Tale of an epic journey

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By Somudra Banerjee

Sand and sky were white. Another dry day. Eyes scoured the bowl above, seeking a wrinkle. July and not a wisp of cloud, nor a drop of rain. The young could not recall a summer so stark, the old spoke of the Bhaiya and Saiya famines of fifty-five years ago. In the evenings, at hushed gatherings on sand dunes under a lonely moon, they told stories. ‘We remember such times in our youth. We have felt the sun singe our cheeks, seen withered stalks of bajra stretch into the distance, picked our way through dunes littered with dead goats and camels, watched the sand shift over the horizon, wept over the deceitful play of light against dust that creates the illusion of an impending rainstorm.’

For author Sujit Saraf, the idea of writing a book is more clinical than the often-romanticised idea of imagining the author as an artist. According to him, there are no fits of artistic passion but only cold calculation. “I write like an engineer,” he says. Despite having a day job as an engineer and a family to look after and writing only in the weekends, Sujit has been successful in pursuing his literary aspirations with aplomb. With Harilal & Sons, his fourth novel, Sujit has turned a keen eye on the history of his own people — Marwaris.

Speaking on the ‘designing’ of his novels, Sujit says, “My novels are fully plotted and laid out before I start. Each chapter is ‘designed’. I know its approximate length, and I know how I shall move the plot forward. The act of typing out a novel is mere manual labour.” Read more

Source: The Asian Age


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