Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interview: Vivek Banerjee

Hi everyone! Please welcome Dr. Vivek Banerjee, author of "The Long Road" for an interview on my blog today. If you recall, I interviewed his book a few days ago.

1. I'd like to begin this interview by asking you what kind of booksare there on your bookshelf? What books are you reading right now? Which genre of books do you generally read? Which books do you re-read again and again?
I am a huge fan of fiction. From classics to adventure to mystery to horror to contemporary Indian English writing, I read them all. I also have Bangla and Hindi books in my bookshelf, though not as many as English ones. The books I have read multiple times are Doctors by Eric Segal, To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee, and almost all books by Jack Higgins, Alister Maclean and Wilbur Smith. I have also read Dan Brown multiple times. For the last two months, I have been busy with the
Book Reading Challenge conducted by your blog and Book Readers Lounge. So it has been Indian authors for the last two months.

2. Tell us something about your work before "The Long Road"?I used to blog on Rediff  iLand in its heydays. You can say that I developed confidence in my writing abilities thanks to Rediff  blogs. Many of my early short stories are still posted there.

3. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you get into writing? What inspired you to write "The Long Road"?

I guess I always wanted to be a doctor. Writing was just a whim I developed suddenly. (maybe a part of my bucket list) I was talking on the phone with my old school-teacher Ms. C. Sinha and said that I wanted to write a novel. She kind of encouraged me and I started thinking about it seriously. I started writing blogs, limericks and short stories to test the water. Even The long road started as a serial story on Rediff.( It was titled Doctors, by the way) The response of my co- bloggers to the story was fantastic. I ended the story after the Mumbai attacks when Sarika and Rahul get reunited. This elicited a howl of protest from my readers who wanted me to carry on with the story. I did and thus the book took shape.

4. What kind of people do you think this book will reach out to?It should appeal to the urban Indian reader, the young and the young at heart. I sincerely hope that it does not remain confined to doctors and medical students.

5. What is your favourite thing about books and reading? How havebooks made an impact on your life?
Books are wonderful. The best thing about them is that they are always there for you. I have been reading them ever since I learned to read. I believe books have shaped my personality and made me what I am today.

6. Quick take. Answer the following with the first words/phrase that comes to your mind, in five words or less:
LoveThe best feeling ever…
Life Do your best…
MarriageMy biggest strength…
Medicine (as a profession)Very taxing but satisfying…
Booksare everything…

Nothing is impossible. One must dream and do his/ her best in life. I guess the following quote says it all.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that
you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
-- Mark Twain

(Sakhi: That is my favorite quote too! As anyone who's ever emailed me would know.)

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