Ahmed Faiyaz is at the far left. This pic is from one of the earlier book launches and not of the event which I attended
For the uninitiated Ahmed Faiyaz is the writer of Love, Life and All that Jazz, a fairly recent novel about 6 friends and how their lives change after college. I had reviewed this book in one of my earlier blog posts (http://bit.ly/9LvqlS). It is a really easy and sweet read about friends and the best part about it is the fact that it doesn’t include any of the usual sex, intimacy and things like that.
I must admit that I did pick his book because he is an alumnus of SIBM Pune. The fact that someone after doing CA and MBA would get into writing excited me a lot. And I myself being an avid blogger, twitter addict and aspiring novelist, I was really interested to meet him. So when the opportunity came along, I grabbed it with both hands. A week back he sent me a direct message on Twitter asking to attend a discussion on the book at Landmark, SGS Mall, Pune on 23rd July if possible.
Finally I did reach the venue on time. Interestingly, that was the first time I had been to Landmark in Pune ;). All the panelists in the discussion were personalities in their own way; Deepak D who became a children author at a pretty old age because he didn’t have his heart in his job, Abhijit who was in the same batch as Ahmed and followed his dream of becoming a musician, Sahil who has become an entrepreneur at the age of 21 itself with a restaurant called Yolkshire in Pune and being a part of Tossed Salad – Pune’s Lifestyle Portal and Ahmed itself.
The discussion started off with a few songs by Abhijit. Then it moved on to discussing Ahmed’s book. Things like how he came up with the idea of the book, about following one’s dreams, the biggest difficulty for a writer, which character he associates himself with etc were thrown at him by the different panelists and the small audience. Ahmed answered all the questions in a very affable and friendly manner which was the first thing I noticed about him when I met him. His way of communicating with the audience was as simple as his book.
On being asked as to how did get time to write a book despite having a very taxing Consulting Job with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), he replied that he used to take out nights and even weekends to write. That factor shows the determination in him to follow his dreams. He could as well have been happy with the amount he would be earning with DHA. Truthfully speaking I was surprised hearing his decision to get into writing full time. But I am sure he must have thought over it for a long long time before deciding it because it surely isn’t easy to leave a high paying job for something you don’t know whether it will succeed or not. One more thing I liked about him was the fact that he agreed to say that he relates to the main character of the book, Sameer. I doubt if many writers really tend to accept that. Instead they end up saying that it’s “A true story”. Now who really knows what’s true and what’s false?
All in all it was pleasing to talk to such a person. In India, it’s one thing to be allowed to follow your dreams and it’s another to really follow despite being allowed to follow. Whatever may be the end result of his books, Ahmed Faiyaz has aimed to be different and I surely believe he will create a legacy wherever he goes. It was awesome meeting you yaar.
Maan I really do look up to you especially for 2 reasons –
1. You are from SIBM Pune
2. Despite everything you followed your dreams of writing.
The best part of the evening!!! – As we were leaving, I asked him about when his next book is coming up. Instead he asked me, when’s my book releasing. 🙂 🙂 🙂