Interview with Sabarna Roy- bestselling author of 7 published books.
Sabarna Roy is a critically acclaimed award-winning author of seven books. Fiction lovers with a zeal to read novels that are different than the usual will find Roy’s books a treat.
The author writes about real people and real circumstances with modern settings. This in a manner that jolts many a reader into wondering if a particular incident in his book is not derived from his own life.
Roy’s journey has been iconic and all his books have been well received and loved by critics too.
Kindly describe your journey as an author.
Ans: Between 2010 and 2021 I have published seven Literary works, which have gone into becoming critically acclaimed bestsellers, and one Technical book, which has been translated into eight major European languages. I will give you a brief outline of my books, which is given below: –
Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy. The work delightfully bridges the gap between the mundane and arcane writings of today and provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, treat for the discerning reader.
New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character. The different elements and characters of the story are beautifully interwoven to produce an intense and compelling story of an adult haunted by the trauma of being deserted by his mother. The work is interspersed with thought-provoking views on issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India.
The traditional rhyme and metre dominated poems are on love, loss and longing. Unshackled by the bonds of rhyme and metre, Sabarna’s free verses evoke the stark reality of urban life, hitting you straight in the guts. The use of everyday urban imagery adds to the appeal of the compositions. The concrete prison of urban life and the unfulfilled desire to escape to a simple life is aptly brought out in The Tower. The other poems of the collection are more biographical in nature with the protagonist being the member of the fairer sex. The free verses sketch out their life story with its attendant pathos, poignancy and logic. The best part of all the compositions is that the reader will definitely identify with the poet and will, in one form or other, have similar stories to narrate.
Frosted Glass comprises one story cycle consisting of 14 stories and one poem cycle consisting of 21 poems.
The stories, set in Calcutta, bring to the fore the darkness lurking in the human psyche and bare the baser instincts. The stories, compactly written and marked by insightful dialogues that raise contemporary issues like man-woman relationships and its strains, morals and ethics, environmental degradation, class inequality, rapid and mass-scale unmindful urbanization, are devoid of sentimentalisation. The result is they remain focused and move around the central character who is named Rahul in all the stories. We encounter the events that shape, mar, guide Rahul’s life and also the lives of those around him, making us question the very essence of existence. Rahul symbolizes modern man; he is not just one character, but all of us rolled into one. The story cycle stands out for two reasons – its brilliant narrative and the dispassionate style with which betrayal in personal relationships and resultant loneliness has been handled.
The poems weave a maze of dreams, images, reflections and stories. They are written in a reflective and many a time in a narrative tenor within a poetic idiom. The poems are inseparable in a hidden way and are magically sequenced like various kinds of flowers in a garland or chapters of differing shades in a novel. Calcutta features in some of the poems like the looming backdrop of Gotham City in a Batman movie.
Abyss is a full length play in two acts with an interval in between. It is essentially a racy crime thriller full of gritty suspense. Act one builds up slowly to result in a crescendo of conflicts between personalities and ideas finally to end with an unnatural death before the interval. Is it a suicide or a murder? Act two evolves through a series of incisive interrogations to unravel the truth, which is deeply disturbing and affecting. As the play unfolds into a very well-crafted situational thriller, underneath is the debate about using land for agriculture or for industry, the ethics of a working author and the nexus of a modern state all wonderfully enmeshed into its storyline and the personal lives of its subtly etched out characters. The highpoints of the play are its central conflict between a mother and her daughter and its female sleuth – Renuka.
The poems contained in this collection, Winter Poems, by Sabarna Roy were inspired by the relatively mild season that prevails in Kolkata following the season of festivities, the Durga and Kali Puja, and portray myriad shades of human life. Some of them deal with the imaginations of death and home while still others the idea of loss and coming to terms with gradual wasting of life. Many aspects of human life and commonplace human impulses are examined and brought to life through a range of imaginations and varied metaphorical associations. The poems are sure to delight the readers and generate a whole range of emotions among them.
