His dedication and passion for writing saw him through the dire poverty he was born in. He first spun the racy yarn in 1971, for which he earned a total of meagre Rs. 100/- (the entire copies sold by the publisher). Gradually his grit and hard work made him an undisputed king of Hindi pulp fiction and he got a ‘Celebrity Tag’. Today, Ved Prakash Sharma is the highest paid Hindi novelist.
He was born on 10th June 1955 in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, to Pt. Mishri Lal Sharma and Smt. Kela Devi. Ved completed his schooling from B.A.V Central Inter school and graduated as Bachelor in Arts from N.A.S. Degree College, Meerut. His father was a Compositor in a printing press and mother was strong and a God loving lady. She was a great source of strength to Ved. His elder brother, Late Sh. Jai Prakash Sharma was an Excise Inspector and younger sister Smt. Kusum Sharma, a homemaker.
Ved wrote his first short story when he was just 14 (9th Std). His story named ‘Peno Ki Jail’ was published in school magazine and was well appreciated by all his teachers. He wrote his second short story ‘Bhavnayen’ which was published in the school magazine. Soon he became the Student Editor of Hindi school magazine. Although it was a small achievement then, but, was a big step for his aspirations for his age.
Ved was extremely fond of reading. His fondness for reading then transformed into his passion for writing. During the summer holidays of 1971, lying on his bed, Ved thought of a story idea and soon enough his mind started bursting with twists and turns of the tale. When it became difficult to hold on to so many thoughts, he started to put them down on paper. He kept on writing for hours at length. This was the origin of his first script.. “Vijay Maut Ke Jaal Mein”. He couldn’t gather courage to show it to his father, but showed it to his friends who proved to be constructive critics telling Ved the portions in the script which could be improved. The script was finally ‘ready’ after four edits.
Ved was a part timer with the printing press in which his father, Pt. Sharma worked. One day his father came to know about the script and asked him for it. With a lot of courage and anticipation he let his father read it, but to Ved’s surprise his father not only liked the story but also encouraged him to continue writing.
Once Pt. Mishri Lal Sharma took the script to work, where Sh. Jang Bahadur, Publisher of Laxmi Pocket Books, chanced upon it. After reading a few pages he asked Pt. Sharma about its author. He said “If you like it take it home and read it at leisure.. why do you want to know the name of the writer?”. Sh. Bahadur took the script home and read it. He liked it so much that he came back the next day to know the author. When he came to know from Pt. Sharma that young Ved had written it, he said, “Had you told this to me yesterday, I would not have even given it a second look, nobody can imagine this young lad can write so well!”.
Ved was called by Sh. Jang Bahadur’s to his office the next day, where he was made an offer of Rs100/- for giving the manuscript as Sh. Bahadur wanted to publish it under some renowned name (was a norm in those times), because no one wanted to read a new writer. Ved refused the offer and came back with his script.
He did not let this deter him and continued writing. There was a time he had a trunk full of fresh manuscripts. He met most of the publishers in the city where his proposal was not only shot down but he was also mocked at. At last he had to give in. He wrote 23 novels as a ghost writer and finally his name was imprinted on his novel “Dahekte Shaher” in the year 1973. Thereafter, it was no looking back.
With no literary lineage or any professional training whatsoever, his story establishes the fact that creativity cannot be contrived, but is inborn. Even in those difficult days when Hindi pulp fiction was not recognised much and writers were mere pawns in the hands of big publishers, he was always unwavering of the fact that he can make it large.
At 18, Ved fell in love with Madhu and got married to her in Dec 1975. Madhu proved to be the best wife he could ask for. She is more of a friend to him. Not only did she help him bring stability in his personal life but also advised him in professional matters. At one point of time, a character, “Vikas”, of his thriller series gained more popularity than Ved himself. He was scared to drop this character from his novels fearing it will result in a loss of readers, but as they say, “You cannot swim for new horizons intill you have courage to lose sight of the shore”, Madhu suggested to take a break from ‘Vikas’ and contemplate writing in other genre. This advice indeed added diversity to his writing. Most of his work is based on characters like ‘Vijay Thakur’, ‘Vikas’, ‘Keshav Pandit’, ‘Vibha Jindal’ and the likes. However, he has also written Thrillers, Social Dramas and the likes. With more than 175 novels to his credit today, he rules the heart of Hindi fiction readers.
Ved always wanted to reach out to as many readers as he could. Money never lured him. There came a time when he wanted to widen his reach. This required him to take a big leap which called for getting out of his comfort zone of a small city and approach big honchos (read, publishers) of Delhi, which was the closest metropolitan. He got in touch with ‘Manoj Pocket Books’ in Delhi, however, they directed him to some small time publication. This publication house offered him Rs. 1000/- a novel, where as he was already paid Rs. 8000/- per novel in Meerut. He still accepted and collaborated with them. When the novel got completed, Ved went to the publisher to ask for his remuneration, but was turned down every time he brought this topic up. Once he overheard the publisher instructing his staff to turn Ved away from the door. There after Ved vowed to never ask that publisher for his dues and returned. But as luck would have it, after seeing roaring success of Ved, the publisher wanted to work with him again, but by this time Ved had learnt how to keep betrayers at bay and his self esteem guarded.
His horizons were widened when he received an offer from a publishing house of Delhi called, Manoj Pocket Books. They had a wider market. His novels were now sold ten folds. This contact lasted till 1986. 10th June 1983, was another milestone of his life when he completed his 100th novel at a very young age of 27 years, which is a record in itself.
In 1986, Ved opened his own publishing house in partnership with his friend and writer, Sh. Suresh Jain, under the name Tulsi Pocket Books. His novel, ‘Wardi Wala Gunda’ from this publication broke all records in the field of Hindi fiction. This achievement was covered by print and digital media at large. In the year 2002 he launched his own publishing house under the name, Tulsi Paper Books
He has been awarded “Meerut Ratna” twice (1992,1994). And various other national and state level awards including “Natraj bhushan Award”, 2008,”Natraj Award”, 1995, “Role Model Award”etc. and also have been nominated by screen awards for best screenplay and dialogue writer to name a few.
Soon his popularity crossed the border of readers and caught the attention of Hindi Film Industry. He has four movies to his credit namely: Bahu Ki Awaaz, Anaam, Sabse Bada Khiladi and International Khiladi, of which Sabse Bada Khiladi made it to the nominations of various awards including Screen Awards.
In 2010, a TV series based on his character “Keshav Pandit” was aired on Zee TV. He has been approached by the makers of films like ‘Dayan’ and ‘Talash’ for their film’s promotion. Actor Aamir Khan has visited Ved and has spoken highly of his writing prowess.
He believes in the saying that “Behind every successful man there is a woman” and in his case there were two, one his mother and other, his wife, Madhu.
With heart winning smile and down to earth attitude, this simple man in his 60’s wants to write till his last breath.