Author Tuhin A Sinha: We are all suckers for romance
Author Tuhin A Sinha talks about his latest book, When The Chief Fell in Love, and about writing on romance and controversial topics, as well as his time at Delhi University’s Hindu College.books Updated: Mar 19, 2018 11:19 IST
“What makes Kashmir such a ghetto today? That’s what the book reflects and gets into,” says author Tuhin A Sinha about his latest — When The Chief Fell in Love. The book follows the story of Vihaan and Zaira, who fall in love with each other, which is a problem because Vihaan is the defence minister of the country while Zaira is the daughter of a pro-Pakistan Separatist leader.
The narrative begins in the year 1991, with one futuristic chapter set in 2030. “The way lovers interact when they are 20 years old, when they are 32, and then 45-46, vary. The emotions are so different, as they are at different stages of life. Writing that bit was challenging. In terms of the sheer trajectory involving emotions, geography, and the number of years covered, it was one hell of a task,” says Tuhin.
From his debut book, That Thing Called Love (2007), love has been a prominent theme in his work. He says, “We’re all suckers for romance. And the absence of it in today’s’ fast-paced stressful lives is what makes romance all the more special.”
Ask him if exploring political themes or controversial topics is something he does intentionally in his books, he points out that a writer’s job is to “throw up new perspectives”. “Ideas need to be seen, even if you don’t agree with them. Why do we shy away from controversies? The point is, as a society we tend to be restrictive,” he says.
Known for writing fictional narratives, the author says it helps him engage young readers better than “doling out plain or bland gyan”. “The fact that I’m not a student of literature is a blessing in disguise. I became a writer rather serendipitously. It makes me want to raise the bar with every book and experiment with something not expected of me. The readers enjoying the unpredictability as much is very satisfying,” says Sinha, whose book The Edge of Desire, followed the story of a rape survivor, who goes on to become the top leader in the country.
His latest book, published by Fingerprint Publishing, begins in Delhi University (DU) and Sinha, an alumnus of Hindu College, fondly reminisces the good ol’ days. “Through the book, I’m living certain things I would want to have experienced in those years. Hindu College, in fact, the entire DU is very serene. A lot of changes have been induced by technology. Back then, if you fell in love with someone from another college, in the absence of a cell phone, you’d have to wait for a next meeting. The waiting time would add to the anticipation,” he says, smiling. “However, today, kids are so overconnected, which works as a detriment to their relationships,” Tuhin adds.
The Mumbai- based author has also tried his hand at acting as well as co-written soaps for TV, including Pyar Ki Kashti Mein, Koi Dil Mein Hai, and Dekho Magar Pyar Se. Revealing that the kick of doing something which the rest of the world isn’t doing was always an “exciting factor”, he says, “TV tends to be a hugely collaborative experience, as the channel is involved in giving feedback. Production house has its own dos and don’ts.” But writing wins hand down for him as writing a book is entirely your “exclusive creation”.
When The Chief Fell in Love includes a subtitle — Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat, Hindustaniyat . The slogan ‘Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat , Insaniyat’ was first propagated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003.
“It is a reiteration of the original three words which reflect Kashmir’s independent identity in terms of culture, democracy (jamhooriyat), and humanity (insaniyat). It’s all the more relevant to reiterate today because the valley probably sees extremism of the worst kind, which is shocking as Kashmir is known as the land of Sufi saints,” he explains.
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