We at bookGeeks have always been lucky when it comes to interacting with Indian authors. We have had the good fortune of having a tête-à-tête with authors from all walks of life.

In our latest bookish adventure we got into a candid conversation with the up and coming author Kandarp Gandhi wherein he sheds a little light on his debut book, Buddhist Banker.

Kandarp Gandhi is a passionate blogger and a finance professional and teacher. He combines his love for writing and finance in his debut book, Budhhist Banker in which he tells us the story of a young and successful investment banker who sets on a path to seek inner peace and happiness.

Siddharth Parekh receives the biggest blows of his life when the two most important persons in his life desert him. Desolate and dejected he decides to seek solace in the company of an old temple pujari who pushes him in the right direction and sets him on a path of unlearning and relearning the true meaning of happiness. Buddhist Banker captures this journey of Siddharth from chaos to order, from apathy to empathy, from despair to hope.

With almost a decade of experience as a teacher, multiple years as an analyst with a leading hedge fund servicing company and an equally fruitful association with IBS Hyderabad, Kandarp Gandhi is able to blend his financial knowledge and experience with his storytelling abilities to bring to us a book that teaches one a lot about the true essence of life.

Read on to know more about what the author has to say about his passion for writing, his first book and his experience as a debut author.

bookGeeks:Tell us something about Kandarp as a person. What is a normal day in your life like?
Kandarp:Kandarp is a funambulist. I try my hands in different work and ensure that I give my best effort. I succeed, I fail but I keep on trying.

The morning starts with a cup of tea and news followed by a few business calls and then the office, I end my day spending time with my family, followed by a nice read or a comedy sitcom.
bookGeeks:Take us through your book, Buddhist Banker. What is it all about?
Kandarp:Buddhist Banker is an ideology which states that money can’t buy happiness wisdom can, it’s about the perfect blend of work-life balance, appreciating, justifying and preventing what we have before it is too late. It is human tendency to crave for something farfetched rather than preventing achieved treasure.
bookGeeks:What was the idea behind writing a book which combined fiction, wisdom and philosophy? Was there a defining moment in your life which prompted you to take up writing?
Kandarp:Well, the idea behind writing was to enrich people by thoughts, the best way to do was through a fictional story (Thought provoked while reading The Alchemist). If people relate themselves to the protagonist, half the battle is won. I always feel that an attempt to change the mindset of society should be in form of creative writing or art.

Wisdom and philosophy, certain life lessons which I learned from/through society have helped me personally and professionally hence it was my turn to give it back to those who seek them.

There wasn’t a defining movement as such but yes need to change the mindset of youngsters and direct them prompted me to take up writing.
bookGeeks:Do you read often? What are some of the books that have influenced you along the way?
Kandarp:Yes, I read daily, be it books, news or articles. It enhances my knowledge, gives different perception and broadens the mindset. It satisfies my hunger/greed of learning hence gives me happiness.

Will start from the first book which I read and had a deep impact on me, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I am grateful that this was the first book I read, it made me an avid reader. There are other books, Think and Grow Rich, Monk who sold his Ferrari, The Alchemist and many more.
bookGeeks:Given your experience in finance, which are the three books in personal finance that you would recommend to every Indian?
Kandarp:- Top on my list will be Security Analysis, it may not be very relevant for the Indian market, but it shows a different dimension altogether.
- Intelligent investor
- The Warren Buffet Way
bookGeeks:The elusive work-life balance – how do you manage to achieve it; managing as you are a full-fledged career, a thriving academic life, active blogging and a teaching career?
Kandarp:Honestly, it is difficult, but I try (only my family members can validate this). To have a perfect work-life balance I try to plan my day accordingly

Weekdays - I work for 10-12 hours, 2-3 hours with family and 2 hours for myself (Reading, leisure).

Weekends – I work for 4-5 Hours, 4-5 Hours with family and 4-5 hours for myself (Reading, leisure)

If the above schedule goes for a toss for a couple of weeks or months, then a perfect holiday with family balances it all.
bookGeeks:Who is your biggest critic in life?
Kandarp:There are two, first my sister. She is a perfectionist and wants me to be one. She would be a fussbudget for my betterment. It helped me to achieve 90% perfection, I would deduct 10% for the grammatical/editorial errors of my book.

Second is my wife, she wants to get best out of me, somehow, she feels I possess more than what I think/believe.
bookGeeks:What are your other interests apart from writing?
Kandarp:Investing, I am passionate about shares and other avenues of investment.
bookGeeks:Any other book or writing project that you are currently working on?
Kandarp:Not as of now, I don’t have more values to add currently.
bookGeeks:Where do you see yourself as an author five years down the line?
Kandarp:- An author who is recognized for the content and learnings for society rather than the number of copies sold.
- Give a chance 15 years down the line would love to write Corporate Mahabharat.

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