Que: I would like to begin by congratulating you on the publication of “Mindwash.” How has the response to the book been so far?
Sandeep Dass: Thank you Akhila. I am myself surprised that the book is doing pretty decently owing to the fact that I am a first-time author and have no experience in writing earlier. The response is overwhelming and I am thankful to God.
Que: What led to the idea of writing “Mindwash”? Were there any events that inspired the work?
Sandeep Dass: I believe every book is inspired by an event or a personality, this book also was an inspiration from certain events that happened past 3 decades not only in India but across the world.
I am a very passionate about my country & our armed forces, the brave hearts who are constantly guarding our country at the cost of their own lives. I also try to keep abreast with the events of the world and try to analyse them. I am particularly worried how we as humankind are becoming so materialistic that we are ready to compromise with the real happiness for short term gains. We have lost the virtue of “being humane” and are killing our own souls in the name of religion, politics, power and money.
All this is reflective in the story. The characters are inspired from personalities I see or I read about. I have tried to make them feel as real as possible. They are characters you will relate to living next doors.
Que: How easy or difficult was it for you to set the narrative in the near future and build characters who had the impressions of the present time in “Mindwash”?
Sandeep Dass: It took me more than 3 years thinking, relating the events and to weave these into a story which travels not only in the past but also in present and the future. I started writing my first chapter in January 2018 during my business trip sitting late night in the hotel at Time Square NY- the city that inspires so many. I created a folder on the desktop with 2-word files – my story & my characters. I would keep adding to the ideas about the events and the characters as I would meet some interesting people during my trips globally. Until March 2020 I had written only 17 pages. And then the Pandemic happened and a lockdown for almost 2 months gave me the “Me Time” which allowed to write and write for days and nights.
Que: What are your views about present-day writing? Do you think it does complete justice in depicting human nature in the light of “Mindwash”?
Sandeep Dass: Honestly, I am not a literature person and I don’t read much books therefore would not like to comment about present day writing. I have tried to do justice with all my characters in the book, depicting human relations & emotions on the global platform.
And as I said, the characters are inspired from personalities I see or I read about. I have tried to make them feel as real as possible. They are characters you will relate to living next doors. So I am sure the reader will be drawn towards the characters very closely.
Que: “Mindwash” shows the uniqueness of your style of writing. Are there any authors that you enjoy reading or any books which are your favorites?
Sandeep Dass: I am very selective about my reading and I don’t like to read a big fat book. I prefer leaner books which are to the point and the story needs to be moving on a fast pace to keep up the interest level of the reader all the time. That’s the reason, I also ensured the story is fast moving and full of action.
Que: How would you categorize “Mindwash” as its appeal seems to be to a broad audience?
Sandeep Dass: The story is on a Global platform linked to some global events that have left a mark in our lives. My intention in writing the book was to tell the world that all humans carry same emotions; it’s the given circumstances that make the difference in our behaviour. I have tried to lay emphasis that vibrant democracies / societies in the globe give better opportunities for people to live a better life.
Que: “Mindwash” has given a powerful introduction to your potential as a writer. Can the readers expect more from you in the future? Please share about your future projects.
Sandeep Dass: Akhila, as you have read the book, I have tried to end the novel where the story feels complete but it also gives me an opportunity to come up with a second part. I have already started conceptualising the story and characters for the next book. I have not decided a timeline for it. Again, these are ideas which will take time to shape up.
Que: What is the story behind the title of your work, “Mindwash”?
Sandeep Dass: MINDWASH as the name suggests is about how the mind, which is a complete wanderer, is so fragile that it can actually be washed away with small little greeds that seem to be giving us all the comforts, however compromising on our moral values. It is all about how an individual person can be influenced when our moral values principles are not strong enough to keep our integrity high.
Que: How easy or difficult was it for you to create the characters and show the story from their eyes and also the eyes of a third-person narrator without hampering the readers’ perception in “Mindwash.”?
Sandeep Dass: The character I chose were the next-door people you find in all communities across the world. I would say my business travel to US and Europe have helped me defining these characters. One of the best places I love sitting idle is Time Square in NY. It’s a place you meet so many diverse personalities and at any time of the day or night. I love to meet, greet people and make friends and during these times I got my characters. Some names in my book are taken directly from people I have met in business and as friends during my visits. To give the insight of the events I needed to narrate without the characters as they are true events in our life time. I remembered the TV serial Mahabharat where the first line was – “Main Samay hoon”….. that’s the link, the moderator, for me, to relate the events and to connect them with the characters later.
Que: In the present time, stories featuring people like your characters in “Mindwash” do not find much mention. What, according to you, could be the possible reason for that?
Sandeep Dass: As advised our characters are all next-door people and every person reading this book will relate to these characters in some or the other way. Women characters play a major role in my storyline as it is my gut feeling that next several decades will be of the women who are not only multitaskers better in terms of men but also are stronger from inside than men.
Que: If you were to describe your book “Mindwash.” in a few words without giving any spoilers, what would those words be?
Sandeep Dass: THE WORLD IS ONE, it’s the circumstances that make people do good and the bad but as humans we all want to live in peace and prosperity.
Que: What advice would you give to budding writers who may be planning to write in the same genre as “Mindwash”?
Sandeep Dass: I would say, travel as much you can, make friends and feel this world in REAL. Pick and choose your ideas which appeal your inner self. Characters and the story line will automatically develop.
Que: Thank you very much for sparing your time. I look forward to reading more books from you in the future. All the best.
Sandeep Dass: Thanks Akhila for your interaction. I too look forward to reader’s reviews that will inspire me to start with my second book as the story will continue to get more intense and give more goose bumps.
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