Friday, July 25, 2014

Author Interview: Girdhar Joshi: Journey from Information Technology to Some Mistakes Have No Pardon

The rebel
Girdhar Joshi is an author of fiction and educational books for higher education. He lives in Mumbai where he is engaged in the software business and nurtures writing as his passion. He has already published three books on application of information technology in business for the students of management and self-published a collection of Hindi poetry. His latest is a literary novel.
Once upon a time

Your real name and pen name.
I have shortened my name as GIRDHAR JOSHI for my readers, students, and business associates. But my bankers and tax authorities still grapple with my long tongue-twister name Girdhari Datt Joshi.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.
I spent my childhood in the picturesque hills of Uttarakhand, earlier part of Uttar Pradesh, in the lap of nature. The memories include walking two-three kilometers on the serpentine path to school, fetching water from the village well at one kilometer distance, picking dried wood on Sundays, and braving the bitter cold winters, sometimes without a pair of shoes or slippers in the foot.
Glimpses of innocent childhood
About your education
I did my earlier education from the schools around my village and migrated to nearest metropolitan city, that is, Delhi to pursue twin objectives of furtherance of education and finding livelihood. I achieved both: earned my bachelor degree in commerce from Delhi University in 1986, a diploma in business management from IGNOU, and a master degree in business management specializing in information technology and marketing management from Punjab Technical University, besides some part-time language courses from Jawaharlal University. All the later courses were pursued while I was working.

What career did you plan during your education days?
None in specific and dozens in general. During school days I, like most of the brilliant science students of my school, was enamored by a course in civil or mechanical engineering in the lone engineering college in Nainital, some 200 kilometers far off my tiny village. But that dream was never realized as my father was in no position to bear the expenses. Later, in Delhi I vied for a bank job and a civil services job. But destiny had something else in store. I ended up earning my bread by selling software. Writing was never in the career radar, but I was sensitive to my environment and used to write poetry in Hindi which I did for couple of years before the streams of rhyming couplets dried up in the scorching heat and din of thing called life.
Leisure time 2
What languages you can speak and write?
I can speak and write English and Hindi.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
Nature. See, the trees inspire me to stand tall despite of storms and tornadoes. The river inspires me to flow, just flow without any purpose. The child learns just by observation and life should be like that only.

What hurts you most in this world?
Hypocrisy. We shouldn’t have one standard for us and different for others.  One should express what is inside and should not be untruthful in the guise of diplomacy.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I faced many challenges, big and small, in life. They came, I stood like a rock, and they vanished. And, those challenges ranged from getting noticed in writing, creating an edge in the dog-eats-dog environs of business, and the threats to basic survival.
2014-07-25 09.42.02
If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
I would like to live like Barack Obama, American President. I would like to see how it feels at the top of the world as the president of the all powerful country in the world. I am fan of his oratorical skills.

What is your favorite genre and why?
I love fantasy fiction with the touch of mysticism and spirituality. It gives us insights into life and sometimes helps us find solutions to problems.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I actively started writing in 2007 when I felt the need of a book on application of information systems in retail for my students doing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in retailing. I wanted to write stories, but I was not sure if I could interest someone to read it. Finally, the urge to write prevailed between the do-and-don’t-dos in June 2013 when I formally wrote my first sentence which expanded into a voluminous novel ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
As I said, I started with writing educational books. The first book ‘Information Technology for Retail’ was published by Oxford University Press New Delhi in 2008. Then I co-authored another book on the same subject ‘IT in Retail’ published by Vikas Publishing House, Noida in 2012. The success of first book and advices of my publishers tempted me to write another one ‘Management Information Systems’ which is based on applications of information technology for managing businesses. This was published by OUP in July 2013.
Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’ is my first fiction which is a story of a man who struggles to find love, peace, and happiness in life. In the process he takes many adventures and commits follies. But destiny had something predesigned for him and he feels desperate as a puppet in the hands of some unknown force. This novel beautifully illustrates the trials, triumphs, and tribulations of life in an interesting manner.

