Hello, my dear readers. Today, I have a guest here. My guest author is Ratnadip Acharya. He is here to tell us about him, his writing and his books. He has authored a couple of books- Life is Always Aimless…Unless You Love It and Paradise Lost & Regained. Recently, I got a chance to read Paradise Lost & Regained, a beautiful story of a deer. The storyline of this book is not only original but also innovative, and appears to come directly from his heart. You can read my review of the same here. So, without any further delay, let’s bombard Ratnadip with some questions.
You can say that I am a blissfully introvert being who is deeply interested in life and its mysteries. What thrills me the most is mystical experiences, esoteric matters and world of magic. I have learnt street magic for many years and performed it at many places too.
So, you are a magician too. Wow! What was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
The real break came in 2012 when my first novel Life is Always Aimless got published by Sristhi Publication House. Before that, for no less than a decade, my manuscripts had swallowed a number of bitter rejections. The publication of this book bolstered my courage as I started getting mails from unknown people, praising my work. Then I decided on writing only those stories that touch my heart. And, the result is in front of you in the form of Paradise Lost & Regained.
Yes, Paradise Lost & Regained is certainly a beautifully woven tale and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Ok, let us move to the next question. Could you describe the mundane process of writing? Do you follow a regular routine?
Before I start working on a novel, I make a broad outline of it. I also work out the number of chapters the book will have, and how will I move the chain of events in the story. It definitely helps as a guide when you start writing the novel in actual. And, yes, I try to follow a regular routine while writing a novel. However, a strange event took place during the course of writing Paradise Lost & Regained. I always had an uncanny feeling that someone was guiding me whenever I sat to write this book. In the beginning, I had thought that the story had material to write a novella of barely 25 thousand words. But, in the end, it ended as an 85 thousand words novel.
What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
A strange thing occurs when you write what your being feels like telling without paying attention to the market trends or demands. The same thing occurs when you write to express yourself and your love without keeping any reader, in particular, in mind. You start evolving, reinventing yourself, and start communicating with yourself in a very intimate way. But remember, it happens only when you write with the fullest sincerity and utmost love.
Is there anything which has influenced your life and writing?
It is life itself and its countless mysteries. It is life and its beauties. And, above all, it is the courage to embrace life as it is. That’s why my novels are a song of life, its joy, sorrow, pain and celebration.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
In a few words, writing is a process of knowing yourself better. But, do remember, it is true only when you decide to pour out your sincere understanding on the pages. No hypocrisy will help you to know yourself better.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story, for me, directly comes from the heart. The story itself has a soul if it is coming from your heart. You do not need to manipulate anything in your writing in view of different readers in mind. However, it does not mean that a good book will always sell well. No one can give you that guarantee, even the bestselling authors.
Are there any occupational hazards of being a writer?
Solitariness! However, I will not take it as an occupational hazard of being a writer. On the other hand, it is blissful but at times it may delude you. You will not experience it if you are interested in writing only shallow stuff as solitariness accompanies you only when you go deep within yourself.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read (mostly non-fiction). I deeply admire works by OSHO, J. Krishnamurthy, Khalil Gibran and the likes. Earlier I used to read a lot of fiction but now it does not catch my attention any more. Besides, I am deeply interested in many more things like learning new magic tricks, watching nature for long hours, and sometimes trying to be aware of different messages nature has in store for me. I believe, my lifestyle reflects in my work.
Tell us some “Good-to-know” fun-facts about you. What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you?
I shave my head every 3rd or 4th day, all by myself. Isn’t it a ‘Good-to-know’ fun fact about me? In an airport, while I was performing street magic, an air-hostess had thought that I possessed some supernatural power and insisted that I predict her future love-life.
That’s interesting. Let us turn our focus to your books. You have written a couple of books. Which one of these is close to your heart?
You already know the answer, I believe. Without a shadow of doubt it is my second novel- Paradise Lost & Regained. Life is unpredictable and uncertain, which, in a way, adds beauty to life. In Paradise Lost & Regained, I have sincerely tried to go deep into this fathomless uncertainty of our life and have tried to extract beauty and bliss out of it. Only readers can tell me how successful I am to do that.
