The stories of #HalfPantsFullPants evoke nostalgia, sweet thoughts, funny memories and yearning of the good old days. The writing takes us to our childhood and the stories make us happy. The author is an advertising professional and I think he should write more books. An advertising writer for over 20 years, he started with Mudra, Mumbai in 1995. He lives in Gurgaon and is the co-founder of an ad agency called AndAnd Brand Partners. Half Pants Full Pants is his first book, a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. The notable difference would be that every story is real in #HalfPantsFullPants and the characters are all in their mid-40s now, often reminiscing about the gloriousness of their growing up years.
Please welcome Anand Suspi to the blog.
1.When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
As I have mentioned earlier, I never decided to become a novelist. That happened perchance. Now, I feel like writing another. Hopefully, I will find the time and an idea that’ll engage me enough to spend a few years on it.
I write to explore my mind – my perspective on things, things that give me joy, trouble me or inspire me. I am still a diffident writer. When I write, I realise my limitations more than my possibilities.
2.Give us three Good to Know facts about you. Be creative.
– Different sets of friends call me by different names. I have eight active names though some are shorter versions of one name or the other.
– My personality now is diametrically opposite of what it was while growing up. I used to be adventurous, curious, mischievous and gregarious. I am the exact opposite now on every filter. Those who know me intimately since childhood see this stark difference. It’s two different people almost, even to me. At times, I reflect and wonder about this 180-degree turn. There was no particular incident or a turning point; it just happened naturally. The values though have remained the same, thankfully.
– Most things that matter to most people don’t matter to me at all, from the mundane to the lofty. The mundane includes things like good clothes, watches, gadgets, cars, homes, great food, big travel, work cabins etc. The lofty includes things like prestige, rewards, recognition and fame. I don’t know whether this is a blessing or a negative but I am happy where I am.
3. What has been your motivation for writing this book and recreating the ‘good old days’?
My advertising work keeps me so busy that I never had any notions of writing a book. I sat down to write a page or two to convince myself that I could write beyond advertising. Several childhood incidents kept cropping up and I kept penning them. The only audience I had in mind was my childhood friends. In the not-so-distant past, life was very real and meaningful. People led simple lives with much joy and contentment. Limited choices and exposure made us savour every little thing. It’s a collection of small joys, little adventures, naïve dreams, idiotic experiments and modest lives that all of us have lived through.
4.Of all of the aspects of this book – writing, editing, cover design, & promotion of the book HPFP which is your favorite and why?
Each section has its own draw and drawbacks. Writing is a beautiful experience (when it works) There are days when thoughts and words dry up and one spends time vacantly staring at the blank screen. But when it flows, the sheer joy of creating worlds and characters is a delightful experience.
Editing is laborious. It needs immense skill and patience. It also needs a very seasoned hand.
The cover design has its significance but I find this part relatively simple, thanks to my advertising background.
Promotion is a drag. I find it the most difficult and draining part of the process. I dislike talking about myself and my work. But the reality is that both are unknown and I am compelled to promote it as best as I can.
5.The cover is worth a thousand words, how much of the cover designs for the book did you choose or did someone else design it?
I did have a broad concept in mind. I sat with my dear friend and business partner Harpal (an art director) and we tried a few other concepts and renditions. I was clear that the cover design should be simple and instantly evoke memories of the 70s & 80s. When we finally got the idea of the coins, we knew that was it.