Zero Percentile - The book

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Who has been the inspiration behind the characters in Zero Percentile?

always wanted to write a book for the millions of science students in India who had that ambition of getting into IIT but due to various factors could not (and not having the capability to get there, not one of them). So, the novelty of the idea of writing something unique – a mix of trying to look beyond the IITs and the life of an Indian student in Russia, gave me the impetus to write. Pankaj, the protagonist has a bit of what I am and what I wanted to be. Priya is a figment of my imagination – but, again a woman I would have loved to create had I been allowed to be God for a day. And, all the other characters bear some traces of the people around me with some of them inspired from characteristics of multiple people. Creating characters is like making food. You put in different ingredients and spices to make one dish. That is how I created my characters, deriving inspiration from some real life characters and then delving into my imagination to fill in the missing pieces.

What do you think is unique about Zero Percentile?

There have been books earlier on life inside the IIT but I don’t think anyone has ever written on the life of someone who aimed to get into the IIT but could not. Also, I think this is the first time ever in the world that an author has tried to explore the life of a student in Russia. I am sure the book will make for a very interesting read.

Do you think Zero Percentile will be a success?

Yes, I do. For one, we (I and the publisher) have kept the price of the book very low and affordable, only Rs. 95. Also, the previews that I have had till now have all been very good. Though the book is primarily for the young it has been liked by people across the age groups of 18 to 80. And, everyone who has read it, has been able to finish the book in 1-3 sessions.