Having an interaction with such an author who penned down a story which is on his own life is very rare. We got the chance to interact with Ajay K Pandey, who authored “You Are The Best Wife”. It’s the story of Ajay and his beloved late wife Bhavna.
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is your professional background? Why did you write this book?
Ajay: Thanks for honouring me. I grew up in the modest NTPC township of Rihand Nagar, a small town on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. I studied Engineering from IERT, Allahabad and did my MBA at IIMM (Pune) before taking up a job in a corporate firm. I am currently working with Cognizant, Pune.
Coming to your last question, why I wrote this book? Honestly, I never thought of writing. And, writing a novel was never my cup of tea. After my dear wife Bhavna left me, I was in deep pain. I hardly went for work. Neither, I chose to be part of any family or social gatherings. The pain was so much that I had to expel it somewhere. I kept on writing my feelings on paper. Never realized when it turned to a book. Memory of Bhavna has always inspired me. I am sure, her journey can inspire others too. She is the only inspiration behind this writing. The book is a small effort to make her memories everlasting.
Q: Please tell us a bit about 'You are the Best Wife'.
Ajay: The book is a true rousing tale of two individuals with incongruous ideologies who fell in love. My character, Ajay is a planner for life who believes in living for himself. While Bhavna makes me breathe in each instant and teaches me to live for others. Our journey is full of happy moments but also comes with pain.
The book covers the change in how two people glance at the world and the way the world looks at them. We decided to never give up on our love in face of adversities, until fate revealed its plans after my wife left me halfway through our wonderful journey. However, Bhavna still gives me the power to live on, and carry out the pledge of love that she made me promise her.
Q: The book has a sad ending. What do you want the readers to ‘take-away’ from the book?
Ajay: You know, our life is how we see it. If we hold on to something sad, we will never be able to enjoy our present. We will never know what God has stored for us. Though the ending is sad, but it is not stereo type tragically. The ending has hope and inspiration. From the very first page, till the last page, the book has many hidden messages. The main message that I wish to highlight is, those who are born will die some day. However, the path we choose to reach the destination is what matters. Quality of life matters, not the quantity. Youngsters spend their life arguing, fighting with their loved ones while we never know, if and how much time we have to express our love to our beloved. We all should express our love before it’s too late.
Q: Which character in the book is your favorite?
Ajay: Bhavna will remain my favorite character, not only in book but in real life too. She is so full of life. Her positivity towards life still inspires me to live.
I am quoting one of her ideologies that always push me. There are two kinds of personalities. There are those who have everything and still complain as if they have nothing. And there are those who lose everything and act like life has given them everything. Sometimes both these personalities exist in the same soul. Kill the first one, I love the second.
Q: You have a strong social cause associated with your book. Can you please tell us about the activities involved?
Ajay: Not really a strong social cause. I believe, every one of us who are born comes with a purpose. The earnings from the book shall be donated to a charitable trust started on Bhavna’s name. I hope this money can be utilized for some good purpose. Bhavna’s journey have transformed many lives. Today, I can boast that Bhavna is the best wife. I believe, somewhere sitting in the heaven, Bhavna will at least say God, Ajay is a good husband.
Q: What’s next for you?
Ajay: I never thought to write a story, but this book has given me a lot of appreciation and enthusiasm. Every day, several readers inquire about my next book. I do not have courage to dishearten them. So yes, I am writing my second book. If things work well, hopefully it will release by next year.
Q: Is there any method to the way you write?
Ajay: I enter into the protagonist’s shoes and try to connect with my surroundings to make the story more realistic. I prefer to choose narration in first form. I have only one rule for writing – there shouldn’t be any irrelevant scene. Every current scene should be connected to the forthcoming event. I feel, morning is the best time to play with fresh ideas. Off course, I look for peace so that I can engrave my imagination on paper.
Ajay debuted as an author with his book You Are The Best Wife. It was a heart-touching love story based on his life events and lessons. Ready with his second book, Ajay tells us what inspired him to write another love story – Her Last Wish.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming book Her Last Wish.
A. Ajay K Pandey: The title speaks for itself, but only one aspect of the love story that Her Last Wish is. It’s essentially a story of a young couple deeply in love. They have their share of everyday struggles, but the love keeps them going strong. Until one day, when Vijay gets to know that his wife Astha is HIV positive. It’s a sudden revelation, and he doesn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know about the infection either. Instead of judging her and pointing a finger at her, he decides to do something that only someone crazily in love can do.
Q: Why did you choose to write a love story around an AIDS patient?
A. Ajay k Pandey: I used to visit hospitals quite frequently when my wife Bhavna was unwell. There, I met a woman who was taking therapy for depression, and was HIV positive. I had a chat with her; we still talk about things. What she was going through couldn’t be expressed in words. It’s not just about your own body, but the social stigma that people make it out to be. This mindset had to be changed! So, I decided to write and dedicate the book to her.
Q: What gives you the inspiration to write?
A. Ajay K Pandey: Life does. And the lack of life-moments for some others perhaps. I was jolted when my wife Bhavna passed away, but also realized how important every living moment is. And then looking at someone who is living, and is treated like a dead person walking by the society is painful. I want to write, not just for pleasure, but for spreading love too.
Q. How is Her Last Wish different from your first book?
A. Ajay K Pandey: Honestly, my first book was not a book; it was my own journey with my wife. The second book is my attempt at writing fiction based on true events. Most people are not aware about AIDS or HIV. They mostly assume things and judge those who are infected. In my research, I found out that most HIV positive patients are depressed. They cannot share their bearings. They are fighting their war of depression and pain every day, and without any support from us. It’s a unique book that forces us to open our eyes to the truth and teach us how love can change a person’s life completely.
Q: We heard that you were depressed after your wife’s demise. How did you cope up with that?
A. Ajay K Pandey: When I lost my wife, my mind was occupied with two feelings: misery and anger. Initially I thought I was suffering the most in this world. But when I looked around, I realized that there are way too many people who are fighting for their survival. Everyone was fighting their own battle. This realization helped me recuperate and appreciate life.
Depression is the result of loneliness. If you do not have friends, start writing a dairy. Once you will start counting your blessings, you will realize what you have lost is very little in comparison to what life has given you. Avoid staying in the dark. Face people. Be with friends. Choose a friend with whom you can share your feelings. When I started writing a diary, it was like I was talking with my wife. Even if you cannot write, talk to your own self. I may sound weird to you on this, but I stood in front of a mirror and talked. I shouted at the person in the mirror and asked questions. You have to let it go.
And you have to learn to forgive yourself. We are human beings. We are bound to make mistakes. Your life is not only your life.