Read an interview with the well-known author Phidalia Toi who has written many titles and recent ones are her series on Modi government’s successive years in the central power. Amit Mishra from The Indian Authors has asked some questions to Phidalia Toi which the readers will surely like reading.
Amit Mishra: You have been writing this series for sometimes now, Phidalia. What has been your experience? How do you feel like writing on such an important and serious issues? How is it different than writing a fiction?
Phidalia Toi: I have already committed myself to write this series and I will not rest till it is done and over. However, I must say that it demands a lot of my time in writing it. This gives me little time to pursue my other interests or spend more time with my family and friends.
To me, I prefer to write fiction rather than non-fiction because fiction gives me unlimited freedom to be creative and use my imagination. In non-fiction, tedious research is necessary and of course, much reading.
Alok Mishra: The third instalment of the series Marathon Race to Acche Din, The Afternoon, as told by the readers and critics alike, is something which has come up better and bigger than the previous two instalments. What do you have to say on that?
Phidalia Toi: I have put in more work in this part of the series and spent a lot of time on it. I also intend to put more time and effort on the remaining two books in the series to make them much better and bigger.
Amit Mishra: And if I may ask you, how do you go about this thing? From where do you start such serious books? What is the process involved in the writing of such big titles, Phidalia?
Phidalia Toi: This series happened because of the inspiration that Shri Modiji has given me through his rise to power from a humble beginning. I have committed to writing a series of books on his first term in government. But after having gone through the experience of writing this non-fiction, I have resolved to concentrate more on fiction and poetry because, as I’ve already said earlier, I prefer writing fiction to non-fiction.
Amit Mishra: All your chapters start with a quote by some well-known personality. Readers might be thinking what is the symbolism behind this practice. What is it, Phidalia?
Phidalia Toi: I try to find good quotations for the chapters. To me, it is like summing up the essence of the whole chapter in one or two lines.
Amit Mishra: Your works in this series Marathon Race to Acche Din end with a very well-crafted poem. What’s your stance in poetry? Do you write the verse occasionally or you have some serious interest in this form of writing too?
Phidalia Toi: Just as the quotations sum up the chapters, so do the poems that end the books in this series try to bring about the picture of the whole book in a single poem. As soon as I begin writing the chapters of the book, I try to visualize the whole book as a poem.
Amit Mishra: Have you started working on the fourth book of the series already? Or it will take some time?
Phidalia Toi: Yes, at first I begin slowly as I wait for events to unfold in the national and regional stage of the country. I am committed to bringing out the 4th book “The Evening” by June 2018 and have sent a personal note requesting our Prime Minister Shri Modiji to release the book if possible.
Amit Mishra: Have any political leader, except the prologue by Sangma for the first instalment, tried to get in touch with you Phidalia? Because as far as I know, political leaders are very sensitive to criticism! What has your experience so far been?
Phidalia Toi: No, so far no politician has tried to get in touch with me. The first edition of the book in the series, i.e. “The Dawn” was released in 2015 by Madam Najma Heptulla, the then Minister for Minority Affairs at the official residence of Late P. A. Sangma (former Speaker of the Lok Sabha) at New Delhi. I haven’t planned for a prologue for each book but I am considering having one for the last book in the series.
Amit Mishra: Other than the Acche Din series, are you working on some other fictional or non-fictional work too?
Phidalia Toi: Besides books, I love making films and writing poetry. In fact, I have been preparing to remake my own film that I made 26 years ago. I was also working on a fictional story but then this series happened and it is taking so much of my time that I think I will be able to complete my other projects only after 2019 when the last book in this series, “The Dusk” has been completed.
Amit Mishra: Thank you so much for your time, Phidalia! I wish you the best for this work and all others to come!