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There were things I wanted to do apart from books (like the talks and columns) and the job was preventing me from doing it.My wife’s job, ironically, was not a factor in favour of quitting but quite otherwise.Forbes India: (We’re trying to go beyond the hoary old 'where do you get your ideas? Forbes India: What's a day in the life of Chetan Bhagat like? Chetan Bhagat: When I was working, days were more typical, but now they are not.
That comes from luck, or if you want to be romantic about it, destiny. At the same time we are prejudiced, live in the past and are cynical. Whichever idea keeps knocking in my head hundred times over, wins.
We also are in a winner takes all society, where the winner gets a lot more attention than the next guy, who may not be very different. Chetan Bhagat: I think the Indian middle class life, or the so-called ‘Indian way’ inspires me. Forbes India: Do you have several ideas in various stages of completion at any one point, or is it one book at a time? I may have many ideas, but it is difficult for me to ration my thoughts towards different ideas.
I am far calmer and happier today after quitting, but yes, the end of the month salary is missed.
Forbes India: If things don't stay as good as they have been thus far — if your next books doesn't sell as much the previous ones, for instance — do you have a Plan B?
Chetan Bhagat: It’s all of the above points you mentioned, and yes — luck and randomness are a big part of it.
I think I have a talent to entertain, believe in what I do and I do try my best to care for people.In the afternoons, I do work of lesser concentration such as emails.I am not a workaholic and do not like to work more than seven hours a day.The combination comes through in my writing or whatever else I do, and people have given me a chance.However, that still does not explain why I am read the most. I get a lot of ideas on what I observe, but everything cannot be turned into a book.Chetan Bhagat: I grew up in West Delhi, and went to The Army Public School.My father was in the army and my mother in a government job — a typical middle class setup.Hence, I should stop positioning myself as just a funny author. The ‘safety’ was the main reason to stay on, as were the middle class upbringing values that you just don’t quit an MNC bank job.I think the final point came when I was able to overcome the lure of money.Right now, I am not writing anything as 2 States just came out, so I have time to tweet. And then there is Chetan the reformer — Mahatma Gandhi to Obama, there is a long list there. In between books, I try to read as my fun books as possible.I think it is better to emulate different qualities from various icons, as it is rare that one person will have everything you aspire to be. Forbes India: What does Chetan Bhagat read when he's writing? I also love non-fiction books such as Forbes India: As a writer, who do you see as your peer group?