Chip Engineer writes Best Seller
By Hitesh Shetty
IIT educated Sudipto Das has written his first novel ‘Ekkos Clan’ and it is already a best seller. Sudipto, who has worked for blue chip tech giants like Intel, has 17 years in various aspects of chip implementation as well as involvement (in hands-on & strategic roles) in multiple tape-out activities. The Ekkos Clan is mystery story with a backdrop of ancient Indian history.
Techgoss (TG): What is your educational and techie work background?
Sudipto Das: I’m BTech from IIT KGP. I completed graduation in 96 in Electronics and Electrical Communication. I’m currently VP Engineering of Mirafra Technologies, which is into VLSI Design services. It was started by two of my friends.
TG: You have worked for Intel. What was your experience working with the biggest chip maker in the world?
Sudipto Das: I would rather prefer working in smaller companies, where making a difference is much easier than in a company like Intel where you’re just lost in the crowd.
TG: What is your novel 'The Ekkos Clan' all about? Do the characters in the novel bear any resemblance to today's techies?
Sudipto Das: It’s a contemporary historical mystery set against the backdrop of ancient Indian history.
The three main characters, Kratu, Tista and Afsar are in their early twenties. Kratu & Tista are IITians, doing their MS in Bay Area. They are exactly like what I was some 15 years back, when I’d started my career.
TG: 'The Ekkos Clan' is a blend of History and Thriller. What kind of research did you take to put the novel together?
Sudipto Das: I started working on the book in 2008. So it took close to 5 years to get it published. The first two years were spent just in research. A limited list of the references is provided at the end of the book. The Rig Veda plays a very vital role in the book and the most intense part of the research was to read the 10 books of Rig Veda in Sanskrit. Linguistics, archaeology, astronomy, music theory etc also play important roles in the book. All these subjects also needed extensive research.
TG: What was the process of writing? Did you plan to do a chapter a month? Or did you just write as and when you got inspiration? Did you have a writing schedule?
Sudipto Das: 2008 & 2009 were spent in research. 2010 Jan to June, I spent in creating the structure of the novel, the design of the chapters etc. I did the entire book as a project, with a detailed project planning, using excel etc. When I finally started writing the book in July 2010, I didn’t have to think much. The first draft was complete in Nov 2010, after which it took almost a year to rewrite and review and come up with the final draft.
TG: Did you ever get writers block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
Sudipto Das: I had to struggle with each word and each line. So I would say I never overcame the writers block.
TG: Who are the writers you admire?
Sudipto Das: Rabindranath Tagore is my favourite author. In English O Henry & Keats have immense influence on me. In contemporary times Jeffrey Archer is someone who amazes me. I’ve been very inspired by Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri and Khaleid Hosseini.