Interview: Manan Kapoor author of The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky

Manan Kapoor, a young author from Chandigarh has launched his first novel – The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky. Manan was born in Shimla in 1993. He graduated from Panjab University in 2015. He discovered his love for reading, devouring the works of Orhan Pamuk, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rusdhie, Amitav Ghosh and Jhumpa Lahiri.

 

Manan Kapoor
The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky is the story of a skirmish with life and the perseverance in the dark times. Kashmir – 1991 In between the insurgency and the exodus, Inayat finds solace in the company of Gul, a Kashmiri pundit, and Aaqib. She blooms under the eyes of her father, Maqbool- an alcoholic poet, and her mother – Wahida, who is fraught with sanguinity. They spend their days listening to The Doors in Gul’s backyard and attending Shakes-Peer’s English lessons at the school. However, as they leave behind their childhood, they realize that the future holds things for them that they have never imagined. Inayat comes face to face with loss as bereavement engulfs Kashmir. The echoing of the machine guns, the wails of her loved ones and the silence that she is bequeathed with is all that is left.
In an exclusive interview with Readerland.com, Manan shares more insights about his journey as an author, and future projects.
Excerpts:
RL: Please tell us something about your early years and major influences on you?
Manan: Kafka has rightly said that writing is a “way of understanding, interpreting and putting order into the world.” Every book I have ever read has helped me come to terms with who I am as a person. From the jazz and cats in Murakami to the importance of objects and memories in Pamuk, the subtleties in Kafka’s short stories to the obscurities in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books, and Umberto Eco’s and Kundera’s essays on literature – all of them have left their imprint on me in a distinct way. Every book that I’ve read has been an exploration into the unknown, to new ideas and different styles of writing. Be it Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anthony Marra, Milan Kundera or even poets like Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath and Agha Shahid Ali – they’ve all helped me to become the writer I am in their own way. And it’s not just books but other forms of art as well such as music and movies. Bands such as Pink Floyd, Opeth, and Porcupine Tree and jazz musicians like Paul Desmond and Chet Baker have had a huge impact on the way I think because they’ve been talking about philosophical and metaphysical issues that help you to understand who you are, help you to understand your flaws, to appreciate them. Filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr, Krystoff Kieslowski, Joachim Trier and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, on the other hand, have brought me closer to basic human emotions that would’ve eluded me otherwise. They’ve presented those internal conflicts in a visual way that has helped me to understand how I should write, how I need to detail the hidden nuances that majorly affect any novel.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision to start writing and nor was I surprised because I had been reading for a long time. I started off with writing the novel, and it was just another thing that I thought would give up. But slowly I started understanding the world around me through writing because it answered the questions I didn’t realize I had. I had always been into the arts and I’d been jumping from one to another. I used to write for a couple of online magazines, basically lifeless stuff like music reviews and slowly I found solace in writing by pouring out emotions that I felt on a daily basis.
RL: What inspired you to work on this novel – The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky?
Manan: I believe what you write about, is an outcome of what you’re feeding yourself. I’ve always had a penchant for melancholia, be it the music I listen to, the movies I watch or the books I read. And the weight of all those influences can be felt in the book. My book is more like a compilation of all the answers to the questions I asked after watching a story unfurl. The first thought that surfaced, was after I heard Ghost Reveries by Opeth. The album focuses on the story of a man’s turmoil after committing an unconscionable act. I’d been listening to the album for the past decade and suddenly it got me thinking and the next thing I know, I have a plot. If I trace back my steps, I think that one moment lead to the advent of my novel. That moment of doubt, that deliberation led to what the book is now.
Many times I would try to write like my favorite authors, trying to describe a movement, trying to turn it into an almost a visual depiction. And then another draft would follow. In those pauses between the two drafts, I would realize that I had added so much to the incipient drafts, that it wasn’t just a vivid description anymore, but something more personal. It carried certain emotions, experiences, and conversations that I had had during the past years. The book, suddenly, ceased to exist as an inanimate description of events. It was something that I did subconsciously and I wonder if I can repeat it again, but it was almost as if I added life through the words. It was almost seamless. I spent two and half years working on this project. Eleven drafts – And I think it could still use a dozen more. There’s still room for improvement, there will always remain a room for improvement. But it is a resonant image of who I was two years back. And like everything else, the naivety is an essential for it is the reminder of my former self which is a foundation stone for what I am going to become.
RL: As a debutant author, did you face any challenge while writing the book?

