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Interview with Sandeep Madadi – Author Of Nanda Devi

About The Author

Sandeep Madadi is a wannabe but a never-been mountaineer, because he was never good enough to be one. Like a bad workman who always blames his tools, he attributes it to his terrible sense of direction. At best, he would have become a hill walker which he did, eventually. But that’s not bad at all for someone who was always the last to be picked for his school’s soccer team where he lived up to the reputation as he went on to score his only goal for the other team.

History and the Himalayas are his two obsessive interests.  When not working on his desk job, he is daydreaming about his next remote trek in the Himalayas. Climbing may not be his forte, but writing certainly is.

Read the review here: Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi – Book Review


Q) How much time did it take in the process of writing? What did the process of writing this book teach you? 

It took one year to complete the first draft. Once the submission was accepted by the publisher, another year was spent in the various phases of publishing like editing, cover design etc. during which I reworked on manuscript to add some first-hand accounts. I would say that the story evolved organically over a period of two years.

The only pitfall of traditional publishing is the time it takes for the manuscript to get published but I loved the creative freedom that I experienced during this whole journey like for instance working with the designer to finalize the cover page and brainstorming with the editor over multiple rounds of editing which reflects in the output. 

Q) What inspired you to write this book?

The forbidden sanctuary of Nanda Devi is just about the most magical place I can imagine. I have been dreaming of it for so many years now. While magic and dreams sound like ingredients for childlike fantasy, it is hard to believe that there exists a place like that in reality. I wanted to preserve something of the past that would otherwise be lost.

Q) A quote, para from the book that inspires you? Which is your favourite part from the book?

 It is the chapter ‘The Pilgrim Trail’ which begins with the quote of Randy Loubier “Believing doesn’t make God real. Unbelief doesn’t make him disappear. Your opinion doesn’t change reality” and I could not think of a better line that resonates with this chapter. 

Q) The book covers travel and trek, have you ever thought about a movie adaptation of your book?

 A Hollywood movie was planned way back based on the nuclear device fiasco on Nanda Devi of the book ‘Spies in the Himalayas’. Because of the budget constraints, the movie never took off, but the book rights were renewed multiple times. I deliberately avoided exploring this subject in this book , because this was already covered comprehensively by a couple of books. I always thought that this book would be a good fit for screen adaptation, not because I have written it, but because the subject has enough potential. 

Also Read: Interview with Rummana A and Sharvari B – Author Of Halfway Point

Q) Though It’s mentioned in the book, If you have to define the experience of meeting Nanda Devi in a few words, what that would be?

 Jaw dropped. Heart pumping. What else? Walking on those high ridges surrounded by towering peaks; each of them a subject of legends and as you turn around the corner, you come face to face with Nanda Devi which is a surreal experience that can make one feel deluded. But such is the aura of the place. 

Q) A book that had an impact on you, which helped you in writing this one?

 Not one but three, Eric Shipton’s ‘Nanda Devi’, Peter Boardman’s ‘The Shining Mountain’ and Bill Aitken’s ‘Nanda Devi Affair’

Q) Tell us about your plans? Planning a new book? If you have to write a book in a different genre, what that genre is?

 I would like my next book to be a Historical Fiction, but it’s an ambitious project which needs to be backed by a lot of research.

Q) Tell us about your publishing journey in 5 words. How your life changed after the book was published?

It reinforces the confidence in my ability to tell a story. Nothing has changed really 

Q) What do you think makes a good story? 

 There are many stories waiting to be told but the story should have its own voice for it to strike a chord with the reader. 

Q) What is a literary success for you?

Literary success to me cannot be quantified in numbers or the tag of a bestselling author. It could even be a heart-warming review or a well written critical review.

Q) A message for all the readers.

 Savour the book and get immersed in the lost world of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary  

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