PRASUPTA ROY has done her Masters in English and has taught as an English teacher in schools for many years. Many of her short stories, articles and poems have been published in magazines, newspapers and the online literary space. “Lovestruck”, her debut novel got a good response from the readers. “Loveswept” is her second novel. Her books are character driven, with refreshing and wonderful narratives. In a candid chat with CHIRDEEP MALHOTRA, she talks about her latest book, her writing journey, and the literary scenario in contemporary Indian English fiction. Read on!
Please tell us more about Prasupta Roy as a person.
Well, I am a simple person who values moral ethos and personal
integrity the most. Truthfulness is my greatest trait, I believe, and I
look forward to this trait in people I get acquainted with. I am a very
down to earth person and a good listener. I love to listen to the
stories that people hold in themselves and want to write about
them. I am blessed with a pretty daughter whose smile is the most
rewarding gift for me.
Has writing always been a part of your life? Or did you chance upon
it later on and then instantly fell in love with it?
Since I started studying literature, I have been always inspired by
writers and their work. Their literary pages and the author’s interviews that appeared in the newspapers had always urged and inspired me a lot to write. So after my graduation, I started contributing articles, short stories and poems to different newspapers and magazines. And then there was no looking back.
Reading rejuvenates me whereas penning down my thoughts and imaginations helps me to breathe and carry forward my sane existence.
Can you tell us more about your book “Loveswept”?
“Loveswept” is a story of love- love that is truly complex. Love that
kindles the two hearts, binds them together and enables them to
grow. In present day’s world, it is hard to come by values such as
sacrifice, selflessness and true love. Loveswept encompasses all with
a lesson that separation or heart break shouldn’t be the end to one’s
life. That there is more to it. One should live life to the fullest and
work hard to realise the larger dream once cherished upon.
How has the response of readers been to your book?
The response to the book has been great. Readers have nothing but
praise for it and I am glad and grateful for that.
What type of research went into writing this book?
Well, Anushka, the lead protagonist has been shown as a cancer
patient. Describing the trauma and sufferings here was a bit difficult
until I could see through the reality myself. So I went to an orphanage for cancer patients, for about a week and talked to the doctors and the patients there to study their day to day life, their trauma and ways of coping with the disease. It was really difficult for me to hold back my emotions when I saw and spoke to them.
In terms of the complexity of the character and the nuances of the
dialogues, the character development of whom was the most
difficult in this book?
The character development of Anushka has been the most
challenging in the book. As she is the lead protagonist of the novel, I
wanted to evoke in the readers the similar feelings that Anushka
undergoes in the story, be it love, pain or anxiety. So her portrayal
was a bit tricky and difficult. This is a work that tried to portray the
human emotions in all its possible shades of life.
What do you think is the literary scenario in contemporary Indian
Well, Indian English fiction has always been responsive to the
changes in material reality and theoretical perspectives that have
impacted and governed its study since the time of its inception. At
the earlier stage, the fictional works of the writers like R.K. Narayan
and Mulk Raj Anand were mainly concerned with the down trodden
of the society, the Indian middle class life and the expression of the
traditional cultural ethos of India.
The interplay of a variety of material and philosophical developments marks a discernible shift in the nature and study of Indian English fiction. Consequently, Indian English fictional scene has become a variegated, complex and thematically richer. The writers settled abroad like Jhumpa Lahiri and the ones who divide their time between India and abroad have contributed much to this rapidly developing sub-genre of English literature. Now Indian English literature no longer remains limited to the writings necessarily of the sons of the soil. It has broadened the scope of fictional concerns of these writers from purely Indian to the global and transnational.
What are your favourite books? Can you share with our esteemed
readers about the genres that you like and your favourite authors?
Well, I love reading all kinds of books as that enables me to explore
more. Reading just one genre limits one’s purview, I believe. And
then there is so much to know and learn which is possible only when
one reads different authors. That widens your horizon and enables
you to create effectively.
Love is the most powerful and beautiful feelings of all. And the entire
process of creation is fructified by love. It is the subtlest of feelings
and I enjoy reading and writing about it the most. “Love in the time
of cholera”, “Lolita”, “The Guide”, “The Handmaids Tale” and “Nine
Lives” are some of my favourite books. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, R.K.
Narayan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Margaret Atwood, John Keats, William
Wordsworth and Pablo Neruda are some of my favourite authors.
What are your other interests apart from writing?
Apart from writing, I love reading and listening to music. Nature has
always appealed to me and it has always like a true friend, uplifted
my pensive mood. It fills my heart with joy to see the dew drops
shimmering on the leaves, the twitter of the birds and the dancing of
the paddy stalks as the breeze kisses them.
I would like to quote here Wordsworth,
“For oft, when on my couch I lie/
In vacant or in pensive mood/
They flash upon that inward eye/
Which is the bliss of solitude”.
There are many new writers and poets who are aspiring to get their
work published. What would you say to them?
Read good literature. And write from your heart. One should never
write thinking to please others. If it’s straight from the heart then
that is going to appeal to the readers for sure. We learn everyday
and this enables us to enhance our skills. So reading and writing
should go hand in hand.
A good writer should also be a good listener and observer. So try to
soak in everything that appeals to you. Read as much as you can. For,
it is said, “If you want to be a great writer, you need to have an
insatiable appetite for reading”. And yes, rejection is a part of life. So
never get disappointed or frustrated. Rather accept failure as a
challenge and work with greater tenacity and determination. Success
is sure to come.
Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps
I would like to quote Tennyson here- “To strive, to seek, to find and
not to yield”- Ulysses.