Meet Saket Garg: The Humble Hindi Writer-Publisher Whose Words Leave Us Wanting For More
Our teammate Harsh Snehanshu caught up with Saket Garg, one of the most active and popular Hindi writers, and unravelled his life story, his inspiration and how his simplicity and his family defines his identity.
Hi Saket, it’s great to be interviewing you! We will start with the usual: describe yourself in 1200 characters (250 words) — Imagine writing a tiny autobiography on YQ.
Hello, Harsh. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. Well, describing myself is the toughest job for me. I think these words from a Hindi song describes my current status ‘Batao kaun Bhesh hoga….main Jogi banu ya Lootera, kain Chehre hain iss Dil ke….na jaane kaun sa mera’. Let me give it a try.
I was born in the holy city Ajmer (Rajasthan), in a Marwadi joint family. Did my schooling from a 112 years old convent school run by Roman Catholic society, St. Anselm’s Ajmer. Thereafter, did my CA articleship training from a reputed firm in Mumbai. I currently have degrees inMBA (Financial Management), M.Com. (Business Administration), CA-Inter, CS-Inter.
I’m currently helping in managing my family business, which is into newspaper publication. We own two newspapers. In addition, I write articles, satires, news items for various newspapers, magazines and web-portals, as a freelancer. Also, I am associated with various social service organisations. I am currently serving as the Block General Secretary in a national political party.
Writing, journalism, social service and interest in political activities are in my blood. My entire childhood was spent in watching printing press, bundles of newspapers, books, magazines, architectural drawings, blue prints, medicines, social service and activities, political activities, people coming to our house for seeking help and advice, political leaders turning up every morning, political debates, etc.
I’m a very simple, god fearing, caring, spiritual, fun loving, witty, sarcastic, down to earth, sensitive, over emotional, over thinker and a bit of ‘old school’ types. I believe in enjoying each and every moment to the fullest. My parents and my family means everything to me and can do anything for them.
I’m a firm believer of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (Sanskrit) meaning “the world is one family” and my school motto ‘Deo Amabiles et Hominibus’ (Latin) meaning ‘Be pleasing (lovable) to God and to Men’.
What started you with writing?
As I quoted above, ‘writing is in my blood’. So, the perfect answer would be ‘my genes’. There has always been an environment of writing in my family. My grandfather and his brothers were also writers (in addition to their respective business and professions). They got their books published during that time.
Same goes with my father and both taujies (father’s elder brothers). My father Dr. Nirmal Kumar Garg is a government accredited senior journalist and is an editor. We own two newspapers and one of them was awarded for the best newspaper in northern part of India. Both my taujies also served on the editorial boards of various publications and are published writers. Aankh khulli ghar mein printing press, books, magazines..yahi sab dikha. It appealed me and I started writing.
I still remember when I was a kid, I used to copy all the important news items on an A4 size rough paper, in the same format of a newspaper along with my own newspaper title, my name as the editor, friends names as the reporters and a press line. I Used to make five-six copies of the same (I had to write those many times as carbon, scanning and photo-copy weren’t accessible) and used to distribute them to my friends, neighbours and office workers.
Who are your major influences?
My grandmother, my parents, all the elders and my family. A lot of people have influenced me and in general, I get influenced by everyone.
But to be particular, my father and my mother are the greatest influences. Their whole life has been a struggle. I owe each and every thing to them.
As far writing is concerned, I’ve been majorly influenced by my family and my life.
What writer do you detest?
No one. I haven’t read much. There are only 4–5 novels that I have read till now. Including, Chetan Bhagat (yes!).
I daily read around 3 newspapers. Every morning, I open my eyes with a cup of coffee and newspaper. I’m more into magazines, web portals, spiritual books, ghazals, shers, poetry collections, songs’ lyrics etc. I’m too lazy and restless to read a novel.
Consequently, I don’t have an authority to detest any writer’s creativity and hard work.
What is the most fulfilling thing about writing? How seriously do you take your writing?
Most fulfilling thing about writing for me is “writing itself”. Every time I write, I start feeling a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and pride. It feels so good to have written something, especially a piece that comes out just as I wanted, besides the I feeling that people really like and appreciate your write-up. I find it liberating. I love writing.
I take my writing very seriously. I am my ‘most honest self’ with my words in a write-up. I always write for myself. Jab tak mere apne dil se ‘waah’ nahi nikalti, main nahi likhta. Sometimes, I myself get carried away with what I have written. In fact, kain baar ‘apna likha’ padh kar aansu bhi aa jaate hain.
How do you think being in the newspaper publication business affects your writing perspective?
No, not much. I write whatever I feel like writing. Be it an article, satire, news-item, blogpost, sher, poem, ghazal, quote or anything.
