Cover Story - Tuhin Sinha

In­dia's Mav­er­ick Au­thor - Politi­cian who jug­gles both ca­reers with elan

Storizen Magazine - - Contents -

In­dia's Mav­er­ick Au­thor - Politi­cian who jug­gles both ca­reers with elan

One of In­dia’s most charm­ing politi­cian, gifted or­a­tor, and pro­lific au­thor shares the magic for writ­ing through his mind and man­ner. Tuhin Sinha comes across as pie in the sky. Tuhin A. Sinha is a best-sell­ing au­thor, colum­nist and a scriptwriter. His books, That Thing Called Love, The Cap­tain (for­merly 22 Yards), Of Love and Pol­i­tics and The Edge of De­sire break­ing new ground is widely ac­claimed and read among his 10 re­leased ti­tles. Tuhin is also a scriptwriter of sev­eral pop­u­lar TV shows. Apart from his fic­tion nov­els and scripts, Tuhin is a keen po­lit­i­cal ob­server. His col­umns on In­dian pol­i­tics ap­pear reg­u­larly In In­dia’s lead­ing dailies. Tuhin also has a reg­u­lar blog on ibn­live.com. When he finds time from all of th­ese, you might catch him on a news chan­nel rep­re­sent­ing BJP on most na­tional is­sues.

Tell us about the lat­est book you’ve pub­lished?

The book, “When the Chief Fell in Love: Kash­miriyat, Jamhooryiat, In­saniyat, Hin­dus­taniyat” is my lat­est novel. The po­lit­i­cal thriller dis­cusses im­por­tant emo­tions of the peo­ple from a par­tic­u­lar arena em­bed­ded in­ter­est­ingly in a fic­tion story that in­volves high-level politi­cians and army of­fi­cers. The book fol­lows the story of Vi­haan and Zaira,

who fall in love with each other, which is a prob­lem be­cause Vi­haan is the de­fense min­is­ter of the coun­try while Zaira is the daugh­ter of a pro-Pak­istan Sep­a­ratist leader. The nar­ra­tive be­gins in the year 1991, with one fu­tur­is­tic chap­ter set in 2030. “The way lovers in­ter­act when they are 20 years old when they are 32, and then 45-46, vary. The emo­tions are so dif­fer­ent, as they are at dif­fer­ent stages of life.

Writ­ing that bit was chal­leng­ing. In terms of the sheer tra­jec­tory in­volv­ing emo­tions, ge­og­ra­phy, and the num­ber of years cov­ered, it was one hell of a task, and as usual, the me­dia makes a sen­sa­tional story “What’s cook­ing with the De­fence Min­is­ter and the sep­a­ratist’s Leader’s daugh­ter?” This is where, there’s a twist and a turn, thump­ing our hearts as Vi­haan, the De­fence Min­is­ter faces the irony and the news­pa­pers hunted with an ea­gle eye for a prey. In­ter­est­ing! And, the sto­ry­line moves on with a page turner for which, you got to read the book.”

What was the idea be­hind adding “Hin­dus­taniyat” to the slo­gan of ex-PM Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee - Kash­miriyat, Jamhooryiat, In­saniyat?

Each of those words –Kash­miriyat (a dis­tinc­tive cul­tural iden­tity), Jamhooriyat( democ­racy) and In­saniyat (hu­mane­ness) is cru­cial in find­ing a so­lu­tion to the Kash­mir is­sue rep­re­sents the so­lu­tion. But the most crit­i­cal com­po­nent is Hin­dus­taniyat. The first three words can only ex­ist with the tenets of In­dian na­tion­hood and cul­ture.

“What’s cook­ing with the De­fence Min­is­ter and the sep­a­ratist’s Leader’s daugh­ter?”

It may sound up­hill and even some­what im­prac­ti­cal, but that is the only fool­proof so­lu­tion. I don’t want to spell it out here. Read the book for a bet­ter idea.

What in­spired you to write on such a sen­si­tive is­sue and that too a love story?

Well, as a writer and now a politi­cian too, I can’t shy away from my so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties how­ever ar­tis­ti­cally I por­tray the new per­spec­tive. I can’t shirk se­ri­ous is­sues. Even my past books dwelt upon sen­si­tive is­sues. The Edge of De­sire was cre­ated around the is­sue of women’s safety and

The point is, as a so­ci­ety we tend to be re­stric­tive. I say,” One should be­lieve in what one says and don’t think about con­tro­ver­sies.”

eman­ci­pa­tion in In­dia. 22 Yards ex­posed the un­der­belly of con­tem­po­rary in­ter­na­tional cricket. For re­search, I spoke to a lot of peo­ple ei­ther in Kash­mir or those who have fol­lowed the de­vel­op­ments in Kash­mir closely over the past three decades. Be­sides, I must have scanned at least 100 ar­ti­cles on the his­tory of Kash­mir, es­pe­cially of the last 300-400 years. I de­rive my in­spi­ra­tion from un­sus­pect­ing in­ci­dents. Some which I read in pa­pers and oth­ers which I see hap­pen­ing around me.

