- Seven Conversations (SC) is your debut novel. How challenging was the publishing industry?
Very challenging! Since I am an engineer, I had no understanding of how publishing works. Plus, I was in USA for last seven years, so Indian book market and its trends were also not very familiar for me. Good thing was that I was able to establish connection with some authors early on who had gone through the process and could give me an insider’s view and what to expect. So, I knew a rough ride lies ahead. Needless to say, it is hard to land a publisher for a debut novel especially by a person not connected to media or journalism. Writing an interesting synopsis itself is a tricky thing. For example, Anuj Bahri from Red Ink called me as my query had piqued his interest. Even though he could not take up the project at that point, he did give me couple of helpful feedbacks regarding the synopsis I wrote. This helped me later on. I was expecting a tough ride and was not going to give up easily. Eventually, Leadstart showed an interest and we signed up a deal.
- SC is a spiritual fictional novel. What inspired you to weave the Hindu mythology with spiritualism?
The book is primarily spiritual. But instead of keeping it abstract and completely philosophical, I wanted to reconcile Hindu mythology with my sense of spirituality. This is mainly because I feel our ancient Vedic scriptures hold a lot of timeless wisdom which we, youth, are quick to reject because we don’t want to be orthodox. I wanted to convey that wisdom in form of a story we can relate to. So, there is lot of focus on Gita and Krsna in the book. At the same time, the message conveyed is religion agnostic. I strongly believe that all religions convey the importance of good values and inner happiness; I have put it in a fiction format where the protagonist is going through turmoil’s that are making her question the meaning of life. I have tried to answer those doubts (which I am sure all of us face at some point) in seven conversations. One of the conversations is also focused on ‘love’ because I think it is an integral part of finding inner happiness.
- As an author what would be your best conversation with ‘Meera’, the protagonist of SC?
I crafted each conversation to serve a specific purpose. Seven conversations are of pain, truth, heart, purpose, hope, light and self. I strongly recommend everyone to read the ‘Conversation of Self’ which ties the whole book together and is the soul of the book. All our answers lie within and that is conveyed beautifully in this conversation.
- Your book is changing perceptions. How does it feel having changed lives?
It is very humbling. I was working in high paying jobs on Wall Street previously but I never got the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile. This book’s journey has given me immense happiness and a feeling of content. Frankly, commercial success was not my primary goal, I was just happy to have written a book that I loved and that I could be proud of. When that first feedback came and someone told me that the book has helped them find their peace, I felt the whole grueling journey has been worth it. And that feeling will keep me happy till I die. My family was also very proud of me after reading this book and that means a lot to me. It is a book that I could share with my parents and teachers. As you grow, you start realizing that financial success is not everything, life is so much bigger.
- One question you think we all face in life undoubtedly. And why?
One question that we all ask inevitably at some point is ‘Did I do the right thing?’. It could be about a big decision you made or in general, the life choice you opted. One variation of it is – ‘What should I do?’ when we are facing a dilemma. I have covered this in detail in ‘Conversation of Heart’ in the book. Humans are constantly facing a battle of heart vs. mind. We think that we can control and plan out things and if we follow certain strategy, then our life would be good. At the same time, we are plagued by doubts – ‘what if?’ We feel that the grass is always greener on the other side. All this leads to is an eternal tug of war between different choices. We are never satisfied because we keep feeling that we could have done something better. This is the root cause of unhappiness in most of us.
- Who is your favorite author?
There are so many of them. To name a few, I would go for P G Wodehouse in humor. He is extremely consistent and the metaphors he comes up with are so unique – signs of a gifted writer. Other than him, I am also a fan of Kurt Vonnegut in satires and Keigo Higashino, best selling Japanese mystery author.
- Not restraining only to SC, would you like to share with us your favorite quote?
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ― André Gide, Autumn Leaves
- Did you overcome any dare before you could choose happiness over convenience?
It was more like a prolonged thought process than a dare. I have made many unconventional choices in life such as leaving traditional jobs to pursue things like writing, dropping out of a very competitive MBA program to pursue a startup, ending unhappy relationships etc. I think its about taking a leap of faith. The first time is obviously very difficult but then you get more accustomed to making such decisions in future.
- Would you like to point the similarities between Meera and yourself?
There are many because the book is partly inspired by my own life experiences. We are both willing to choose happiness over convenience; we both are reserved, strong and spiritual.
- Would you like to leave a message for Team PepperScript?
Absolutely, I think it is a great initiative because I have seen the struggles of publishing journey myself. I feel there are many deserving writers out there and it would be great if PepperScript can bring them to market and help them get to as many readers as possible. So, keep up the good work and I am also psyched about PS Comics and Comic Con 🙂
About the Author: Nistha Tripathi is a writer and entrepreneur – wanderer would be more appropriate. She is by education an engineering grad from UIUC and MBA dropout from NYU which she believes is not important. “I penned down Seven Conversations when I felt that life had given me a story to tell and it was my duty to tell it aloud,” she says.
About the Book: Seven Conversations is a thought experiment on life and existence. The characters might be fictitious but their questions are not.