Meet Sumit S. Agarwala: The Young Prodigy of YourQuote
This young writer on YourQuote is an epitome of ‘Age is just a number’. Our writer Shubhi Khare took a short interview of him to get some insights into his world and what drives him write such amazing stuff on YourQuote.
Q. Hey Sumit, to begin with, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
A. Hello. I am Sumit S Agarwala (an Agarwal with an extra A). I am 16 years old and hail from the beautiful Pink city of India. My hobbies include drawing and sketching. However, I had to relinquish them over the course of time, owing to my career and other issues. I also have a great interest in watching movies but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am a fan of Marvel or DC. I haven’t watched their movies, due to which my friends almost disown me at times. However, I’m a huge fan of TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and Harry Potter movie series. I even own their merchandise. I love hanging out with friends and like almost everyone, it is my favorite activity. I love singing and dancing, but I am a bathroom singer and an idle dancer. My family, which includes father, mother and a younger brother, is the most important part of my life. My father is a self-employed financial advisor while my mother is a housewife. Owing to my poor grades, my father always used to persuade me to stop writing and concentrate on my studies. Once, I started writing a book during my 10th board exams, but had to give up as I could write only three pages. I still have it saved in word document as a memoir. There was a time when I was sneered for trying to do something really different. Some people really pushed me down which affected me a lot. I stopped writing for a while after this started it again on September 26, 2016 when I discovered YourQuote.
Q. That’s quite an interesting introduction! You said that, you were mocked for trying something different, due to which you gave up writing. Can you tell us what exactly happened and how did you overcome it?
A. Since it was my first writing attempt, I really needed reviews for my write-ups. So, I started messaging people asking for their feedbacks. I received a lot of negative feedbacks and was ignored by many. Since I was an amateur writer, I was really disappointed and thought that writing is not my cup of tea. As far as overcoming that fear of writing is concerned, I started writing again only when I was introduced to YourQuote by one of my seniors, Deval Garg.
Q. All Thanks to Deval for this. I continuously follow your diary entries, how and what made you start writing it?
A. In my early days as a writer on YourQuote, I used to write on mother, friends and random emotions. At that time, most of my writings were based on daily challenges that were initiated by YQ Baba (an official account of YourQuote on their App). Then, I wanted to write something out of the box and began writing diary episodes from my perspective, which in turn helped me to understand the emotions better and deeper. However, due to my diary entries, my friends jokingly started calling me "Apni diary mei sabko maarne waala".
Q. That’s quite funny, Sumit, "Apni diary me sab ko marne wala!” In your bio I read, studies and career have major influence on your choices. How has this affected your writings?
A. My studies have affected my writings to a great extent. I uninstalled YQ App once because of studies. I found it quite difficult to balance necessity and passion. But, I couldn’t resist myself and installed the app again in an hour. For better results in exams, I became inactive on the app which saddened me.
Q. And how do your family, studies and friends affect your writing style?
A. They usually inspire me to some extent. Whatever happens with me in my life, I try to write on it. A couple of my write-ups are the result of the same.
Q. What around you majorly influence your stories? What type of write-ups do you detest??
A. The only thing that majorly influences my stories is my mood. I need to be completely relaxed to think of a great story. My mind filled with a lot of pressure yields no results. Be it happy, mourning, death or surprise, for me, write-ups are tales of emotions. I do not detest any write-ups, however, humorous write-ups do not entertain me much.
Q. That’s really specific. According to you, what is the most satisfying thing about writing?
A. For me, the most satisfying thing about writing is to pen down all the pain and emotions when there is nobody to hear and understand your state of mind. As we Indians say, ‘Dil halka ho jaata hai...’
Q. I would love to admire that phrase. At this age, I am sure you have lots and lots of stories to tell. Tell us the most interesting story of your life?
A. It goes back to 2015, when I was in 10th standard. I was in Mumbai along with my school mates for a crash course on journalism. We were in the food court of this famous Oberoi Mall relishing our meal from different outlets available there. I was carrying four glasses of shakes on a tray, when all of a sudden, my teacher screamed in excitement, ‘Look there’s a TV star behind you’. I got a little scared and tripped. As a result, all four shakes were on me. I was completely drenched in mouthwatering mango and strawberry flavored shakes. Moreover, the TV Star for whom she screamed was had an extra role in one of the daily soaps. Everybody there was staring and laughing at me. Interesting enough, isn’t it?
Q. Very interesting!! Did I read crash course on journalism? Amazing!! So being a versatile person that you are, if there is a novel based on your life, what will it be called and why?
A. I guess it would be called, ‘Not my cup of tea’, as this is the most used phrase by me because I often neglect and postpone things. Moreover, starting things and ending them soon is what I usually do! (Which, I’m not really proud of!)
Q. Alright, please don’t do it here, we love your write-ups. According to you, what is the most important thing you see in a story?
A. Ha-ha, I believe that storytelling or the way you narrate a story in your writings drives a story ahead. The way a story is executed affects the interests of the readers. A story is much like a chair with four legs. If one leg breaks, the whole chair collapses. Storytelling, base, characters and plots can be described as the four legs of a story.
Q. Wow, that’s one hell of an explanation!! Is there any book that you wish was written by you?
A. I haven’t read many books, but I wish Harry Potter was written by me. Although, I’d only make it worse.
Q. Ha-ha I doubt that! You never know. That brings me to the question, if there is one thing that you want to change about your writing, what will it be?
A. There’s so much I’d like to change in my writings, but priority goes to the development of suspense and excitement. I’ve been trying hard to write as good as possible, but not yet successful.
Q. Well, keep trying, I know you can do it. So, till now it has been a long journey, so what has been you greatest personal discovery here?
A. Previously, the only time I wrote stories was in English exams. However, my greatest personal discovery is that I can write good enough. Apart from that, I also discovered that I can pen down emotions in a better and expressive way. My imagination is not limited to a particular scene and I can blend more depth and feelings.
Q. I completely agree with you. You are an amazing writer, one of my favourites. Now, favourite reminds me of my favourite question. Who are your favorite writers on YourQuote?
A. Here comes the long list of writers I admire. There are so many amazing writers on YourQuote. Naming a few: Manish Bansal, Shrey Saxena, Mayanka Dadu, Shubhi Khare, Meehika Joshi, Tanisha Rajput, Saket Garg, AMG pens, Deval Garg and Sourabh Acharaya. These are the people whose writings I can read at any point of the day.
Q. Oh, I see my name there, thanks a lot! And I feel sad to ask you the last question, what is your favourite possession?
A.I call this my favourite possession. This picture is a throwback to much simpler times with unconditional love.
That’s so cute! It was a pleasure interviewing you Sumit, you are such an amazing writer at such a small age. Keep up the good work.