Shakeel Samar is a young novelist in Hindi. His first book Accident…a love story was published in December 2014. After spending the 17 initial years of his life in a small place in Jharkhand named Godda, Samar graduated in Journalism from Jamshedpur. There after he pursued his post graduation in Electronic Media from Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Mass communication, Bhopal. He worked with some popular news papers of the country till 2014 when he bided good bye to Journalism. Samar currently works as a Business Development Executive for a Power sector firm in Jamshedpur.
What inspired you to start writing?
Being a journalist my heart was always aligned towards writing. Then I used to write news. It is said that news are instant literatures. However always felt sad for the fact that my literature lasts of just a single day. It has no more existence the very next day. I always wanted to write something which surpasses the boundary of time. This is what inspired me to write books. However the idea of writing a book kept striking my mind often, till I started writing one in 2012.
Why did you like to read when you were a boy?
Don’t you think I am young enough to be called a boy (wink & laugh). Anyways jokes apart. I don’t remember that I read anything else apart from textbook in my childhood; however I was no genius in studies as well. I had to work very had even to secure the passing marks. Therefore I had never dared to peep out of textbooks and read something else. Moreover I don’t deny the fact that those piles of school books where my first lesson in literature with Munshi Premchand’s ‘Eidgah’ and Ruskin Bond’s ‘The Thief’. During my college I came across Anton Chekhov’s ‘ The Bet’. Slowly this amazing world of imagination started attracting me towards itself and I started reading more of them. But then I never thought that someday I will also publish a book.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
It varies from writer to writer. I mean it cannot be generalized. When I was writing Accident..a Love Story, the biggest challenge before me was time because I was working for a news paper at that time. I would like to mention that the life in media industry is full of stress and exhaustive. It is hard to live a personal life for a media person. In those very situations, managing time to write a book is like digging treasure out of Marina Trench. So time was the biggest issue for me. But if I talk of grass root level then the difficulties are worse. A full length Novel is basically a long story and it becomes very difficult to avoid it from taking an undesired direction. The second big challenge is to develop the characters of the Novel. Characters are the most important part of any story because they helps the readers to connect to the story.
How much research do you do before writing a book?
It depends on the subject matter of the book. If it is a Period Novel or realistic friction, the obviously it needs a lot of research. My book is a fiction so I didn’t had to do much of it. However as the story is set in Bhopal, so I needed to develop some understanding of culture, life style, foods and people of Bhopal.
What motivated you to write the book “Accident…a love story”?
Actually I wanted to write something directly related to Youth. That is the reason I selected it as my first story. The language, mood, incidents, everything in this story is related to youth. Moreover Accident…a love story is a serious love story, and then too it conveys small messages in its own romantic style. You already know that there are very few reader of the books written originally in Hindi. In fact the number of books published in Hindi is more than its readers. However the situation varies for the books translated into Hindi, they have millions of readers. I still wonder what the issue is with books originally written in Hindi. May be its about content. That is one reason why I chose to write Accident…a love story. Its content is very youthful.
Can you tell us more about your latest book?
Well, as the name says; it’s a love story. A love story of Armaan and Gitika. Gitika, daughter of a priest, religious, sweet, simple and a beautiful girl habituated to do funny mistakes, dancing at midnight on India’s ICC world cup 2011 victory. She is someone you would like to have in your real life. As it always happens, both fell in love. But it won’t be fair enough to call it just a love story. Along with love, I would like to call it a story of trust and hope. Far away from their home land during studies some relation are developed by the virtue fate. This is also a story of such relations which bounded Armaan and Gitika. There is a conflict in every story, so is this story with political, social as well as religious conflict. Well these conflicts were just external once; the major one was the conflict which arrived as undesired fate. A deadly accident takes place which changes the entire story as well as their lives. What happened after that will force you to think.
How did you come up with the idea of writing a romantic fiction genre?
As I said before my target was youth readers. So I found romance genre, the most appropriate one. Not just today but love has been a vital part of human life since the beginning of mankind. Keep aside the guys whose photos are displayed on Medical and IIT coaching institute posters, you will find boy loaded with girlfriend. Apart from this my personal interest is also a big reason why I chose to write romance.
Who are your favorite authors?
Premchand, Dharamveer Bharti, Manto amongst other.
How much time did you dedicate on writing on daily basis?
Well I don’t follow any fixed schedule. At times I don’t write for weeks and sometimes I keep holding the pen for continuously 8 to 10 hours a day. This is because there are two pre-requisite of writing; peace and patience. Whenever these two are fulfilled, I write. Some time what happens that after writing few pages, my mind keeps wondering that weather or not it is going in the right direction. It breaks the peace and I have to postpone my writing for few days. Sometimes months passes away without writing a single line. Patience is very necessary in that situation and I am a very impatient guy.
What are you writing next?
My next book is a triangular love story. Moreover the story is about the small town youth with big dreams in their eyes. The story rotates around Love, Money and Dreams, along with that it presents some bitter truth of our society. Hope the book will hit the stores by the end of this year.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Words of wisdom (smile)!!! To be honest, I am not the right guy to be asked this question. But I will answer considering it my moral responsibility. Never try to right, always try to show. Be honest with your story and follow you heart. Here I would like to quote a dialog from Accident a love story, when Dr. Shreya says to Arman, “Saansen to sirf insaan ko zindagi deti hai, lekin ummiden insaan ko zinda rakhti hain. (To live its necessary to breathe but what keeps you alive is hope.)” So start writing and never give up your hope of finishing your book.
You can buy his book now: