About Sujit Banerjee
Sujit is the great great grandson of Durgadas Bandopadhay, the author of the famous Bengali book, Bidrohi Bangali – based on the Bareli Revolt of 1857. He holds a masters degree in Psychology and works in the field of tourism. He is a certified Pranic Healer and also a Tarot Card reader. Rukhsat The Departure is his first book of short stories. His second book, a love story against the backdrop of the 1857 Mutiny, is under process.
LiFT: Tell us about your book, the journey of writing it and its content.
Sujit: This book contains 26 short stories. One for each alphabet. Each traces a part of the emotional journey of the characters. Most of the characters are real and their experiences too. Only names have been changed. Long forgotten or untold stories come alive as a reader flip the pages.
LiFT: Why you chose this title?
Sujit: Every experience of human beings are recorded in time. As we age, they drift apart. I have tried to resurrect some, bring them alive once again before they vanish in time. And this time, they ask for permission before they depart, since they are alive while being read.
LiFT: When did you realize that you want to be a writer and what’s your inspiration behind it?
Sujit: I am what you would call as a reluctant writer! I had no notion that someday I would be an author with a book of short stories to my credit. Poems maybe, but not fiction – if I may call it fiction, as I write this. I loved scribbling short poetry on any paper I could lay my hands on; I even have few written down hurriedly on napkins in restaurants. Those were personal and I had no intention of making them public. I must say that Gulzar Saheb made a huge impact on me and I think I copied him a lot. Sometimes, his one line would lead to my writing a page long poem.
LiFT: Where do you see yourself ten years down the line in the world of literature?
Sujit: I do not see myself as a full-time author. Writing is my hobby. My time is split amongst tourism, online exhibition, healing, tarot card reading and now, also constructing a wellness lodge in Uttarakhand.
LiFT: How much do you think marketing or quality of a book is necessary to promote a particular book and increase its readers?
Sujit: Quality comes first; unless a book has substance and is exceedingly well written, marketing will not help. We, as authors, need to do that reality check. Similarly, without marketing, the best of books will fail to make an impact.
LiFT: What is the message you want to spread among folks with your writings?
Sujit: Everyone around you has a story to tell. Being aware and sensitive goes a long way to give you the right material to write a good book. In cases where research is required, characters still need to be fleshed out. Being “aware” helps in doing that; makes a character believable.
LiFT: What do you do apart from writing?
Sujit: I am in the hospitality industry and that’s my prime job. I write for fun, it is not my priority. I think I am an author by chance!
LiFT: What are the activities you resort to when you face a writer’s block?
Sujit: I wish somebody could tell me what to do in this case. I have been suffering with it for the past one year!
LiFT: Are you working on your next book? If yes, please tell us something about it.
Sujit: My next book is based on the life of a courtesan in Bareily, against the backdrop of the 1857 Revolt. It is again, based on a real-life character.
LiFT: What are your suggestions to the budding writers/poets so that they could improve their writing skills?
Sujit: Remember. Readers are the kings and queens and authors are their subjects!… An author spends time writing a book and once published, the baby is delivered. But the readers nurture the baby, reading the book, talking about it and they have a right to accept and refuse the child. Genuine readers have limited resources and a day is not more than 24 hours for them. They choose wisely and if an author fails, it is obvious that something was wrong. Keep that in mind and don’t fool yourself about your skills in delivering.