Theliteraturetoday: Welcome to Theliteraturetoday, Tridib. First of all, congratulations on the publication of your book. How has the audience responded to the book so far?
Tridib Ghosh: Oh! God has been kind. I was not too sure before the launch that I will get such an overwhelming response. The audience responded very kindly and greeted this first-time author with open arms. Every Book reading session that I have attended so far, the response had been terrific. There are some instances when some readers called up and expressed their feelings towards the book. One couple called up and cried over phone. They felt that one of my stories was very close to their own life. I do not have any words to express my gratitude towards them.
Theliteraturetoday: How did the idea of writing the book come to you?
Tridib Ghosh: The idea of telling my story didn’t happen in one day, I observe every nuances of life in detail, I have interacted with people from every walks of life. Listened to their experiences, merged my thoughts with them, some are my own experiences and my take on reality. As a creative Digital Ad man, I always wanted to narrate my own stories in my own way. As a techno-marketing guy I always wanted to weave technology influence in our own world, how it is going to change the paradigm in our mundane life. I must confess it took time. It took almost two and half years to complete the manuscript as all stories didn’t happen immediately. But I kept on writing in whatever little time I got from my busy schedule. And ultimately S.O.U.L happened last year.
Theliteraturetoday: How far did your own experiences inspire the stories you wrote?
Tridib Ghosh: Well a lot of them. But not totally. I had woven my own stories with futuristic possibilities and some with instances of happenings from other’s life. Stories are there everywhere. Every day we come across various happenings that lead to stories. From birth to till the time we die we experience happenings. These are nothing but fragments of moments. Every moment is curious to tell a story. I have tried to capture such moments and weave stories around them with a hope that they will touch people’s lives. I tried to structure my stories on human emotions of love, happiness, grief, heartbreak, fights, duties, failure, anxiety and achievements.
Theliteraturetoday: What is your vision about artificial intelligence overall?
Tridib Ghosh: AI is not the future. It is now. If we are still unable to fathom it’s influence in our society, then we are living in a fool’s paradise. The influence of robots or bots in our world is already there. Time is not far that they will be controlling a good part of our life in a big way – whether it will be good, bad or ugly only time can tell. But it will be a huge influence. Not only AI, but AI led Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is going to change our lives forever.
Theliteraturetoday: How did you manage to keep the stories short and yet you wrote at length?
Tridib Ghosh: Reader’s attention span is changing. Readers nowadays view, feel and experience, rather than read. It’s the time of OTT and Video on Demand. People are living inside smart phones and handheld devices. They want small but impactful content, context over content. Very few people read thick novels nowadays. It is sad but true, if you visit a brick and mortar bookstore, you will find them empty. But book reading has not changed. People still read but they order from an Amazon or a Flipkart or browse it through Kindle or hear it in audio format. I didn’t want my anthology to bore them to death. I wanted everyone to read (I wanted maximum readership). I wanted them to enjoy the twists and turns of every story. I wanted them to giggle, shiver from fear, love the relationships, feel heartbreak, to laugh, cry but it should not be prolonged. At the same time after they have completed the book, the stories should still linger in their mind. I feel as per the readers’ feedbacks I somewhat was able to achieve the same.
Theliteraturetoday: Was “Madhuri” inspired by a true experience? Or what is the story behind it?
Tridib Ghosh: I firmly believe in ghosts . Ghosts necessarily need not to be creepy and crawlies like Ramsey brothers or Hollywood, Bollywood potboilers. Ghosts are real. Like God? I believe, Ghosts are like our pasts that never leave us how much we try. No one can forget their pasts. Your past defines your present. Where you are now, is guided by your past. We sometime ask, “Why this happened to me, or why this always happens to me?” It is nothing but how you seeded your past. Madhuri can be a metaphor of your past visiting your present. But a similar incident happened to me which I do not have a justification. I can only say that.
Theliteraturetoday: How did you decide on the issues you were going to write?
Tridib Ghosh: There will always be issues unless we understand the issues. A LD/ HD kid will always be an issue to their teachers or others unless we understand their problems. Putting pressure on kids will continue to be a big issue unless we parents do something about it. And the sickening part is that we do it without understanding the harm we are doing. Many times, we do it out of fear of our child’s future and sometime sheer society pressure. That needs to stop. Also, as I have told earlier, we cannot ignore bots in our life. But how much we let them enter our lives is up there to see. How we react to future is up to us. I have tried to address all these in S.O.U.L.
Theliteraturetoday: Are there any particular authors or books you enjoy reading?
Tridib Ghosh: I am influenced by a lot of writers – the Maestro Satyajit Ray, Isaac Asimov, Robin Cook, R K Laxman, Ruskin Bond, Amish Tripathi, Devdutt Patnaik to name a few.
Theliteraturetoday: Would you like to give any advice to budding writers?
Tridib Ghosh: Just write. Let your imagination flow. Let your stories get heard. Don’t fear if you would get praises or brickbats. End of the day it is your stories. It is closer to your heart. Don’t struggle to use verbose jargons and complicated sentences to show your literary depth, in the process you will lose your own self, your own stories. However, keep a keen eye that your book is free from grammatical error. To many readers it is a big downer. Get it properly proofread.
Theliteraturetoday: What would you like to say about contemporary writing?
Tridib Ghosh: Contemporary writing is great. Simple, easy to fathom at the same time not frivolous. A lot of research and hard work goes in. Language needs not to be complex, it should be easily deciphered by mass. The fluidity of the language depicts how well your readers will accept your writing. There are some fantastic now age writers who are doing their craft quite well. I see a great future in the contemporary writing space.
Theliteraturetoday: Thank you so much for sparing your time and answering the questions. All the best to you.
Tridib Ghosh: Thank you so much