I read Obsession: Eternal Stories Of Life And Death by Tara press and absolutely loved the anthology. I got a chance to have an email conversation with one of the writers of the book - Stormy (She has co-authored several short stories with Bishwa in the book)
Q1. How was the process of co-authoring the book? How did the collaboration happened?
A1: Bishwa and I were colleagues and both of us discovered we had writing in common. As he writes in Nepali, we worked out a few ideas and I wrote 18 stories. We sent the synopsis for a possible collection of short stories to Red Ink Literary Agency. They liked our presentation and asked for samples of our work. This was put together with stories by Gurpratap and Suraj and Obsession happened!!
Q2. How long did it take you to pen down the stories. Was it a long drawn process or written in short time.
A2 : Writing is a strong passion and once I start, it doesn't take very long to write a story. So, no, the writing didn't take very long.
Q3. How did thought of ripe mangoes came around ? It portrays a sense of lonely and depressed Varanasi...
A3 : Widows in Varanasi are neglected, abandoned and lonely. Yet they all have the usual feelings. The death of a husband does not necessarily mean a woman dies too. Or that she becomes a shadow of what she once was. You ask how the story came around. I would say that there are stories everywhere and in everything. How does one define the creative burst or the way imagination, threaded with a certain reality flows?
4. Most of the stories deal with darkness and death. Does writing about these emotions come naturally to you?
A4 : I think each of us has two sides to the way we think, feel and view the world. In some of us, one side may appear as more defined. There is a lot of brightness in this world but one cannot really ignore the darkness and death. So yes, writing about such things come naturally. This isn't saying that I do not have the happily-ever-after chip within me!!!!
Q5. Do you think people react more passionately for dark, brooding humour as evident in Last card or even Yellow tears?
A5 : For every possible thing on this earth, whether sliced bread or steam engines, there will always be takers and the ones who do not like the thing in question. Fiction portrays life. It is supposed to. I wouldn't say that they react more passionately to this or that. Everyone has their particularly favourite flavour of ice-cream.
Q6. How has the response been to the book so far? Any particular feedback which may have touched you?
A6: The response has been encouraging so far. Most people peg the book as very readable and extremely well-put together. The characters are drawn from everyday life and perhaps this is what people are liking.
Q 7. Any work which you have completed or currently writing in?
A 7. I am working on my third novel. My previous work (two novels) is with my agents (Red Ink, Delhi) and I hope to find a publisher soon.
[Bishwa Sigdel grew up in the dusty lanes of Banepa, in Nepal. An early passion for the Classics finally led him to writing. An ardent fan of Marquez and Neruda, Bishwa likes nothing better than hunting for books in dusty libraries or old city bookstalls. Stormy Hazarika grew up in the lush tea estates of Assam]