Tarun Gautam or TeeGee is a free thinker and a writer with a soul. When not penning books, he is the Regional Sales Head for a leading banking technology firm and has travelled to over 20 countries.
He believes experiencing varying cultures of countries such as Latvia and South Africa have given him a unique world-view. An engineer and an executive MBA from IIM Lucknow, Tarun played a key role in the formative years of two consulting start-ups. Tarun is also a keen golfer and yoga enthusiast.
What is Rewind and Play about?
Set in New York, Rewind and Play's characters are corporate executives who are meeting for an evening get-together after a very long time. The get-together turns out to be an emotional roller-coaster as it takes them down memory back to their college life in India. In this journey down memory lane, they realize there was a lot more to those incidents and escapades that they’d encountered in those days.
Raghav Diwan, the protagonist is living the American dream. He has a successful career and a comfortable and happy married life. One day, he receives an invitation from his batchmate Nafisa to the evening get-together with his college batchmates. He has not kept in touch with any of them and has no desire to meet them. But the past seems to be calling him. The past wants to reveal something to him. Will he open the door to let the past in. Will he let the past question his fundamental beliefs? Will he press Rewind and Play ?
What inspired you to write the book?
I had read a few books on college days. While all of them were very well written I felt that the incidents and anecdotes from my college days were way more hilarious and engaging. So with a bit of arrogance I decided to write a book on my college days. But of course its only the readers who can decide how good they find my book.
The other inspiration for my book is my three year old daughter. I believe that as kids grow up they listen a lot less to their parents. Hence, I thought that why don’t I write a light book that will serve as a guide-book for her college life and also beyond. For the young generation the book has a lot of life lessons written in a lucid fashion.
Whom would you recommend your book to?
Rewind and Play is a book that will touch a chord with anyone whose experienced college life whether the person is young or old. The book bridges the youthful days of college life with the experiences of corporate life.
Specifically, which group of people should most certainly pick-up your book?
As I said, the book has a mass appeal but If I have to narrow it down, it would probably be the following:-
Anyone who has a corporate life will be able to relate very easily to the characters. In fact, I would highly recommend it to corporate travellers. So if you do a lot of business travel don’t forget to pack this book in your bag. It rejuvenate and revitalize you. I would also recommend it to parents of senior school students , senior school students as well as college goers because the book is fun but at the same time thought provoking with a lot to learn from. The book will also be an enjoyable read for young NRIs Indians living abroad. It will take them back to their fun-filled college life which will be a wonderful experience for them.
Have you had a chance to get some initial feedback on the book?
If yes, how has it been. I’ve had a chance to interact with a few of my readers and at the cost of blowing my own trumpet, I can say that I’ve been completely blown away what they have said about the book. Some have loved the innovative narrative style while others loved the way they were able to connect with the book’s characters. There were some foreigners whom I gave the book to. But I had mixed feelings after giving it to them because I was apprehensive if they would be able to relate to Indian college life. But I was completely stumped when they got back saying that they had completely fallen in love with the characters as they reminded them of their college days.
Any compliments that you received which you think is the best so far?
There’s one compliment from a friend in Australia who read the book that I liked a lot. He said that the book reminded him so much about his college life that after he read the book he went to an Indian store in Sydney and bought a packet of Maggi noodles just to relive his college days. The other compliment that I can recall is that when somebody who picked up my book from the Delhi book fair wrote to me that the book was written “straight from the heart”.
If there’s one line that you want to use to describe your book, what would that be?
Rewind and Play is like an Indian platter. It has all the ingredients of a tasty spicy meal but at the same time it is packed with a lot of nutrients. It has the flavours of Maggi that are incidents from college days and philosophical bits are like the goodness of grandma’s ghee. And the best part it’s easy to digest.
The book’s tag line is Hostel Diaries of a frustrated B. Tech. So, is the book only for engineers?
Not at all. Themes in the book are universal and totally relatable to anyone who’s been to college.
What else keeps you busy?
Besides leading a busy corporate life, I try to engage myself in issues that affect us as ordinary citizens. Being a Delhiite facing the pollution problem I thought of taking up this issue with the government.
I sent a proposal to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to promote 'Work-From-Home'. I believe that the 6% of pollution that comes from vehicles can be reduced if corporates adopt Work-From-Home in a big way. The Human Resource department of these organizations can create a model that works in the interest of the environment as well as their own organizations. This idea was selected in the top 20 ideas by an Action Group on Pollution. I believe that improving India is a DIY project and every citizen should adopt at least one cause that he is passionate about. My other interests are practising Yoga, playing golf and travelling.
Are you planning other books?
Yes, my next book is in the works and is titled ‘In Search of Aazaad’ which is also a book with a mass appeal.
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