Shreyan Laha is a young author in English. Having mastered the Business Administration course from one of India’s premiere institute, Shreyan is now looking for a proper theme to undertake research. While doing so, he also writes interesting things as and when he gets time.

Until now, his works got published in seven anthologies. However, due to higher education and jobs, Shreyan Laha stayed away from writing from the last couple of years or more. Now the man is back to the world of writing again.

Interview Shreyan Laha

Image source: Shreyan Laha

In a candid interview with Team CheckerNews, erudite Shreyan Laha presents some wonderful insight about his thoughts, persona and intellectualism. No doubt, this interview will certainly act as an impetus for the youth to bring out their best in whatever they do.

Here are the Excerpts from this exclusive Interview ;

Briefly Describe your journey until now. Have you accomplished what you wanted or still a mile to go?

Writing is something in which I still have light years to go, mile is an understatement. My writing career has only taken off and is now in a phase of stagnation. The last time I published a book, Manmohan Singh was still the PM (laughs).

Since then, I havetaken a long hiatus for MBA, my stint as a relationship manager in Samunnati Financial and even now, as I’m preparing for Ph.D. and searching for prospective areas of research. My first book ‘The Adventures Beyond Existence’ had won the Rajiv Gandhi Youth Literary Award in 2014 and the next book, ‘Never Again’ was published the same year.

You have rich experience in writing. Tell me some tips about the “art of writing in English”.

Practice is necessary to ace every paragraph you write.For this reason, I find it difficult to regain my flair after three years because 50,000+ words can never be an overnight bacchanalian euphoria. If there’s no practice, you’ll slowly get out of touch just like other forms of art. Not even reading can call for cover.

I have lots to say about the art of writing in English. The world is undergoing a drastic change in terms of reader-writer relationship. However, the reader must find your book gripping at any cost. Today, there are more authors than readers so what should we do?

The best answer is that accepting the bitter fact: An author is not the voice of what society wants. Gone are the days of Munshi Premchand and R.N. Tagore when India had less than 25% literacy and traditional publishers existed only in select commonwealth nations. So how should his “art of writing in English” thrive?

Simple: (1) Art of writing doesn’t mean art of exaggeration. Apart from competition, there is a reason why authors of yesteryears are more remembered than the authors of today and that is, they lived in times of war, fear, hate, oppression and times of constant tension, far more than we ever have. There is an insurmountable growth of hipster-authors who idolize an old school author and after receiving zero feedbacks on his debut novel on today’s society, die out;

(2) Writers need not be over imaginative or recalcitrant when it comes to power relation. The reader would be quick to attribute an author as a useless one based on his binary reasoning of ‘with us’ or ‘against us’ and can willingly tell his ilk what to ‘avoid’ you. You cannot control people’s minds, can you? However, you have the power to write and reason with them. In the age of broken English and internet lingos, the dynamism of an author with perfect grammar is fast changing. Some people may even cringe and we shouldn’t feel disheartened at it;

(3) Remember your particular area of expertise. For example, if I write science fiction – there is a segment of vocabulary which would automatically be at my fingertips rather than the vocabulary of a person who is more into erotica. One must continue focusing on core strength and improvise on the weaker spot, occasionally.

Any particular writer or writers whom you admire the most.

H.G. Wells, Eoin Colfer, Michael Crichton, Isaac Asimov, Lee Child – there are many but these are the top of the mind names for me!

What prompted you to embrace writing? Was it your childhood hobby? But then why you did MBA?

Ego. I mean, the ego as explained by Sigmund Freud: a moral responsibility because earlier I had written articles in my blog and got praised – at a time when wordpress still had to gain scale in India. Writing had never been my childhood hobby as such. I began writing in essay competitions when I was in my early teens just to ward off my unproductive time. I also completed B.Com and MBA, so why can’t my core strengths lie in finance and marketing?

Is it essential to learn English in India? What are its benefits?

