Hellow you all!
So, I’am back with another author’s interview! Shomprakash Sinha Roy, another budding writer who was super nice to hear me out!
Shomprakash Sinha Roy is a writer based out of Bangalore, India. He was born in New Delhi, spent all of his childhood in Chhattisgarh, and presently works as a Content Developer for Dell Inc., in Bangalore, Karnataka. He has an MBA in Marketing & Media Management from the Indian Institute of Business Management, New Delhi. His nativity is a tougher nut to crack – his family tree traces its roots in Rajasthan, and for the last few generations, they’ve been good-natured Bengali people. He is the author of books such as The Pink Smoke, Life Served Hot & 21 Things About Romance in addition to his contributions to anthologies such as The Traversal of Lines & 25 Strokes of Kindness. He is also the face behind the pseudonym Sidharth Oberoi who wrote the third installment of The Backbenchers series.
Every time someone asks me that question, I usually give them a different set of answers. But the gist of it remains the same – Through the years that I spent growing up in India, I have always been baffled by the ridiculousness of our social norms- be it the way we perceive academic targets, or the way marriage works for about 80% of our population. We Indians love to judge others – it’s in our inherent nature. While some would say that we can’t help it, I choose to believe otherwise. Reading had always been an eye-opener for me. Books became my inspiration when I was depressed. Jeffrey Archer & Sidney Sheldon taught me to believe in hope. John Green taught me the power of satirical redemption. It made sense for me, to give back to that same community. It’s a sense of urgency that drives me towards writing – A wound if you want to call it so. And writing is that patch that covers the scars up.
What is keeping you busy currently? Other than writing?
Lots of stuff- Work, mostly. The world of social media & graphics is a lot more exciting than what it appears to be, from the outside. And I’m lucky to be involved with Grapevine India, so I get to experience a lot of aspects of the publishing business too. I’m trying to keep my family and my loved ones happy, which I think is priority number 1.
If not being an Author, what you would have been?
Maybe a musician, to be fair. I feel ashamed at times because my father, my uncles, aunts, cousins- they’re all mostly trained in Indian Classical music and I pretty much suck when you compare me with them. Music has always been a shared passion in my bloodline. I am doing my part to be involved in it, too- I’m part of a band called “The Pedestrians” based in Bangalore, and we’ve struck some good chords here & there in the city.
There’s the obvious one – 21 Things About Romance which remains at the top of my concerns at present. My first published work in 2012 was an eBook called This Is Friday, which I’m sure is available for free somewhere on the internet. I started off with paperback novels in 2013, with The Pink Smoke and followed it up in Feb 2014, with the sequel – Life, Served Hot. In the interim, I was invited to write for Grapevine as Sidharth Oberoi – That’s when I wrote Backbenchers 3 (3 Days of Summer). I did a guest story called The Collateral Emotion in Nikita Singh’s anthology 25 Strokes of Kindness and some other blog-work.
You are currently reading?
I’m presently trying to work my way around the world of Detective Cormoran Strike – I’m reading The Cuckoo’s Calling and I want to grab The Silkworm soon.
Other than that, I’ve recently finished The Catcher in the Rye and wondered why it took me so long to pick it up.
Your favorite authors-
Joanne Kathleen Rowling remains my favorite author- like, absolutely at the top of my list. After her, I like John Green’s work a lot. Then there’s Gabriel Marquez, who’s book Love in the time of Cholera had a lot to do with my obsession with literature. Arundhati Roy is a brilliant writer whose work, I feel, is still underrated in India. The literary community should spend more time discussing her work.
Author(s) you follow
It’s almost the same names as above, with a few additions- I follow Rohit Gore’s work. One reason is that reading his first book Focus, Sam led me into the most wonderful co-incidence of my life. I follow Vikas Swarup, as his work almost always has an angle of cinematic perfection. I like reading Dan Brown’s books, for their thrills, and for the same reasons- Ashwin Sanghi too.
Learning-s in life-
- Never, ever, ever give up on something that you believe in.
- There are three things you need to stop being afraid of, to succeed in everything that you do: Parents, Failure & Death.
- If you have a bunch of crazy ideas and you’re wondering which one will work the best for you, pitch it to a group of neighborhood Aunties. The one that gets protested the most, is your key to success.
The best thing you ever read (quotes, line or a sentence, book)
“Bravo, Lionlady. We have killed the tiger.”
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the time of Cholera
Love and Success in life- (Where do these both things stand in life)
Love leads the way, success follows. It’s not very difficult to understand if you’re someone who has experienced at least some form of creative success. Simply put- I get two types of questions thrown at me, very frequently. Why do my books work and Why I’m so crazy & borderline fanatic about love. The thing is – Love defines everything that I do. It’s who I am. If I didn’t believe in Love, I wouldn’t be doing things the way I do them. I wouldn’t be writing, designing or singing. I don’t know what it feels to be a successful businessman or what it feels to crack IIT – I haven’t done any of those things. But when you stand for love in your life, and then do something which makes you happy and then taste success in that field, you get into that whole Avenger-Feel-like-god mode. And that’s just blissful.
Motto of life
This is an old composition by Tagore, but if you read every line, you’ll realize how significant this is. It’s what I aspire for my nation, and it remains my motto.
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”
Everyone who loves books & believes in Literature.
Durjoy Datta, for giving me my first literary break.
Grapevine India, for being a fun publishing group.
Rohit Gore, for being an excellent mentor.
Meghna, for everything, everything & everything.
Ma, Baba – for twenty three years of patience.
Worst of criticism you have experienced-
Thankfully, most of my criticism hasn’t been outright literary. There were always other reasons behind the kind of criticism that I’ve received through channels. The worst one, though – was also very funny. Someone asked me “Why the F*** are they publishing a book that you’ve written based on your own life? What are you, some Chetan Bhagat or something, that everyone will want to know about your life?”
I swear, it happened. I’m not making this up. And I still don’t know what’s the best way to answer such criticism. Maybe I could’ve thrown a good book at them. Yeah. I probably should’ve done that.
There’s a book for teenagers on the cards for the next few months, followed by some thriller novels that I’ve planned – there’s this female vigilante who just won’t leave my head for now till I’ve finished writing about her. Also, a story about a painter-murderer. It’s all very tied up right now.
Words for readers
The narcissistic version – Buy my books four or five times 😉
On a serious note – read good literature. Don’t be afraid to venture out into an unknown territory because it could very well turn out to be your true calling. Never stop believing in yourself, never ever stop reading, and continue to be awesome!
Don’t create online matrimony profiles, Go out into the real world to find love, and then make sure you do everything in your power to make it last. What else is there for us to do?
And in the end, I’m so thankful to him for sharing his thoughts and being patient enough 🙂
I wish you lot of luck for your upcoming work!
Shomprakash’s past works-
Till then people!
Love and Peace