Manan: I gave up almost every single day. I didn’t have a mentor who could guide me through the process when I started and so the only advice I’ve received were from prominent authors who left behind a set of instructions for people like me. For instance, Hemingway taught me that “You’ve got to work it over. The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself. And that “the most important thing is to never write too much at a time. Leave a little for the next day and let your subconscious mind do the work.” I did face a lot of challenges, but there was always something – an article, a post I read on Brain Pickings, or even conversations with people, that would help me find the way.
RL: What is your motto and life philosophy?
 
Manan: I believe that our lives are mostly linear. It’s only a few times that we experience melancholy or absolute happiness and we need to relish those moments for they help us in understanding the self. You ought to seek the reasons for your existence, dispel the mist that surrounds human emotions, and think about the strangeness of your thoughts. Even though you may never find any of those answers – it’s worth a try. They’re not mathematical problems that need to be solved, but vital phenomena that need to be experienced. You explore, question different beliefs and finally open up to the different ideas and philosophies. You might never achieve a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment, but in the tempest of that dissatisfaction, there will be a moment where you realize something about yourself. Those moments of epiphanies are the ones that will bring you closer to yourself, help you to discover who you really are.
RL: Please tell us what books have influence your life most?
Manan: That would be a long list but I’ll try to shorten it down to ten.
1.    Museum of Innocence – Orhan Pamuk
2.    The Veiled Suite – Agha Shahid Ali
3.    The Min Kamp Series – Karl Ove Knausgard
4.    A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Anthony Marra
5.    Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
6.    The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
7.    Ariel and other poems – Sylvia Plath
8.    Replacement – Tor Ulven
9.    Howl and Other Poems – Allen Ginsberg
10.  Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh
RL: Who is favorite author & why?
Manan: Most people would say that it is tough to pick a favorite author, but I don’t have any second doubts. It has to be Orhan Pamuk. His novels are magically woven stories that stay with you for a long, long time. For example, The Museum of Innocence is about Kemal and his obsession with Fusun – a love story which goes on for about 800 pages in the first person narrative. He took about ten years to write the novel, and while you’re reading it you can see the amount of time he has invested in it. And it’s not just simply a book, but he also constructed a real life Museum based on the book in Istanbul – it is almost similar to the Taj Mahal – a symbol of his love for Fusun.
All the books by Pamuk are infused with fears, elusive moments of happiness and joy and, most importantly, the memories instilled in objects and inanimate things. He presents to you a city in the form of a museum, a human life that he encapsulates in time where every mundane object, even things such as hair clips and cigarette butts are evident in each of his novels, be it The Museum of Innocence, The Silent House, Istanbul, Snow or even his latest book, A Strangeness in my mind, which was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. I must say that his novels are the most powerful that I’ve come across, both structurally as well as emotionally.

RL: What are your future projects? Any more books in the pipeline?

Manan: I am working on a novel and poetry now a days but it is completely different from The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky. Two years ago, I would’ve told you that I write about pain and why it is necessary. I was reading novels such as A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Famished Road and The Lowland – books that compelled me to devise an intricate plot. I now think that I’ve written a rather complex plot for The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky – there is a colossal design and a setting that magnifies it. But today, I don’t think I need the setting of Kashmir in the early nineties or the elaborate plot for a novel. I would be happier writing about the trivial pleasures of insignificant victories in the daily life rather than an elaborate tragedy, about a battle rather than a war. Currently, I am working on a novel that’s still an embryonic thought in my head, and I’ve been writing poetry. I’ll leave you with one of the poems I wrote a couple of weeks back. It’s based on a character from Nostalghia by Andrei Tarkovsky – one of the best art films that I have ever watched.
Domenico’s Reverie
Can insanity be useful?
I speak, talking out loud, reminiscing – by the window, alone.
What ancestors speak through me?
These myriad feelings flow through me, in light
and in darkness,
where the voices collide
and crash,
like the heart, whose surface is furrowed,
resembling linen, in the early mornings.
There exists between the soul and the mind, a schism.
It bids me farewell, reason.
But the qualm remains still,
and so does the calm.
The schism, it hangs on a thread,
Is sanity inept?
Or insanity adept? I’ll never know.
But the delirium, it will stay home,
and the schism, persevere.
Source :- http://www.readersland.com/2016/05/interview-manan-kapoor-author-of.html

In conversation: Manan Kapoor

Today we are in conversation with Manan Kapoor the author of  The Lamentations of a Sombre SkyRead on to know more about him as an author and as a person.

