When you think of long-distance marriages, the first thought that comes to mind is probably one of apprehension. A number of difficult questions arise, to which the answers might seem quite easy but really aren’t. Siddhesh Inamdar tries to establish and answer these questions in his book, The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage.
Who is Siddhesh Inamdar?
Storyteller. That’s how Siddhesh Inamdar prefers to see himself. But for the inaner details, he says:
“I am Siddhesh Inamdar, 30-year-old Bombay person, and Delhi resident. And I’m the author of The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage, soon to be published by HarperCollins.”
Siddhesh and Storytelling – The Bond that Stayed:
Every storyteller has a tale to tell. It may be that of how they started telling stories, or their influences, or anecdotes that brought out the writer and storyteller in them. Siddhesh Inamdar is no different.
“The Story of in the title is not incidental but deliberate. I have been interested in storytelling from a young age – a believer of the power of a story well told to entertain, to engage, to help the reader escape to a space that is entirely her own, and to lead to epiphanies. I started by writing mystery stories for children. My first book was published just as I was passing out of school, at the age of 15. The sequel that followed, 12 years ago, continues to sell to date – more than 17,000 copies so far. (Incidentally, I received my royalty for 2,000-odd copies from the publisher only a couple of days ago.) A third book for children also happened almost a decade ago.
Somewhere along the way, I grew up, or at least grew older, and outgrew the child reader I was writing for. With that began the search for a new genre, a new voice. I studied English literature in college.”
The Book that Touched the Most:
For a reader, every book, every story that touches the soul is one that is closest to it. It is all the more impactful for a storyteller, because the impact that any book has on their soul, reflects in how they see the world and how they tell stories. And they carry the story and its lessons right till the very end.
“The book that had the deepest impact on me then was The Grapes of Wrath by American Depression-era novelist and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. It’s a sad but ultimately hopeful story that asserts the enduring nature of mankind in the face of great odds, and one that made me want to become a journalist. Like Steinbeck, I wanted to tell the stories of those around me, those much unlike me, and be a chronicler of the times. “
Journalism to Publishing:
While it takes some time for us to focus on where we want to see ourselves in life, Siddhesh was quick to note that journalism was not what he wanted to do.
“Journalism wasn’t a profession I was cut out for. I wanted to work amidst books and that brought me to publishing. Here, I have my day job as a non-fiction editor, a job I dearly love and one that has taught me a lot. Over the last 5 years, I edited some great journalistic works that were like the ones I wanted to write and thus gave me some satisfaction by association. I edited memoirs and biographies of politicians, people in government, business leaders, and books by people like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who had lived long, achieved much and contributed significantly to society. At some point, though, I wondered if only those who fall in these proud categories can rightfully write memoirs. I became interested in personal histories and narratives of everyday people. We all have unique life stories. What’s to stop us from using writing to take stock of the sum of our lived experiences, however meagre it may seem?”
About ‘The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage’:
Once an author finds their voice, there is almost nothing stopping them from penning down stories. Siddhesh Inamdar, too, arrived at The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage in this way.
“The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage is a story that takes off from a real event. It is organized around incidents and people drawn from my life, and is told in the manner of all those memoirs I edited over years. But it is ultimately a work of fiction. To those who know me and who read this book, the line between fact and fiction may often not be clear. Even the fiction, to them, may come across as fact. It is, though, a work of fiction.”
Why Fiction is Awesome:
We’ve all come across people who don’t like to read. And then there are people who love reading, but whom fiction doesn’t impress. Here is why we need to see fiction for what it really does for a person. And no one could have put it better than how Siddhesh Inamdar puts it.
“A memoir by itself can only chronicle. It has its limitations. Fiction alone can liberate. The way I see it, it is fiction alone that makes it possible to re-imagine, to think up alternative realities, to conjure up fears, to bring together life events, influences, emotions and experiences from different points of time to introspect about your failures, your vulnerabilities – all in an earnest attempt (if you are honest to yourself and the venture) to make sense of where you come from and what makes you the person you are. ”
The Stories Within and the Dreams:
“At some point when my journalistic dream was crumbling, someone dear to me told me that all the stories I want to tell are already within me; I need not chase the ones outside, forever out of reach. With The Story of a Long-Distance Marriage, I hope I have given voice and done justice to one such story that comes from a place deep within. And I’ll be forever happy and grateful if, by the end of it, all you say is: may there be more.”
Author(s): Siddhesh Inamdar
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Release: April 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction