“Has anyone ever asked you about the best days of your life? A period from your past that you want to go back to?” asks Ravinder Singh, drowning in deep thought himself. It were these questions, he says, that propelled him to look back at his own life’s past and pen a book, Like It Happened Yesterday. At Landmark bookstore in Elante mall, Chandigarh, on Saturday Ravinder shared many interesting details about the book and his life as a writer.
Belonging to Burla in Odisha, 31-year-old Ravinder hails from a Sikh family. An alumnus of the prestigious Indian School of Business, he worked for Indian and multinational IT companies after earning an MBA. But, that was before he called it quits to be a full-time writer. “I wasn’t one of those unreasonable youngsters who quit their jobs without any concrete plans. To be in a company like Microsoft was my dream, so leaving my job was the most difficult decision I have ever taken. But, today, I can definitely say that I am happier after having left Microsoft than I was before,” says the author of I Too Had a Love Story (2009) and Can Love Happen Twice? (2011) In Like It Happened Yesterday, his latest book, Ravinder visits his childhood.
“Unlike my previous novels, which were read mostly by those in the age group of 18-24, this book would be read by those in their ’30s as well. It takes you to the 1980s, when innocence prevailed in the absence of mobile phones, internet and ATM cards. It was a time when a child would believe his parents when they told him that babies were sent by angels, unlike today, when children quickly Google to find out where babies come from,” laughs Ravinder.
“It’s about the time of Doordarshan, when watching serials such as Ramayana and Mahabharata on Sundays meant less traffic on the roads and the only solution to a complex problem was choosing using the method of ‘akkad bakkad bambey bo’.”
Returning to the present days, Ravinder says he would soon open a publishing house named Black Ink. “This would offer a platform to aspiring authors. Our first project is named Three Interesting Storytellers, in which I would choose three best writers in different genres after reading more than 3,000 manuscripts. I would then mentor these youngsters for a year, review their work, help them improve and then publish it,” he informs.
Meanwhile, when asked if he has been approached by filmmakers to turn his previous books into films, Ravinder says he has turned down as many as ten offers to adapt his works to cinema.
The writer offers his reasons, saying, “My books can very well be converted into film scripts. In fact, I think Ranbir Kapoor can best play Ravin (the name of the protagonist of his previous two books). But, they can be directed only by someone like Farhan Akhtar, who has a fine sense of filmmaking. And, there can’t be an item number added, especially since I talk about a dead girlfriend in my first book,” Ravinder points out.