For me, you have been fully successful in achieving that. What would you like your readers to know about your books in general?
They are written with utmost sincerity. I have written each word that I stand by. They are not for shallow entertainment but for touching your being. They are not for making your mind more clamorous but to bring a sense of calmness to you.
You have created so many characters. Is there one particular character who speaks the loudest to you? Does any of these clamour to be heard over others?
Very obviously, it is the little deer, the protagonist of my last novel – Paradise Lost & Regained. In fact, that little deer is my self-projection. I would even say that it is the self projection of all of us, who listen to their heart and feel like treading the path that their hearts want them to follow. On many occasions, I feel that the deer is standing close to me, watching me intently, telling me to hold its hand and get lost in its magical world.
I did not do any research apart from reading a bit about deer to bring authenticity to my work. To be frank, the novel which are based on research work (I do not wish to name any author here) though appear well-informative, reads empty and hollow when it comes to love and passion for life. I read a good deal of novels based on research. I find them shallow. They are good for learning English language but stories in them are mundane and definitely lack spark. To my understanding, greatest novel ever written in any language is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. He did not do any research to write that masterpiece, nor did he do any research work to write War & Peace. Read these works and you will find that these books have voluminous information, intertwined with complex characters. Did Tolstoy do any research for these books? No, he didn’t. Tolstoy rightly said, ‘What we really need to accomplish anything successfully is deep love.’
What, according to you, is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part is keeping your eyes shut and ears closed to the success of recent modern Indian writings and listening to your own being to know what story you exactly want to tell. And, another hard part is to remain calm and collected and also composed without being vacillated by the contemporary trend of works in the market.
Which part of writing do you enjoy most?
It is the part of the writing where I have to describe some mystical event. Actually all my stories have its share of mystical portion and depicting those surreal events is very heartening.
What kind of messages do you want to give through your works?
The more sensible and silent you will be, the less you will need material things and the more you will experience bliss and benediction in life.
What question do you wish that someone would ask you about your works, but nobody has so far?
‘From where do you get so original and unusual idea?’
What are your future plans?
I am planning another unusual novel revolving around life, its mysteries and its celebration. Remember, no chick-lit, no retelling mythology, no mundane romance or suspense. It will be another absolutely original piece of work.
Do you have any suggestion to help others become better writers?
Please read a good deal (not contemporary shallow Indian fiction) to know the heights authors have already reached. Read Leo Tolstoy, Tagore, Guy De Maupassant, Somerset Maugham, Dickens or at least R. K. Narayan. And, after reading these masters, if you feel that you have an original work to write please take your pen and start writing.
What do you think is the future of writing?
I think, the world of readers is slowly narrowing down as many more sources of instant pleasures are taking over. All the same, there will always be a handful of people who would love reading good books.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favourite Colour: Deep blue
Favourite Cuisine: Bengali Cuisine
Favourite Book: There are too many. Among novels, it is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and I also love short stories by Guy De Maupassant
Favourite Author: Rabindranath Tagore & Khalil Gibran. Anyway, I am not sure if they are authors or mystic.
Favourite Quote: It has to be a quote by Somerset Maugham… ‘It is one of the funniest things in life that a man who rejects everything other than the best often gets it.’ I find this quote every inspiring.
Favourite Movie: It has to be Pather Panchali by Satyajit Ray. However, I usually don’t watch films.
Favourite Actor: No, I haven’t watched any film for last at least one decade.
Favourite Actress: No, I haven’t watched any film for last at least one decade.
Dog or Cats: Cats
Light or Dark: When alone and in a contemplative mood it is Dark, otherwise Light.
Tea or Coffee: Anytime coffee
E-reader or Print book: Anytime print book
Ball point or Fountain pen: Excellent question. It is fountain pen, it adds beauty to your writing as helps your writing become more cursive.