Debaprasad Mukherjee is a medical doctor. He served in the army as well as in various corporate sectors before resigning from his job at Coal India Limited in 2014. He is at present settled in the city of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh where he runs his own clinic in addition to pursuing his literary urge, which is his gateway to ecstasy.
Now 60 years old, he wishes he had started his literary pursuits a little earlier than he did about ten years back. In these years, he penned four books (two novels and two short story collections), numerous articles and short stories for online and offline periodicals. All his books are listed on Amazon.
Prof Shiv Sethi Interviews Debaprasad Mukherjee
Q 1: What is the source of inspiration behind your literary career?
Answer: Literature is all about realising the intricacies of human nature. My profession of medicine has brought me closer to the pains and gains of humans at different phases of life. I started penning about ten years back as I realised good literature can make the character of a person or a society. I had been an avid follower of classics from an early age. Peeping a bit more into the persons around gave me the confidence that I can reflect them to their own selves like a mirror.
Q 2: Your take on your books The Pretty Gangster and The Fourth Woman?
Answer: The Petty Gangster is a novel on a similar line that I had penned earlier. I thought it could do better with a finer touch and some fortification. It was a long-term project which carried on over a year. In the meantime I kept scribbling shorter pieces as and when I could manage. That generated the short story collection, The Fourth Woman (and other stories). Both being simultaneous is simply co-incidental.
Whereas The Petty Gangster is a complex novel comprising many characters with the plot unfolding at a lazy pace, The Fourth Woman is a book that that can be read in bursts; one or two stories at a time. However, for both I expect an audience of different generations and different choices.
Q 3: By profession, you are a doctor but at heart a writer. How do you manage to spare time for writing?
Answer: Heart and mind work together. Isn't it? It is the coordination that matters. When you really love something, you find time out of however busy schedule you have. My writing and medical practice actually complement each other. Well, I may end up being a bad doctor and a bad author; but I try to give my best to both.
Q 4: What kind of books do like to read?
Answer: Classics are my personal favourite. Being fed on a sumptuous meal of Dickens in boyhood, anything less doesn't attract me. Little does amuse me following PG Wodehouse. Crime books are fine as long as they are of Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie. Humour of RK Narayan remains refreshing. Russian classics remain thought provoking. However, that does not mean I don't follow contemporary literature. But much less compared to classics.
Professional medical books are, of course, not being counted.
Q 5: Let me know the gist of your novel The Pretty Gangster?
Answer: It is about the transformation of a misguided young man to a man with vision and ideology. It happens through various incredible, touching, and at times funny developments.
Q 6: Tell me something about its chief characters.
1. Laltu: The protagonist. He is a spoilt young man with a dream, but without a proper direction..
2. Poly: Laltu's ladylove from a decent family.
3. Madhab: Laltu's childhood friend who is poles apart in character from him.
4. Fotu Babu: Laltu's conventional father, an evil man.
5. Sunit Kapoor: Laltu's biological father, a respectable human being.
6. Dr Bishwaroop Mohapatra: Laltu's mentor, an elderly doctor.
Q 7: Why did you shift to short story writing as your another book The Fourth Woman is a collection of short stories?
Answer: Short stories are like pick up and put down books where you can entertain yourself in your leisure at your own pace. This is what brings the young right-minded audience back to mainstream reading. I believe short stories are as important as novels in making literary impact. My book, The Fourth Woman, is a compilation of 19 short stories where the audience can realise their imagination, there existence, in the characters therein. Short stories can be composed in between the longer version of works, but can be equally engaging. I have seen netizens clinging to good stories in social media. and further sharing it. So, the urge for good stories have never died, whatever the the generation. .
Q 8: Any favorite author you always feel inspired by?
Answer: Have mentioned a few earlier on. special mention must be made of Dickens, RK Narayan, O Henry and VS Naipaul. Yet I don't feel my writing does follow any particular style. I try to be as myself as possible.
Among the contemporaries, I like Amitava Ghosh, Robin Sharma and Arvind Adiga. Yet I must confess my reading of contemporary literature are few and far between.
Q 9: What about your next book, working on that or want to give rest to your quill for sometime?
Answer: Idea is percolating, but I have to wait for the outcome of the present books. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Q 10: Do u think that mainstream writers, are doing justice to the pious profession of writing?
Answer: The duty of an author is to bring the world in its correct perspective to the readers. Sadly, there is a sag in the same from mainstream authors these days. I don't want to take names, but various considerations come in the way of bold and transparent writing. Of course, there are aberrations. Let's not talk of particular persons.
Q 11: Any hard times while writing The Pretty Gangster and The Fourth Woman?
Answer: Not much really, excepting the hiccups about choosing a publisher. Traditional publishers won't buzz before a time frame, if at all. I have bitter experience on this account in my last four publications. Good that some self-publishers are professional in filling up the void.
© 2022 Dharya Information Private Limited