Question and Answers

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How did you conceive ‘Zero Percentile’?

I had a perpetual itch to write but did not know where and when to start. And when I did start I did not realize it will blow out into a full book. I started writing because I wanted to write about the unique experiences that surrounded me while I was studying in Russia but it eventually developed into a book which is now almost 80,000 words and more than 200 pages.


Do you think that ‘Zero Percentile’ can become an international bestseller?

Yes it definitely can. The book has an international flavor. Though IIT has been written about but never from the perspective of a person who could not make it to the IIT. Apart from this the book has many firsts which have been seen from the eyes of the central character of the book. I have tried to list a few below:

  • The Book has the protagonist dreaming of getting into IIT, an Ivy league equivalent for engineering in India. The success of the Indian Diaspora in the world (with IITians rising to C level position in many multinational corporations) has already made IIT an awe inspiring name for every educated citizen of the world
  • The mystical Russia has been explored from an entirely different angle
  • The time explored is the tumultuous 90s when Russia was converting from a communist to a capitalist state
  • Volgograd, one of the five ‘Hero Cities’ in Russia which had more than two million casualties in World War II and
    stopped Hitler from conquering Russia

What is the book all about?

The book goes into details of the life of Indian students in Russia through the central character in the book. All the fun, trauma and tribulations that he goes through as a student is what makes the book special.


Who should read it?

Zero Percentile is meant for all the people who are young at heart and also anyone who wants to know how difficult it is for students who go to a foreign land to study to survive as education is only one of the many things on their platter and things which otherwise look so small assume gigantic proportions.


What part of ‘Zero Percentile’ do you like the most?

In Phase I Pankaj’s days at school and how his ambition to get into IIT crystallizes; In Phase II when he arrives in Russia totally clueless as to what lies in store for him and also the part towards the end in Phase III when he finally falls in love.


Tell us about your life in Russia?

The days in Volgograd, Russia as a student were the golden days of my life and I can say with certainty in all my friends’ lives’ too. It was fun, difficult, and sometimes fearful but the strong belief that we were there for each other as family helped us sail through.


Given a chance would you like to change anything about the book?

No, nothing. You must read it once and you will agree with me

Q & A