Congratulations for all your books and for all the lovely reviews! How are you feeling?
I hope one feels good about these things. I am no exception.
Kindly acquaint our readers with your books. Which book is closest to your heart? Why?
I have written 5 books.
Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy. The work delightfully bridges the gap between the mundane and arcane writings of today and provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, treat for the discerning reader.
New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character. The different elements and characters of the story are beautifully interwoven to produce an intense and compelling story of an adult haunted by the trauma of being deserted by his mother. The work is interspersed with thought-provoking views on issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India.
The traditional rhyme and metre dominated poems are on love, loss and longing. Unshackled by the bonds of rhyme and metre, my free verses evoke the stark reality of urban life, hitting you straight in the guts. The use of everyday urban imagery, I hope, adds to the appeal of the compositions. The concrete prison of urban life and the unfulfilled desire to escape to a simple life is brought out in The Tower. The other poems of the collection are more autobiographical in nature with the protagonist being the member of the fairer sex. The free verses sketch out their life story with its attendant pathos, poignancy and logic. The critical part of all the compositions is that the reader will definitely identify with the poet and will, in one form or other, have similar stories to narrate.
Frosted Glass comprises one story cycle consisting of 14 stories and one poem cycle consisting of 21 poems.
The stories, set in Calcutta, bring to the fore the darkness lurking in the human psyche and bare the baser instincts. The stories, compactly written and marked by insightful dialogues that raise contemporary issues like man-woman relationships and its strains, morals and ethics, environmental degradation, class inequality, rapid and mass-scale unmindful urbanization, are devoid of sentimentalisation. The result is they remain focused and move around the central character who is named Rahul in all the stories. We encounter the events that shape, mar, guide Rahul’s life and also the lives of those around him, making us question the very essence of existence. Rahul symbolizes modern man; he is not just one character, but all of us rolled into one. The story cycle stands has two characteristics – its narrative pattern and the dispassionate style with which betrayal in personal relationships and resultant loneliness has been handled.
The poems weave a maze of dreams, images, reflections and stories. They are written in a reflective and many a time in a narrative tenor within a poetic idiom. The poems are inseparable in a hidden way and are sequenced like various kinds of flowers in a garland or chapters of differing shades in a novel. Calcutta features in some of the poems like the looming backdrop of Gotham City in a Batman movie.
Abyss is a full length play in two acts with an interval in between. It is essentially a racy crime thriller full of gritty suspense. Act one builds up slowly to result in a crescendo of conflicts between personalities and ideas finally to end with an unnatural death before the interval. Is it a suicide or a murder? Act two evolves through a series of incisive interrogations to unravel the truth, which is deeply disturbing and affecting. As the play unfolds into a very well-crafted situational thriller, underneath is the debate about using land for agriculture or for industry, the ethics of a working author and the nexus of a modern state all wonderfully enmeshed into its storyline and the personal lives of its subtly etched out characters. The highpoints of the play are its central conflict between a mother and her daughter and its female sleuth – Renuka.
Winter Poems is my fourth book. The poems contained in this collection were inspired by the relatively mild season that prevails in Kolkata following the season of festivities, the Durga and Kali Puja, and portray myriad shades of human life. Some of them deal with the imaginations of death and home while still others the idea of loss and coming to terms with gradual wasting of life. Many aspects of human life and commonplace human impulses are examined and brought to life through a range of imaginations and varied metaphorical associations. The poems have delighted readers and generated a whole range of emotions among them.
Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012–2018 is a kaleidoscope of random, yet mysteriously structured to a pattern, fiction, semi-autobiographical, and autobiographical pieces, covering poems, short-shorts, opinions, observations, and conversations.
I am not particularly attached to any of my books.
You are a technical engineer by profession. How do you manage writing along with your profession?
I do not find any contradiction in being an Engineer and a Literary Author. I am also a passionate Engineer. There have been several of my Technical Publications published in National & International peer-reviewed journals. Rather my existence as a Literary Author is that of detachment from the world of passions because etching out ideas and characters require some degree of estrangement from the currents of your present life.
How much research and efforts were required on your part to complete Abyss, a full length play?
I collected lot of materials about a specific business family and the Singur movement by chasing people. The plot was there in my mind. The details added to the raw mosaic of the play. People and ideas that excite me, I chase them till a point chasing becomes detrimental to my existence. I had written about it in the ballad Chasing in Pentacles.
How do you view the future of young authors in India?
Young authors should prioritize in being authentic rather than controlling their future.
The title of your book “Pentacles” is really intriguing. What is your view on the same and how did you arrive at the core idea.
Pentacles means a talisman or magical object, typically disc-shaped and inscribed with a pentagram, used as a symbol of the element of earth. The five pieces of Pentacles were meant to be a magical object in the form of a pentagram.
What Next? (In terms of future projects)
I am working on a new project that is in the form of a narrative polemic and will be published in the 2021 winters.