The Day Gautam was born…
That was many moons ago but only a few weeks back as an author! The journey had been incredibly long though. Growing up in a city (Guwahati) so scenic, I assumed, as a child, that I will get to see a river, mountains and valleys whichever part of the world I choose to stay in. I was not entirely correct.
Early childhood was all about playing with friends and getting dirty, much to the annoyance of my mother. Both my parents were avid readers and that’s how I developed the habit of reading. I was all Phantom and Mandrake and my father was all Dickens (and his likes). He kind of forced me into reading his favorites. Looking back today, I am glad he did. My father was also deeply into music – he played the Sitar. I picked that up as well but don’t play any longer. Writing never crossed my mind until much later. Fast forward by 20 years and I was done with my studies, had a plum job and pretty much everything I wanted to have but somewhere there was an emptiness that haunted me. I cannot describe the feeling in words. So, I started writing just for the sake of it, without any intention of getting published. That was in 2004. My father was very happy. Unfortunately, he did not live to see when Rafflesia finally happened, almost a decade later. Writing the book was very difficult, often painful, with the changes in jobs, places and a lot of travel. I had given it up many times only to restart again – could not resist the pull.
As an author, you either write something you think people would love reading or you write something you will enjoy reading. I chose the latter. And it is the best thing that happened to me. Just like the characters in the book, for me personally, it was a journey of discovering myself again. That being said, I hope to write more – the stories keep volleying my mind every now and then. But until Rafflesia finds a foothold, I’ll have to wait. I think authors don’t choose stories, the stories choose their authors.
About Rafflesia – The Banished Princess
We live in times where everything changes every day, leaving very little time to connect with ourselves. Juggling between roles and electronic gadgets, I think we forget that we are individuals first. I started writing just like that – to deal with loneliness when I traveled alone, but at some point, it became my escape route. When people ask me why this name (of the book), I am left thinking what to answer. The name just occurred. I had no idea what to write about when I started – just had a vague storyline in mind. Rafflesia: The Banished Princess is all about our life and times we have left behind, because once upon a time (and not too long ago), life used to be different. Unhurried, simple and gentle. The idea behind the book comes from the fact that we are often fascinated by things during our childhood that remains etched in our minds forever. They could be anything – a particular smell, a funny incident or a cartoon character. Perspectives and priorities keep changing all the time, but these memories never leave us. At some point or the other, they start influencing our thoughts. This is the basic premise of the story. Set against the backdrop of a colorful fairy tale, the story traces the journey of two childhood friends, the ups and downs they go through and the dilemmas they face as adults. How one eventually redeems the other forms the central plot. As for what makes the story unique, I think we are all in love with everything in the present and future. Loving the past helps, sometimes!
Your advice to aspiring writers
I am just a novice in the world of writing, don’t have anything much to say to my fellow writers. Still, here is something they would probably agree with. Every book ever written is a piece of gem. Sometimes everyone will say so. Sometimes just a few. Sometimes it would be only you. Accepting this fact early on probably helps to set the right perspectives. That marketing is such a vital part in a writer’s journey sometimes dawns very late. Given a choice, every writer would just love to write, but that is hardly a choice these days. Going through some literature on author marketing is good. Basic knowledge of digital marketing really helps – social platforms, how they work. All these can be really overwhelming and takes a lot of time. Finally, one learns more through personal experiences. Keeping everything else apart, I think the biggest takeaway from writing a book is the pleasure of getting to live many lives at the same time. The few hours you spend are the ones when you’re true yourself.
For the reader (even if they are a handful), reading your book is a big emotional investment. So, they deserve your best and nothing less. And finally, that is what matters.
Publisher: Leadstart Publications
Release: March 2017
Genre: Fiction / Romance
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