A hope that India can live up to its potential is the inspiration for his book

A hope that India can live up to its potential is the inspiration behind Operation Jai Mata Di.’ says author Pratik Shah about writing a life-changer of a book. 
Q. Did the birth of the plot for ‘Operation Jai Mata Di’ have anything to do with the general mood for change witnessed among the masses in India, in recent times?

No. The frustration with the ‘state of the union’ had been festering since a long time. Venting it out in some meaningful way was always on the list of things to do. Current incidents helped in a way that they certainly lent a background to the pending task.

Q. Who do you think is to blame and why: the corrupt or the meek who buckle under pressure and comply with all the demands of the corrupt?

Greed is a basic human trait. That can never be wished away. That will never cease to exist. However ‘ethics’, ‘fairness’ and ‘morality’ are also some evolved, though not basic, human traits. Those can be exercised.
I’d put blame on the meek for complying with the demands of the corrupt. The meek, a majority of the society, are the ‘short-term-benefit’ people. For their short term gain or comfort, they are ready to screw their future generations and oil a corrupt system.
The lack of fear of rule of law, lack of morality of the leaders themselves & lack of vision of the people ruling the state are further contributing factors.

Q. What do you feel is the psychology behind the majority not extending a helping hand to victims of road accidents?

The bureaucratic hassles involved in extending a helping hand; prospects of an unearthly amount of time to be invested in various bureaucratic processes – medical, police and law/courts. Lack of clarity on rights, procedures, etc.

Q. Given a chance to become a part of ‘Operation Jai Mata Di’ which character would you love to play?

I’d love to play the character of the ‘sutradhaar’: the person who has the vision and passion to see the eventual vision through.

Q. Your inspiration?
I’ve travelled and lived in many places of the world. While I see India a country with the strongest of potentials, the most basic parameters of our country remain the weakest. A hope that India can live up to its potential is the inspiration behind Operation Jai Mata Di.

Q. The best book you’ve read till date?

I, frankly, was once an avid reader. Am not one anymore; trying to get into the habit again. Many books come to my mind, but I’d set apart The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen as a special mention.

Q. Any new book ready to leave your desk soon? If so, could we have an insight into the same? 

UNRAVELLING is the book that would leave my desk soon. A prologue chapter has been included in the book ‘Operation Jai Mata Di’ for readers to peruse.

UNRAVELLING is an evocative, life-affirming story that weaves past and present, reality and surrealism; into an intricate and colourful mosaic of thoughts, actions, twists and emotions. It takes readers to the wild savannahs of 1950s Kenya and brings them back to the present-day Mumbai. It’s the story of a few men whose lives intertwine across times and regions, both past and present. What is it that connects them and binds them together? The wild Savannahs? Or something much more elusive?

Interviewed by: Geeta Nair 

Pratik Shah wrote his first quarter-novella when he was a kid. Those were the days when we played in the CIA – KGB cold war turf. And so inspired he was, a boy, whole of 13 years, that he spent an entire day scribbling notes till his friends came calling for an evening game of soccer. In those couple of hours, he must have written nearly 5,000 words. Now many a sun-sets later (and a few strands of grey hair), he sits in Mumbai. Has traveled to a few parts of the world. One of his short stories – Wavering Bounds – has been published in a book ‘Inner Voices’, Mirage Publications, India, as one of the winners of a worldwide short story contest held in 2008. Has written blogs and short-stories which have been well received. He’s a blogger at a private blog, and a poet (well, self-acclaimed). He’s also an engineer and a management graduate from IIM, Ahmedabad.

The book is coming soon! 


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It costs less than a popcorn pack that you buy at a multiplex & much less than the spa you get for your actually tired mind and not body!


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