eMithilaHaat has initiated a series called ‘Mithila Young Achievers’ to recognize the youths from Mithilanchal who are doing commendable work in their respective fields. Today we will introduce you to a very talented and famous novelist, Priyank Aryan. Started with a little knowledge about writing and this industry, Priyank wanted to fulfill the last wish of her beloved girlfriend and hence his debut novel “I Am Dead But My Heart Beats”. Just a few days back he released his second novel “God And His Girlfriend”.
eMithilaHaat: Tell us a bit about your upbringing and education.
Priyank Aryan: Amethi in Uttar Pradesh is my birthplace, pretty historical place politically, yet on a lighter note I have no personal interest in getting a ticket from that constituency. But major part of my childhood days was spent in a small town ‘Ghatsila’ in Jharkhand, located very close to the steel city Jamshedpur. I hail from a normal middle class Maithil Brahmin family, with parental roots in Bihar. My entire 16 years of schooling till class 10th happened from Ghatsila only, a very serene town but I observed a very affectionate mindset & thinking process in the people there. In a small town, mostly everyone knows each other and so was my childhood days filled with lots of family care with the solo objective of studying to achieve something big in life. Childhood days were spent amidst books and self owned resources at home. Exposure to outside world was less. Later, I moved to Jamshedpur to avail better educational resources to complete my 12th and to prepare for engineering entrance exams. This preparation is what 90% kids from Indian family does after their 10th boards, with the zeal to get into IIT, NIT or other prestigious engineering schools. Well, I couldn’t make it to IIT, just reached the cut off stage and got calls from Marine engineering colleges which select candidates based on JEE score. But family member’s experience with a mix of my decision, I opted to go for Electrical engineering from BIT Sindri (Dhanbad), a very well known govt institution in that region. I completed my engineering last year. That’s how my upbringing and education has been so far.
eMithilaHaat: Where is your native? How often do you visit your native? Jamshedpur or Native? And Why?
Priyank Aryan: Native is a small village in Saharsa district of Bihar. Maithil readers must have heard of ‘Lalganj’, close to Sihaul, it’s a small peaceful village and that’s my native. When I was in school, we used to visit the native twice every year. Later, for me it got reduced to once a year. As of now, my parents do visit twice or thrice and I get a chance when there is some family function. Actually, hectic lifestyle doesn’t allow making multiple visits. But yes I have been fortunate enough to feel the essence of my native, somehow I have been making a visit in a year’s gap easily. Visiting Jamshedpur is always having a higher frequency because my parents stay there, that’s my hometown, so but obvious I visit there more frequently compared to my native. But yes, I will always prefer to balance my stay at my hometown and at my native. Both have their own beauty.
eMithilaHaat: Do you have any memories of your native place?
Priyank Aryan: Yeah of course. As I mentioned above, I have been to my native often. Last visit was in 2014, so it’s not about any long gap. Memories are still fresh and I look forward to be there again in few months. But yeah, all those moments spent during my childhood vacations are still fresh and it’s a pleasure to recall them. Those memories are very beautiful and soothing to heart.
eMithilaHaat: Tell us about your mother, father and siblings.
Priyank Aryan: My father is a teacher at a college based out in Ghatsila. He has been into teaching profession since the start of his career. My mother is a graduate from Jamshedpur and is a house-wife. I have got an elder sister who did her engineering and then worked for IT corporate for few years and is currently settled in Maldives with her husband.
eMithilaHaat: Being a writer; a gift or curse? How did your writing journey start?
Priyank Aryan: Definitely, being into writing is always a gift. And that’s the reason you are interviewing me today. This journey started because I had some tough incidents in my life at the age of 19. I had to come out of that personal trauma. It was all about me and my girlfriend Payal’s love story. Sadly, I lost her in an incident in March 2011 and then to come out of those painful memories I recalled one of her Valentine’s day wish and it was her desire that I should pen down a book to highlight the issues faced by youngsters in love when they are upfront against the social norms, family and traditional thoughts existing on love & marriages. So, writing happened for two reasons mainly. One was to give a positive and happy ending to my love story so that I can recover from that sudden setback and secondly, this happy ending would have resulted in the completion of my beloved’s wish made on Valentine’s day. So, I started writing once my engineering’s first year got over.
eMithilaHaat: What inspires you to get out of bed and write each day?
Priyank Aryan: Honestly speaking, I don’t write daily. And in fact, I rarely write during early morning hours. I prefer writing during late night hours and I get that strong feeling from inside that today I must write. It doesn’t come with that strong force daily. So, I choose to go with my heart. When the urge to pen down something comes in, I prefer writing. Mostly, I write for 4 to 5 days in a week.
eMithilaHaat: How has been your writing journey so far? Tell us about your first publishing experience.
