We are in conversation with Dipen Ambalia know for his best selling satirical books where he talks about everything related to his experiences in the IT Industry, how he thought of writing a complete novel and how he came out with the most funniest titles ever given to a book. Have a look!
- Let’s Talk
Team WordBite (TWB): First of all Dipen, take us back to your past and tell us all about you- as an author, as an engineer and how it all started.
Dipen Ambalia (DA): I am an electrical engineer from VJTI (Mumbai). 2004 grad. At that point I had never ever thought of writing books and stuff. I didn’t even know that I had the talent of putting thoughts into words. In around 2007 I used to follow a blog of my senior from school. He was kind of an idol for me since school days and after following his blog for a few months, I thought why not start writing a blog myself. The very first blog that I wrote was in 2007. It was called “perfecting the art of fooling bosses”. I shared it with a few friends and they all liked it and hence I kept writing blogs. After writing some 40-50 blogs I thought of giving myself a creative challenge and that’s when I thought of writing a book.
TWB: Now coming back to your books, why did you choose a genre like satire to write your book? Was it a conscious decision or are there any inspirations for you to write in this particular genre since satire is not so famous here in India
DA: I am a huge fan of Scott Adams. He is a brilliant cartoonist and a satirist. He has written amazing satires on the management and marketing world. “The dilbert principle”, “Joy at work” and many other. So, one day I thought why not use that style of writing and apply it to the IT world where I had already spent around 6 years when I thought of writing a book. Satire is a very powerful of telling the world what it needs to be told and you say that in a funny way. It’s like you read something and you laugh and then it strikes you that you were laughing at yourself because that sentence of scene was targeted at people like you. And also, the Indian author market is flooded with love story authors. So it is necessary to create a mark of our own.
TWB: The titles of all your books are very interesting yet funny, tell us the story behind this, and are there any creative masterminds behind this move?
DA: I spend a lot of time in coming up with a good title. Brainstorming a lot is what helps me achieve that. At first I wrote the title “life of a software engineer”. Then I thought let me make the L O S E R in that title capital and then many people will be able to identify with the title and hence buy it.
TWB: Someone said “In India people first become engineers and then they decide what they have to do” What do you think about this popular thinking. Do you think our Education System needs a Reboot?
DA: I think that it’s a fad to be different. One watches a few inspiring vides on youtube and then thinks that “hey I will chuck this stupid education and become bill gates or steve or sachin. If they can I can too.. blah blah blah…” . This kind of thinking is pure crap. ONE SHOULD BE A REALIST IN LIFE. FIRST HAVE A STABLE LIFE. AND THEN FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. I am not saying that you have to wait till you are 65 to follow your dreams. Go to a good college, get a good job, earn money, create a stable life and SIMULTANEOUSLY try to discover your passion or hobby that you can make a primary source of income after a few years when you are bored with a regular job. Work for 10 years, sharpen your skills/passion and then go and take a deep dive into what you want to do in life. Please know that for every one Steve Jobs out 1000 there must be 999 who fail and their families have to suffer with them too!
TWB: There are lots of new authors arriving, have you read any of them? Also who is your favorite amongst them?:
DA: I don’t like to read much. If given an option between watching a movie / serial and reading a book, I prefer the former. Amongst the recent authors, Gyandeep Kaushal (the author of the book “THE TEEN”) is my favorite.
TWB: Your last book was published by a Publishing House started by you? Is there any specific reason of not approaching an established publishing house?
DA: when you are an author at a publishing house, you have to live off a royalty which is a small percentage of the MRP. I wanted a bigger pie of the profits and that’s why I published the book myself. So whatever risks and profits are mine.
TWB: Do you think, being a full-time author will change your way of writing?
DA: No. becoming a fulltime writer is a stupid decision. Yes. You read that right. Now I have got job in an good IT company in Mumbai. Ideas come when they have to. It’s not that you sit at home for 3 months and you will write 10 books. Ideas can come while you are arguing with your boss, on a potty in the mall, in a library in college; in short anywhere and anytime. Only the likes of Amish Tripathi and Durjoy who have sold million copies can afford to sit at home and write books. The rest have to get up in the morning and go their ass to office!
TWB: Tell us something about your upcoming book.
DA: nothing worth sharing as of now because I don’t know which one I will bring first. One is a satire on the Indian publishing industry and one is a love triangle.
TWB: When was the last time you did something for the first time? And what was it?
DA: Publishing my own book was a big headache, but totally enjoyed it. It was in May 2013.
TWB: Your favorite Book(s) :
DA: the city of joy by dominique lapiere
The teen by Gyandeep Kaushal
Bankster by Ravi Subramanium
Family matters by Rohinton mistry
All books by Sudha Murthy and Scott Adams.
TWB: Your favorite Author(s) :
DA: described above.
TWB: Describe yourself in three words:
DA: Nice, helpful, risk-taker.
TWB: Thank You! Dipen for this interview, may you have a great life ahead J
DA: Thanks so much, Wordbite! Best wishes to your team too!