Corporate honcho, management student give in to impulse, pen books

June 3rd, 2008 - 11:50 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of KPMG
By Azera Rehman
New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Vivek Kumar Aggarwal and Zaheer Ahmed, one a corporate executive and the other a management student, have given a break to the structured thinking they are trained in and delved into the literary world with their debut books to get in touch with their “spontaneity”. “I like my job and the challenges it brings, but writing is an outlet for my creativity and imagination. That’s why I am here, with my first book ‘To Catch A Smile’,” Aggarwal, who works with advisory firm KPMG, told IANS.

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Aggarwal said that while his management years have taught him to think in a particular kind of way and plan ahead, writing is his outlet for creativity and impulsiveness.

“My years in IIM-A helped me get the confidence to go and speak my thoughts out. It laid a lot of stress on structured thinking and planning which helps me perform well at work.

“This book is an attempt to get back in touch with my spontaneity and gives me the courage to be a little unconventional, if I may dare to say so,” the 29-year-old author said.

A book of short stories, “To Catch A Smile” has nothing to do with the author’s experience in the IIM campus, as many may expect. It’s more like a collection of instances. Each story captures moments of intense human emotion under the given circumstances, which everyone can relate to.

“The inspiration for these stories has been the easy part. An image, a thought or overheard conversation comes first, and then I weave a story around it. None of the stories is a result of my fantasy. They have the reality of our lives at their core, while my imagination has made them more vivid,” he said.

If Aggarwal’s book is a result of a year’s labour, Ahmed’s draws from nearly a decade’s experiences.

His book, “My Partial Autobiography”, is a collection of poems, stitched together in the form of a simple story. Ahmed’s book provides for a leisurely read with not too many complexities and has a free on-line version.

“I started writing poetry since I was in class nine. In my third year of graduation, I approached a publisher to get my poems published. However, they turned me down saying that people didn’t have time to read poems since they were tough to understand,” said Ahmed, now in his 20s.

“It was then that I decided that I should stitch my poems in the form of a story for my readers.

“Why do I call it my partial autobiography? Because it traces snatches of my life through the poems,” said the author who is a student of the Fore School of Management.

Ahmed’s book is however not like any other book of poems. At the end of each poem, he puts forth some questions to his reader and prods them to think of the answers.

“The question-answer style which I adopted in the book is an inspiration from the self-help management books that I had read. It makes the book more reader-friendly since they involve his or her attention,” he said.

Having received encouraging feedback from their readers, both Aggarwal and Ahmed, who don’t know each other, have started working on their second books.

While Aggarwal calls his next book a more intellectual piece than his first one, Ahmed’s one is a science fiction.

While they admit that they don’t want to change their course of life, both say that writing is a passion, which they will always pursue.

“I do not have any plans or thoughts about turning into a full time writer. I started writing without any plans and only because I enjoy it,” Aggarwal said.

“But then again, tomorrow is another day!”

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