1. Welcome to my blog. Tell us something about your journey as an author. How did writing happen to you?
I think writing is one of those professions where you cannot involve other people. It is something that has to be done solely by you, in your own space. I’ve learnt that it has to be just about yourself and the story. If anything else is involved in the process, I think it loses the exclusivity. When I started writing, I had no idea how to structure a novel, or give a definition to the characters and build their distinct voice. I learnt all of it the rough way, by trial and error. But the fact that I read books, definitely made me a better writer. I experimented with different styles of writing and narration, adding and deleting various chunks on a daily basis – basically, I learnt how to make the inanimate manuscript come to life by reading. I had never had a formal education with creative writing and all that I knew was from books I had read, the conversations I had with the people around me. It wasn’t really as difficult towards the end, but initially, when all I had was an incipient notion about the rudimentary plot, it was definitely something that petrified me. I never thought I would make it here.

2. What prompted you to write your first novel?

 
Kafka has rightly said that writing is a “way of understanding, interpreting and putting order into the world.” Every book I have ever read has helped me come to terms with who I am as a person. I understood the world around me through writing because it answered the questions I didn’t realize I had. I had always been into the arts and I’d been jumping from one to another. I used to write for a couple of online magazines, basically lifeless stuff like music reviews and slowly I found solace in writing by pouring out emotions that I felt on a daily basis. I started off with writing the novel, and it was just another thing that I thought would give up.

3. Why Kashmir?

I’ve written about eleven drafts of the novel over a period of two and a half years. And for the first 4-5 drafts there was no Kashmir, no background to it. And Lamentations, even though I’ve been told is gripping, I think it takes time to grow on you. There are various nuances and shades in the novel that are only visible after that book has taken a hold of you. And I needed something to complement those shades that were already present – something to fill the fissures. I was reading Curfewed Night while I was writing and I think that led me to Kashmir. It wasn’t a decision that I could make, the story – which is about loss – and the concept of Kashmir, they amalgamated so beautifully that I couldn’t separate them.

4. Instead of the political issues at Kashmir the book discusses more about the personal ethos. It speaks a lot about people. Any specific reason for that?

The novel is essentially about Inayat and I didn’t want to diverge from it, it had to be the focal point of the novel. The story is essentially about loss and how you’re never immune to it. There are numerous books, nonfiction as well as fiction, about what’s really going on in Kashmir. But unlike them, I wasn’t telling the story of Kashmir, it was Inayat’s story. Kashmir was never the forefront, and I think it is quite visible to the reader as well. Also, I didn’t want to politicize the novel in any way. If you read the book, you will notice that I haven’t passed a verdict on who is right and who is wrong, I feel I just can’t. I’m simply an observer who’s looking at the situation from a distance and it wouldn’t be reasonable – I haven’t faced any of those things personally. But still, the novel lets you explore what is actually going on in Kashmir in a very subtle manner. It’s always there even when they’re simply eating dinner, or sitting in their living rooms talking – it is an essential part of all the banal activates, and not just the situation but the customs and traditions of the region. But if someone really wants to know about Kashmir, they need to read other books (most of them are mentioned in the acknowledgement section of my novel) that tell you what really happened there and what’s going on currently. Lamentations just gives you an idea of how it all started in the early nineties, but essentially it tells you about Inayat, her family and friends and most importantly her struggle and perseverance in those dark times.

5. Writing a book like this definitely calls for a lot of research. How important is research for fiction according to you?

Research was the most important aspect of this novel. Kashmir is a very sensitive and delicate issue and I had to make sure I was factually correct at all times. Even though the events that take place in the novel are fictional, the background of those events that acts as a spine is accurate and precise. I read various books such as Curfewed Night, Out Moon has Blood Clots, The Collaborator, Of Occupation and Resistance, and Munnu, which is a graphic novel, similar to Persepolis – an easy read if you really want to know what’s going on in Kashmir. There were many more articles that I read on a daily basis. It all had to be factually correct – it had to be.

6. Any challenges you faced on your journey to becoming an author that would like to share.

I gave up almost every single day. I didn’t have a mentor who could guide me through the process when I started and so the only advice I’ve received were from prominent authors who left behind a set of instructions for people like me. For instance, Hemingway taught me that “You’ve got to work it over. The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself. And that “the most important thing is to never write too much at a time. Leave a little for the next day and let your subconscious mind do the work.” I did face a lot of challenges, but there was always something – an article, a post I read on Brain Pickings, or even conversations with people, that would help me find the way.

