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Author Interview with Chinmaya Desai

About The Author

Chinmaya Desai is a banker by profession and a writer by passion. Inspired by how seemingly insignificant aspects become so significant to us, he narrates stories which have a surprise at the end.

Apart from writing, he is an avid gym enthusiast and loves to travel. Chinmaya lives in Mumbai with his parents, spouse Anuya and his two children, Puneeth and Saanchi.


  • What are your interests other than writing?

Chinmaya – as I have mentioned in my bio I am an avid gym enthusiast and I love to travel. I also thoroughly enjoy being a parent to my two children Puneeth & Saanchi.

  • Why the title The Grandmaster?

Primarily I love chess and I have always admired the intelligence and strategic outlook of chess Grandmasters. Grandmaster also means the highest order of a chivalry ( eg Freemasons) and hence the title of Grandmaster. The first story in the book is also called The Grandmaster.

  • What inspires you in life?

Life inspires me in general, especially the complexities and the chaos thag life brings along. How seemingly insignificant things become significant in life. Majority of the human beings think linearly and the outcome usually never turns out as they expect. Most of my stories challenge this linearity of thought. 

  • How often do you write?

Only on weekends. Weekdays I focus on my job.

  • Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I write on weekends. My writing is dependant on my schedule and not on any inspiration. 

  • Your favorite stories from the book?

Definitely – The Grandmaster & The Inspiration!

  • Tell us your favorite quote

“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”!

page 103 – story: Robin Could 
  • Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?

Yes. My last two stories “The Stroll” and “The Woman in the Yellow Saree” have me as a character and that’s the real me. I am very sarcastic by nature and sometimes very prejudiced and inward looking.

  • If you were to change your genre, which one would you choose?

It will definitely be a thriller.

  • What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success is primarily getting appreciated by all cadres. For my debut novel appreciation from my peers, my seniors, young readers, critics like yourselves, my teachers and friends. 
  • A message for all the aspiring writers 

Publish or Perish. I have put a small authors note on page 87-88 of my book in the story Mother’s Love. In fact I put this story to encourage young writers to publish their thoughts and protect their ideas. 

About the Book

A Chess Grandmaster is accused of losing a World Championship game intentionally… A middle-class sexagenarian from Nagpur receives a surprise visit from an old friend… A lady will go to any extent to get an ingredient for her recipe… A Mayan explorer in 498 AD encounters a storm and drifts to ancient India… A Brigadier plans to surprise a civilian with a war memento… A politician wants to save the beautiful Seria Valley from an unscrupulous builder… A jet-setting banker gets into a verbal duel with a woman during a plane journey…

Debutant author Chinmaya Desai delves into the lives of “ordinary” people and answers some extraordinary questions. Through his lucid and captivating writing, he brings to the fore how there is always something more than what meets the eye.

The Grandmaster & other short stories is a selection of fictional tales that provide a glimpse of life’s different facets and oddities. It is these experiences that make our journey interesting, colourful and ends where you least expected it to.  Explore these fast-paced tales, with a twist that will keep you turning pages till you reach the end…

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Vidhya Thakkar