accused of partiality in saying this, let me say that AB and I have several things in common.
- We share a common birth date, making us Scorpios, though of course he’s many years younger than me.
- We both studied in the same business school, XLRI School of Business and Human Resources.
- We worked/work in the same organization Wipro, in the same function, though Wipro has grown immensely since my days there.
- In addition to all this, both of us love blogging, writing and both are authors.
That said; let’s turn to the man in the spotlight for the second in the series, “Interviews With Authors.” Here are excerpts of our conversation:-
1 Tell us a little bit about yourself. What events in your life fashioned your thinking and outlook. You are a very talented guy. I greatly admire your sketches What led to your becoming an author?
I used to write short stories and illustrate them for my school magazine. When I was in the final years of my school, I tried my hand at writing for magazines and newspapers. I got a chance to have my work – articles and illustrations published in Target magazine and in a few newspapers. That encouraged me to keep writing and drawing. The first novel Mediocre But Arrogant was an attempt at writing a story set in a B School. It was a world I knew very well having taught in one besides being a student. I was lucky to have found a publisher who wanted to take a chance on me.
My parents loved music. I used to accompany them to all the classical music concerts and movies. That’s how I got interested in music. There was a huge variety of music that I got exposed to at home when I was growing up – classical (Indian, Western) Film Music, Bengali folk music, western pop and rock etc. My parents loved to travel. It helped that my father was in the Railways. So we not only lived in many parts of India but we traveled very often.
2. Who were some of the authors you admired? Who, in some sense, influenced your writing style and choice of subjects?
Storytelling always fascinated me. In school I got exposed to several authors. I was a quiet kid. So books were my friends. I read all the Bengali, English and Hindi books that I could get my hands on. I always books as presents from my parents for every birthday. Each train journey meant I could buy books and magazines to read while we traveled. I was fascinated by the writing style of Satyajit Ray and Sunil Gangopadhyay. I loved the short stories by O’Henry. I loved the writing of Munshi Premchand and Shivani in Hindi.
3. Being a very successful corporate executive, I can well imagine the hectic schedule you have. How do you find the time to pursue your passion for writing? What would you recommend to so many people out there who would love to write but fear they “don’t have the time.” How do you do things differently?
We all find time to do what we are passionate about. I usually write during my vacation days and when I travel. A lot of writing gets done at airports and on flights. The blog posts give me opportunities to write short pieces on a variety of themes. My work gives me an opportunity to meet so many interesting people. I think you write when you really feel strongly about something. Then it is unstoppable. So the trick is to find a story that is so compelling that you have to share it.
4. I loved your “MBA” series of “fiction” as also your non-fiction on Hiring. Tell us briefly about your books. Which was your favourite and why? What prompted you to choose this theme? How much of the real Abhijit Bhaduri is there in your books? What are your future writing projects like?
Mediocre But Arrogant was my first novel. It was set in a B School in Jamshedpur. It was about the protagonist Abbey who believes it is serendipity that made it happen. While pursuing an MBA he discovers a world which has Ayesha and Keya the two women who share his world.
The sequel Married But Available sees Abbey in the corporate world and struggling to save a marriage gone bad. The company he is working for is going through turbulent times. This is a story about the first ten years of Abbey in corporate India.
5. What would you say as parting words of advice to new authors, budding authors and the many who would love to see their work in print?
I don’t think I have written enough books to be able to advice anyone. Today there are opportunities for anyone to publish what they wish to. If you have a great story to tell and no publisher wishes to take up your novel, publish it on your own as an e book.
What is tougher than writing a book? Marketing it.
His Twitter account says it all: Chief Learning Officer of Wipro, author and enthusiastic enuf to try anything.” Amen would say his 3177 followers. His latest book, a non-fiction work called “Don’t Hire The Best” is a “ must read” for everyone who has something to do with hiring. It has many case studies which make the book interesting and educative reading.
Apart from information about his books, you can catch glimpses of Abhijit’s wide range of interests and abundant talents from his website. When ever you are there, don’t miss his doodles. There is enough content in his website to draw you there repeatedly. In my view, all the time you spend there is well worth it.
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