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‘Writing cannot provide me the money that I make as a banker’

After If God Was A Banker and I Bought The Monk’s Ferrari, Ravi Subramanian has just released his next, Devil in Pinstripes.

books Updated: Jan 29, 2010 21:04 IST
Prema K

BookA little about

Devil in Pinstripes

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The story is set in a foreign bank in a modern day setting and deals with human relationships and bonding there. This is true of any corporate setup. A couple works in the bank and petty office politics affects their marital life.

Is petty politics an integral part of the corporate work scene?
Yes. People step on each other’s feet and play dirty to further their careers. What you see is definitely not what you get here.

You seem to be comfortable with your stories based on people working in a bank.
I’m part of the same industry. Besides, the banking industry employs a maximum number of aspirants and is associated with glamour. People want to know more about this industry. Money and corruption always come together.

Will your next book also be based on the same?
Yeah, it’s called Imperfect God.

God, again!
(Laughs) There are Gods and devils in the banking industry.

Your books reveal the ugly side of the corporate world. Doesn’t this put off your colleagues and seniors?
No. My books are not exposes. They are fictional. These things can happen in any industry. It’s set in a bank because I’m from that industry. It’s not autobiographical nor is it based on one person.

I’ve made many friends in the industry and wouldn’t want to write a book on them. But I’ve been inspired by things I’ve seen around me. Even Paulo Coelho says that he’s inspired by what he sees around him.

Indians seem to be lapping up Indian authors.
A lot of young managers are writing about interpersonal relationships, which is an education for the youth on what to expect in the corporate world. They can never learn this in a business school. I think 2010 will be the year of Indian authors.

You seem to have some similarities with Chetan Bhagat – the business school and banking background. But in comparison, you are low profile. Is that intentional?
One should let one’s work speak for oneself. At one time, the media made Chetan Bhagat a star. This helped the sale of his books but the recent controversy that he was involved in was in poor taste.

My books are of a serious nature. I don’t want to hard-sell myself as an author.

I don’t want my career as an author to jeopardise my banking career. I haven’t quit my banking job. I’m still employed with HSBC bank.

So you want to remain a banker?
I have been one for 16 years and I’m not ready to quit it for a writing career. Writing is a passion. I’m comfortable doing both. Besides, writing cannot provide me the money that I make as a banker.

When one turns one’s passion into a profession, then there is pressure to deliver. It’s the end of creativity. My books will lose their impact. I plan to take up full-time writing after I retire.

Is it easy for a first-time writer to find a publisher?
Publishers still treat new authors with a bit of skepticism and don’t take on too many. One really needs to know the right people. It wasn’t as if I was a struggling writer. So I sent my books to a few publishers and things happened.