As an author, you need to try and assimilate into one’s surroundings to know what connects people and brings them together. Language is one of the medium and English is no exception!

Shreyan Laha

Image source: Shreyan Laha

We should know English because it will let our voices be heard by a greater geographical audience, and it has its own benefit.

Does the difference or gap between Urban India and rural Bharat widening day by day? You are well traveled inside rural and urban areas as well.

I went there because my job took me. I did not go there for finding differences or similarities. If you talk about business, the gap between urban and rural India is definitely coming to an end but yeah, on multiple occasions, I have visited a client, completed the formalities till his loan is disbursed and at the end, he ended up asking for my novel.

One of the villages where such was asked was 20 kilometres away from the nearest inter district bus stand in Maharashtra, the area where onion price dip was widely reported two years prior. As of now, logically they must make their ends meet but the village was a green one and a lot of them owned new tractors and rotavators. That’s how they improvised upon their setbacks.

Can India really become a superpower one day? What shall be the role of youth in regard to it?

Yes, the youth has tremendous potentiality in achieving the same should they go back to the same discipline their elders taught them. Also, experienced lot must work in tandem with the youth and should quickly adapt to every technology which youngsters are adapting.

The youth must keep political views aside because parties won’t help us but friends will. We must move away from the notion of “being a nation which needs government intervention to maintain cleanliness and personal hygiene” and for this, the habit of blame-game won’t work. It would bear catastrophe on our future if it’s not snapped in the bud on a collective, macro-scale.

Is a career in creative writing a precarious one? How can one cope up with the strict deadlines and uncertainty of income?

Creative writing is indeed a precarious career. As I see, youngsters in India are bitten by the writing-bug when they’re in college so as young adults, they need to have their vision accurate: a vision of how to invest time in writing everyday and how to publish and market it in times to come. It makes me sad that employers of start-ups / content writing spaces do not provide youngsters their due.

Also, some of the youngsters are to blame for throwing away their time and investment at dirt price. Also, the packaging and branding of unpaid internships is so rampant in the creative writing processes that it has now manifested itself as a norm! Keeping the experience and work accomplished as a plus, one must ask for the price he or she rightfully deserves.

What is the philosophy of your life. How you handle success and failure.

“If universe is a circus, be the clown. If universe is a jungle, be the monkey,” that’s a motto I created. You don’t necessarily need to be ‘the one’, you should be someone without whom the show is incomplete.

I have an Epicurean outlook in life and I’m hedonist to the core. I can find ten different reasons to celebrate a success and I do not even think of failure again. It’s either a day like an average human being or a usual, special day waiting for me!

Which are your favorite travel destinations? Any one location that you wish to visit one day?

Favourite travel destination is Alibaug (Maharashtra), entirety of Rajasthan and Chennai. There’s nothing more I can say. Though my job had taken me various places, my interest lies in places with forests. A location I wish to visit one day is Yakutsk in Russia. I heard it’s a normal city where temperatures are even lower than that in Siachen. Sure, going to Siachen would be full of adventures but I prefer an easy way!

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Who are your role models? Have they influenced your personality and professional life directly or indirectly?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cheech and Chong, Apache Chief (Superhero): Talking about the first two, I neither became a veteran stoner nor is my name in postal stamps, so in no possible manner did they influence me. The third one is out of league.

Traditional or self publishing? Which one you prefer and why?

Traditional, as tradition goes! However when you have a job and you know a local publisher very well, why not opt for spinning money on a publishing roulette? However, if one feels they have their plans on table and can march on with all guns blazing, they may go for a traditional publisher from the very start. Needless to say, one must try traditional publisher to introspect where their proposal or story went wrong.

Shreyan Laha

Image source: Shreyan Laha

“Thank you very much Shreyan Laha for this amazing interview. Herewith, team CheckerNews wishing you lots more success and glory in the coming days.”

(Interview Session Moderated By: Atish Home Chowdhury)

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