October 2011 –Hi Tec City, Hyderabad – It was not the kind of Friday evening I was hoping for. Working in Deloitte was certainly a great feeling and most of the days had been marvelous so far. But this was not one of them. I was badly frustrated with my boss’s attitude, his unhealthy sense of humor and talking about this particular day, his unreasonable interference in my work. So, I left the office and started walking towards Madhapur. I didn’t know where I was going but I continued on my path. The rain had started and soon I had to seek a shelter. I stopped at a Chai shop and asked for one cup. I noticed two girls were already standing there, enjoying the puff of cigarette with Chai. They were discussing something which I didn’t bother to listen until they happened to mention the word “Army” after which I paid close attention. I was about to finish my Chai and then I had to ask for another one to stay there and listen to them.
“No matter what, army officers are far better looking than these corporate tycoons.” One of them said.
“Of course yaar.” The other one said. “But these people are smarter than army men. So, if you ask me to choose any, I will go for corporate guys.”
The first one nodded. And it killed me. I wished I could go up to them and tell them they were wrong. I wished I could tell how hard it was to become a military officer. I wished. Only that I didn’t. But when I reached home I was sure about one thing that I would share my thoughts with everyone. I thought about writing a blog post but I had multiple things to tell and blog wasn’t the best option for that. Then I decided to write a long article and share it with others – through which medium I was still not sure. But I had to write, I knew that.
I started contacting people who had been with me during my NDA exam and those who were in Indian army. During my interactions with them I heard few intriguing experiences and one of them appealed me so much that I decided to write that story. I was still not sure where I was going with this. But I started my research and collected enough information. It was November when I wrote the first page of my story. As I wrote more and did more research, more interesting things appeared and I could not stop. For six months I kept writing without knowing where I was going with that. It was then I realized that it could become a novel on reality fiction. Interestingly I had no idea about the publishing world. I was not a writer, only that I wanted to write. And I was not going to stop. I continued. And after two years of writing, I am here. The novel – Sky beyond the clouds is completed and will be released in November 2013, exactly two years after I wrote the first page of it. And I have come a long way. I am not sure who should be given the credit – my boss, those two girls, my frustrations, those people I met during my research. But it changed my life, completely. In a parallel world I might be doing an MBA or climbing the corporate ladder, but here I am all set to go for this challenging journey as a writer. It’s not easy for me, it never was. This is just the first step of a long journey. And I have never been so excited.