Pinto has an idea - interview with author Rajeev Saxena

Rajeev Saxena was born and raised in India, completing a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Kanpur in 1994. He moved to the US to continue his education, spending 11 years in the US before returning to India in 2008. He moved back to the US again in 2014. His career in IT for a large international company has blessed him with the ability to visit a multitude of cultures and countries throughout his life. From his early days experiencing life on farms in his grandparents’ rural village, he has been in touch with his roots throughout his life. All those experiences have now come together in the form of his book. We have conducted an interview with him.

Who inspired to craft this character 'Dr. Pinto'?

An author finds characters from his or her surroundings. If that’s not the case, he is not doing the justice with his writing, few genres are exceptions. I grew up in small towns, then went to a prestigious college IIT for my engineering and since then have been working in multinationals around the world. So I’ve picked a lot of things happening around me and fictionalized it. Sometimes people get confused whether it’s me in Dr. Pinto. My straight answer to them is ‘not at all’. It’s a complete work of fiction. On a lighter note, I’m not that intelligent as Pinto is.

Most of the romantic novels have chosen the characters from Businessmen, Professors, Politicians, Bureaucrats and Criminals but Scientists have not been a very popular choice for romantic fiction. I wanted to change that thinking a bit. Scientists can also be romantic. Their style of romance might be very different. And I think that’s the unique part readers would like in my novel.

Is it one more book in the market talking about Engineering college romance?

Good that you asked. No, it is not. I do have Engineering college romance in this book but first, it’s very different than any regular romance you’d find in other novels. Secondly, it’s just 10% of the book…the Engineering college romance…The rest of the romance is throughout the book. I don’t want to reveal all the details now. But the romance, struggle, innovation, social revolution and day to day family problems all are woven very meticulously in my novel. All I can say at this point that I’m trying to start a new trend as one of the celebrities mentions it as part of their endorsements.

So, do you have endorsements as well?

Yes, I’m lucky that several celebrities have endorsed my book. Two of them are very popular Bollywood personalities, one a well-known Magsaysay award winner social worker and another one a famous entrepreneur.

The moment I got the book, I could not resist finishing it in one go. You’ll always be curious to know what Pinto is going to do next. I hope that the author writes a series based on Pinto.

A strong plot full of emotions, love, pragmatism and very importantly, humor. The author has touched a genre that doesn’t exist in traditional publishing in India. A must read, you shouldn’t miss it.

Superb story. It brings you back to college days and soon takes you to your professional journey. The humor is amazing.
Looks like the author is going to be a trendsetter. It’s first time when I see a romantic fiction raising social issues in a highly entertaining and interesting fashion.

What is it with the theme of triumphant that you want to share with your readers?

We have a lot of negativity around us. Poverty, crime, corruption and things of that nature. People often talk about these issues, apply all of their literary skills to describe them as realistic as possible. And there is nothing wrong in it. That’s the job of a writer. My approach has been a little different. Instead of focusing on too much on those problems, I’m talking about how a scientist would think about solutions to these problems. Now, this is not a mathematical puzzle as well that you have a problem given, you create an equation and solve it. These problems are related to society. To solve those problems a scientist need to understand the society and the mechanics around it thoroughly. While doing that he’d interact with people, come across with several great characters, serious, funny, shady, troublemakers, romantic and so on. I think I’m able to give a positive message to my readers at the same time I’ve made the subject very entertaining, humorous and light.

Who should read your book 'Pinto Has An Idea'? Why would you recommend it to them?

Anybody who is looking for good light entertainment with some intellectual satisfaction. Almost all of the characters in my book are Indians. Most of the plot is around India and in the US. It’s a tough question but if I really need to segment the readership, I see four types of viewership:

- Anybody who loves to read, it’s not a segment but really a reality
- Young college going crowd and young professionals who could relate themselves directly with Pinto
- People around the world who want to understand India closely in an entertaining and storytelling fashion
- Senior students who are old enough to understand physical and emotional relationship between humans and want to get motivated by Dr. Pinto

How challenging is it to develop this character and to write this book?

To tell you the truth, the most difficult part was to find the right publisher than writing a book. I’m lucky that I found one of the best ones. But that story sometime later. I think it was not that difficult to develop the character as both Pinto and his girlfriend turned into his wife Lavanya come from our day to day life. The difficult part was to fictionalize it and write the book in such a way that it’s entertaining. My focus has been that I should be able to give a right message to the society to those who want to take it. But for those who are reading the book just for plain entertainment, they should enjoy it equally. To create that balance was very tricky and challenging. I think I was able to do the justice to characters by creating a balanced approach. And the rest, only readers will tell.
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