Pria adds a line from

his novel – “No amount of re­search or of­fi­cial meet­ings could give one a glimpse of the truth on the ground”. While read­ing the book, you come across var­i­ous in­ter­est­ing lines. Only a per­son who did his re­search well can come up with such pro­fes­sional line.

Bring­ing in light the “new per­spec­tives” has been your choice. Don’t you fear con­tro­ver­sies?

A writer’s job is to “throw up new per­spec­tives”. Ideas need to be seen, even if you don’t agree with them. Why do we shy away from con­tro­ver­sies? The point is, as a so­ci­ety we tend to be re­stric­tive. I say,” One should be­lieve in what one says and don’t think about con­tro­ver­sies.”

Do you al­ways wish to be­come a writer?

Writ­ing for me hap­pened serendip­i­tously. It wasn’t some­thing I had planned. But af­ter my first book “That Thing Called Love” which is against the back­drop of Mum­bai mon­soons and

ex­plores re­la­tion­ships in the con­tem­po­rary ur­ban set up of the city, in the phase of chang­ing moral­i­ties. The book went on to be­come a run­away suc­cess. Every writer has to fig­ure out what works best -- and of­ten has to se­lect and dis­card dif­fer­ent tools be­fore they find the one that fits. I made a con­scious ef­fort to raise the bar with every con­sec­u­tive book, ex­plor­ing newer themes and gen­res.

"I be­lieve un­pre­dictable writ­ings makes ones work more breath­tak­ing."

Did you ever wish to change a sit­u­a­tion or a char­ac­ter, once the book was pub­lished?

I have grown with every book of mine. And this growth or im­prove­ment would be vis­i­ble to any­body who has read all my books. So while I would want to re-visit cer­tain char­ac­ters or sit­u­a­tions I have cre­ated in the past, on sec­ond thoughts I am also very pos­ses­sive of them and would much rather let them be the way they are.

With so many books to your credit which one is closer to your heart?

My lat­est one, “When the Chief

Fell in Love” is my fa­vorite, though “The Edge of De­sire” (fol­lowed the story of a rape sur­vivor, who goes on to be­come the top leader in the coun­try.) is also very close to my heart. But what makes

“When the Chief

Fell in Love” very spe­cial is the sheer tra­jec­tory in terms of years that the story cov­ers -- ge­og­ra­phy, po­lit­i­cal land­scape, and emo­tions. The story starts in 1990 in Delhi, trav­els to Mex­ico, Mum­bai, Kash­mir, Delhi again and then fi­nally to Kash­mir. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the pro­tag­o­nists goes through its twists and turns and the po­lit­i­cal land­scape at its own va­garies. The blend of ro­mance and pol­i­tics has been most seam­less in this book, com­pared to my other po­lit­i­cal thrillers and the book hints to­wards a fresh so­lu­tion to the Kash­mir is­sue, even if it’s un­con­ven­tional and con­tro­ver­sial.

Some writ­ers de­scribe them­selves as plan­ners, while oth­ers plunge right into the writ­ing. Would you con­sider your­self a plan­ner or a plunger?

I am a bit of both. Just that most of my plan­ning hap­pens in my brain. But it’s so clear that once I start writ­ing, more of­ten than not, I am stuck to that plan­ning and have suc­cess­fully pulled off the book with­out sig­nif­i­cant changes.

Would you like to give any mes­sage for the read­ers of Stor­izen Mag­a­zine?

I like to use the word ‘well-wish­ers’. Just want to thank them whole­heart­edly. With­out their sup­port, this jour­ney would not have been pos­si­ble. I de­rive my strength from them. Stor­izen wishes Tuhin a great suc­cess and would like to add that amidst the po­lit­i­cal sce­nar­iosthat are frus­trat­ing and fights be­tween those with

op­pos­ing views are off-the-wall (at times). But some­times — as shown in nov­els — spar­ring sides can de­velop into an op­po­site-at­tract sce­nario. Fea­tur­ing ro­mances can de­velop across po­lit­i­cal aisles a per­fect read when one re­minds self that the world of pol­i­tics doesn’t al­ways cre­ate di­vi­sions!

Love con­quers all. We leave you with the orig­i­nal poem used in the book which makes the fe­male pro­tag­o­nist, Zaira Bhat's char­ac­ter more al­lur­ing and gives a po­etic feel to the whole nar­ra­tive. I look into the mir­ror

And I see a face which looks so dear

Eyes which are moist,

Yet so clear

Lips though they wear a smile

Yet not real

A voice from within

Which I al­ways hear

It gives me a pain which is sweet

Yet I fear

A void which is al­ways there

Hope some­day it is filled with love and care. (Penned by :Bhavna Berry)

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