7. Tell us about a book which is close to your heart.

Most people would say that it is tough to pick a favorite book, but I don’t have any second doubts. It has to be Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. It is set in Istanbul, a story about Kemal and his obsession with Fusun – a love story which goes on for about 800 pages in the first person narrative. Like all other books by Pamuk, this novel is infused with memories, fears, elusive moments of happiness and joy and, most importantly, the memories instilled in objects and inanimate things.
But in Museum of Innocence he presents to you a city in the form of a museum, a human life that he encapsulates in time where every mundane object, even things such as hair clips and cigarette butts carry a part of her soul – . He took about ten years to write the novel, and while you’re reading it you can see the amount of time he has invested in it. And it’s not just simply a book, but he also constructed a real life Museum based on the book in Istanbul – it is almost similar to the Taj Mahal – a symbol of his love for Fusun. I must say that it is the most beautiful piece of writing I’ve come across – structurally as well as emotionally.
 

8. Any future projects you are working on currently.

I am. Two years ago, I would’ve told you that I write about pain and why it is necessary. I was reading novels such as A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Famished Road and The Lowland – books that compelled me to devise an intricate plot. I now think that I’ve written a rather complex plot for The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky – there’s a colossal design and a setting that magnifies it. But today, I don’t think I need the setting of Kashmir in the early nineties or the elaborate plot for a novel. I would be happier writing about the trivial pleasures of insignificant victories in the daily life rather than an elaborate tragedy, about a battle rather than a war. Currently, I am working on a novel that’s still an embryonic thought in my head. But I’m sure it will turn into something I can embellish, and eventually after a couple of drafts, develop and mature through time into something I would want others to read.

9. Any words for your readers and aspiring authors. 

Write things that you would want to read. All writers have a style, a pattern, an impression that they leave on you – to compromise that is sheer folly. Many people write to become bestsellers and it’s simply defeating the purpose of writing. The best books I’ve read till date, haven’t been written by best-selling authors. So the only advice I can and want to give is that whatever you write should be an expression of what you feel – a reflection of who you are. The day you delve into writing for an audience – you’ve abandoned yourself. Strive to be a better writer, not a bestseller.
Manan Kapoor was born in Shimla. He graduated from Panjab University in 2015.  He discovered his love of reading, devouring the works of Orhan Pamuk, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and Jhumpa Lahiri. He currently resides in Chandigarh. You can reach him through any of these.
Source :- http://www.privytrifles.co.in/2016/05/in-conversation-manan-kapoor.html

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MANAN KAPOOR

First of all, I would like to welcome you in the Literary World. Being capable of expressing feelings in the form of words is itself an achievement. Here, at WordCurd we would like you to express your feelings and experience as a writer, reader and as a human.

 

What is special about your book? What makes it different from the others and sets it apart for readers?

I think every book is different in its own way. Even though every novel is essentially a reproduction of the same basic ideas and notions of human life, as is all art, I still think that in many ways books are similar to people, uniqueness being one of the common characteristics. Just like people, books might share settings or have similar plots, but they all have very distinct, separable qualities.

I really can’t fathom why someone would pick my book over an eminent author’s. But I’ve been told by a couple of readers that The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky is an honest book in terms of expression and language as well as the emotions anchored with it. I think I’ll let them answer for me.

What do you think of writing as a career? What importance does literature play in your life? 

I don’t see it as a career, but as an experience that makes one come to terms with himself. I understood the world around me through writing because it answers the questions I didn’t realize I had. And labelling it as a career wouldn’t be apt.
As for the importance of literature in my life, I’ll simply paraphrase Kafka. It is a “way of understanding, interpreting and putting order into the world.” I think art as a whole adds value to life, a sense of vivacity. Every novel I’ve ever read has brought me closer to the world itself for books hold mature veracities about life.


What, according to you, is the best way to connect to the readers? Is it words poured from the heart, an extraordinary story or something else? 

Honesty of expression, emotion and thought. I think even though some of them might not come from the heart, for it is fiction – an infinite universe of ideas – it needs to be honest. If you’re writing what you believe in, I think it will turn out to be something that people will appreciate, if not love. If you start writing something just to please others, the reader will notice the lack of authenticity in your prose.

When you were in the initial phase of your writing journey, what obstacles did you face as a debutant author? 

