Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 11/12/2019 2:47:44 PM Books and Authors

Author Interview: Deepak Arora

Deepak Arora is an Electronic media professional who has ventured into screenplays about wildlife, and won accolades for this. He is also a writer by passion. He has recently come out with the book “Wild World”. In a candid chat with Chirdeep Malhotra, he talks about his latest book, his writing journey, his favourite books and authors, and much more.

Please tell us more about Deepak Arora as a person.

I am an Electronic Media professional by profession and writer by passion who always wanted to share stories with the world.

Has writing always been a part of your life? Or did you chance upon it later on and then instantly fell in love with it?

Being a film maker, my first instinct was to write screenplays. My first screenplay was Queen of the Jungle. I sent it to various screenplay writing competitions around the world and it got me my first Moondance Film Festival award (USA) in 2006. The screenplay was also an official entry of KIDS BEST AWARDS held in LA on 5th of October 2007. I tried to bring that screenplay to the attention of producers in the USA and India. But then, that was it. Hollywood didn’t need it and Bollywood wasn’t ready for it. So I put it in my table drawer and forgot about it.
Then I wrote Wild World and sent it to various competitions again. It again impressed the jury of Moondance Film Festival and in 2014, I received my second Moondance Award. I also wrote a Hindi version of the screenplay and sent it to Dada Saheb Phalke film festival - 2015. It won the Best Screenplay-Jury award. But then, the story of market demand for an animated or live/animated screenplay was the same. But before I could chuck it in the drawer and forget about it again, I thought, that if my stories are winning awards then there must be something good in them. And I knew Wild World is engaging as well as entertaining, I knew the message is good. Moreover, I wanted Wild World to reach to the kids so they could learn and value our Wildlife. So I decided to turn it into a book. Even though it was a challenge for me as I never considered myself capable of writing a book, but I loved each and every moment of my journey of writing it. It took around 6 months to complete Wild World: The Adventures of Bali & Bhola.

Can you tell us more about your book “Wild World”?

We perceive Wild World as the jungle inhabited by predators especially the Tiger who make humans their prey. And for the animals, it's the world of humans filled with ruthless slayers who will shoot any animal that will enter their territory. But then, if there are no Tigers in the jungle, the herbivorous population will grow and consume the entire flora. The humans will easily target the smaller carnivorous animals to take over the jungle property.
Faced with the scenario of losing their jungle to a greedy forest officer's dream of converting it into a township, animals of the jungle request Bali; the langur to go to the world of humans and bring back Rani; the tigress from the city zoo, so that Raja; the last tiger left in the jungle can revive his will to live. And this marks the beginning of their journey, to the WILD WORLD of humans. How do they reach the city and mix with humans without making them suspicious about their identity? How would Bali be able to convince high maintenance Rani, to leave the comforts of the Zoo and come back to lead the dangerous life of the jungle where she has to live under the shadow of death? What happens to Bhola when he meets his nasty human owner Bajrangi? How do Bali, Bhola & Rani reach back to the jungle? Would they be able to save Raja and make the jungle safe for the animals to live happily ever after? And how the animals of the jungle decide to create their own protection force with Bali and Bhola as their leaders against the future human invasions.
All these questions will be answered in this whacky, hilarious novel ‘WILD WORLD: The adventures of Bali & Bhola”. It is a story full of rib tickling scenarios that not only promises to keep its readers hooked to it till the end, but also gives a message of preserving environment and saving its inhabitants.

How is human interference affecting forests and wildlife? What measures, according to you, can be taken to lessen this man-animal conflict?

Since the time we have won the evolutionary race and have made our away to the top of the food chain, we humans have been trying to control the nature and its inhabitants. If a wild animal enters our territory we consider it as an intrusion but we humans have built our civilizations cutting into their territories. Today, we love to keep animals as pets around us and are very happy when they understand our commands and follow them. It gives us an opportunity to boast to others that our pet understands our language. But when the same pet tries to communicate to us in its own language, we do give that sound a name like bark, croak, roar, howl, purr, squeak, etc. We forget the fact that it is their language through which they communicate to each other and try to communicate with us. If our future generations could understand this fact that, when we say ‘our planet’, ‘Our’ not only includes humans but all the species living on it; including the animals; we will become responsible leaders of this chain and learn to empathize and not sympathize with the other species.

What are your favourite books? Can you share with our esteemed readers about the genres that you like and your favourite authors?

I used to read a lot during my childhood, but not only books but comic books too. These include Superheroes books to Asterix, Tin Tin, Amar Chitra Katha, and Tinkle; to Shakespeare, Ruskin Bond, Munshi Premchand, etc. Though most of them are forgotten now but William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Kabuliwala, the short story Idgah have left an indelible mark in my mind. I don’t get time to read much now. But JRR Tolkien is undoubtedly my favourite author.

What do you think is the literary scenario in contemporary Indian children’s books?

There are many established and new authors who are consistently coming up with great stories to share with the children. But still, the parents influence children to buy what they have read in their childhood. Of course, the kids should read all populars and classics of the foreign authors. But the parents should also encourage kids to read books from Indian authors as well. The more they read, the less time they would spend on the social media.

What are your other interests apart from writing?

These include watching films & travelling.

There are many new writers and poets who are aspiring to get their work published. What would you say to them?

Just do your best to be noticed and accepted, first by the publishers and then by the readers.

Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps you going?

This has to be- “Live and let live”.

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