Probal Mazumdar works in an IT company as an an NIT engineer by day and is a poetry-loving, emotional guy who pens romance novels rest of the time. He has written the love story of Siddharth and Hazel. Love finds us when we least expect it seems to be love’s strong suit and #KeyToMySoul speaks of love.
Pick the book for this romance read by Probal. Today I talk to him about his ideas, book and writing.
1. When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
I have been writing poetry for many years now. My poems have been featured in various national and international literary journals like Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Wasafiri (U.K), Acumen (U.K), Xavier Review (USA), Chandrabhaga, Poetry Journal (Poetry Society India), amongst others.
I was also awarded the 1 st prize for a national level poetry competition, conducted by the Poetry Society (India) in 2014. Poetry gives me a medium to express my inner emotions, reacting to and reflecting about the immediate world around me. It is an intensely personal outburst of my emotions. But life is not just about me and my emotions. It is about other characters around us as well. So I guess I started writing this novel to express those aspects, those characters and those stories that haunted me and wanted escape. Those characters that are not me. Normally I would not have touched these shades in my poems. Writing this novel was possibly a way to bring them out.
2. Give us three Good to Know facts about you. Be creative.
I am an engineer by societal pressure, singer by accident, guitarist by love at first sound, poet by soul, writer by passion, a world class badminton player in childhood dreams, rebel by day, recluse by night, a samosa in a family of laddoos, a Jughead at the dining table, a shameless and congenital dreamer.
Oh! An arsonist too – when my wife isn’t around, I set the house on fire with my son.
3. The cover is worth a thousand words, how much of the cover design for the book KEY TO MY SOUL did you choose or were they designed by someone else?
The concept and colour combination was by my design. White on blue! That was the impression in my mind as soon as I completed writing the book. The rest was done by the professional cover designer. There were several iterations before both of us settled on the final design.
If one looks closely at the cover, she (he) will notice that the male has a slightly tilted head and is leading the lady forward in a gentle way. There is some stillness as well as some movement …and the way they hold the hands, there is trust, there is love, dependence…..there are hurdles that they have crossed or are about to cross…they are in the middle of a long road….above all there is melancholy… a quietness that is hard to go unnoticed. All this was by design.e movement …and the way they hold the hands, there is trust, there is love, dependence…..there are hurdles that they have crossed or are about to cross…they are in the middle of a long road….above all there is melancholy… a quietness that is hard to go unnoticed. All this was by design.
4. Which writers inspire you and why? What is your favourite book and why?
I adore Amitav Ghosh for his subaltern viewpoint and well-researched books. There is immense learning reading his books. I love Ruskin Bond for his simple, unpretentious and heart touching stories. Khaled Hosseini for the accurate, artistic and smooth descriptions. Although it is hard to pinpoint on THE favourite book, I would say “The Old Man and the Sea” by Hemingway is a classic of a sort that taught me how imagination can lift a great story to a greater orbit and how language can captivate the senses and virtually transport us to the middle of a turbulent sea where the reader is literally fighting to save the old man in the story.
5. How important are names of the characters in your books? Do you choose the names etc based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The names of the characters are quite important. They need to fit the plot and should sound easy and interesting to the ear and perhaps a bit uncommon too. For example one of the side characters in “Key To My Soul” is a Christian girl and I found the name Helena appropriate. If a male character has a gentle personality, a name like Dracula or Tiger could be a misfit (unless it is a nickname). And for a negative or villainous character, a name like Shakhaal suits better than a Sandeep or Sandesh.
Also for some characters, I used the names of my school chums in fond remembrance of the times we had together during our childhood. On a funny note, one also has tobe careful on choosing names of friends (that I realized later) for they may start reading too much into the name selection and could draw absurd connections that aren’t true at all. And the writer may end up spending time in defending himself against tricky questions and assaults 🙂
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, all the best for your next books.
KEY TO MY SOUL