Anurag Minus Verma: Author Interview

I love you but only on weekends. Sounds intriguing? We were intrigued too! So we decided to know more about this new release and the thought behind it. Who better to shed some light on it than the author himself? Check out what he has to say.

Anurag Minus Verma is the author of Amazon bestseller: Love in the time of Pokemon. He is now based in Mumbai. After completion of his Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU, Delhi), he went to pursue a course in filmmaking from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII, Pune). Anurag also writes freelance political columns for many mainstream publications such as The Wire, The Print, Newslaundry, Times of India (‌blog). He is currently working in the Mumbai film industry.

Can you tell us what inspired you to be a writer?

It was never a choice. In Fact selection of any art form is never a choice. One just falls into it. Writing is an important activity to make sense of this strange world. I have been writing since the age of fourteen. I used to write comic books when I was in school. I wrote the first poem at the age of 19 for a girlfriend. I think it was so bad that she never read it. That gave me a relief that no one would ever read whatever I write. This state of mind is great for writers. When you realize that no one is interested in you, you can write in peace and with more freedom. I was initially very hesitant to share my work but in 2016 I finally released my first book, a collection of poems named – Love in the time of Pokemon. To my surprise, the response was overwhelming and it even went on to become the bestseller on Amazon.

Please tell us more about your book- I love you but only on Weekends.  Why did you choose to write about this particular topic?

I was interested in pop culture and especially in the range of human behavior. When I was writing the book, the online dating scene was fairly new in India, and people were trying to understand how to deal with this intriguing phenomenon. I also became curious. After using these dating platforms I realized these are islands in itself where humanity exists in a spectacular wicked and raw form. You meet very odd and interesting personalities. When you go deeper behind the facade of cheerful faces you realize that almost everyone is dealing with loneliness in their own special way. The book becomes a project of figuring out the intricacies of our messy modern existence.

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Would you like to share any insights that you learned while writing “I Love You But Only On Weekends”?

I realized that technological progression and human progress are different things. I realized the amount of violence and goodness that exists within human beings. I realized that the rules of the world have completely altered for good or worse and no one really knows anything. This is the reason for both celebration and despair.

Will you try your hand at any other genre?

Frankly, I am not a big fan of genres. Writing for me is the process of plucking nuances of everyday life and then arranging them on paper. I believe that essentially any artwork should consist of free-flowing juice of life which must first connect to the author and then to the reader. This whole idea of genre, designed by market forces, has something mathematical and shrewdest to it which kills the whole fun of creation.

Since you have pointed out in your answer, can you please elaborate further about how any story connects with the reader?

A reader might find something good if it tells their story. Something that they can relate to.  In a way consumption of any art is a narcissistic process. We are always searching for ourselves in art. Sometimes we are looking for friends in books. I would say that a good story should come out like a pistol shot and hit you like a perfumed feather.

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When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?

Yes. I am currently writing a book on my experience in the Mumbai film industry. I had some unusual experiences and met many quirky characters. I plan to convert it into a book to provide a brief understanding of the creative world.

Who are your favorite authors?

Many. Depends on the current mental state. I like Charles Bukowski, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Simic, John Fante, and many more.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I like to cook, meditate, or listen to music / political podcasts.

Is there any advice you would like to give to young writers?

There are a few things that I understood from my experience and conversation with myself. Write only if it brings joy and a sense of purpose to your life. If writing feels too labored or makes you miserable then it’s okay to quit. Find something which brings bliss to your life. Keep searching. Avoid following the author’s lifestyle. Especially the one who destroyed themselves for art. They existed in different eras. Now only a fool will destroy himself for art. Be disciplined about writing. Follow a good nutritious diet. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Creating art doesn’t mean being in a constant state of anxiety. Chill a bit!

If you want to know more about the book, you can check out this article.

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