An Intimate Conversation With Celebrated Author Sabarna Roy

Sabarna Roy is Senior Vice President [Business Development] at Electrosteel Castings Limited, an author of nine Literary and three Technical bestselling books, TEDx Speaker, Champions of Change Award 2020 Winner, Times Excellence Award 2021 Winner in Indian Literature, and Golden Glory Award Winner for Critically Acclaimed Bestselling Author of the Year 2021. The luminary has been awarded the Right Choice Award for Author of Eminence of 2022. Also, he has been selected among the India Today Group: Icons of India. He has completed his ninth literary work: an epistolary novel, which has been published in the winter of 2022. Presently, he is working on his tenth literary work loosely titled: Thirty Summer Poems and Conversations about a Murder.

Sabarna Roy has received the Best Author to Watch 2022 Award from Indo-Global Entrepreneurship Conclave Delhi organized by Business Connect, and Best Author in Indian English Literature of 2022 at the Ninth Asia Education Summit 2022.

Azteca University, Mexico has conferred an Honorary Doctor of Arts to Sabarna Roy for his contribution to Post-modern Indian Literature.

Sabarna has received the Most Iconic Author of the Year, 2022 from the Government of Punjab.

We present before you an intimate conversation with Mr Sabarna Roy.

Question: You have always selected a new format for your works of prose and that happens to be the case even with your latest ninth literary work, which has been published recently. Why so?

Sabarna Roy: You are correct in saying so because I have always experimented with my style of prose or poem writing – basically Storytelling – since my first book, titled: Pentacles. Tara and Sandy: Slow dance of infinite stars, is an epistolary novel because I wanted to revive the art of letter writing between two adults separated by a long distance and circumstances/experience for making it an interesting read.

Question: Why did you plan that two authors have to collaborate for this epistolary novel?

Sabarna Roy: Tara and Sandy are two different characters. Sandy is a male and Tara is a female. They were high school mates a long time back. They originate out of unique circumstances and experiences. So, I thought to make the novel more authentic: Tara’s letters should be written by a lady author and I thought myself capable of writing Sandy’s letters. Sita Bhaskar was the editor of my last four books and had become a very good friend. I proposed her the concept of the novel based on my ballad, titled: Tara, written in 2009. Sita almost agreed instantly and we started the joint letter writing process. The book was later edited by Shayoni Mitra and the outcome is for all of you to read and comment.

Question: Can you identify the main characteristic of your protagonists Tara and Sandy in the novel?

Sabarna Roy: Tara is a seasoned woman tempered by her various experiences of life, both within and outside India, and is more of an anchor. Whereas Sandy suffers from early delusional symptoms of schizophrenia. He swings between extremes and writes in the language, that is, more or less like the stream of consciousness.

Question: The ballad refers to their meeting at the Delhi Airport after 26 years having left high school; right?

Sabarna Roy: Yes, you are absolutely correct. The first time they meet after high school is after 26 years having left their high school, but the letter writing process starts after the Covid Pandemic in January 2022. The initiative is taken by Sandy. Tara replies after some time and then, the conversation picks up organically.

An Intimate Conversation

Question: Maithili Rao, the film critic and the author of Smita Patil: A Brief Incandescence and Millennial Women in Bollywood: A New Brand, has written a beautiful Foreword to the book; What do you have to say about it?

Sabarna Roy: I agree that it is a beautiful Foreword. I am grateful to Maithili for having written this wonderful Foreword. In fact, Sita knows Maithili very well and she had requested Maithili to read the manuscript and if she liked the manuscript, she could write a Foreword. After reading the manuscript, she agreed to write the Foreword.

The most beautiful part of the Foreword is: This slow dance of advance and retreat proceeds like a Tango in suspension, Arrested mid-movement. Sandy is more forthcoming with his amatory past, his serial infidelities interspersed with bits of Poetry (his own and Pushkin on one occasion) and jottings from his journal. Sandy’s letters live up to the dictionary meaning of epistolary: it could include quotations, other documents and such. Tara is upfront but willing to indulge Sandy’s meandering missives Embedded with Covert hints. Tara’s letters cut with sarcasm but are also vivid with imagery as befits a filmmaker who has abandoned her profession. When she writes of an accident while shooting in freezing Canadian winter, we see it happen. What could be dissonance of tones in their letters lends an edge of uncertainty that keeps us guessing.

Question: How is the book doing?

Sabarna Roy: The book is doing better than my expectations. I hope with word of mouth spreading, it will pick up steam with time. There was a book launch planned at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata in December 2022. However, since I have stopped the habit of attending public events, I canceled this public book launch. I clarified this with Sita Bhaskar, as well. Although, this book as a concept has had two large pre-publication discussions: one, at the Mysore Literature Festival 2022 and the other, at Taj Bengal in Kolkata in May 2022.

Question: Are you happy about the outcome of this novel?

Sabarna Roy: I am not satisfied with any of my works post-publication. But this book is a tad closer to my heart.

Question: Have you started work on your tenth literary work?

Sabarna Roy : Yes, I have and it is loosely titled: Thirty Summer Poems and Conversations about a Murder. It is likely to be published in the winter of 2023.

Thank you.

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