For this episode of the Author to Author segment I am in conversation with Kaushik Majumdar.
Kaushik is a Business Consultant by profession and a writer by passion. His stories and poems are published in several anthologies. Some of the stories are “Untimely Rains”, “Dating”,” The Revenge”, ”Beware of Dogs” published by Ukiyoto Publishing, “Refugee” published by Half Baked Beans and “The Male Child” and “Lockdown Wedding” published by Juggernaut Books. He also wrote two books “Ogo Bideshini” and “Nataraj – The Shiva within us”. He likes writing about human relationships and social issues. He also likes making short films and some of them have received national recognition. He likes to travel to various places and interact with people which help him to bring variety in his stories. He was recently featured in Forbes India and Daily Hunt. Here are the excerpts from our conversation.
1. What does writing mean to you? Why do you write?
Writing is like meditation for me. When I write I stay more focused than anything else. The plots, the characters come into my mind and they create their own world through me. So I try to find time to meditate through my writing on a daily basis.
2. When did you start writing? Do you remember the first time you wrote something?
Well as per I can remember I wrote my first poem when I was in my fifth grade. My first published work was a horror story which was published in a local magazine which was during my eleventh grade. I have been writing regularly since then be it on social media or for some college magazines.
3. What was the source of your inspiration earlier? Did it change with the time?
Earlier my sources of inspiration were the works that I came across in the text books and magazines I would read as a child. I was exposed to a good amount of children’s literature in my childhood which influenced me at that time. But as I grew old I started to explore more and more and came across works of some great authors which influenced me to write in those genres and also get inspired by their writing style.
4. Would you like to share few of your favourite lines of your story?
-Lord Nataraj represents Panchakritya, the first is Srishti or creation which is performed by the vibrations of damru in his left hand.
- There are times when people don’t understand whether it was better to stay quiet or speak to someone. If you speak to someone it feels like something from inside is constantly trying to interfere your discussions. The more you try to avoid it the more it disturbs you. If you stay quiet you can’t stop those thoughts from coming.
- It’s never right to take law in your own hands even though you are doing the right thing.
- What you see lying at Nataraja’s feet is Apasmara which represents the evils of ignorance and ego which needs to be trampled beneath the feet to rise to the path of moksha.
5. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
There are times especially in the middle of the night or when I am commuting to my work when I will get some great ideas and plots which will keep coming in a constant flow. I will have an entire story created in my mind but it becomes difficult to get them down on paper or laptop. By the time I manage to get time I tend forget many plots and subplots.
6. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
For me the plot always comes first, characters fall in place gradually and develop themselves in the course of the story. Though there have been some cases when I have created the characters and developed the story afterwards on request from the publishers.
7. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
Publishing is a very complex process. I had interacted with both self publishing and traditional publishing companies but my works are mostly published through traditional publishers. The favourite part of it is when you receive a contract from the publisher that they would go ahead with the work. The least favourite part will always be the long wait a writer has to go through before a work gets selected.
8. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Getting the title was a tricky part as it should reflect the entire story within it and also make the readers take interest in the book when they see it. Some of my friends helped me in selecting the final name and it was finalized after that. “Nataraj – The Shiva within us” was selected unanimously as the best one.
9. What inspired the idea for your book?
This story was inspired by the idea that even people with physical disabilities can achieve great things with strong will and determination. Often we see such cases happening in newspapers where someone with a disability goes on to break records. Also there are lot of social evils that are happening in our society like drug abuse and women trafficking. So my story tries to bring in all these issues together and tries to create a world that gives people a better understanding of social evils hidden from the plain sight.
10. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
It was mostly the climax where the two subplots converge and gives the narrative a finite shape. It was difficult as all the loose ends needed to be covered to keep a proper ending to the story.
11. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
I have a small statue of meditating Lord Buddha in my study table which helps to stay focused .
12. If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
If this book was to be made to a movie I would like Rajkumar Rao to play the role of Vicky, the protagonist, as he can nicely portray the simplicity and the will power. Prashant’s character who is an investigative journalist can be played by Prateek Gandhi and Priya can be played by Shradha Kapoor. ACP Abhay can be played by Nerraj Kabi.
13. What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
I have kept the scope for a sequel open. Vicky’s character has evolved in the course of the story and a sequel will make him strong as a character to stay for long time in the mind of readers.
14. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I am a Business Consultant by profession and most part of my day is occupied by my work. But when I get time I stay occupied either on reading some good books or watching movies. I also have interest in film making and have directed few short films.
15. Which writers have inspired you? Do you feel yourself ever influenced by the writing style of a writer?
I am very lucky to be a Bengali and Bengali literature has some great writers like Rabindranath Tagore, Bibhutibusan Bandopadhyay(Pather Panchali), Saratchandra Chattopadhyay(Devdas) whose works I came across in my early days which would be included in my curriculum. Then there were books by Satyajit Ray which really inspired me. As I grew old I took interest in variety and came across works by Kafka,Murakami, Manto, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, Khushwant Singh.
Yes there are few writers whose style has influenced me a lot. One is Sunil Gangopadhay and another one is Khuswant Singh. Their writing style is very lucid and the characters are created so vividly that they get etched in the reader’s memory for long. I try to portray a similar kind of style in my works.
16. How often do you write? People say writing needs time; best words come out in leisure. How do you manage your time to write and work?
As I mentioned earlier that most part of my day is occupied with my work, but I try to manage around one to two hours in the morning daily which I spend on arranging my thoughts and putting them down . Also there are times when stories or plots come to me themselves, I allow them to come and try to recollect them while writing. Also besides writing there is editing and modifications which also take a lot of time. Hence I have created the routine of spending an hour or two in the morning.
17. Please let the readers know about your projects for future? Are your working on any book? And please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the times
I have recently finished a crime thriller which is in Bengali and will be published in near future and then translated into English. Here I have introduced two new characters with which I plan to write a series of works.
One of the stanza that I have written in one of my short story which is my favourite is “ It’s very difficult to deal with breakups. It’s never in our control when they will happen, but when they happen they leave you like an old deserted temple which has all its architectural beauty but no Gods inside.”
18. What is your message to the young & aspiring authors who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing?
Practice and regular routine develop the writer in you. One should never lose hope if their work is rejected by any of the publishers as this is the most common thing in publishing. Try to develop the form and style and one day everyone will be willing to publish your work.
19. Mention your upcoming writing endeavours?
I recently finished a crime thriller. After this I have plans to complete a travel adventure which I started last year but couldn’t finish due to other assignments.
Thank you taking time out to read my conversation with the Young Minds
- Jasveer Singh Dangi
Purchase link for his books:
Disclaimer - All views & facts mentioned above are the sole responsibility of the respective author being interviewed. The Author, Kaushik, is solely responsible and liable for the information including but not limited to the views, representations, descriptions, statements, information, opinions and references.
Jasveer is an Author, Behavioral trainer, award -winning Health and Safety professional & Founder of The Cog Publication LLP, India. He is currently based in Canada. His Amazon Author Central profile is - https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07M6KS48Q