Yash Tiwari, an 18 year-old-boy and a native of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur city, has proved that age is just a number, as he has encountered countless achievements and accolades all at this young age.
He has delivered multiple TED Talks at the world-renowned platform of TEDx, all by the age of 18. He also gave a motivational speech on Josh Talk, which has amassed more than 300,000 views in a brief period of time.
Yash was also named as the youngest published novelist for his debut novel “A Celebration In Tribulation” written at the age of 16. He is frequently invited to deliver talks and sessions to inspire youth at various institutions across India as well as abroad. He is working as a mentor at MyCaptain, a TheClimbers and IIM Bangalore incubated and United Nations recognized company, where he teaches youngsters (even civil engineers, medical students, academicians, professionals, etc) from all walks of life.
During these trying times, when the world is battling the novel Coronavirus, Yash decided to give a heartfelt tribute to all the Corona warriors through his new edition PANDEMIC 2020 – Rife Of The Virus. He has penned down the world’s first novel on the ongoing coronavirus crisis
In an exclusive interview with The Statesman.com, Yash opened up about many segments like his recently launched novel ‘Pandemic 2020’, his journey as an 18-year-old youth motivational speaker and book author, about his life and future plans.
What inspired you to write this novel and how long did it take you?
I can say that PANDEMIC 2020 is my tribute to the unsung tales (not just the heroes, but the stories) from the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. All the storylines, I have written (four, specifically) narrate about the scenarios that took place during this heartbreaking outbreak all around the world. I felt the need to pen it down – to pay my tribute to the ones who fought and are still fighting against this yet-incurable flu through my words. That was the primary motivation to write the world’s first novel on the coronavirus outbreak.
PANDEMIC 2020, I have written in less than a month. However, it was not a predefined time period I had in my mind as I embarked on the journey of writing both of these novels. It was simply the result of putting in a great amount of effort in the process of writing, and maintaining a consistency throughout the process.
Tell us about your recent launch, Pandemic 2020 – Rife Of The Virus; and how did you come up with the idea?
We have four distinct yet interconnected tales narrated through my novel, Pandemic 2020. Huiqing – an impoverished boy in China, Alanna – a helpless doctor in the US., Terrell – a stranded traveler in Italy, and Yash – a blooming journalist in India – Pandemic 2020, world’s first novel on the novel coronavirus outbreak, provides a harrowing look at how the pandemic turned the lives of everyone around the world upside down. The globally-interconnecting tales are based on actual incidents, mishaps, stories, facts and data findings from all around the world, intriguingly blending majorly affected regions around the world through characters facing the severity of one common pandemic, the coronavirus outbreak.
The reason why I chose these storylines in particular was because of the connection I knew the readers will be able to feel with them. You don’t have to necessarily be a Stranded traveler in Italy, or an impoverished boy in China to understand the pains of such persons. Pandemic 2020, however, enables the readers to have a detailed creative view on these real tales and realistic plotlines. Even if the story as a whole can feel a little bittersweet or grim because it is based entirely on coronavirus outbreak, I can assure you that the final message delivered through PANDEMIC 2020 is very motivational, appealing, and enlightening. It speaks about unity, about human emotions, about the importance of hope, and much more.
What are the challenges you faced while writing this new edition?
So I guess the most difficult part was the intense amount of research that I had to do while writing this book. Apart from the characters who’s perspectives are used to narrate the stories, the book as a whole narrates precisely what unfolded in the real world during the past few months (exactly from January onwards and till April, first week). The facts, figures and dates used in the entire novel were meticulously researched upon by me, and then the four stories were conceptualised and penned down in the book. So much so that even the slightest of an incident mentioned over the course of the entire book is something that the readers will be able to (and are able to) connect and relate with. Every part of the story is something that the readers will be able to visualise themselves in. For example, near the end of the novel, the eventful evening of “9 Minutes At 9 PM”on 5th of April when we all had lit up our houses with Diyas and Candles is very beautifully narrated in one of the chapters. Readers will be able to visualise it all while reading about it all. It is more of a creatively written account of what all happened during this Pandemic in the initial few months – it is more of a heart-touching, relatable, understandable and visualisable written account of the Pandemic and it’s atrocities, realistic to its core. I was writing it all down while it was actually unfolding in the real world, after all. That too, within just one month.
You wrote your debut novel “A Celebration in Tribulation” when you were just 16 years old. Give us a brief description?
“A Celebration In Tribulation” is my debut novel that I had written at the age of 16 in 2018. It was the first time that someone authored a fiction novel on the neurological ailment of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, let alone at such a young age. I wrote my first book within a very short span of time of just 22 days, as reported on various international and national media outlets. My debut novel delivers the story of a young, 15 years old girl named Ilma as her journey as she battles against the unbeatable and incurable disease. It represents a twisted tale of hope, love and complexity with a pinch of death. For authoring my first book at the age of 16, I have been awarded with “Author Of The Year Award” by NE8x, “100 Inspiring Authors Of India Award” by The Indian Awaaz, TCC REX Karamveer Chakra Award by iCogno in association with United Nations and many other honors.
When did you first realize you wanted to write a book?
By the age of 16, I had already authored a lot of many poems and stories that got published as well as research papers that were presented at two international conferences. So I was already well-invested in the field of writing and literature. However, I had this aspiration to take that up to a greater notch, that is when I decided to pen down my first novel before the beginning of my 12th Standard. Moreover, the agenda to write a long form narrative in order to illuminate an unheard and unspoken topic was very much in my mind as well – which became yet another point of motivation for me.
You have seen countless achievements at such a young age. So how’s your experience so far from being a motivational speaker to now as an author?
For me it has always been about utilizing my potentials and putting forth my efforts towards impacting society. When we talk about these titles that you’ve listed, for me they come as a reminder about the role I am needed to play in this world; to drive social changes, instil the feeling of passion and enthusiasm in the hearts of people from all walks of life, and use my voice to take a stand for causes worthwhile. I never consider myself too young for any of my endeavors – be it my multiple TED talks, Josh Talk, or acclaimed novels. All that I feel is a sense of dedication towards what I am passionate about.
Being a motivational speaker, how will you guide today’s generation to cope with the challenging circumstances?
I think self doubt is perhaps one of the greatest issues that the youngsters of today are burdened with, or end up burdening themselves on their own with. We have so many youngsters with so much potential. Yet, they doubt whether they’re capable or good enough or not. And at the end, sometimes, they end up giving up on their own dreams and goals. As a youngster myself, I can assure you that our youngsters can do wonder. The best way to cope up with this self-created psychological issue is by trying- by taking that first step toward whatever you’re passionate about, no matter how difficult it might seem like. Just try, take that first step, and don’t just look at what was but more on what “Can Be” – what all you can achieve in life if you simply begin working towards all your latent capabilities.
What is your upcoming project? Do you have more ideas in the pipeline to pen down?
Work-wise, my passion for Public Speaking and Youth Mentorship is something that’s definitely going to be the basis of my future projects as well. But when it comes to Literature, I’m thinking of what sort of topics I should be picking up next to use my voice and words for.
What keeps you motivated in life? Who’s your source of inspiration?
What always keeps me motivated in my life is my will and passion towards fostering a substantial social change with the help of my voice and my words. I always keep myself reminded that I need to keep on using my Potentials and Strengths for the greater good. That is what keeps me going, and keeps me motivated as I motivate the thousands upon thousand of people all around the world.