Swayam Ganguly’s book ‘Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll’, which was recently launched in Kolkata’s prestigious Oxford Bookstore. An exclusive interview.
As a media professional and creative consultant, Swayam Ganguly’s days are packed. Amid the hectic schedule, Swayam culled out time to write his maiden book Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll which was recently launched in Kolkata’s prestigious Oxford Bookstore.
Swayam had earlier worked in Bangalore and Mumbai before settling down in Kolkata. Apart from writing fiction, Swayam has also worked on abridged versions of novels and other content for different publishers. He is also the Creative Director, Content, for the website of the Mumbai-based online toy store called Yellow Giraffe.
Swayam has an avid interest in music and films and has directed the popular award-winning, regional band hunt reality show called ‘Band E Mataram’, which saw Kolkata’s happening new bands pitted against each other for the top honours.
Swayam talks to Sumauli Mukherjee on how Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll happened.
L&C: Today, how does it feel when your first book, Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll, has finally got published and has found space in the famous book stores along with other renowned authors?
Swayam: It is a proud moment for me but it also feels a little strange. The display at a bookstore was especially strange as they had stacked the book alongside the works of Mr. Amitav Ghosh (the only reason being that our surnames begin with the same letter). He’s an author I admire so it was kind of funny to see my book next to his works.
But it is a proud moment indeed as it is the fulfillment of a long cherished dream which demanded a lot of sacrifice.
L&C: Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll! begins in a unique manner, where 3 unknown people meet on a train and bond in an everlasting friendship. How did you come up with such a plot?
Swayam: Train journeys are fascinating and have always captivated my imagination. The plot demanded that the novel begin with a train journey as the protagonists needed to meet and bond together. A train was the only possible solution as such a scenario is not totally plausible in say a flight or a road trip.
L&C: How did you put the story together? Did you have the entire plot in mind when you started writing or did it keep growing in ideas as you went along?
Swayam: Love, Films and Rock n Roll! grew in stature in time. Although the plot was more or less settled when I started writing, the conflicts of the protagonists (man against man, man against himself, etc.) were developed throughout the writing and editing process.
So were certain add-ons to the personalities of the characters as the Baul part happened last minute. The editors were of the opinion that Dipsy’s character needed to be more refined than it was and hence modified.
L&C: Are any of the characters in the book inspired from people you’ve met or interacted with?
Swayam: I’d be lying if I said they weren’t. Truth is stranger than fiction after all! (smiles)
L&C: Writing a book takes a lot of time and dedicated effort. What was the driving force that made you go for this?
Swayam: That’s a tough one. I guess the fact that I always wanted this to happen badly and gave it everything I could made this possible. I’d like to thank my publishers Alchemy for believing in my script. But having said that, it is also the toughest thing I’ve ever done. The support from family and friends helped.
L&C: Did you expect the book would create such waves as it has done?
Swayam: Honestly, it still hasn’t created any waves if you ask me. But the newspaper and reader reviews have been encouraging. There have been some ripples of appreciation yes but it is too premature to assume that it is a bestseller yet. Hopefully it will be. Hope it’s a giant wave. (winks)
L&C: You seemed to have studied thoroughly the mind of this generation that feeds on music and movies and love syncs in automatically. It is a very “today’s generation” book. Did you yourself draw any inspiration from any of the earlier writers?
I am more inspired by life than any particular writer when it comes to writing style but it is true that the more you read, the more you learn. I admire each and every writer and I am inspired each time I read but the thought is always original.
Buy Swayam’s book from Flipkart, Amazon.in or Amazon.com
L&C: What will be the theme for your next book?
Swayam: The second novel is titled ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’ (no relation to the spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).
It is about three friends – a software engineer, an actress and a deejay who find their worlds turned upside down when they are kidnapped by the Maoists.
L&C: Do you want to say a few words for this energetic new generation?
Swayam: How about lending me some of that energy? (chuckles)
On a serious note, always respect your elders because they made you what you are today. But also remember that experience is nothing but an accumulation of failure. Follow your heart and the rest will follow!
Note from the editor:
The book has its own Facebook page.
A hilarious look at how the Fuhrer would have reacted to Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll!
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