Here In Our Debut Writer Special Section , this time we have Nikhil Mukhija with us, debut author of 'You & Me & Our Relationship'. Nikhil Mukhija, 21, an engineering student at Kurukshetra University bangs into the book industry with a book on the psychology of attraction. Most debut authors go for some chic lit stories but for Nikhil, it’s not the case. He has a gone a step beyond the college romance.
The book happened due to some personal experiences in his life which ignited new thoughts in his mind and the result was a book on psychology of attraction. He talks about the hurdles one goes through while falling in love and what steps should be taken in order to get successful. Suicide is not the solution after a break up. Life doesn’t end here, you have to move on. He feels love is a very delicate phenomenon and just a slight mistake can proliferate misinterpretation and misunderstanding. So in any case there's no harm in taking the precautions & being acquainted with all the dimensions.
Nikhil Mukhija, in a chat with Harshita Srivastava, talks about his book, the literary scenario of our nation and lot more
How does it feel to hold your book in hand?
Nikhil : Like a mother holding her first baby, NAH, too dramatic, it’s good , it’s something that I have been dreaming for the past 3 years, never thought it would come so soon, I had always thought, I will be a writer someday..., yet that someday was never planned.
How did writing come into existence in your life?
Nikhil : I used to write till my 10th standard, but then got super involved in my engineering, so could not continue it but then someone knocked in my life in my 1st year and one day I wrote a small article ‘Life-the 2 sides’ and my crush called me for the first time and praised me a lot and from then I started writing regularly and posting them on my facebook profile and tag her, she fuelled my faith and inspired me, encouraged me and finally planted that seed of faith that someday I will be able to write a book and get published.
Being a debut author, what hardships you had to face while writing as well as getting your book published?
Nikhil : To get a publisher who publishes your book in the promised time period, and then also promote it from their side is the hardest thing to find.
Ques: Tell us something about your book
Nikhil : In India it is the first ever coming up with something related to psychology of attraction among youngsters, during my launch when Ravinder Singh Sir launched my book, the media people asked me how is a 20 year old guy qualified to pen down such a book, and my answer was, Only a 20 year old youngsters can relate to all that he has been through in his own past relationship, carefully noting down all his own mistakes and above all, I certainly did a lot of research with famous relationship authors from around the globe and one such chapter “the Three principles’ is inspired from one of my favourite authors SHAFIN DE ZANE. I have given my best to make it an interesting and effective book, with examples that everyone would be able to relate to.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
Nikhil : Title, trust me when it comes to finding a perfect title, your brain never stops thinking. I had thought of over 85 titles for my book, some were too classic, some were too clichéd, some were inspired from others, some were self, but one fine day, someone had asked me what is the book about, and then the idea clicked me, why not title it YOU & ME and of course since it is about relationships, so & Our Relationship became the subtitle.
Your book talks about the psychology of attraction, quite a different topic compared to the campus romance that most debut authors come up with. How did the idea crop into your mind?
Nikhil: Well, there were 2 reasons behind that, one was when I realized that how I missed her by a slight difference, I was the closest to her, yet I couldn’t become the one for her, I realized I had everything she liked yet a few things are necessary, people may say Be Yourself, but presentation matters the most, so then I thought that there would be many like me, who are true in their emotions yet fail because it is a superficial world where no one can see the heart only your personality and way of interaction can help you get through and get a chance to reach closer in the first place. Second was that a close friend of mine was on the verge of suicide, every day I used to talk to her for an hour or so when her boyfriend dumped her to prevent her from taking such a step, then I realized that I should reach the mass audience and that is the very reason why the biggest chapter of my book is based on suicide which uses reverse psychology to convince those who are inclined towards it.
Is there any message you would like to give through your novel?
Nikhil : Definitely! ‘Behind every successful guy or girl there is a person who had dumped him/her in the past, but then had she/he not dumped him/her, the guy/girl would have never been successful.’, Love is a beautiful emotion but certainly life doesn’t revolve around it, your past dreams which you have been harbouring since your childhood sometimes are suppressed in aspiration of getting that one person into your life, don’t let that happen to you.