What hooks you to YourQuote?
I often ask this question to myself. Because, digital space mein main zyada din ek app ya ek platform par nahi rukta. Started my blog, but ab wahan bhi nahi likhta. Kabhi facebook, twitter, messenger, whatsaap tak uninstall kar deta hoon.
There are lot of reasons:
a) Immense support and specially the dedication of the developers, Harsh and Ashish. They are always there to help you out. They are so dedicated and I love their idea behind this app. I’ve also written a poem on their dedication towards building this ‘new age writing revolution’ (attached below).
b) YQ family. I think this word ‘family’ is self-explanatory. Forever I shall remain indebted to all of them for their love, support, appreciation, respect, encouragement and help. The unconditional love and support I get from the fellow writers and readers keeps me hooked to the app.
c) Positive vibes all around.
d) User friendly, simple and equally appealing interface.
e) It’s addictive, seriously! To both, writers and readers.
If there is a novel based on your life, what would it be called?
‘Saket’s saga’ (SaGa: Saket Garg)
Who are your favourite writers on YourQuote?
Bahut badi list hai, boss!
Mayanka Dadu, Vaishnavi Ghongade, Anuup Kamal Agarwal Ji, Harsh Snehanshu, Shivani N Shetty, Satish Chandra, Kalpana Pandey Ji, Abhinav Nair, Sara Jothi, Aarti Ahuja, Abhilekh Dwivedi, Prasoon Vyas Ji, Piyush Mishra Ji, Ayushi Dauneriya, Sudhanshu Shekhar Ji, Bhavesh Bhargava, Aparna Sundararajan, Anupma Verma, Sakshi Vashist, Shikha, Jhelum Anikhindi, Mohit Chaurasiya, Jehan B Kothari, Niharika Karan, Debashis Sarmah, Prem Kumar Chanda, Meghana Bose, Navita Jain, Ayena Makkar Girdhar Ji and Aditya Kurdekar. I try to never miss out any of their write-ups.
In addition to these, I would like to mention few writers, who are growing day by day and in my personal opinion have a very bright future ahead: Manish Kumar Jha, Ayman Jamal, Avinash Jha, Vinayak Krishnan, Danish Kamal, Sarika Singh, Arun Prakash Singh, Sneha Dewani, Sachin Dhingra, Dhananjai Kumar Rai, Nikitha Pandey, Manish Bansal, Shubhi Khare, Shaily Arora.
How has your proclivity towards politics affected your writing style?
In my opinion, it has never affected my writing. As I quoted above in one of the answers, ‘I write whatever I feel like writing’ despite being in politics and holding a post, I always write political satires and articles on various disturbing situations and happenings, whether at local or national level.
Where do you get your story ideas from?
Hahaha….I myself don’t know. I have a very fertile, active and equally versatile mind. I can cook up stories, plots and scenes like that. I’m a day dreamer too. Apne hi khayaalon mein rehta hoon. Kahin bhi, kabhi bhi baithe-baithe kuch bhi pakk jaata hai dimmag ki haandi mein.
What is the most important thing for you in a story?
Feelings and emotions. Rest all follows. Feelings nahi emotions nahi, mere liye story nahi. A story should touch the heart of the reader. Padhte hi mazaa aa jaaye. Yaa toh, tears should roll or a smile should follow.
Which book do you wish you had written?
As stated above, I have not read much novels (not even in double digits). I have not even read William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Jeffrey Archer, etc. (except few pieces of them in school curriculum books). I hope this doesn’t make me ‘so low class’ :P
But, to answer this question, I wish I would have written poetry collection of Munawwar Rana Sahab on mother titled ‘Maa’.
If there’s one thing that you’d want to change about your writing, what would it be?
I would like to write more in English. In spite of being in a convent education throughout, I have never felt much comfortable while writing in English. I would also like to improve my grammar and I’d like to write more one liners.
What has been the greatest personal discovery for you?
The fact that, “I’m not ‘that’ bad of a human being and can never be one” as people assume and want me to be. I’m very bad at taking revenges and I can never hurt anyone intentionally, despite being a very short tempered person. Also, my whole world revolves around my family and close group of people. I can do anything for them. And to save relations, I can even bear a blame on myself.
Share a picture of your favourite personal possession. Write 3–4 lines about them.
Favourite possession….again a tough one. Bahut hain, I’m too attached to various things.
So let me point out some things that are always with me. Like you will always find a ‘laccha’ (kalava, mauli or sacred thread ) tied on my right wrist, a ‘Rudraksh mala” around my neck. Phir se list bana di!
Ok, to conclude this answer I would like to mention about a ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ printed on a card sheet that is always there in my wallet for almost last 15+ years now.