The most difficult job for me is saying something about myself! I still do not know what to say! So, the best I can think of is the oft repeated phrase, ‘Jack of all trades and master of none!’ I do a bit of multitasking with varying degrees of success at different points in time. First and foremost, I am a full time mother trying to keep two hyper energetic kids under control! When the kids are off to school, I am a government officer, burying my head in files old and new! On weekends and other holidays, time permitting, I am a bird watcher and nature enthusiast who loves to walk literally in the woods following a bird call! And last but not the least, I dream to be a big time writer too! The Driftwood is my second book and has been published by Niyogi Books, the first being a collection of stories titled ‘The Unfortunate Kidnapping-tales of destiny’ published in 2015.
About ‘The Driftwood’
Udit the young protagonist of the story would have preferred a better childhood for himself. But does he know what he is unhappy about? Perhaps not! And then that unfortunate incident happens. His little lie to his father, aided by a concocted story his friends were sure would save the day for him, fails him. What follows is prolonged phase of anger followed by a guilt and a feeling of being defeated yet again by a man he had begun to dislike. The result? He walks out of the door one evening with a bag slung across his shoulders, breaking free from the chains of love from a doting family. That guilt, that shame over that incident had triggered a response where he could see no reason, could hear no advise and feel nothing to stay on. The escape route he chooses sadly tosses his wheel of life into an uncontrolled spin. And while he tries hard to arrest the spin far away in a hill station, few others back home fight the demons within their ownselves to give some momentum to their journey of lives. His sister Shweta remains confined to a wheelchair due to an accident but that does not stop her from finding a group of polar bears prancing around in the snow, in the blue sky filled with white clouds, courtesy her own power of imagination. However she realises that she needed to break open her shell of secluded existence and do something that would ensure that her parents had some joy in their lives. What is her mission? Will she succeed? Is Udit happy with the life he has chosen for himself? Will he have a change of heart? Sometimes a person can get entangled in his own web of assumptions and inferences and take irrational decisions.
What do you think the readers will love about the book?
The novel explores these human emotions in a subtle way. Readers will love the book for as much for its simplicity and portrayal of human emotions, as for the beautiful depiction of natural beauty throughout the story. They will not only shed a tear along with Udit’s father when he dearly misses his son, they will also laugh at the wonderful sense of humour of Dr Johri which diffuses his wife’s anger many a times.
Your inspiration for writing
Reading and writing gives me a lot of joy. I have grown up reading Ruskin Bond, the master storyteller. He is an amazing writer whose books are deceptively simple but are such a delight to read. When I start writing, I begin to live with my characters. I literally laugh with them and cry with them while writing.
Your advice for aspiring authors
My advice for aspiring writers is very simple, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Your labour of love might be the best among all the manuscripts but might just not catch the best evaluator immediately. So be very patient!
About the author:
I am a post graduate in Chemistry from Allahabad University and also PG diploma holder in Forestry. As an Indian Forest Service Officer of Punjab cadre I have worked in different capacities in different parts of the state. Currently I am working as Ad Director in Dept of Tourism and Cultural affairs, Govt of Punjab. I live in the city beautiful, Chandigarh with my family. My mail id is [email protected].
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Author(s): Pratima Srivastava
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Release: May 2017
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