Major Piyush Semwal has recently been donning the hat of an author. He has always been fascinated by travelling and adventure and had a love for writing sowed in him since childhood. That penchant for writing attained its full bloom as he started writing his first novel in 2015.
An out-and-out fiction, “The Lost Faith” traces the thrilling journey of two friends who, on a documentary-making assignment, travel to an ancient desolated Shiva temple. There are lots of twists and the turns in the plot, including the duo’s adrenaline-rush encounter with wolves as they proceed on their journey. As the story progresses, the dark history of the place comes to the fore, the duo are introduced to a mysterious vigilante of the place; the story advances and the duo end up in an exotic land where author introduces a vicious demigod who control wild elephants. The duo bring upon themselves a daunting challenge to save the natives from the clutches of the demigod. What happens later is for the readers to find out.
The book carries some of the best quotes the author had penned long before he imagined he would turn his passion into an identity one day. “During my school and college days, I would write quotes in my scribble book. I was into writing articles and essays but writing a full-fledged novel has been a totally different experience. And since I was not a full-time writer, it took me four years to complete this book. I started off in 2015 and soon after I was posted to J&K and the schedule was very busy. So my writing came to a halt for 2 years. Although ideas kept coming, I could not finish writing it. Later only when I got my next posting in western India, I was able to resume my writing and finally by God’s grace, the novel has come out”, says Major Piyush Semwal who has been serving the Indian Army since 2011.
The book is a fruit of the author’s close association with forests and mountains of Dehradun that he saw when he was growing up. “It’s an adventure thriller with a backdrop set in forests and mountains,” says the author who is a passionate long-haul biker and shares how some personal experiences also found their way into the book but have taken the form of complete fiction.
Gushing about his fondness for fiction, the author says, “A writer gets tremendous flexibility to mould the story. You have to keep a track of reality but you have the freedom to experiment too.” The storyline brings in animals for which the author had to invest a lot in reading and research on animal behaviour to provide authenticity.
About writing an adventure thriller at first attempt, the author has a message for all the aspiring writers out there. “One must travel to exotic places, new destinations and meet new people. That will expand one’s horizon of thinking.”
The author, who had done his schooling from St. Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun and later engineering at GEIT, Dehradun had worked in the telecom sector for two years before he joined the Indian Army.
An avid fan of Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, Piyush talks about keeping the passion alive while being devoted to his job which is serving the nation. “One has to know time management. You will have to manage your time on your own. I would devote at least 1-2 hours every night when I was on this book.”