‘It is im­pos­si­ble to make a liv­ing in In­dia just by writ­ing’

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - MY CITY - Juhi Chakraborty juhi.chakraborty@htlive.com

Be­ing in the pro­fes­sion of writ­ing in our coun­try is not an easy job, ac­cord­ing to au­thor Bhaskar Chat­topad­hyay. He says that al­most ev­ery au­thor has to take up some other work be­sides writ­ing books to sus­tain a liv­ing. The au­thor, who has writ­ten books such as Here Falls the Shadow, Penum­bra, and Patang, says that this ap­plies to him as well — be­sides pen­ning books, he writes film re­views and col­umns.

“It is im­pos­si­ble,” Bhaskar says. “If you talk to au­thors, nine out of ten will tell you the same thing. It is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble for some­one to make a liv­ing by writ­ing books alone. It is so dif­fi­cult. I re­alised this very quickly”.

So, how do au­thors man­age? “Well, some have day jobs and are writ­ers by night. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to wear two hats. I wanted to make money out of writ­ing. I love movies and started writ­ing about them, in­clud­ing film re­views, es­says on films, and col­umns. I was very sur­prised to find that they pay very well,” shares Bhaskar.

How­ever, writ­ing wasn’t what Bhaskar started his pro­fes­sional life with. Part of the high-pay­ing cor­po­rate world, he could never re­ally con­nect to that life. He found it sti­fling and re­alised that he was not cut out for such a job. Af­ter a decade, he fi­nally de­cided to bid adieu to that life in pur­suit of his life-long dream of be­ing a writer.

Since then, Bhaskar has penned nov­els, short sto­ries, trans­lated the works of sev­eral Ben­gali writ­ers such as Rabindranath Tagore, Hasan Az­izul Haque, Ra­jshekhar Basu, Pre­men­dra Mi­tra, Tarashankar Bandy­opad­hyay, Upen­drak­ishore Ray Chowd­hury, Prab­hat Ku­mar Mukhopad­hyay, Naren­dra Nath Mi­tra, among oth­ers. He has also nov­elised Satya­jit Ray’s leg­endary 1966 film, Nayak.

When you read Bhaskar’s works, there is one un­miss­able as­pect — his writ­ing style is smooth and he does not bom­bard read­ers with com­plex words. “I’ve grown up on a sta­ple diet of Satya­jit Ray, Agatha Christie, O Henry, and Jim Cor­bett. All these au­thors are easy to read. My writ­ing is a de­riv­a­tive of that. The other rea­son is that I don’t know com­plex words and can’t use them even if I wanted to. More­over I want ev­ery­one to en­joy my books,” he ex­plains.

His lat­est book, The Dis­ap­pear­ance of Sally Se­queira, is the third part of the de­tec­tive Ja­nar­dan Maity series, set in a fic­ti­tious fish­ing vil­lage in Goa. “I wanted to have a series but I was afraid about the re­sponse from the read­ers. But I’m glad that peo­ple have re­sponded well I have al­ready started the fourth and have an idea for the fifth,” he says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.