It felt like I was manoeuvring through an asteroid belt initially. But I think the fact that I read books, made me a better writer. I could experiment with different styles of writing and narration. The novel aged for over two and a half years, so it wasn’t as difficult towards the end. But initially, when all I had was an incipient notion about the rudimentary plot, it was definitely something that petrified me. I never thought I would make it here.


What do you think is the purpose of your writing? What difference does writing make to your life? 
If not writing, then what? 

It is not about a purpose, but a very basic question of want. Desire would be a better term to describe the emotion attached to writing. I write simply because I am gripped by the overpowering desire to, which compels me to pick up the pen (or keyboard, to be precise). For me, writing is about reflecting upon the things that I have absorbed over the years – emotions, memories, experiences. A blank page is a place where I have freedom and complete control to mould and transform my reveries into something substantial. While I’m writing, I have the power to question the things that are wrong with the world, questions that I need answers to. Some questions answer themselves in the process, the others remain unreciprocated. Even in this book, there were a series of thoughts that unbosomed during the process and they’re secretly hidden in the psyche of my characters.
I don’t think I can invest time and energy in any other areas except writing or other mediums of art anymore. Choosing a banal profession would be really tough now. Some people cave in if this doesn’t work out financially, but I don’t see myself as someone who does this to earn a living – it would be great if it does, but even if this doesn’t work out, I will continue to write.

At any stage, did you feel like giving up on your manuscript? Who would you like to give the credit of being a constant supporter?

I gave up almost every single day. I didn’t have a mentor who could guide me through the process when I started and so the only advice I’ve received is from prominent authors who left behind a set of instructions for people like me. For instance, Hemingway taught me that “You’ve got to work it over. The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself.”


What do you usually prefer – pen, typewriter or computer?

I would prefer the typewriter. But we live in miserable times and sadly, I’ve always used a computer.



What are the core qualities an author must possess?

Joseph Campbell has rightly said that you have to learn to recognize your own depth. The narration is the clumsiness of a writer in conveying a thought. You need to have your own voice, something that people will associate with you. If you try to write like somebody else, you’ll end up as somebody else and at times, you will lose track of who you were.


Tell us about your latest book.

On the most fundamental degree, The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky is about how you’re never immune to loss. No matter what you’ve seen, experienced, fought, you will always feel it caress you gently, at every point of your life. The novel, Inayat’s story, is an augmented mirror of an average human life. I think the basic purpose of writing this novel was to elaborate that loss is a downward spiral that never ends. The moments when you think you’ve achieved salvation are like words in one of those awfully long sentences written by Proust or Faulkner – another word follows, always.



How much is your plot influenced by real-life stories?

I firmly believe that a novel will always be a reflection of the writer. And simultaneously, it will continue to exist as pure fiction. Orhan Pamuk writes in his novel ‘The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist’ that this paradox is the driving force of the novel. And I think most of my thoughts, musings and lies are there in my novel. So I exist, and I am absent at the same time. The reader can, if he reads thoroughly, comprehend not only my muses, my passion, but my most deep rooted secrets after reading the novel and at the same time, he will still be oblivious to who I really am as a person. I’ll leave some space for speculation.

These days every author wants to come in the list of ‘Best-selling Authors’? What do you think about it?

“You’d kill yourself for recognition, kill yourself to never ever stop.” A good friend of mine quoted Radiohead as he explained to me the importance of the self, almost seven years ago now. All writers have a style, a pattern, an impression that they leave on you – and I think to compromise that for three more pats on the back, is sheer folly. The fact that people are writing to become bestsellers is simply defeating the purpose of writing. The best books I’ve read till date, haven’t been written by best-selling authors. I think it’s merely a tag that will make the reader buy your new book on the basis of a book that you’d written three years ago. I wouldn’t mind being in the Best-selling Authors’ list, but that isn’t a wish.

Tell us something about your goals and ambitions. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?

I think it would be the same as it is today. I will be writing, rewriting, rephrasing and reworking on a draft. Ideally, I picture myself like Allen Ginsberg – sitting naked in a room at 4:00 am with nothing but a hat on my head, furiously pounding away at a typewriter.


How much time do you take to complete a novel? Is ‘patience’ the keyword to become a successful author?

As much time as it requires. I think you should never compromise with your work. Writing requires patience and diligence. It took me two and a half years, and about eleven drafts to get here. It’s not something that needs a deadline. If required, I would spend a decade on a single novel, but I would make sure I don’t settle for a mediocre draft.

