Sanjay Chandra [Entrepreneur and Writer]
Sanjay Chandra was born in a middle-class family in small-town India in 1959. He completed his professional degree in electrical engineering and joined the railway services. He first quit his railway job to join a government company, and then quit working for the government altogether to join the private sector. Eventually, he quit the private sector also and became an entrepreneur.
He started writing his memoirs on social media when he realised that people from middle-class India still faced the dilemmas that he faced during his journey of life. Parents still considered engineering or medical to be safe career choices for their children despite numerous other better-paying career options being available.
He wrote this debut work with the belief that this may inspire others from the middle-class background to do something different. Sanjay Chandra lives with his family in Gurgaon near Delhi. He enjoys spending time with his friends and relatives. Now, in the early years of his seventh decade, he is enjoying yet another passion – writing.
Questions for Sanjay Chandra:
Interview: First of all, congratulations on the publication of your book. How has the reception of the book been?
Sanjay Chandra: Thank you so much. The book has been received well by the readers. Every reader who has spoken to me or who has posted review has said that they could resonate with the book.
Interview: How did the idea of writing the book come to you?
Sanjay Chandra: I had posted a couple of incidents featured in the book on my social media and then stopped. My friends started waiting for me to post more of my writings. Additionally, during my professional journey, I came across many parents from the middle-class insisting on their children to pursue course considered safe – engineering. The same parents after graduation would approach me to see if I could arrange a measly paying job for the child. I wrote the first book with the intention to encourage people to pursue their dreams passionately.
Interview: How difficult was it for you to recall and write about all the experiences you have recorded in the book?Sanjay Chandra: Surprisingly, it was not difficult at all. As I started writing, I recalled incidents from different phases of my life. These were the incidents that shaped my life and personality and thus I could recall them easily.
Interview: How do you feel as a writer now?
Sanjay Chandra: I feel great. Writing has given me an avenue to unleash the creative side of my personality, and to reach out to more people.
Interview: Among all the time of your life that you have described in book, which is the one you reminisce the most?Sanjay Chandra: I have always enjoyed my present and I keep myself occupied with my present thinking about the future. I use my past only to take care of the mistakes made. That leaves me with very little time to reminisce.
Interview: Do you think there is any other transportation that can revolutionize and influence the lives to the extent to which railways do?
Sanjay Chandra: World is shrinking and it is now a global village. All modes of transport today influence lives – be it railways, road, sea/river, flights and even walking.
Interview: What is the basic message you would want to convey to the readers?
Sanjay Chandra: Dream with open eyes and then pursue your dreams passionately
Interview: As times have changed, so have facilities and even the quality of life. Do you think people have changed too?Sanjay Chandra: Change is the only constant and that is what results in progress. Humans have been evolving over the centuries, and it is as true today as it was earlier. Each generation has tried to work towards the betterment of life for the generations to come. Does this mean that people have also changed? I believe that human emotions will always be unchanged – emotions of happiness or sorrow or other emotions – and people are also a sum total of their emotions.
Interview: Are there any particular authors or books you enjoy reading?
Sanjay Chandra: I have always enjoyed reading and I read voraciously. It is very difficult to point out which authors or books are favourite. But to be specific, I enjoy Charles Dickens, Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith, Thomas Hardy, Ayn Rand, Godfather by Mario Puzo, Gone With the Wind. Oh, the list is endless.
Interview: Would you like to give any advice to budding writers?
Sanjay Chandra: Write with your heart but writing also requires a lot of patience and discipline. And keep observing incidents around you. Many times these little incidents may give you the idea for your next story.
Interview: Please tell us about your future projects in writing.
Sanjay Chandra: I have completed my next manuscript ‘The Street Performers’. This is fiction. This is a book about the lives of three children forced by circumstances to live by the roadside and perform on traffic junctions to earn a little to augment their parents’ meagre earnings and then their fight and will to achieve glory. I have started working on my third book, which is about a person abandoned by his mother.
Interview: What would you like to say about contemporary writing?
Sanjay Chandra: Contemporary writing reflects our times and more people are now writing across the globe, which is also available at the click of a key to readers through digital media.
Interview: Thank you so much for sparing your time and answering the questions. All the best to you.
Sanjay Chandra: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to speak to you.