What are your forthcoming writings?
At the moment I am busy in promotion of this novel, online and offline. But I have four projects in mind that I can take up in future; I don’t know which will take precedence over others. The first is a story of a woman which will be a mystical story based on relationships, destiny, and karma. The second is a humorous and satirical story of two friends producing tons of laughter with their adventures and comical situations in life. The third is a traditional folklore of the hills of Uttarakhand which is basically a romantic story with touch of mysticism. This story has been told for centuries but I want to rewrite it with the prism of modern outlook. The fourth, of course, would be on knowledge management for the students of business studies.

What are your future plans?
I think I would keep on selling software to appease my stomach and write stories to appease my soul, until and unless my chairman thinks that I am spending more time on writing stories then on meeting prospects and as an outcome, he kicks me out.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
First, the story should be well-woven. Second, the language should be as easy and formal as possible (I have seldom used slangs and little use of Hindi and local words). Third, it should be well edited. Fourth, it should be well presented (the layout and the cover).

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
I think fiction draws its inspiration from real life. There is no fiction without a lot of reality, and there is no reality a without a bit of fiction. The incidences, the characters, and many times, the plot are based on real life.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
Yes, especially if you are a fiction writer. Biographies, travel-loges etc. may not need that kind of high level imagination.

Your dream destination on Earth?
A night in the Shikara on the Dal Lake in Srinagar or a boat-house in backwaters of Kerala is not a bad idea. Though world offers innumerable possibilities for us.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born and brought up in India. But I have visited Poland for business purpose and Nepal for fun. Nepal is as good as our own hill states of Himachal, Uttarakhand, Arunachal, Meghalaya and others. No distinct offerings. But the cleanliness, the cool environs, and greenery touched me in Poland.

Your favorite time of the day?
All times have their own charm. Nights are mysterious. You can be with you in the nights.

Your zodiac/ sunsign?
Sorpio, but it varies by different calendars.
At the latest book launch
Your favorite color and why?
All colors attract me. But when it goes to clothing ‘blue’, ‘sky blue’ and ‘white’ entice me.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?
Last book I finished was ‘Ajaya’ by Neelekanthan. I have to pick a new book soon.

Your favorite book and why?
Whatever I have read till now, I found ‘Eleven Minutes’ by Paulo Coelho and ‘Midnights Children’ by Salman Rushdie very interesting. Both have their own reasons.

Your favorite movie and why?
Not a big movie buff. I liked Titanic in international movies and 3 Idiots in Indian movies best. They keep you so glued to the screen that you don’t even want to scratch your back.

Your favorite celebrity and why?
I like Barack Obama. I like him for many other qualities than of a politician. I would skip my marriage anniversary to meet him, if he would.

Your favorite food?
Lots of different tastes in south Indian thali. Pasta tastes good.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon,  - moon
Laughter or Smile – smile
Morning or Evening – evening
Coffee or Tea – coffee
Mountain or Sea – mountains
Long Drive or Short Drive – no drive
Silence or Conversation – silence
Water or Fire – water
Air or Earth – earth
Mars or Jupiter – Mars
Tulip or Rose – Tulip
Red or Blue – Blue
Left or Right – right
Glance or Stare - stare

What three words come to your mind for each –
Technology: modern, comfort, progress
Life: live, love, laugh
God: strength, weakness, futile
Humanity: grow, prosper, compassion
Terrorism: misguided, stranded, curse
Racism: bad, good, end (racism bad, race good, end racism)
Childhood Abuse: unknown, tyranny, innocence
Love: life, panacea, energy
Parenting: duty, joy, responsibility
Old age: dignity, evening, wine at the window

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
‘Sometimes the acutest of agonies are difficult to find expression in the given vocabulary: words fail but pain prevails.’ (from Some Mistakes Have No Pardon)

The last line of your autobiography would be…
So, that is the man: sometimes overestimated, many times underestimated, but mostly misunderstood.

Twitter handle: @girdharJ
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Amazon link:
Publishers Link: Novel:

Publishers Link OUP:
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