Anuj Tikku is a man with many talents. As a Bollywood actor he has worked in many big films including Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, No One Killed Jessica, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Khoya Khoya Chand, and many others.
He has also worked in more than 65 commercials and is widely recognized as the face behind the trendsetting ad of Havell’s ‘Shock Laga Laga’.
After the brutal murder of his father and his subsequent arrest as the prime suspect, Anuj’s life took a turn away from Bollywood.
He fell victim to the greed of a serial killer Vijay Pallande, who had plans to murder Anuj as well. Luckily, Anuj was unharmed but his father fell victim to the property-grabbing scam and lost his life because of it.
It was in search of peace and forgiveness, that Anuj started traveling. He traveled because it calmed his mind and gave a sense of purpose to his wandering soul.
That’s how his travel venture ‘Tikku’s Travelthon’ was born.
On this blog, Anuj continues to write about his travel experiences from all over the world. From the deserts of Africa to the cold terrain of Antarctica, from the spiritual experiences at the Kumbh to the mystical calm of Kailash yatra – Anuj has seen and experienced it all.
His journey as an author has seen him write books on varied topics. His ever-growing number of books talk about different subjects – audiobooks, blogging, web series, travel experiences, soft erotica, his memoirs, and much more.
His latest writing venture is a fiction about the current pandemic of Covid-19.
We at bookGeeks got a chance to have a candid conversation with Anuj Tikku. Here’s what he has to say about his latest book, his writing, and about life in general.
|Tell us something about Anuj as a person. What are your hobbies, likes and dislikes?|
|Well, I am not the same person I used to say ten years or twenty years back. I have definitely evolved and changed as time has gone by. I have become more spiritual and humble.
With my age now at 46, I have experienced much but my thirst for new experiences and curiosity for knowledge has not diminished.
I would like to believe I am a kind person, idealistic, generous with an edgy streak and maybe a bit of a temper. I do lack some social graces in my mannerism and can be a bit rough with words, apart from that I am harmless and a lot of fun to be with.
I have no family and no pressures of a regular job and so I have a lot of time for hobbies and new things. I have taken up photography, video editing as hobbies in the past and of course, I have made writing and blogging from just a hobby to a full-fledged profession with a revenue stream.
I hate two-faced people and people who hide from the truth. I don’t like people who pretend to be too smart and show off material possessions.
|Your latest book "Nineteen" is out in the market. What inspired you to write the story?|
|Nineteen is a book which has the COVID-19 pandemic at its background and it shows the struggle of the lead characters as they fight to get a vaccine out and save the world from the deadly virus.
Each character has his or her flaws and a disturbing past which they need to overcome. The entire Pandemic made for a thrilling story and that is what inspired me.
|You are a man of multiple talents – an actor, travel blogger, author and now a web series creator. Tell us about your many roles and how do you achieve that perfect balance between them?|
|Well, I live spontaneously and without a plan. I am motivated to learn new things and have focused on the creative arts. Anything that helps me express myself and my emotions that is what is important to me.
My mind is constantly buzzing with ideas and I am glad I have explored multiple outlets. But the thought and idea are most important. Then it is a matter of expressing it as an actor, writer, blogger or a web-series maker.
My low attention span allows me to work on multiple things at the same time.
|What are some of your interests that fall outside the purview of professional work? What do you like to do in your leisure time?|
|I enjoy watching random videos and I have developed a taste for TikTok videos. Apart from that, I love to travel and do scuba diving.|
|Do you read books by Indian authors? If yes, then tell us about your favourite authors.|
|Yes. I enjoy reading Malcolm Gladwell, Amish, Devdutt Pattanaik. Currently, I am listening to audiobooks which include the biography of Lisa Ray and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
In fact, I have published my own audiobook Madness of the Monk on audible and i-tunes.
I liked the books Why Everything is Fucked and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I have just finished reading these two.
I also love reading about Mystics and Tantra.
|Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you overcome it?|
|I don’t force myself to write. In fact, there are lots of stories which I have written and then abandoned the idea later.
Yes, I do get distracted and when that happens I indulge in some other activity. I do deep breathing and some light meditation to keep the mood upbeat during the day. I sleep well and make sure that I take regular breaks as I write.
|Tell us something about your Bollywood journey. Which is your favourite memory of your acting career?|
|I had a great seven-year-or-so stint in Bollywood and I enjoyed most of that period till the tragedy that befell on me.
But even then, I remember my acting with Shah Rukh Khan and my scene with Rani Mukerji as one of the highlights for me.
I got a chance to see and talk to a whole host of creative people and make some friends on the way. It will not be a defining period of my life, of which I have had many but it will definitely be the most bizarre and racy period of my life.
|You have authored multiple books across different genres. Which amongst your own works is the closest to your heart?|
|Without a doubt, I Also Slept With Rashmi Verma. It is about my campus life and about my sweetheart and my crush during my MBA days.
It is my best and favourite, followed by Yes Sir I Killed My Dad which is a more grim piece.
|What are some of the other projects that you are currently working on?|
|My next Book is 27 Days in Taliban which is a story based in Afghanistan and centred around a family struggling during the Taliban uprising and how the common folks are being persecuted by the draconian Sharia law that is suddenly imposed upon them.|
|Some tips and tricks for aspiring authors.|
|Keep writing. Put pen to paper and keep ticking at the keyboard. Once you have a grand idea go for it.
Be consistent and only write when you are fully motivated and convinced about what you are doing.
Look for inspiration everywhere especially in nature. Be thick-skinned and take criticism on the chin. It will help you get better.