Random Subterranean Mosaic 2012 – 2018
Roy’s Frosted Glass did very well in the market. His Pentacles and Winter Poems, did so well that Amazon Audible converted them into Audio books by the Australian young jazz singer, Colin Newcomer. Abyss was on the bestseller list at the Oxford Bookstore at the Kolkata Book Fair in 2014.
Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012–2018 is a kaleidoscope of random, yet mysteriously structured to a pattern, fiction, semi-autobiographical, and autobiographical pieces, covering poems, short-shorts, opinions, observations, and conversations.
Roy says: “All my life I have struggled to achieve an optimal lucidity in language and expression that is required to demystify the hidden self and selves and agendas. I hope I have achieved this in a large measure in this fifth book of mine!”
Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020
Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 comprises a novella and a poem cycle.
The novella, in the background is a sweetly evolving dialogue between a step-father and a step-daughter, and in the foreground it is a dissection of ideas pivoted around dualism of human life by discussing literary characters like, Lolita, Humbert Humbert, Anna Karenina, and Nikhilesh; thought-leaders like Hegel, Marx, and Heisenberg; political phenomena like, the Bolshevik Revolution; schizophrenia, love as an idea, and the secret love story of T S Eliot; and ecological phenomena like, marine conservation, and all of this is done in a unique way, almost as if we are engaged in a conversation with the author, to make us realize the plurality of life and accepting it to find peace and harmony in life.
The poem cycle is an anthology of 20 sharp edged poems that excite and thrill you as you are encapsulated in the whirlwind of the confrontations between the poet and his alter-ego.
Fractured Mosaic is in essence a sequel to his fifth literary work, titled: Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018. It is yet another kaleidoscope from his arsenal that will take the readers to a mesmerizing whirlpool. Most of the works published in this book have been earlier published in reputed media houses as musings of an author; in this book they have been brought together for the benefit of all the readers. After the smashing hit of his earlier six master pieces since 2010, he has been constantly writing in the format of a journal to imitate how the mind works in real life.
Articles on Ductile Iron Pipelines and Framework Agreement Methodology (ISBN: 978-613-8-91928-5) authored by Sabarna Roy, Rajat Chowdhury and Basanta Bera and published by Scholars’ Press, Stabu Street 15-141, Riga, LV-1010 Latvia, European Union.
The books attempts to elaborate the use of Ductile Iron Pipelines in Irrigation application, Gravity Sewer application, Wet Ash Slurry application, Restrained Joint application and use in Steep incline and Hilly terrain, Life Cycle Cost Analysis between various kinds of pipe materials, Feasibility of Recycled Waste Water for Irrigation, a deliberation on Framework Agreement Procurement Methodology and Emerging Challenges in Pipe Distribution Network based Irrigation Projects.
I used to write Bengali and English poems during my university days. In fact, my first slim book of English poems, titled: Pain was published in 1986 and created a sensation in the student community and the literary academia of Calcutta. Thereafter, I stopped writing after joining the Corporate Sector. Between 2002 and 2005, I had been an oral storyteller. It was in July 2007 that I realized that if I did not write I would die. It was then that I started writing seriously.
Fractured Mosaic, which is sequel of your 7th book was recently published and has gathered immense appreciation from readers. How do you feel?
Ans: I am happy.
Instead of writing a fiction or non-fiction book, why were you inclined towards creating a journal?
Ans: I have been maintaining a journal, since my school days. I write something every day in my journal. A few sections of my journals were published in Random Subterranean Mosaic 2012 – 2018 and Fractured Mosaic. They also include fictional works. My other five books are pure works of fiction.
Kindly name few of your favorite writers?
Ans: There are many, many authors that I read. However, I will name a few favorite authors: Anton Chekov, Albert Camus, Eugene Ionesco, Osip Mandelstam, Orhan Pamuk, Milan Kundera, Haruki Murakami, J M Coetzee, Rabindranath Tagore, R K Narayan, Ruskin Bond and Upamanyu Chatterjee.
What do you prefer to do in your free time?
Ans: Reading books, watching world cinema, listening to Rock music and Western classical compositions, and writing.
What’s next? Is there anything you are currently working on?
Ans: I am presently writing an intriguing romantic play, which should be ready by winter of 2021.