Prabhat Ranjan, the bestselling debut author of With You; Without You has talked to Amit Mishra from The Indian Authors about his book and his future plans in writing. He has been candid about the questions and replied them in a very frank manner. You will certainly enjoy this interview with him. Please read it below.
Amit Mishra: Let’s begin with the nature of your work, Prabhat. What classification would you like to ascribe to your book?
Prabhat Ranjan: Amit, I won’t classify it myself! I would rather have the readers classify it for me and for other readers as well. I have just given them something to read and I thank the readers who have made me a bestseller in the very first attempt at book writing or aptly, novel writing! People have said that With You; Without You is a romance and some have said that it is a literary fiction in the purest sense and some have also pointed out that it might well be a thriller in a modest way. I will agree with my readers and I will just like to let them discuss and decide in their own ways.
Amit Mishra: That’s good of you, Prabhat! However, indeed – the story of an engineer who became a bestselling author just in his debut is surely inspiring! How do you see it? How you prepared yourself for a novel writing?
Prabhat Ranjan: It did not come suddenly… it took some time and I have been writing shorter pieces for a long time now. However, indeed, the idea of writing a novel came to me some two years back and I have thought of a grand idea first. But as friends suggested and as I also thought, it’d be good to start with a theme which could be easier to relate with and also hone my skills at plot, narrative and other nuances of novel writing and thus came With You; Without You. And I have also finished my second novel, which, in fact, was the first one – Priyanka – Ek Pakistani Ladki. And I am considering the idea to devote all my time to writing now.
Amit Mishra: In the novel With You; Without You, which character is the closest to your heart. You seem to be coinciding with Nishind and that’s why perhaps you have made him the narrator too.
Prabhat Ranjan: No Amit! I did not do any favouring thing in this novel! Yes, the readers might think the same as you have thought. However, when writing a novel, any author surely goes with the wind of the character who becomes the main link to the plot. Nishind is surely an important or readers even call him the most important character too. I have made him the narrator because the story of With You; Without You could only come the best from his perspective because Nishind is the witness to everything which is going on.
Amit Mishra: How do you see the character of Rami now that the novel is already a bestseller, Prabhat? Where did you get the inspiration from?
Prabhat Ranjan: Rami is a character who can be any woman I know, you know or he knows or she knows. She is the contemporary woman who understands her life and her needs as well as has an ability to decipher what is good for her and what is bad for her. She is the embodiment of the idea of modern and independent and aware woman. You can also say her a moderate feministic woman who tries to understand and live the life from her view. I got the inspiration to create the character of Rami from different women I know. She could be found everywhere when I had an urge to find her.
Amit Mishra: Your views on contemporary Hindi literature, Prabhat. How do you see it today and tomorrow?
Prabhat Ranjan: I am personally overwhelmed, Amit! I just couldn’t believe when I saw my book has become a bestseller in such a short duration since the launch and it makes me believe that people are loving Hindi literature now. They are eager to read new books and they are curious to know how the Hindi literature portrays the things and ideas portrayed in the English literature. And it makes me highly hopeful for the future of our own Hindi literature in the country!
Amit Mishra: Still, Prabhat, do you think we need to improve somewhere to compete on that global level of writing?
Prabhat Ranjan: There’s a long way that we have to travel, Amit. Though we do have some of such authors in English who are there in the global leagues of the writers but for Hindi, we need to do a lot and seeing such things happening these days gives us hope only. I am sure in the coming years Hindi literature will also be there at the global level and I hope people keep their interest an enthusiasm growing and increasing because that’s what keeps us moving.
Amit Mishra: Would you like to tell something about your upcoming book Priyanka – Ek Pakistani Ladki?
Prabhat Ranjan: Of course! Why not! The novel is based upon some of the facts and some of my personal experiences and some of the historical writings as well. I have tried to hit the issues which have not been touched by any of the writers at least in the recent years. Priyanka, as the name suggests, is a Hindu girl who, along with her family, lives in Pakistan because her ancestors did not leave that land because of their love and affection and respect for the motherland. However, the troubles and problems make them flee and come to India for shelter. I cannot reveal more and I will request the readers please read the book once it’s available in the markets. This will surely give you a narrative which you have never witnessed.
Amit Mishra: Prabhat, there are many amateur writers who wish to publish their book and convey their ideas to the world of readers. Do you have any advice for them since you are bestseller now?
Prabhat Ranjan: I will say only one thing to them, Amit. It might take a little time but never lose your hopes. You can just remain focused on delivering your story in the best possible way to the readers. You have to have faith in what you write and wait for the right time. If publishers reject your story, please polish it and re-finish. Never lose heart and keep writing!
Amit Mishra: Thanks for your valuable time, Prabhat! Since With You; Without You is already a huge success, I wish you more and more with this debut novel and more with the novels to come!
Prabhat Ranjan: Thanks, Amit! It was a pleasure talking to you! Good luck and hope we catch up again very soon!