‘Writing isn’t an easy job’

Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 18 May 2019

Actor Sushant Singh talks about turning author with his book — Queens of Crime, which he has co-authored with Kulpreet Yadav and how his perspective about acting has deepened

Sushant Singh has given many commendable performances on the big screen. His stint on the small screen as the host of Savdhaan India was equally loved. The actor has now showcased another creative aspect of his personality. He has co-authored a book, Queens of Crime with Kulpreet Yadav. The book, published by Penguin India, is about criminal power that most people do not associate women with. These stories are raw, violent and seemingly unbelievable but a true rendition of India’s women criminals.

Here’s chatting up Sushant...
“I had never thought about writing,” says Sushant while promoting the book. But he was motivated to write by a literary agent because of his association with a crime-based TV show. “I knew Suhail Mathur, a literary agent, who approached me with the offer saying, ‘You have already worked in a crime-based show like Savdhaan India and must have heard about a lot of cases. Why don’t you write about some of these cases?’. But I had my doubts because I had no experience as a writer and I was also busy with other commitments. So Suhail suggested that I should co-author the book and hence he introduced me to Kulpreet Yadav,” recalls Sushant.

A bestselling author and motivational speaker, Yadav retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. He was the winner of the Best Fiction Writer for 2018 award at the Gurgaon Literature Festival.

Sushant says that after meeting Yadav, with whom he bonded instantly, he decided to collaborate with him. “Both of us are honest people which kind of clicked. Also I had read his work and liked it. I thought writing with the help of a professional writer would be a good idea,” he says. The actor believes that it was destiny that Yadav and he connected on their first meeting. 

Sushant says that they decided that the theme would be crime. “As we started speaking on the subject, we realised that very less has been written about women criminals. When we say the word criminal, we only think about men. So, we liked the idea and thus the journey began,” he says. 

But the book isn’t about the notorious women criminals in the country. In fact, it was a conscious decision made by both the authors that they would write about criminals whose stories were hardly known to the public. “We decided that we will not write about the famous or notorious ones because they were already known faces and so much has been written about them, so there is no point writing about them yet again,” he says. 

Sushant gives full credit to Yadav for researching on the subject. “Kulpreet spent a lot of time researching on such criminals. He would come back to me with the names and we would finalise those we thought were worth writing about,” says the actor.

The actor known for films like Jungle, Hulla, Hate Story 2, Baby says that Yadav being a professional writer, he had to shoulder more responsibility. “Visualising the beginning, middle and end and how to take story forward is important. Kulpreet did all that. Because I come from films background, I used to help around with the screenplay. We used our given strengths while writing. We had great tuning which helped,” he says, adding, “At times, we handled each others responsibilities also.” 

Sushant has hosted the crime-based show for almost seven years and he says it has not only motivated him to write on the subject but has also made a huge contribution in his life. “It has given me a lot. I have learnt immensely. My way of looking at situations has changed since I became a part of the show,” says the actor who is the general secretary of the Cine & TV Artistes’ Association. 

Sushant says the biggest realisation he had after finishing the book was that ‘writing isn’t an easy job’. “I always knew that but the kind of difficulties one faces, I got to know only after writing myself. Keeping with deadlines, dealing with the pressure and yet delivering a good product — it takes a lot of time and energy. In fact, I don’t know if I will continue writing or not,” he says with smile. 

He adds that he always had an inclination towards writing but didn’t have the discipline required for it. “Writing is a daily exercise. It’s not like today I get creative inspiration and I will be writing. But that’s the kind of person I am. If I feel, I will write,” says Sushant who is an avid reader and likes to read different genres of books. 

The actor says that reading transports you into a world you haven’t imagined. “It gives you inspiration. It’s a window to a bigger universe,” he says.

While writing, one goes a lot deeper into the character which might not happen in case of enacting a character or scene. “In a way, yes, it’s true,” says the actor. “Writing changed my perspective because you explore a story or character a lot deeper while trying to make it real and unique,” says Sushant who has finished shooting for a Gujarati and Kannada movie.

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