Published @ www.isahitya.com
In the biggest casting coup of the Hindi film industry, five top stars are signed up for a new movie: Shahraan—a living legend still lamenting the loss of his first love; Reva and Neev—newcomers allied in a common journey; Nishani—the celebrity kid who must avenge her father’s untimely death; and Kaash—the actor harbouring a secret love from his past. As their intimately intertwined personal stories take centre stage, the industry’s underbelly is left exposed for all to see. By the time the curtain draws to a close, the gossip-hungry media has enough fodder on its plate to last a lifetime.
Novoneel Chakraborty, bestselling author of A Thing beyond Forever and That Kiss in the Rain, unveils the grime behind the glitz, the insecurities and compromises, in a world where aspirants come prepared to strike a Faustian bargain. A beguiling tale of love, ambition, jealousy, and betrayal, How About a Sin Tonight? will leave you asking for more.
Ques: How did writing come into existence in your life?
Novoneel – From the time I was 19-20 years of age, characters and plots started happening in my mind which kept haunting me till I penned them down. I guess writing happened as an eventuality. I did it because I enjoyed ‘thinking’ a lot and it was only when I penned a particular set of thoughts that I felt ready to think more.
Ques: You started off with ‘A thing beyond forever’ and now you it’s ‘How about a sin tonight’. How has the journey as a writer been so far?
Novoneel- As I said writing for me happened as a by-product to my obsessive act of ‘thinking’. Now, I feel home with writing. To cut a long story short, if it wasn’t for writing I wouldn’t have discovered anything about myself. I would have lived a pre-historic life in a modern world where I would have first honed my skills at something that would fetch me food and do so for the rest of my life and thereby celebrate an ignorable existence which I have a problem with.
Ques: How did you come up with the title of your latest novel?
Novoneel – The phrase ‘How About A Sin Tonight?’ comes forth as a dialogue in the book at a point which is personally very special to me. I liked the sound of the title and also it went with the overall tone of the book. Hence I stuck with it.
Ques: Tell us something about your book ‘How about a Sin tonight’.
Novoneel – ‘How About A Sin Tonight?’ is my first character driven novel. It depicts the journey of five different people, their realizations, their flaws, their vulnerability and their choices with the milieu being the Hindi Film Industry.
Ques: Is there any message you would like to give through your novel?
Novoneel – I strongly, and personally, believe ‘message’ is something a reader picks up and not a writer intentionally writes about. My writing is more inclined towards revealing aspects of the human behaviour when in a relationship. The action-reaction of characters is what intrigues me as a storyteller and in the end, I believe, it’s an important ingredient to make a memorable story.
Ques: Out of the five characters, whose character was the most difficult to write about?
Novoneel – It wasn’t difficult to write about any characters since I spent a good six to seven months trying to understand them in my mind before I started writing about them. What was difficult was how to make each character different from the other. One of the major challenges for a writer in a multiple-character driven novel is how well he can suppress his personal prejudice and let the characters’ uniqueness come to the surface.
Ques: You seem to be having an excellent command over ‘dastangoi’ which perhaps is explained by your books being National Bestsellers. What is the secret recipe behind the same?
Novoneel – A bestseller is about quantity whereas good storytelling is about quality. There’s no secret recipe. I personally believe success in creative endeavours is always a fluke because no one can predict the reaction of the readers at large. You can give them what you know they have been reading and hope they’ll lap it up because they have been doing so or else give them something very different, if you are an adventurous storyteller like I’m, and hope they appreciate your work. Hope is the key word in both the cases.
Ques: ‘That kiss in the Rain’ has been one of the most beautiful literature of today’s times, the character of ‘Pallavi’ being the most intriguing one. How did the idea about the book came in your mind?
Novoneel – The characters of Pallavi, Swadha and Haasil came to me first. I wanted to write a story about these three characters. The plot happened as I started to write. Pallavi, in essence, is an anti-thesis to the protagonist of my first novel, Radhika. With her I wanted to explore areas which I wasn’t able to do with Radhika in ‘A Thing Beyond Forever’.
Ques: When you came up with ‘ A thing beyond Forever’ , did you know writing would become an inseparable part of your life?