Shrinivas Hinge is a professional techie, but a historian by passion. He is a true patriot of India who has written the book Indians Must Know, to bring to the audience the glorious history of India, which is not taught to us in school books. His book contains short stories based on the true events from India’s incredible past.
I was fortunate to have a conversation with him about his work, the motivation behind writing the book, other passions in life, his icons, favourite books and authors, and more. Read on to more know more about author Shrinivas Hinge.
1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of your debut book— Indians Must Know.
I am a techie by profession but historian by passion. I pursued Engineering and MBA from reputed colleges in Pune and Mumbai, respectively. There was something in me about writing since the school days where I participated in different essay writing and poem composing competitions. I also won a few of them.
As I am a very expressive person in nature, I felt contented by expressing my views, my emotions by writing blogs on ShrinivasHinge.blogspot.in. I wrote some articles in the newspaper and some content for social media websites. My work was appreciated hence I decided to take another step towards writing i.e. I translated a Marathi book into English.
The translated work had reached a large audience. Hence, I made up my mind that I will enter into the literary world now with my own book.
As I am a true patriot of my country and true adorer of Mother India, I love reading Indian history a lot. In my reading, I found that the history taught in our schools is very much one-sided, monochromatic in nature and was given undue importance to many historical figures who were not that worthy of.
So instead of writing a fictional story, I penned down some amazing stories of our great Indian history. Indians Must Know book has 14 short stories from 326BC to 1971 AD. The Indian reader’s chest will swell with pride for our country India and non-Indians will become a true fan and admirer of India.
2. What was the inspiration behind writing the book?
As also said by our Vice President in one of his speech that the history of India which we learned since our childhood is distorted and history of constant failure. But when I read different articles and listened to some scholars, I felt how much ridiculous history was taught to us.
Outsiders airbrushed only the things which won’t bring pride in our hearts about our country. I somewhere wanted to challenge the whole system and wrote the book “INDIANS MUST KNOW- Let’s be Proud” so that the coming generations feel lucky to have taken birth in India. One will know about India and India’s glorious past after reading the book.
3. What were your sources to find the right information related to the history of India? Any books, blogs, or other sources?
I referred many books like Six glorious epochs of Indian history by Veer Savarkar, The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru. I went through different books of Sanjeev Sanyal. The tremendous knowledge left for us by Swami Vivekananda helped me a lot to know more about India. Today’s outburst of knowledge through the internet made my life easier.
Many important facts became easily accessible to me on different historical sites and also speeches of historians on YouTube too helped me to gather the relevant information.
4. Tell us about the journey after the manuscript was ready on your laptop. How much time did you take to finish writing the book?
I started the research in March 2018 and penned down my first story in June. The last story was written in April 2019. I wanted to put some illustrations in the book to make it more attractive for young readers. So, I asked my friends Chirag Date who works in the USA and Atharva Kulkarni who is a student to draw some sketches for me, which will help the readers to understand the stories even more.
While writing I often got frustrated or suffered writer’s block when I was unable to find positive things of our history. As my theme for the book is the positive side of our great Indian heritage, many times it was painstaking to find such kind of stuff as till now most people have focused on the negative aspects happened in our country and gave undue importance to less significant people.
5. What sort of reviews you are getting for Indians Must Know?
I am really pleasantly surprised by hearing amazing feedbacks about the book “Indians Must Know”. I was very much nervous before the release of the book as I have heard that the initial bad reviews can destroy the sale of the book. But God is very kind to me.
Till now I haven’t received a single negative comment about the book. Some appreciated the stories which I picked to write in the book, some loved the flowing language in the book and also amazed to learn so many new things about our country India. A few readers also thanked me for the initiative I took to educate the nation about our powerful history.
6. Three lessons that you learnt after publishing your first book?
First, I learnt to be patient in the process of publishing the book. When I finished writing the last word, I was very much anxious to publish the book and see the first review. But then there were innumerable steps in between. Editing, cover design, interior design, type of page material and many more. Hence the restraint over my emotions increased.
Second, I enjoyed the feeling of getting new knowledge about India. Every article I read was a new reason for me to know more about our country. Since I was in search of only the positive history of our country, I had a positive attitude which used to make my days better. As soon as I got to know something amazing about our ancestors, it brought a smile on my face.
Last but not least, I imbibed the quality of discipline. As I am very much unorganized by nature, I had to put extra efforts to keep my work incorrect flow and in a disciplined manner.
7. You are a consultant in an IT company and still managed to find time for writing a book like Indians Must Know. How do you maintain the work-life balance?
When you are passionate about something you find time for that. I am very much passionate about writing stuff and also very much a nation lover. Hence these two things enable me to find time for the book.
I have week offs on Saturdays and Sundays. I used to start preparing for the story from Friday night. Instead of spending time in boozing I engrossed myself in knowing our national heroes and reading amazing stories of our past. I spend 90 mins daily in my office commute, where I found me-time to read more about Indian history.
8. Whom do you consider your icons when it comes to writing? Any favourite authors?
I am truly a big fan of Amish Tripathi and Sanjeev Sanyal. Pu La Deshpande, one of the greatest Marathi writer India has ever produced, is my God in terms of observing the world and describing it in own words.
9. A quick-fire round:
Books that have influenced your life?
- Inner Engineering by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
- Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das
- Unposted Letter by Mahātria Rā
- Durdamya, a Marathi book on Lokmanya Tilak.
If you could talk to the Prime Minister of India, what would you talk about?
First, I would thank him for changing the names of Andaman Islands as the previous names were of the British officers who massacred Indians. Secondly, I would take guidance to understand more about our India as he has been working relentlessly for India from quite some time.
What are your other passions in life?
I love to travel. The Himalayas is my weak point. I find utmost peace and composure in the laps of these mountains.
What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
I want to see our country to be the best country in the world before I fall dead.
10. What’s next for Shrinivas Hinge?
I am planning to get this book in some regional languages so that maximum people get a chance to read the book. I don’t want to stop myself with one book but want to dig deep down in each story and write a lot about our real INDIA.
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Virendra is a passionate reader and writer. He is currently working for two leading IT media portals. This blog is where he shares everything, whether it is a book review, technical article, author interviews, things he has learnt (and still learning). He also writes about his take on this world through unique, helpful and odd stories.