Meet Ashutosh Gupta of YourQuote: A Prolific Writer, Whose Writings Will Leave You Awestruck
Our writer Sara Jothi caught up with Ashutosh Gupta, one of the earliest and popular writers on YQ. Dive into this captivating interview and know more about Ashutosh and what drives him to write. Read on.
Q. Describe yourself in 1200 characters (250 words) — Imagine writing a tiny autobiography.
A. I come from a very protective and cohesive family, which makes it susceptible to orthodoxy and unreceptive to rebellious expressions. So, during my adolescent days, any kind of self-expression never really flourished. There was no exposure to literature or a cinematic brilliance to take me beyond the walls of orthodoxy, and it had to do with my ignorance more than anything else. Being an ‘introvertish rebel’, it didn’t help my cause either. As far as I remember, playing intensive cricket, mimicry, and imitating musical tunes on an old keyboard of mine were my sources to experience an emotional stimulation, and the rest of my time was consumed being a uni-dimensional academic chap.
I believe that college life is a beautiful convergence of eccentric personalities which triggers a drastic change. I wasn’t spared either. I got thoroughly exposed to classic American Cinema, and it was extremely cathartic for me. Movies like Serpico, Taxi Driver, and Schindler’s list vindicated the rebellious streak and compassion that I withheld for a long time. The righteousness portrayed in these movies instilled a belief that my expressions held sanctity and should be channelized, and I delved into the writing business.
Just like any other budding writer or thinker, in its infant stage my writing revolved only around metaphors and being overly creative. I didn’t focus much on the evolution of my thought process and my spectrum was limited, which resulted in shallowness, until I came across the work of Franz Kafka. The beauty he extracted from melancholy opened the floodgates within me, and I embraced my own melancholy. This changed me as a person and as a writer. I realized that writing is not about scribbling just for the sake of it, but there is a whole personality type which one has to live with, having its own merits and demerits. And the story continues.
2. How did you come to know about YourQuote?
A. As I am a regular on Facebook, I saw an Ad of YourQuote and was fascinated by the idea behind it. The vision of Harsh and the whole team is commendable without a shadow of a doubt.
3. What is the most fulfilling thing about writing? How seriously do you take your writing?
A. I believe we all are a work of art and if it is not within our powers to exude this attribute through our actions then we must at least strive to create a work of Art. Writing sustains the hope of universe to realize the magical chemistry of intellect, imagination and emotions, with no favoritism for one in particular. I feel that timeless writing must make way for the sustenance of a gentle arrogance, a bit of it to interrupt the converging lines of established knowledge, and much more of it to give birth to a burning star. As far as I am concerned, both my dynamism and stagnancy rests in writing, and so is the freedom and patience that comes respectively with these states.
4. I’m intrigued by this “introvertish rebel”, could you elaborate more about your interest in mimicry and music?
A. The rebellious streak in me never manifests itself in fervent actions but in my devised ideas to tussle with orthodoxy, to dent the very genesis, hence an introvertish rebel.
I think music keeps our emotions responsive to simplicity. Melody opens floodgates within me, and breaks my writer’s block every single time. I am subsumed by the work of Ludovico Einaudi. As far as mimicry goes, it’s a byproduct of my somewhat solitary adolescence, and is not a talent of mine that I have nurtured with time. It just comes out randomly between conversations, and is a part of my brand of humor.
5. Who are your major influences?
A. I am not somebody who is influenced by the projection, the aura or even the life story of a person. The catalyst for me are humane conversations. I have always been intrigued by conversations pertaining to the abstractness of life, or someone’s artistic persuasion.
6. You seem like a person so put together, always. Tell us few things that makes you crazy or weaknesses, if any?
A. I give that impression probably because of the way I write. I believe writing is not as natural as people think it is, and it’s more than spilling one’s raw emotions. I let my expressions pass through filters and try to sculpt them, so that my subsequent expressions enchant each other. I don’t experience the moments of madness in my musings as the memories of time and my impatient sleep come in-between. I do have weaknesses, with stubbornness topping the charts.
7. Where do you get your ideas from?
A. For me, conceiving a new idea is like playing a new character in a play. I have a stack of emotions, and I pick one particular emotion which is blended with the memories pertaining to the subject I want to talk about.
8. Speaking of orthodoxy, what does your grown up self think about it?
A. Within orthodoxy resides a comforting order which the chaotic fragility of our mind seeks to reach a comforting state of equilibrium. To the contrary, those who build a fortress of ordered thoughts within their minds, tend to detest the exterior order of orthodoxy and they give rise to a chaotic tempest to uproot the prevailing orthodoxy.
9. Tell us the most amazing story of your life.
A. Not exactly a story but more of an experience. Around two years back, on my way to home I had a sneak at McDonalds. I was about to quench my hunger when the sustaining hunger of India called me from behind. A little girl in her torn clothes and carrying a cute little smile grabbed my attention. I don’t know whether it was her smile or the disgrace of her outward appearance that stirred me. Being an impulsive person I was about to give her the whole burger, but something triggered inside my head. I thought I must share it with her and not do some royal charity. So, like a true Indian I cut the burger in exactly half pieces with precision and both of us had a great meal. I am certain that she enjoyed it too.
10. If there is a novel based on your life, what would it be called?
A. One who flew over Cookoo’s Nest
11. Writers are known to be borderline narcissists, now that aside, is there a quality you detest in a writer?
A. Their fixation with Love and Soul, and at times using these terms as mere fillers in their work.
12. What hooks you to YourQuote?
A. The genuine intent and effort to propel the work of fellow writers, and continuously improvising in this direction. I would also like to add that writers here must converge their efforts to pay tribute to the sanctity of this craft and not fall for the temptations of an ephemeral fame.
13. Who are your favourite writers in YourQuote?
A. I always look for writing which blends intelligence and imagination in equal measures. I find that balance in the work of Rya Ray, Uma Sreekanth, Abhinav Nair, Sai Manohar, Rohit Panjwani and many others, but these incredible writers in particular.
14. What has been the greatest personal discovery for you?
A. That the work of art is neither an absolute deception nor an absolute truth, but emerges from the dead center between the two. Any thought which is heavily beautified with creativity becomes nothing but a deceiving shadow of the writer’s truth, and any thought which only bears the ambiguity of intellect becomes a faraway flame of the writer’s truth and loses that element of ‘belongingness’ which the air of creativity brings. This sense of belongingness a dynamic character to a thought and passes it to the devourers of art through generations. Creating a work of art is like flying the kite of truth, gently swaying it with the wind but not letting it go completely off the hook.
15. Which book do you wish you had written?
A. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
16. If there’s one thing that you’d want to change about your writing, what would it be?
A. There is an element of ‘adamancy’ in my writing which keeps gravitating me towards defining or redefining the elements of nature, and not depicting my experiences as they are. I would love to tone it down a bit. I would also like to blend my inherent wit and sarcasm into my work.
17. What is your favourite possession? Share a picture and add 3–4 lines.
A. I am repulsive to the very idea of possession as it disintegrates my understanding of love.
Here are some of the best quotes by Ashutosh on YourQuote:
Follow more such writings by Ashutosh here