Avantika Debnath is a writer at heart and dancer at soul but to earn a living she works as an HR professional in a multinational company. She hails from the City of Joy: Kolkata, West Bengal and stays in the City of Nizams: Hyderabad, Telengana. She has done her Bachelor’s from Calcutta University with Major in English and has an MBA degree from The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI).
Being into human resources, Avantika’s profession has given her the opportunity to meet a number of people on a daily basis. By the virtue of the nature of her work, she gets an insight into various angles of their lives.
These are the people she meets and their lives which Avantika intends to immortalize through her writings. Her protagonists are not anything larger than the ordinary, but their actions and choices make them worth of being sung as heroes.
Having written widely in various websites, and print media, and being a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series, she is final ready with her debut novel – The Bridal Pyre: Nainam Dahati Pawakah for you to read this September.
What inspired you to start writing?
Life… Life inspires everyone to do something. It inspired me to write.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
Fairy Tales. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic, so I had these books of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and all these Disney princess, and I would read them over and over again, and I would hope someday I will meet this really handsome prince in a shining armor.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
I am very fickle minded. And writing an entire book needs a lot of concentration That is where I used to fail at times.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Well this book didn’t require me to research a lot, because I already had all the data/information about the subject handy. In fact that is the only reason I wrote this book because the facts were lying in front of me crystal clear.
What motivated you to write the book “The Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pavakah”?
I always wanted to write a novel. It is just that I wasn’t getting the subject that would keep me glued for as long as it takes to finish a book. And then I witnessed a few incidents in life, no not my life though. But I did see a couple of things happening around my regular life, and so I knitted them together added a little bit of my own imagination and here we are with The Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pawakah.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pavakah”?
The Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pawakah deals with the life of a modern woman, the problems thrown at her by life, testimonial of her patience and then her fighting back. It starts as a domestic drama and soon it turns into a woman’s battle against each and every form of evil that exists in our society. The sad part is the truth in the story because these problems are not a creations of my mind. These challenges exist and so does the corruption in our system that makes justice all the more rare of a commodity to get.
How did you come up with the idea of writing women justice fiction genre book?
I had to write it, because someone had to address the elephant in the room. For how long could we turn a deaf ear and blind eye to it? The protagonist of the book Meera is a character that is basically a compound of various real life woman I have come across in life. They choose to stay anonymous, so let them be. But their struggles are real. Meera is a woman who is from an upper middle class Bengali family where marriage is given some amplified importance. And like all mothers, Meera’s mother also advised her to adjust and be patience. But mothers need to tell their daughters when exactly they should put their foot down, because a one-sided adjustment soon takes the form of subjugation. We don’t want that to happen to our woman anymore. Again, there are so many bodies that fight for woman rights, every other day some new law is passed. But when a genuine case requires attention, no one is there to help. And these laws, lawyers, courts, police, they only add to the plight of the victim. How? You will know through the story.
Who are your favourite authors?
That changes from book to book. Right at this moment I am completely drunk on Khaled Hosseini. I am so jealous, I wish I had written A Thousand Splendid Suns.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
This is not a job for me, I cannot keep a schedule for it. At times I can spend an entire night hitting the keys of my laptop, and then for days at stretch I won’t be able to write a single word. I am very impulsive. And so writing happens to me in a momentary way.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I would say, follow your heart, and please be original with ideas and expressions. Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy Dutta are great writers, but they have already done what they are good at. If you try to follow what they have done, it might not work you know. That simply doesn’t work twice.
You can buy her book now: