It's interesting to experiment with real characters: Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay

7 months ago | 13-08-2016 | IBNS

Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay, noted Bengali author, talks about how he started writing and about his literary career on the side lines of the launch of the English translation (Eye of the Eagle) of his murder mystery novel Eagoler Chokh, now adapted for a Bengali movie that just hit the movie screens. IBNS correspondent Aninnya Sarkar speaks to the writer .

Why did you choose writing as your profession?

Actually, I never considered taking up writing as my profession. Since childhood I had a habit of scribbling, but never took those scribbles seriously. When I was in the university, studying masters in Bengali, I continued with my casual practice of writing. It was my friends who compelled me to give them a proper shape. Surprisingly, I realised that my writings were being accepted and published in several magazines. I expanded on the habit of writing and day by day my volume of of work increased.

Who is your favourite author or by whom were you influenced in the field of writing?

Fyodor Dostoevsky and Bankim Chandra Chattapadhay have been my all time favourites. And I really cannot name one person as my inspiration -- there are many who have inspired me in the field of writing.

You have written thrillers, children fiction, adult fiction but among these, which did you enjoy and labour for the most?

I never took my thrillers seriously. Its just that I wanted to make it a pastime reading, a form of entertainment, for my readers. My writing for children are meant to make them happy, nothing more than that. But yes, adult fictions were a much serious proposition because I have written it for the society. I have tried to make the adult readers socially aware about many issues though my writing.

Generally, when a film is adapted, the actual story is more or less altered,. Are you in any way dissatisfied with it when that happens to your stories?

Books and films are two separate mediums. Reading a book gives people a direct flavor of the voice of the author. Watching the adaptation is helpful for those film goers who have not read the book. But the message I wanted to share gets conveyed as the film maker is trying to highlight the same. So I appreciate what the film makers are doing and give them a licence to work on it.

{image_1}Many of your films have been adapted, out of those, which did you like the most?

I prefer to avoid watching the adaptations of my own works because I am a little poor in understanding the technical work and the process of film making. So, in order to avoid disappointments, I generally do not go to the screening of movies adapted from my novels. But I liked the film Chayamoy a lot. Ummmmand of course there are many more, but I am unable to recollect now (laughing).

Who is your favourite director?

There are many but Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar have touched my heart.

Why did you choose the term Eagler Chokhe as the title of your story?

I never plan a title while I write my stories. After I finish my work completely, automatically something suitable comes to my mind and I set it as a title.

As you said, you never plan from beginning while choosing a title, does the same thing happen while you frame your novels?

Yes, definitely. I never follow any specific pattern while composing my stories. Its just that I give a complete freedom to my mind and perhaps the magic occurs on its own.

Share your experience about your creating detective characters.

I find its interesting to experiment with real characters. I feel peoples perception of goyendas (detective characters) fictitious and romantic. I intended to breech that perception and create a detective,a person of flesh and blood, whom we see everyday in our locality. That is who Detective Shabar is.

Who is your favourite detective character?

My personal favourites are the detective characters of Agatha Christie.

Children today, especially those in the age group of 10-14 are immensely attracted to Harry Porter. How do you feel about it?

J. K Rowling is a fine author. I too like her style of writing. She talks of stark reality yet creates a magical world, uses a lot of imagination. Therefore, such fantasy literature attracts children and I dont think there is anything wrong in it.

Besides writing in Bengali, have you ever planned to write in English or any other language?

No, I have a strong background in Bengali, and it is my mother tongue. So I feel Bengali to be the most comfortable medium for my literary expression. As far as writing in English is concerned, for that I need a different background, which I lack. So never tried it.

Are you satisfied with the English translation of Eagler Chokh?

Honestly speaking, I havent read it yet. So it is a little difficult to comment. But I am sure it will be good and would be accepted by the readers.

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