Chela: The Adventures of Jack and Ty is in part a tribute to one of the greatest writers and humorists of the twentieth century, Sir P.G. Wodehouse, and a spoof on the fantasy genre where anything and everything can happen at any given moment and time. Jack is a hungry jackal, booted out of his clan for being lazy and incapable of providing for himself. One night while wandering a patch of forest he accidentally steps on the tail of a tiger that is understandably furious at the jackal. The tiger Ty, confronts the jackal with the latter begging forgiveness. The commotion dies down and they soon go their separate ways. Fate, however, brings them together again and they soon realize they are both facing a similar predicament - an acute shortage of food. The two strangers soon become comrades and along with Herbert, a cross between a wolf and a pariah dog, set out on a journey through the vast woodland of Baganpore and beyond in search of food. On the way they face perils aplenty in the form of diabolical relatives, cunning scavengers, a mysterious banyan tree and a lake that isn't what it appears to be.
1. What inspired you to start writing?
I worked various jobs before zeroing in on writing. It's something I enjoy doing. And just like Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 'it brings me solace.'
2. What did you like to read when you were a boy?
I started reading very late in life, in fact, only when I turned 18. I started off reading lots of non-fiction, a lot of Jim Corbett, Kenneth Anderson, Valmik Thapar & Billy Arjan Singh. I turned to fiction recently, Ruskin Bond and Khushwant Singh are my favourites. But, above all, I love P.G. Wodehouse.
3. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Writing is a very lonely process. It's difficult, especially in a city like Mumbai to get away and put words to paper or fingers to a keyboard.
4. How much research do you do before writing the book?
Since I write mostly fiction, there isn't much research involved but I do get a lot of inspiration by meeting people and going to places. Personally, watching TV sitcoms also inspires me quite a bit. Shows like Seinfeld, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Top Cat & Episodes are really helpful in coining humorous dialogue and plot lines.
5. What motivated you to write the book "Chela: The Adventures of Jack & Ty" ?
This book is my tribute to P.G. Wodehouse. Whom I regard as great as the Bard of Avon. It is also an ode to Top Cat. My favorite cartoon show growing up and which gets me guffawing till date.
6. Can you tell us more about your latest book ?
It's a humorous (at least that was the plan) story about two friends i.e. a jackal and a tiger who are brought together by similar circumstance and the way in which they marshal the mettle to make a living and become masters of the great Indian jungle.
7. How you take out time from your busy schedule to write this book?
I've dedicated six months of my life to this project and enjoyed each and every moment of it. My schedule wasn't very busy to begin with so taking time out is out of the question.
8. Who are your favourite authors?
I've answered this before but here goes again - P.G. Wodehouse, Ruskin Bond & Khushwant Singh.
9. What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I'm not the right person to answer this. I've just taken baby steps towards the writerly life. But if I were to say something it would be to be patient and never give up.