In the last post, he said there isn’t a term “First time author” and I am sure like writing, he thrives in cooking too.
For Saikat Baksi ,writing seems to be a cake walk for since he has been doing it for long now. While the author continues to draw inspiration from his favorite authors, readers seem to love his Fourth book- Far Beyond The Dead End.
Let’s be a part of his exciting journey with our in house bibilophile… ‘M’.
M: Tell us your about yourself before being an Author ?
Good question! I don’t really remember; but my parents tell me that I wrote my first poem that consisted of two lines, when I was four. So the words poured like an unbidden stream right from the day I remember myself. Well, till the age of fifteen, I wrote in Bengali and plenty of my poems appeared in the Sunday supplement of Ananda Bazar Patrika. My parents used to take me to the office of Ananda Bazar so that I could personally meet the editors and authors while submitting my poems. During one such meeting, the Legendary Bengali Author, Sanjib Chattopadhyay scribbled a little sketch of mine and wrote a few lines for me. He told me, “Start writing stories and then novels. That will earn your bread in future. Poems may not.” It took more than a decade for me to appreciate that. But in the process, I had shifted to English as my medium of expression. My writings kept on appearing in the newspapers and magazines like The Statesman, Woman’s Era, Speaking tree, Times life and so on. Hence, I don’t really remember a conscious phase when I was not an author.
M: When did you realize you wanted to be an Author?
I just wrote. During my journey of more than three decades on earth, one fine day, someone called me ‘author’. It sounded good. That’s all. There was no special turn of event that flashed such realization in me.
M : How difficult was it to return to the writing desk every day?
Creation brings up something that did not exist before. Hence, a creative person is essentially a bender of rule and routine because the unknown lives in the uncharted territory for which rules are not yet made. Wondrous creation and routine don’t go hand in hand.
For me, writing is spontaneous. My books write themselves. I don’t write them. How can I assign specific hours of the day for writing? I write when I can’t help it.
M: The story, the characters and then putting the manuscript to fit, what has been the most difficult phase?
The only challenge is the story. Rest of the part consists of flesh and bone that emerge from nothingness by and by. It is like driving through a winding road during a foggy morning. As you keep driving, the images appear without warning from the womb of haze.
But yes, the story is a wandering bird. I keep waiting in empty mind with all the doors and windows wide open. I never know when the bird will enter my home and its chirping will fill my empty mind with spark of life.
M: What do you think publishing does to you?
Publishing is like a stamp of approval on the process of writing. Of course, it’s a grand thrill to see my books displayed next to the ones written by legends like V S Naipaul or Hemingway. A sense of achievement fills my soul when someone says that he or she had been benefitted from my book. And of course, the royalty is a materialistic justification of this lifelong venture.
M: How do you want the readers to feel while reading your book?
I want my readers to know something new while reading my book. I am glad if my books can touch the lives of my readers in some way. Once it happened so, that one young lady wrote to me thanking profusely that my debut novel, Something in your eyes, had brought unbound happiness in her life. The man she loved had professed his feeling towards her by gifting my book to her. And her eyes were very beautiful!
Well…it was not an out and out romantic novel but the romantic part probably appealed them the most. On another occasion, some reader commented after reading my second book, Fallen leaf, withered wind, “I have never seen myself more clearly; not even in the mirror!”
M : What books have you
Well…I am a vociferous reader. But there is some deep-rooted influence in my literary bend that came from my early reading of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya. I started digging into English literature when I was grown up. D H Lawrence, Hemingway, Umberto Eco, Murakami, Orhan Pamuk, V S Naipaul, Salomon Rushdie and so many others have made me what I am as a writer. Of course, I have strong influence of a few thinkers like, Fritzof Capra, Naseem Taleb, Osho, Lao Tzu, Malcom Gladwell and so on.
M: How is Shristi Publications?
Just great! I am extremely lucky to be associated with them for many years. I feel as if the entire team of Srishti is my extended family. Such concern and attention are priceless. During the making of Far beyond the dead end, Ms Stuti Sharma –editor in Srishti, who edited my book, was so deeply involved in the process that sometimes I feel as if we have written the book together!
Also blogs actively at Pendown: Her breathing space for creative expression, and a wonderful collection of book reviews, product reviews and travelogues. A full time author in the making and a proud iMelonite !
– An initiative to feature notable authors.
Far Beyond The Dead End — By Saikat Baksi is the book “In Focus”.
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