When the mind becomes tired and fatigue comes in, we can be found witnessing ourselves dwelling into the memories of bygone days, unresolved mysteries and our nostalgic homes. These stories are the celebration and remembrance of those days. It innocently reiterates those mischiefs and gullible excuses. It's an utterance and experience of “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" With prose as swift as wind and articulation as fingers moving on the harp; these will keep you engrossed till the last page.
A CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHOR, ISHIKA SARKAR
1. Children have played a very unique role in your stories - sometimes reminding us to relive our childhood and other times to awaken us. How do you relate to them?
Most of the stories that have the children in them as the protagonist are the stories of my aunts and grandparents, which I had no intention to change. Besides that, I would still have chosen children because it is a lot easier to understand a kid, if somebody wants to understand human beings at all. Also, it is easier to forgive children than the elders. For example, Suku told a story to his teacher for no apparent reason other than just mischief. His parents are going to punish him and that he knows, but the readers, I think and wish, would forgive him. As grown ups we all lie at times because we are angry or jealous or feel defeated but are never forgiven. If a man in his forties does what Suku did, would the readers still perceive it the same way? Or you can take Chaadu for another example, he told a made up story; something that we all do when things don't work in our offices but we want to look like a hero to our family. Anybody reading this might have faced it, we are defeated at work, might have got a good scolding from our boss but on reaching home we either hide it or tell a better version of the actual incident. That's how I relate to it. My point is, we are all humans, we make mistakes, we are defeated, we are scolded, we lie, we hide things. As children, we are forgiven but as grown ups we are tagged as a 'foolish person'. And I am not saying it is right or it is wrong; I'm just trying to objectify it.
2. How does a story unfold to you, what is the journey like from first letter to last sentence?
It is the most peaceful thing that I have experienced till now. Every story that I have written, I have written it a multiple times. First in my thoughts. Then scribbled it in my notebook. Then on the word doc. And still, while typing the beginning of the story I have no idea how is it going to end. Sometimes when I read what I have written, it surprises me because that is completely different from what I had planned earlier. But then, I never change it because these stories are part of life of the characters and perhaps, if it had happened it would have ended the same unplanned way. So, answering the first part, this is how the stories have unfolded to me and, answering the second part, the journey was what a journey is suppose to be - you plan the major things but then things don't turn out as you thought they would.
3. What difficulties have come across while writing this book?
The major difficulty was to edit them. I don't know what I sound like when I say this but once I have done something it becomes very difficult to reread it and judge and make corrections and all those things. Taking a help from a friend or my sibling was not an option because this was a surprise gift for them; I didn't even get a second opinion. The other difficulty was that I have been writing since I was eight but I never made anybody read any of my stories. As a kid, I did make few people read my stories once in a while and they all appreciated but after a point of time I felt they were appreciating me because I was the youngest kid, a tiny, skinny creature trying to give meaning to my existence. And so that was the last time. Now I was going to put it out for just anybody to go through it. It might not sound so but it was a huge thing for me. I had no problem in getting ideas or words, or any such thing. But then it was like I broke my cocoon myself, and I don't know if I have bloomed or not.
4. What and who are your inspirations as a writer?
Though I have always viewed myself as a writer, my inspiration was my maternal grandfather. As I said, I had started writing when I was eight and it was because of him that I realized writing is not an impossible task. Now what exactly happened is a long story, but the crux is, he wrote something, I re-wrote it and that's how it began. He is no more, but he has given me something that's going to stay with me forever. That was how I was inspired to become a writer. Inspiration for my stories come from just nowhere; sometimes while reading something, sometimes while looking out from my balcony (I stay in a market place), or even while talking to a friend on call. Stories are everywhere, one just needs to look.