Is there any particular age group you are targeting?
Nikhil : Yes, I suppose, Married people won’t be interested to read this book :D so I personally feel that the age group of 13 to 25 year old will definitely be able to relate to the book and so far it has been around 2 months, I have been flooded with positive reviews which makes my expectation rise higher and higher.
Your book has reached in the top 100 list of HomeShop18, how does it feel?
Nikhil : It’s one of the best things that happened to me since the launch, never imagined it would be there within 10 days of its market release, Someone told me to check my book at homeshop18 and there it was 96 position among the top 100, the next 3 days were even better 92 and now it is at 83, let’s see when it enters the top 50.
Tell us something about yourself.
Nikhil : I am the face in the crowd that you see every day but always with a thought to bring a wave of change in the society, I don’t care much for my looks, I try to be honest and straightforward with everyone I interact and I so far have tried my best to evolve as a human being by reading classic authors around the globe, because I believe everything that you read has an impact on your subconscious mind and transforms your thinking accordingly, so one should be very selective in one’s reading habits and personally I believe reading books is way better than watching movies. Someday I would like to start my own Publishing house to bring out novels with a substance and induce a change in the forefront of the society.
What are your future plans? Do you plan to take up writing on full time basis?
Nikhil : Yes and No, well considering the Indian Publishing scenario, no one can deny that it is too hard to sustain your living on the basis of the annual royalty amount, but if I am able to reach out to the masses and can manage even an average living through it, I would certainly try to go ahead with it and be a dedicated full time writer who does months of research before every plot.
What kind of reviews have you got for your book till now?
Nikhil : I am glad that I could live up to the expectations of the masses, my goal was to write a book which doesn’t involve redundant philosophical terms of psychology or use too many jargons, so I did my best to take real life examples to elaborate my point and I am thankful to the almighty that I was successful in accomplishing that, I am elated that both the genders are coming up with honest reviews of my book where they admired the practicality of the book and how it is entertaining throughout.
Are you working on a second novel?
Nikhil : Not yet, that depends on my 5th semester exam results, if the results are decent I would start penning down the story I have in my mind this July if not, then will try to focus back to academics.
Who has been your source of inspiration?
Nikhil : Chetan Bhagat was the first novelist I read, so directly or indirectly, he cannot be denied the credit to bring a change in Indian publishing scenario. But on the whole Ravinder Singh and Novoneel Chakraborty among Indians and Paulo Coelho and Oscar Wilde among International authors were some of the inspirations.
Authors that you believe changed the literary scenario of India.
Nikhil : Ravinder Singh, Novoneel Chakraborty, Arvind Adiga, Amish Tripathi, these are some that I personally admire for being distinct and creative in their writings.
An author you look up to.
Nikhil : Paulo Coelho, the Pole star for me, his works like ‘The Winner Stands alone’, ‘Eleven Minutes’ & ‘The Alchemist’ inspire me every day to polish my own skills and one day come out with a book which scales mountains at the international level.
And finally, any advice or suggestion you would like to give to aspiring authors and readers?
Nikhil : For authors- “Patience pays the best” do NOT fall for anyone who says yes to you the earliest, try to bring a flair to your writing and think beyond college/school love stories, try reading ‘The Kite Runner-Khalid Hosseini’ to know how love is just a part of the novel and there are scores and scores of subjects that need to be touched and can create a magic in the minds of the readers. & to be a good writer one has to be a good reader first, just like to be a good guitarist one has to observe all the great guitarist around the globe and then experiment on one’s own.
For Readers- ‘Be selective in what you read, everything has a profound subconscious impact on your mind and thus overdose of anything is bad, be it love or be it thriller’, diversify your domain by taking up variety of genres and move out of your comfort zone and you would realize that a vast world is waiting for you to explore and be enchanted with.
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