AND . . . PERHAPS LOVE- In conversation with Sanil Sachar on his new launch and much more

Sanil Sachar’s work in the world of literature traverses through prose, poetry, short stories, scripts and couplets, that have been critically acclaimed and received by readers around the world. With over 200 works of published poetry and short-stories, Sachar is one of the few Indian authors to be published in all forms of literature. Sanil is a highly acclaimed columnist, triple Ted speaker, addressing international audiences, apart from his material on innovation through creativity, with the likes of Google, JCB, TCS, and Wipro. We speak to this artist and innovator who aims to drive change, one word at a time. 

Can you tell us what inspired you to write ‘And Perhaps Love’

Curiosity to dissect love in all forms. Around the world, we know love is a universal language but it is also the most gifted present. We end up giving our love in the hope to exchange it with someone else’s. But from my finite personal experiences and the infinite instances faced by billions around the world, we put aside self-love as a secondary priority. The inspiration of And…Perhaps Love is therefore driven to peel each layer of love so the readers can resonate with it during their own lives. The motivation was to create a piece of fiction where each reader is the character to a book that can be somewhat a biography of their lives, today or in the future.

 The first feeling when Penguin published the book? What was it like?

The day it happened, I walked up to the first Penguin published book in my library which I could find. It was a book written by Ruskin Bond (huge fan! Who isn’t?!) gifted to me by my now publicist at Penguin. I looked at it, covered the name of the book and the authors name, to imagine what is in store. Each book written in the past, or that might come will always be a first experience for me. I’ve been a reader of their work ever since I can remember. Speaking to them over the years as a younger writer was always encouraging in itself. To be a part of the same publication is a testament that if you keep going, set your goals as a constant moving milestone, you will not only reach your goal but also come closer to the next one.

Your favourite excerpt from the book?

‘Recap’ is my favorite section from the book, because it sits uncomfortably between a major transition about to take place. 

An excerpt that sticks with me is – 

‘Ever want to feel powerful? Fall in love. 

Ever want to feel powerless? Fall in love. 

Love has a way of making even the most powerful man’s legs quiver. Shake like a lonesome leaf on an autumn tree. A whisper away from being free against its will. 

Love has a way of making us dream beyond the capacity of a dream and making us experience reality like nothing else can.’

Rapid Fire with Sanil Sachar

  • Your favourite under-appreciated novel? 

I can’t say if a book has been under-appreciated because it’s hard enough to write, let alone get published, which I believe is the pinnacle of appreciation. The tags, and awards we are provided after act as a cherry on top but I don’t think it is fair to say it’s not underappreciated. Mitch Albomm’s ‘Five People you Meet in Heaven’ is often spoken second or third in comparison to ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ so I feel that’s one which is shadowed by the same authors brilliance.

  • Characters or Plot?

 Characters! They build the pot. A man sitting in the corner of a room, peeling his nails with his head between his knees, peeking through the gap created by high thighs creates the plot. For me, characters in fiction and reality create the set and setting.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite? 

Not knowing when to stop. If it wasn’t for my editors, I would have written one book with several thousand pages, morphing into stories that at some point found a common link.Do you ever judge a book by its cover? SS – I’ve been lucky to have stunning covers to my books. All credit to the teams who made them but I judge a book by how random pages within it connect with me. I don’t necessarily believe a cover represents a book, neither does the beginning. It’s what’s inside, in terms of the tempo, language and rhythm of the characters that gets me hooked.

  • What did you do with your first advance? 

I doubled it! How? Well, a magician doesn’t reveal his tricks and an entrepreneur doesn’t expose all his investments, haha! I utilise my time and advances, as a way of multiplying material to learn and grow from. So, I am pretty certain a percentage of my advance went into buying subscriptions for research papers, publications and podcasts. This simply keeps the curiosity and learning flowing, helping me go from one advance to the other.

  • The last book you bought? 

My own actually…I ran out of copies and was gifting it to a family member. But apart from that, it was Haruki Murakami’s Wind/Pinball. – I would definitely recommend this to readers and non-readers.