Apurv Nagpal on his new anthology of short stories for adults only

“I wouldn’t like my book to be called erotica. These are just stories with interesting situations, realistic characters and most importantly lots of humour,” says Apurv Nagpal, author of Eighteen Plus, a collection of wickedly naughty, quirky short stories which are decidedly for adult readers.

So how did an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management whose has held roles in some of the leading organizations across the world including P&G, British American Tobacco and Renckiser conceptualize his debut book? “Well isn’t that a fad today?” he demands. “All MBA’s are writing books,” he says, agreeing however that the content of his book is hardly an ordinary one.

Apurv, all of 42, who worked as the MD& CEO of Saregama India Limited in his previous avatar confesses that he always wanted to retire early and enjoy life, “I don’t regret it. Every time I look at the decision making and working of a corporate I am glad I am not there. I’m lucky that money is not a concern, I have enough to do what I love doing and I’m very lucky,”

His foray into writing happened after his early retirement, “I didn’t start off by thinking I would be writing about sex. I was writing another book and sent it to a few close friends for feedback and the feedback made me realize that it needed more work.

“While I was waiting for feedback, I had written this one story and I circulated that to the same lot and I got great feedback. So I continued writing,” he says adding that while the book is not strictly autobiographical it does have elements of his own life in it, “There is a lot of self that comes in anything you write. It could be something you have experienced, something you heard from friends. It can simply be just a setting you are familiar with. But there is always a little you have seen, experienced, heard, talked about. I wrote the stories from my point of view. The attempt is to put in situations that are believable and straightforward.”

And going by the feedback he has received, he certainly seems to have succeeded. “Different people say different things. Some say I have empathized well with a situation, some liked the humour, some said I have made sex palatable, some say I have understood a woman’s point of view—though my wife probably disagrees,” he laughs, explaining that he chose to make it sexually explicit because. “As a child, I hated the fact that when the hero and heroine of a Hindi movie kissed, flowers would come on the screen. I knew I couldn’t do that to my readers even though I would have probably sold more if I hadn’t been so explicit. Stores are a bit prudish, I think,” he says.

Speaking of Hindi Movies, Apurv admits to another passion—Cinema. “The Hindi movie industry have evolved considerably and they are becoming increasingly more experimental,” says Apurv who watches and reviews movies on a regular basis. He has done 500 so far and his blog www.apurvbollywood.blogspot.com is read in over 120 countries around the world. Talking about it he says, “I write about every movie I see—even the ones I see on a flight. I have a loyal following and if I don’t do a film, I get phones, e mails asking me why I haven’t done it. I have got offers from a lot of newspapers and websites to write for them but I refused. I want to keep this as a passion, not profession,” he says adding that he is equally passionate about travelling (he has been to all seven continents), sports and liquor.

On future plans he says, “Yes there will be a sequel, in fact I think I have material for two more. You see, now anytime my friends find something interesting they send it to me and I manage to incorporate it somewhere in my writing.”