Many a Reason to Smile
A young writer provided the audience with many a "reason to smile" at a virtual session of Kalam London in the midst of the global pandemic. Arpit Vageria, the bestselling novelist of titles like You Are My Reason to Smile, Be My Perfect Ending and I Still Think About You, and scriptwriter in popular live audience shows like India's Best Dramebaaz, Sabse Bada Kalakar and Indian Idol, was in conversation with author Padmesh Gupta. Looking back, Vageria said after pursuing Chartered Accountancy and an MBA, he had wanted to pen down a book on his life, hoping to impress his lady love. Once his book began garnering appreciation, he realised this was his true calling and embarked upon a journey into the world of words. He proudly professed his love for his mother tongue, saying that all his thoughts and ideas were conceived in Hindi. Romance or comedy — what works for him? Both, said Vageria. The writer feels romance and comedy are both very much a part of his own personality. He likes blending casual comedy with romance while writing books but for television scripts, he concentrates on "punch comedy", he added. Vageria feels controversy in the Indian television industry is rare because most of the content is filtered to a great extent before being broadcast. "While most shows are pre-recorded, I enjoy the challenge of working on live scripts," he said. Having had the opportunity of writing for the IIFA Awards, Vageria said two kinds of scriptwriters are involved in an award show — one who writes dialogues for the hosts and another who scripts the flow of events. He tends to avoid writing for daily soaps because of the emotional turmoil it entails, admitted the writer. Vageria believes while actors gain experience and hone their skills over the years with each film, writers keep emptying themselves through each word and thought they pour into their work. He aspires to create a channel dedicated to the Indian community abroad, run only by Indians, so that people thousands of miles away from home can feel the true essence of India. Talking about COVID-19, Vageria said, "The pandemic has helped me come to terms with the unpredictability of life and realise how precious the people in my life are." The author is living one day at a time and hopes to spend more time with his family and friends in the days to come, he said.