A Short Interview with The Author:
Yeah, one day my sister called me so, like, I am a collector of dreams. “You simply go with people and collect their dreams, I believe,” she said, and went on saying, “If possible, you’ll get them possible to see them happy, if not you’d simply collect the dreams, and use it in your works,” sometimes she’s a very rude person. “I can’t say if that makes you a good person or a sick one.”
Haha, I do not know what precisely would that make me. But. I am very sure, I am proud to be a collector of dreams!
Nagendra Sarma is an aspiring author from South India. He has been a blogger since 2015, and his debut book Dark Side of The Coin is funded and published by WordIt Art Fund – BecomeShakespeare.com in 2018.
Nagendra, from his childhood, has always been fascinated about stories and story telling and at the art of how stories work for a human to understand himself and the world better.
The first storyteller he has met, he says, was his father. His father, since his childhood taught numerous stories, including the biographies of popular historical figures.
In my second standard I know about Alexander The Great. It feels pretty good. I was not that good at the academics, I remember it all clearly, because my lagging with academics went on till I got into my P.G, in which I went for English Literature. But let’s not talk about success here, it goes boring.
I never used to know what was going on in the class. But I know that Aristotle, a great man who was good with all the sciences was the master of this Alexander. I know beyond that. I know that Plato, even though didn’t completely match with the ideas of Aristotle was the master of Aristotle. And, a step forward, I knew in the second class the tale of Socrates, and his goblet of poison and all.
Mythology he says would play the most important role in any storyteller’s life. Not just regional or national mythology but mythologies of any ancient culture is a tremendous treasure for a “story-weaver”.
These myths are almost like fabricated truths; if you know what I mean. It is like they have a lot of truth in them, but see, decorated, with a lot of poetic devises. It is not a lie, no not at all. It depends on how we look at them. In western culture the word ‘myth’ has become a synonym for the word ‘lie’ but it is not the same for the Eastern people. The philosophical, spiritual truths of a highly insightful age were woven together in the form of poetry. Then they were draped by the decors of all the poetic devises. Virtues were embellished, and vices were scorned at. The distinction should be clear, if not they would get confused. Dharma is so subtle. It is not always the same. To make us all – the commoners – understand how it works, they were told as tales. They are all true. It is a history, like the Sanskrit word ‘Itihasa,’ translates into. These days they are finding that the herbs and plants and other things described in Homer’s epics were true. They are claiming that the ‘magical’ appearances and events happening in the tale are not magical but rare feats of nature which the poets have perceived long ago. The same with the Eastern myths. One day, all the solutions for our modernist society will be found in them. Literal solutions.
Just the way how truths are represented in the ancient myths in an artistic manner, the modern storyteller has to learn to present the deeper themes of the contemporary world in a symbolic way is what the author believes in. All the stories his grandfather used to tell him and his sister in their childhood, he says, has got him to understand the art of subtle storytelling and how to distinguishing the way of presenting a story depending on its genre.
Another most important element which he says that molds the way of his storytelling are his friends, majorly the female friends he has.
Since my childhood, I got a lot of friends; countless. They are all wonderful people. Everyone got their own way of keeping things on the table and a special way of leading the life. They were/are all diverse. To name a few would be Naveen – a baker, who inspires the financial, social and behavioral background of Nivin, the protagonist of The Dark Side of The Coin. Mani Ratnam, a shaggy drunkard, who now is doing very well in life, Kanchan, a class guy who looks and behaves like hero of a Mani Ratnam film and yeah, many more, and I have Usha Kiran to draw up inspiration for a comedy-centered protagonist for my tales here and there, Ravi a loyal guardian, like this, many ,many and many. But then, there comes a problem with these guys: they are all the same. Like, ah, I will explain you. All these guys whom I have mentioned in above would bring out the same solution for a given problem. They might not know each other, but at a given time, they all behave the same: like GUYS. That is the problem. May be their libido is the same!
But that is not the case with the women I know. They are all different. Then I remember the popular saying that even god can’t understand a woman’s heart and all. It is because, I think, while guys are all same at the core, women are same at the surface, but very different at the core. Guys seem different at the surface, but at the core, they are all the same. If we live with a guy for long, not a big deal we can get on with anyone – leave the rare exceptions – but, we might live with one girl and understand her like doing a PhD, it immediately changes when we meet another woman. All the understand we have becomes totally useless.
I have a very few female friends and no one resembles anything like the other. Aamani is the muse of the first novel. Totally, the idea of the book is based on her. I am working on a fantasy-fiction which is majorly inspired by a poetess – whose melancholic poetic abilities would be represented as blazing fire at her finger-tips. I have an idea of working on an autobiographical novel which is highly inspired by a neurological inconvenience the woman has – I don’t wanna disclose the names. These woman wouldn’t be the protagonists, no, because I don’t understand that well, but they would be the muses of the tales; they bring the essential diversity every tale needs to define itself as an authentic work. Without them in the background, the work would loose its originality.
The author also talks about different works he has begun and abandoned in the middle, claiming the works didn’t have enough potential to stir his heart and drive him to finish them. He says it is a common phenomenon to any young writer. Talking about his next aspiring works, he says he needs to live for a while and understand the worlds, language and symbols well enough to write a really authentic novel, which he was dreaming since the beginning.
I don’t wanna write scores and scores of books, no, no. That is a hectic thing; like a software engineer’s month end or weekend target. I have some four to five ideas in my head for which I have to expand and fuse myself with diverse subjects. I need to take time and understand the world first. The Dark Side of The Coin is an experiment with storytelling and that it will be. That is not my complete potential as a story-teller. I was in a great anxiety to break the myth of writing and publishing a book. I need to prove to myself that it is possible and only the will all my faculties devote themselves to the labor of writing. If not there would always be this doubt of “can we at least get the book published after all this work?” and to write the book i have in my mind, I should be referring the Roman history and mostly Greek mythology and sometimes Irish myths; I needed confidence, so is the “trail and error” book: The Dark Side of The Coin. But I don’t say it is not from my heart. I love it to the core; but only that is not I.
Finally, when asked, as an aspiring story-teller, how he would describe a story, he gives the an interesting answer with a smile after thinking for a moment.
To answer that, I have to quote a dialogue from one of my very beginning works:
A story is something which makes us to believe that there would be a certain happy ending though we are striving in our worst times. They are imaginary, invisible paths, which lead us towards the real faith and courage to face our fate in difficult situations. How to battle grief, how to smile in tears, how to turn others tears into colors. They are examples and sometimes reflections of our very own human lives.