Home EntertainmentTV Creative Director Siddhartha Vankar gets candid about his book ‘Love at Manipal’

Creative Director Siddhartha Vankar gets candid about his book ‘Love at Manipal’

Creative Director Siddhartha Vankar gets candid about his book ‘Love at Manipal’

MUMBAI: People from various departments put in their extreme hard work in making any show successful. While the actors and the producers receive most of the accolades for fairly successful projects, often the contribution of several like the writing, directing and casting departments go unnoticed. TellyChakkar.com got in touch with one of the ace writers and creative directors from the Television industry Siddhartha Vankar. In a candid chat with us, Siddhartha opened up on his journey in the industry and his book ‘Love at Manipal’. Read the interview. (Read here: Actors who refused the role of Pakhi in Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein)

Tell us about your journey in the TV industry.

I started my career in a production house working in the creative team and after working for a few years I joined Star Plus. At Star Plus, I worked on shows like Kaali, Iss pyar ko kya naam doon, Navya, Mahabharat to name a few. After Star, I started writing TV serials and graduated to Creative Direction. As a Creative Director have done shows like Ek tha raja ek thi rani; Balika Vadhu, and Mariyam Khan reporting live. Currently, I am working as a Creative Director on the show Ghum hai kisikey pyaar meiin.

What inspired you to write a book?

I Always wanted to write a book…  I wanted to incorporate Manipal in my first book as in college days I wrote diaries and wanted to take this opportunity to bring out the book as memoire for myself and my friends. But only this concept wasn’t fulfilling for me and I have been toying with the idea of bringing in 2 couples to the story. This is my try to bring together my first idea of a memoir and the couple’s story. I started writing this book in 2006 and finished writing in 2012… out of which I did not write a word for three years; thanks to the cliched “writers block”. But when I resumed, I finished it in flat 20 days. After several rounds of proof readings and edits, thanks to my friends, I sent it to every possible publisher. But never heard a positive response till 2019 December! Olympia Publishers agreed to publish the book.

From 2006 to 2021, 15 years, all these characters have lived with me. In my brain… in my heart and finally I will be sharing them with the world! These characters are not taken from anyone particularly but still are very real…

Tell us about the story of the book and what motivated you to share the same with the audience.

The main story is completely fictional. It is about complicated relationships which we all see either in our lives or around us. What makes the book interesting and a compelling read is its characters.

Neeraj- a flamboyant rich spoilt brat… who thought he could take everything for granted. Not very unprecedented of boys…

Misha- a funny girl who felt she owned her boyfriend and yet had all the freedom she wanted. Being clingy is not fun…

Rajiv- the quintessential good boy who wants to know why can’t he love two girls at the same time! Heart and mind at a race…

Snehal: my main protagonist is fun… bold… sensitive and a dreamer; who wants unconditional love… which is a difficult ask

The gist of the story is: Snehal who is studying at a college in Manipal falls in love with another student, Neeraj, who doesn’t always treat her well. After a fall out, Snehal has a chance meeting with Rajiv, who is also a student. He is charming and caring, but also has a girlfriend, and they are drawn together again when they win the roles of Romeo and Juliet in the local play. Snehal is confused by her feelings for him but, in the meantime, Neeraj has realised his love for her and determines to change, which delights her but also confuses her. Many years later, Snehal returns to Manipal with her husband to take their son, Nishant, to the same college. They have grown apart in the intervening years but Manipal works its magic again and invokes memories and feelings in them of times gone by. Can they grow back together again and who is Snehal’s true Romeo?

What feedback have you received on the book until now?

We have been getting a positive response. Since the paperback version is still in transit form London, Kindle copies are selling very fast. It’s a book which takes you back in time full of nostalgia. It just doesn’t relate to people from Manipal but anyone who has been in love and is in love. It’s a book that everyone who has been to college and stayed in a hostel would relate to. Characters… situations… incidents…  friendships…

Anything more you want to add?

Every moment was special in Manipal but we just did not know at that time! I have no regrets about my life there. Given a choice I would just do the same all over again.

We did everything there:  lived, loved, danced, hoped, conspired, inspired, perspired, played cricket in the hostel corridor, cheered for Team India; walked on the lush green lawns, had midnight maggie at the Nescafé, celebrated holi and Diwali; played counter strike and shared stuff on LAN, blasted full volume music! Phew!

At times some stories open so many windows of our memories and trigger so many emotions that we are left astound! This world of memories is very beautiful. Small little pieces of our forgotten past are kept safe in them!

All these memories are like the box of mithai that came from home in college, once you open it not a single one is left!

This book is a small part of a huge suitcase full of memories which I can never forget. Those days, those nights, those laughters, those fun times, those friendships. I can trade everything that I have to go back and live those days once again!

Here’s wishing all the best to Siddhartha for his book.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates.

(Also read: Sai is the hero of the show says THIS Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Mein co-star) 

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