The last, but most important question the readers want to know –  Are you working on another book? If yes, how different is this from your last work?

I am. Two years ago, I would’ve told you that I write about pain and why it is necessary. I was reading novels such as A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Famished Road and The Lowland – books that compelled me to devise an intricate plot. I now think that I’ve written a rather complex plot for The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky – there’s a colossal design and a setting that magnifies it. But today, I don’t think I need the setting of Kashmir in the early nineties or an elaborate plot for a novel. I would be happier writing about the trivial pleasures of insignificant victories in daily life rather than an elaborate tragedy, about a battle rather than a war. Currently, I am working on a novel that’s still an embryonic thought in my head. But I’m sure it will turn into something I can embellish, and eventually, after a couple of drafts, develop and mature through time into something I would want others to read.

Source :- http://wordcurd.blogspot.in/2016/04/interview-with-author-manan-kapoor.html

Revised 1 cover-The Lamentations of a sombre sky-3-2-2016-page-001

‘Another Word Follows’ | In Conversation with upcoming author Manan Kapoor

“I’d always had an impulse to do something unconventional. I believe it matured merely to escape the idea of a banal lifestyle. But let me tell you what must have happened. I must’ve been sitting on my desk staring at the screen and reading a five digit number next to word count and realising the fact that what probably started off as just another diversion, has manifested into something I can work upon,” starts Manan Kapoor, a young city-based author who’s got a novel coming out this April, up his alley.

He took to writing this book two and a half years and eleven drafts ago; a resonant image of who he was back then, it’s titled ‘Lamentations of a Sombre Sky’.
Talking about the same, he says, “On the most fundamental degree, the book is about how you’re never immune to loss. No matter what you’ve seen, experienced, fought you will always feel it caress you gently, at every point of your life. The novel, Inayat’s story, is an augmented mirror of an average human life. I think the basic purpose of writing this novel was to elaborate that loss is a downward spiral that never ends. The moments when you think you’ve achieved salvation, are like words in one of those awfully long sentences written by Hemingway or Faulkner another word follows, always.”

The elemental step for the book was Manan stumbling upon Opeth’s album, ‘Ghost Reveries’. “The album focuses on the story of a man’s turmoil after committing an unconscionable act. I’d been listening to the album for the past decade and suddenly it got me thinking and the next thing I know, I have a plot. If I trace back my steps, I think that one moment led to the advent of my novel. That moment of doubt, that deliberation led to what the book is now.”

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Speaking of what inspires him to pick up the pen he tells us a great deal about what truly makes a novel, “I’m growing as an individual, as well as a writer. Two years ago, I would’ve told you that I write about pain and why it is necessary. I was reading novels such as A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Famished Road and The Lowland,books that compelled me to devise an intricate plot. I now think that I’ve written a rather complex plot for The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky,there’s a colossal design and a setting that magnifies it. But today, I don’t think I need the setting of Kashmir in the early nineties or the elaborate plot for a novel. I would be happier writing about the trivial pleasures of insignificant victories in the daily life rather than an elaborate tragedy, about a battle rather than a war.I firmly believe that a novel will always be a reflection of the writer. And simultaneously, it will continue to exist as pure fiction. Orhan Pamuk writes in his novel The Nave and the Sentimental Novelist that this paradox is the driving force of the novel. And I think most of my thoughts, musings and lies are there in my novel. So I exist, and I am absent at the same time. The reader can, if he reads thoroughly, comprehend not only my muses, my passion but my most deep rooted secrets after reading the novel and at the same time, he will still be oblivious about who I really am as a person. So I’ll leave some space for speculation. ”

On a final note, he leaves us saying,”I know for a fact that five years from now I will still be writing ,working on a third project after publishing a second novel (maybe) and certainly I will be daydreaming; because how else will I ever come up with the plots.”
(Here’s a handy link to Lamentations of a Sombre Sky’s Goodreads page: Lamentations of a Sombre Sky?)

About author

Samreen Chhabra

18. Writer. Theatre Artist. Liberal thinker and 2am philosopher (with a terrible sense of humour, you’ve probably figured that out already). Still contemplating which side to be on, in the feminism debate.
My write-ups are my mirrors; for the information I don’t cover in them, there are always wordpress information boxes.

 Source :-  http://soulbowl.in/blog/another-word-follows-in-conversation-with-manan-kapoor/