Today we have Capri jalota, the author of then the doorbell rang with us.
Thanks for joining my virtual Tete a Tete
Kindly give an introduction about you to the readers?
First of all, thanks for choosing to talk to me, Rakhi. Getting to interact with an accomplished writer like yourselves is a sheer pleasure. As for me, I spent most of my initial years in Chandigarh. I had an extremely happy childhood – pampered by parents, a large loving family and some extremely good friends. So, I never took life seriously. But then two things happened – first, my father got diagnosed with cancer and second, after my Mechanical Engineering, I had to leave Chandigarh to work in Gurgaon with Maruti Udyog (now Maruti Suzuki). I got the first real taste of the harsh world and life didn’t seem all that bright and happy any longer. Even on the job front, I felt under achieved and wanted to do something more with my life. It was a good wake up call. Someone said that I should try giving CAT and I did that exactly. That’s how I landed in IIM Ahmedabad. Before that, I had always sold myself short. But, going there gave me the confidence that I could indeed do better things with my life and need to back myself more often. My first job, after campus, was in Management Consulting. It taught me quite a few things, but most importantly, it gave me my first learnings in written communication. Then, healthcare came beckoning and I got the opportunity of working with Fortis Healthcare. The next eight years were spent learning and managing healthcare businesses in India first and Middle East thereafter. I took a break one year back to pen my first novel.
On the personal front, I have just one wife, quite unlike the Middle Eastern traditions, but don’t have much to complain. My wife, Rashmi is super talented and is an art historian, critic and academician. And I have a 9 year old son, Aarav who means the world to me.
How did you decide that writing is your destiny ?
I think it is early to say that writing is my destiny but if it turns out that way, you won’t find me complaining.
About few years back, I started writing randomly but much of it didn’t go anywhere. Then one day, I was sitting with my friends in Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai and my friend pointed out to a balcony saying “That is from where the woman had jumped” referring to a new article in the previous week about a married woman with kids committing suicide. And that got me thinking.
Women, unlike men, assess situations in a more composite way before arriving at a decision. They weigh all options, study impact on everyone around and sometimes, forfeit their interests for the larger good.
For a woman with kids living in an affluent neighbourhood and to take a decision like this, it would have taken a lot.
It stuck to my mind and I weaved my own story around that incident. Sometime last year, I finalized the plot. Then I quit my job and committed myself to full-time writing this novel and getting it published. So, this is how my first novel – THEN THE DOORBELL RANG became a reality. My piece has nothing to do with the original incident except that the protagonist also stands on the ledge of her balcony one fine morning.
A lot of IIM graduates are becoming writers these days. Has the ambience got anything to do with it?
Not just IIM graduates, a lot of people have taken up writing in general, don’t you think so?!
And I think a lot of it has to do with options and exposure. Twenty years back, making a career in writing seemed ludicrous but not today.
As for IIMs, they definitely provide their students with key elements necessary for being a good writer – independent thinking, good story telling techniques through structured analysis and above all, the ability to take calculated risks.
Tell us about ‘Then the doorbell rang’?
‘Then the doorbell rang’ is a fiction novel, in the drama/relationship genre. It is being published by Leadstart Publishing and will be released across India on July 15, 2017. Pre-booking has started on Amazon.
As I told you, it all started one evening at a friend’s place. The protagonist of the novel is a woman named Jane. Jane is half Indian, half British who spends her growing up years in Dubai. She is everything that would make anyone jealous – beautiful, rich and successful. The wheels of time turned and she finds herself completely unhappy – sometimes because of her circumstances but mostly because of the choices she makes in life.
And if you think about it, it is not just her. We all go through the same. Our lives and relationships are more often shaped by our choices than by the circumstances.
And I haven’t been pedagogic or preachy about it, tried to keep it subtle throughout. Mostly, the novel is full-on drama with enough twists and turns to keep the readers engrossed till the very end.
What does excite you more. Healthcare, Literature or your Numismatic interest?
I would have to give it to Healthcare, just by the sheer number of years that I spent in it. The other two are relatively newer interests.
On a serious note though, all three have a role to play in my life. Healthcare enables me to connect with people, Literature helps me to connect with myself and coins help me bond with my son as we share this hobby.
How was your publishing journey?
Whoever said writing a book is difficult, never probably published it. Phew, it was the most challenging part. I spent close to two months writing to all sorts of publishing houses. I would check my email every few minutes hoping someone would respond. A few weeks passed by and nothing happened. Those were long anxious days but thankfully, I did get a few responses finally and I chose Leadstart Publishing. In hindsight, I could have done things differently and probably reached out the Publishing houses earlier, while I was still writing the novel. I would strongly advise budding authors to follow this route to avoid any frustrations due to extended time frames in which publishers come back. But all in all, I am happy with the way things have shaped up!
What is your book promotion plan?
Quite a few things planned over the next few months. Book launch is being planned in Chandigarh and might be followed by launches in other cities. Author’s Channel is helping me with it.
Where do you find yourself, five years from now?
Looking at my track record, I have failed squarely at successfully predicting my future. Five years back, I could have never imagined that I would ever publish a book. I mean it was somewhere in the horizon but I was never sure I would do it. So, I dare predict my future – lest I have to bite my tongue.
But hopefully, I would continue writing and see where it goes. I am a firm believer of ‘carpe diem’ and eagerly await to see what life brings with it each day and I would be standing at the turn waiting to cease the day.
How can the readers reach you?
Well, I am available on Facebook (capri.jalota.7), Instagram (caprijalota) and Twitter (@capri_jalota). If anyone wants to write to me, they can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for this wonderful time.
Thank you Rakhi, it was great to catch up with you. Best wishes to you and your readers. Hope to connect with you again!