inKonversation: Piyush Jha
Ad maker turned Film director Piyush Jha of Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar fame has added a new feather in his already overflowing kitty of creative pursuits. He turns fiction writer with his debut book – Mumbaistan. A collection of three novellas, the book defines crime-fiction complete with hardboiled heroes and femme fatales desperately trying to find justice within a crumbling, morally ambiguous city. I loved Mumbaistan for its thrill, twists and turbulences all filmy style. The wordsmith talks to here about his journey, drive and lessons:
From Accounts executive to Ad maker to Filmmaker to Wordsmith, all in a span of 17 years, what pushes you to break new grounds constantly?
The need to tell my stories in different ways on different platforms has been at the centre of this need to break new ground, and with each turn I learn more and grow more and more interested in life, than getting bored with it.
Most debut writers have an interesting, often a struggler’s tale about their manuscripts and publishers. What’s yours?
I have had my fair share of struggle in putting together my films so thankfully this was smooth sailing. I sent out the manuscript to 3 publishers, all three got back within 2/3 weeks offering me 3 book deals, after a round of negotiations, I signed up with Rupa, within 6 weeks of sending out my manuscript. It was a dream come true.
The biggest high of being a writer, which your other vocations missed?
In a film, the praise is divided on account of it being a collaborative effort. With books, it’s the writer’s glory all the way.
What’s next from Piyush Jha, a film or a book? Some details please.
Two more crime-thriller novels coming up next year. Mumbaistan -2 being discussed. And of course, Mumbaistan – The Movie on the anvil.
Your words of wisdom for newbie writers.
There’s no other way to write a book than to write it.