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Name : Ayan Pal
Academics : B.E. - Electronics & Communication, Education Technology from SDSU, California.
1. When did you find yourself lost in the world of words?
As a kid, I was home tutored by an Anglo Indian teacher – Mr. William Philips. It was he who introduced me to Enid Blyton’s books, comics - especially Tinkle and magazines like Target. What helped was that my grandmother and mom were voracious readers and always encouraged me to read. One thing lead to another, and I was soon lost in a world of words! What helped was the fact that we had a lovely library at school. I also became a member of a library outside of school where I could borrow even more books, and the reading but naturally continued unabated!
2. Do you believe that self-experience is important to keep your pen flowing? What motivates you to write and just keep writing?
I think self-experience is extremely important. Having said that, I also feel the sense of ‘self’ may not necessarily be one’s own. You can be inspired by the experiences of family and friends, provided you are close to them, and sometimes even strangers, if their experiences touches you somehow. I guess it’s a combination of all of such experiences, and the desire to tell stories that motivates me to continue writing, no matter what. I am not done yet. In fact, far from it!
3.How important is for a writer to be a good reader?
Of paramount importance! The best way to learn is by reading, and at least for me, it’s a never ending process!
4. Most memorable life event...
My life so far has been a string of memories, most of them extremely eventful. But the most memorable one will probably be the moment I came to know that my mother is no more. That, and the moment I tied the knot with my wife – Ankana. There was something utterly life changing about them both, to be honest, despite them being from opposite ends of an emotional radar.
5.What are your views about Feminism?
While I do not believe in the bra-burning brand of feminism, or for that matter any kind of feminism where men have to be brought down to show woman on top, I believe it is extremely important. But for it to exist and work, more men needs to believe in it, and I have hope that we are on the right track!
6.Why do we need to sensationalize the whole topic of feminism?
I personally feel men and women are never equal, for they are too different and complex to be equated. However, I feel that men and woman must always be provided with equal opportunities, and if any form of feminism can help in that, I am game for it, always! But sometimes feminism does tend to harbor and rationalize women’s success in comparison to the failure of men, and to this I have an objection. But with any kind of advertising, including that of a brand as fiery as feminism, we would still need shock over and above sex and sense. Hence some sort of sensationalism is needed to spread the word and grab attention. Hence I find nothing wrong in the sensationalism of feminism. Because the more we talk about it, the more its core values will permeate into what is undoubtedly, and very sadly, still a man’s world in most cases.
7.What is social media for you? How do you see social media?
Social media is both a boon as well as a bane. While it’s a wonderful and cost effective way to keep in touch with family, friends, and fans, it can also lead to an information overload. Hence I personally believe a little jurisdiction is required while using it. Also, it should be a way to aid other forms of communication be it face to face or even verbal (say over the phone). To turn it into the only form of communication, at the cost of denying real-world interaction is in fact absolutely dangerous!
8. What would you like to convey to the young literature enthusiasts?
Whether you love reading or writing, remember to read up on various subjects and source books from diverse genres to decide what works for you and what does not. When you do know, read as much as possible on the subject and enjoy getting lost in the world of words. There is no known alternative really to the experience of a great book! And maybe, do try out my latest novel ‘Confessions on an Island’. You won’t be disappointed!
[ Ayan Pal is the author of the book "Confessions on an island. As an author, he is known for his acclaimed short stories in the Amazon bestsellers Chronicles of Urban Nomads, 21 Tales to Tell, and When They Spoke. He has also contributed to India’s first composite novel, Crossed and Knotted, Upper Cut, Her Story, Rudraksha, Arranged To Love, Tonight’s The Night and Long Story Short. He is a columnist of lifestyle magazine ThnkMkt and blogger at South Asia’s leading literary magazine Open Road Review.]