Priyank Aryan: This journey of writing has been full of ups and downs. Initially, I didn’t know how to write a book. I had rarely read any fiction book till that date. Gradually, I started writing on paper, and then read it myself. I found them to be very poor during the starting days. All those papers were then into dustbins. With time, I moved from pen and paper mode to laptop and by then I was able to write with a decent touch. So, it took almost a year to get into the groove of writing which is acceptable in the making of a book. Publishing experience was no easy. More than 15 publishers rejected my first book. After a year one publisher got ready to publish my work. Every publisher had their own reasons for rejecting. This went on for a long time. And now today when my second book has come out, I decided to be with the publisher who gave me my first break. It’s all about ethics, honesty and trust. But yes, one thing what I have achieved is that for my second book all those publishers who rejected me once came upfront and discussed on my second book’s plans. But I chose to go with the publisher of my first book.
eMithilaHaat: Which is your favorite writing spot? Corner window seat of home or countryside?
Priyank Aryan: I prefer sitting window side at home. Countryside has its own beauty and is an amazing place to write but I prefer countryside stay to think on my work but execution happens at home, sitting besides the window.
eMithilaHaat: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm.
Priyank Aryan: I prefer writing on topics which exists or happens in a person’s day to day life. In simple words, I write on non fictional topics in a mode of fiction. So, my writing process & brainstorming involves observing the people around, analyzing the way people think and acts on certain issues. And then I think of some fictional elements which can be incorporated with those real life observations. This blend of reality poured with fictional art is basically my way to write. My stories, characters and my writing process involve all real life places, dialogues, incidents. It is not huge imagination; it’s more of an amalgam of two forms on which I brainstorm.
eMithilaHaat: How difficult or easy is it to manage the livelihood when you are a writer and that’s the only source of income?
Priyank Aryan: Well, for me writing is not the only source to manage my livelihood. I deliver motivational talk or may be a session of fun filled story telling at colleges, universities and organizations. So, that’s another means to manage my livelihood. Also, I was in a job for a year and currently am looking forward to kick start working on some projects (can’t reveal that as of now). So, managing a livelihood is pretty smooth if you take up multiple activities along with your passion.
eMithilaHaat: What is the best advice you have been given?
Priyank Aryan: “To move out of the comfort zone and strive to fight for my dream. And to do these, this is the correct age.” This was the best advice which I got from Imtiyaz Ali (Bollywood Movie Director & Writer) when I met him at Zashn-e-Rekhta literary event at Delhi. During the conversation, he talked about his life and asked me for how I came into writing, what’s my professional front and at the end he just told me that this is the age to take risks, you can’t do it after 10 years with a brave mind. So, that advise touched me and I am following it till date.
eMithilaHaat: What quote do you live by?
Priyank Aryan: “Live your Love with Passion”. This is what I believe in and I have been doing since a year.
eMithilaHaat: What is that one thing you wish you knew when you were younger.
Priyank Aryan: Well, am still young buddy. I am just 23. On a serious note, I wish that when I finished my 10th standard, had I been mature enough to observe, analyze and predict things the way I am doing now I wouldn’t have ever opted for engineering. I don’t know why I went for engineering. I would have surely loved to make a career in journalism or events. So, when I was younger I didn’t know my real field of interest. I wish I knew these in 2008.
eMithilaHaat: Who is your favorite actor, favorite actress?
Priyank Aryan: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. Well, there are many other actresses as well, you know a boy’s heart. It’s always widely open for girls and for actresses, it has immense space but Deepika is the best out of the entire lot.
eMithilaHaat: That one thing people would be amazed to know about you?
Priyank Aryan: Initially I wanted to be a cricketer, then I wanted to crack UPSC and serve the nation. These were the two dreams which I had when I was a kid. I guess nobody knows this apart from my family. But today, am into an entirely different industry and work profile. And also, I had my first girlfriend at the age of 17. So, for a studious guy, this also sounds unexpected and for my readers, they would be amazed, 🙂 🙂
eMithilaHaat: What are your future plans?
Priyank Aryan: To write more books and to see the change in negative or traditional social ideologies against which I am trying to spread the ideas of change through my writing & my talks across the colleges. I also seriously wish to kick start my own business idea which is currently not in function.
eMithilaHaat: How would you prefer your readers and fans to get in touch with you (Facebook page, Twitter, Personal website etc)?
Priyank Aryan: Facebook, Twitter, Website, Emails, all these medium are perfectly fine for me. They can connect with me by any convenient means for them.
eMithilaHaat: What would you like to convey to the people of Mithila and all of your fans worldwide?
Priyank Aryan: Just want to say them, follow your heart. And start chasing your dreams at the right age, in the right direction. And always work to bring positive changes in the society. Spread love, peace, humanity and togetherness. Special thanks to all my lovely fans, amazing readers, friends and family for their extended support. And for Mithila people, I seriously wish to have my sessions with those lovely Mithila audience, right in the heart of Bihar, in the cities like Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Madhubani etc. I wish to go deep between them and share my thoughts, vision and ideas. Want to see more people from Mithila background coming out to work for positive changes. Thanks to everyone and my Love to all of you.