In the immortal words of the famed American novelist, screenwriter, and actor, Truman Capote, “the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” In our author spotlight today, we at bookGeeks got a lucky chance for a tete-e-tete with debut author Suny Misra, whose world is as much about writing as it is about music.
Author Suny Misra is an educator and bibliolater. His passion for writing is only equaled and complemented by his love for music. Born in the family of music maestros of the legendary Manohar Gharana (aka Misra Gharana) of Benaras of Indian Classical Music, music has always played a crucial role in Suny’s upbringing.
Suny takes immense pride in being the grandson of distinguished performer Pandit Bishnu Sewak Misra and the great-grandson of the world-famous Pandit Pashupati Sewak Misra.
When not inspiring young minds through his teaching and not indulging in his love for music and literature, Suny likes to pursue his interests in psychology, taekwondo, and photography.
His debut novel Shadows in the Night narrates the story of a lonely professor Ambarish, who undertakes a strange journey and mistakenly gets off at the wrong railway station. As Ambarish waits the night out at the deserted railway station he gets many phone calls, and after every phone call, he encounters a person. The whole mystery is shrouded in these rather strange encounters.
Shadows in the Night talks about an unusual but highly relevant subject and though the topic isn’t an easy one, the end brings us hope and positivity rather than darkness and despair. The social message, at the end of it, is for everyone to learn something from. It aims to educate the reader while also teaching them empathy.
A detailed review of the book can be read here.
With hopes of getting to know Suny better, we asked him some questions about the book and other things in general. Here’s what he has to say about his writing and life in general.
|Tell us about yourself. What are your likes, dislikes, dreams, and aspirations?|
|I am a teacher and a bibliophile. Apart from books, I like music. I know a few musical instruments, but I love to play my Harmonica the most. I love bird watching and photography, especially, bird photography. I practice Taekwondo and am quite enthusiastic about it. I dream to be known as an author, a renowned one, around the world.|
|Your debut work Shadows in the Night deals with a sensitive and socially relevant theme? What inspired you to take up such a challenging subject?|
|I am a teacher, and I believe, a teacher’s duty is not to educate his students only. We have our obligations towards society too. During the lockdown phase, I witnessed several people getting affected by depression or many other forms of mental disease. But there is a stigma in our society around mental health that prevents a person to seek medical help. I thought of doing something to eradicate that.
Then, there is a grave situation created in several villages of Malda and Murshidabad due to the Ganga River Bank Erosion. I wanted to make people aware of the situation. Shadows in the Night is the outcome of these thoughts. At some points, Shadows in the Night may seem too preachy to a reader. But that’s only because, it was written not only to entertain but also to spread awareness among the masses.
|Is it absolutely important for a writer to have a muse or an inspiration? If yes, what is yours?|
|Yes, I agree. My late mother used to say that someday I would write books and make her proud. My wife inspires me to keep the fire of aspiration burning in me. The gaze with which my daughter looks up to me is also no less inspiring. So, I would say, though uninvoked in my works, these three are my muses.|
|You write about Bengal and Bengali culture with the expertise of someone who has lived it. How did you manage to pack so much local flavor into your writing?|
|It’s because I am born, brought up, educated, and still working in West Bengal. My mother was a Bengali too. You may say that Bengal and Bengali culture runs in my veins. You can see several references to Rabindranath Tagore in the novel. Well, the surname, ‘Tagore’ is the Anglicized version of ‘Thakur’. ‘Thakur’ literally means God, and Rabindranath is revered almost as a god all over Bengal.|
|What are some of your interests apart from writing?|
|I am interested in music, psychology, photography, and taekwondo. When I am not teaching or writing, either I am playing my Harmonica or Tabla (sometimes), or watching and clicking photos of birds, or reading articles on Psychology, or practicing Taekwondo.|
|Born into a house of extraordinary legacy, do you feel you have an added pressure to live up to your incredible heritage?|
|Not really. On the contrary, my family has always been supportive. I have always been told that I do not need to walk on the trodden path if I can carve my own. My late grandmother, my Dadi, used to say that I would someday make my family proud, not by my musical talent, but with my studies.|
|Who is your favorite Indian author?|
|The revered Rabindranath Tagore, obviously. But I am a fan of Ruskin Bond too. I love reading the works of Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, and Neil D’Silva, too.|
|What have you been reading lately?|
|Yakshini by Neil D’Silva.|
|What are some of the dos and don’ts that you have learned as a debut author?|
|Though I am still in the learning phase, I have learned that an aspiring author must sit to write every day without a miss. Secondly, all writing is rewriting. Completing the first draft is less than 50% of the work done. So I strive to edit my writing several times.|
|Any upcoming writing projects that you are currently working on?|
|I am currently working on my second novel. It is a psychological thriller with a serial killer in it. Sorry, I can’t disclose anything else right now.|