Sujit Banerjee completed Masters in Psychology. Presently he is Director of a tourism based company Yatrik.com Tours. In 2010 he won the Best Operators award in Tourism. He won awards in dramatics and collage making. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Here is the catch; there is nothing really I can pin point as an inspiration as such unless I speak of Gulzar Saheb. His writing inspired me to the extent that I wished I could write like him but then what I eventually did write had no resemblance except for the lyrical quality. I simply wrote since I got the urge to write – or shall I say document certain events.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Oh – I read everything thanks to my father’s collection. I had finished most of his Harold Robbins by 14, had finished Ayn Rand by 16. I did not have any fixed genre and read everything that came my way except autobiographies. But yes – and don’t laugh – I loved reading Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton!!
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
There were two that really had me bothered; first was running out of my stories – after 22 I was left with four and my head was empty. Since almost all my stories had some amount of real life situation – I realised that for the balance four I would have to lean on imagination. That took time. The other was the writer’s block. I had always though it was an exaggerated term. I would have months when I just could not frame a sentence. At one point I had nearly given up on the book but few friends – chiefly Danielle and Francois from France who would not let me be and kept me egging on.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Remember most of the stories are nearly based on reality? So most of the stories were very clear in my head and had no need to research barring the ones where I had to lean on technical issues like IVF, symbolism of Indian Ragas, the actual interpretation of “talak” in Islam in Koran and Hadith.
What motivated you to write the book “Rukhsat The Departure”?
For a very long time – over thirty years – Had made noting of experiences of people as they narrated them to me, especially those ones that left a scar inside me. Being a psychologist, a healer and tarot card reader – I had quite a collection. Without any particular desire in mind I started to flesh each one out filling them up with backgrounds and finer details and suddenly I had a whole body of short stories. I guess that is when Rukhsat The Departure was born.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Rukhsat The Departure”?
Where a story stops, another one begins is what I have always believed. The thing with them is, they never walk alone. They always walk with a group of friends. Each reaches its own climax. Then with a final gasp of mortality and despair, fade away. No, they never die, they multiply. To the extent that the original gets lost and new ones are born. They live on, permanently etched in the book of time. And from there, we borrow them and bring them alive. Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist. Twenty-six such characters are arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of this book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.
Who are your favourite authors?
Ahhh – this one is asking what is your favourite song or food! Well, to name a few – Ohran Pamuk, the Bengali author Banaphool, Khaled Hosseini, Colleen McCullough, Paulo Coelho, Agatha Christie… I am actually insulting those that I have note named here.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
I write as and when I get the desire. There is no fixed dedicated time or place. Some of my stories were typed out at 3 in the morning on my mobile phone. And I don’t write daily for sure!
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Shed that belief that you will finish your script, it will be gratefully accepted by publishers with a royalty cheque and you are on your way to becoming the next John Grisham! Be honest with your own work, ask for critique and accept it to make your work better. Have patience while writing and take breaks away from it. Reread and question yourself if others would like to read it too. And don’t give up hone if you get rejection slips – just work harder and if your work is excellent – you will get a publisher! Remember – in this world being good id not good enough.
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