Honors & Mentions

SABARNA ROY: A MASTER STORYTELLER WITH GREAT CONVERSATION SET-PIECES

National and International critics have talked and written about multifarious aspects of Sabarna Roy’s writings. Yet, they have missed out on the power of conversations in Sabarna Roy’s books. Let us look at some of the sterling pieces of conversation from his books.

In Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018, Sabarna writes a piece, titled: Incomplete Conversation Set-pieces from where we pick out a conversation for the benefit of our readers:

Dr. X : You hated your father, didn’t you, Mr. Y?

I : Sort of, you can say so.

Dr. X : Do you hate him still?

I : He was definitely a hateful character, but time softens things up. You know my mother used to

sing very well. Had he allowed her to showcase her talent, I would not have hated him this much.

Dr. X : He must have been an insecure man!

I : Yes, he was an insecure man, a frenzied insecure man. But, he should have controlled himself. He should have learnt to give space to others.

Dr. X : You hated your mother too, didn’t you, Mr. Y?

I : I started hating her when she fell in love with one of my uncles. I could not stand her making love to another man. I was very, very jealous. Will you blame me for that?

Dr. X : No, no. I don’t blame you for that. As a child you are not supposed to know how to give space to others unless and until you are brought up in a very cultured environment. There is an age when boys think, they own their mothers. Did she neglect you?

I : She definitely did. My uncle was very jealous about me, even more than my father. He would lobby against me with my mother, and tell all sorts of lies about me to her.

Dr. X : Does it feel very lonely to hate both of your parents?

I : Well, it did feel lonely, but it doesn’t matter anymore, for they are no longer present in my life.

Dr. X : Hatred is what defines you.

I : That’s not true for I have been a dedicated husband and a brilliant lover of many women.

Dr. X : How surprising, that you keep on complaining about your colorless life, still!

I : Dr. X, sleeping with women can kill your boredom for some time, can keep you engaged in a whirlpool of excitement, but it does not add color to your life or give an edge to your life. I believe a great love can give you relief at the end of the day: a love that you pursue for a lifetime – it could be a woman, an idea, a hobby or an invention. Sleeping with many women wastes your life in  the end.

Dr. X : This is what you are saying today, when you have  lost the capability of sleeping with many women. Had you been able to declare this earlier I would have accepted your words to be true to your heart and not borne out of the miseries of a lost-out serial womanizer!

I : Dr. X, you are very true, but you must know my understanding is not only because I am a failed man, but I feel failed, lost, and wasted because of my understanding of life. It is a two-way process.

Dr. X : Do you miss something intensely in your life, Mr. Y?

I : I should have played football, Dr. X. I believe, I would have been a good footballer. My father never allowed me to play the game. How I missed running with a football on a rain-soaked grass- filled field! I wanted to be a leader on the field, Dr. X. I wanted to be a midfielder.

Dr. X : I thought you wanted to be a striker.

I : No, no. I wanted to be a midfielder. A midfielder is the king on the ground; he dictates the game.

Dr. X : Who is your most favorite midfielder?

I : Well, there were many. There was a time when I loved Platini, there was Ronaldinho, and there

was Zidane. Now, of course, I love Iniesta.

Dr. X : What caused the death of your mother?

I : She died while she was bathing. She fell down in the bathroom and hurt herself very badly. She was singing a song.

Dr. X : Do you remember the song she was singing?

I : I don’t remember exactly; a Rabindrasangeet may be. Was it Phule Phule Dole Dole; well, I cannot remember specifically.

Dr. X : Your mother died after your father went missing, isn’t it?

I : Yes.

Dr. X : How many years after?

I : Six years, no, seven years really.

Dr. X : Did it ever occur to you that she missed your father?

I : On the contrary, I think she felt relieved. But the intensity of her love for her lover also seemed to have taken a hit. Poor uncle of mine! She even slapped him once near about the time of her death when she had become too touchy about anything going out of hand.

Dr. X : Why did she slap him?

I : I don’t know, but I overheard her saying: you will die a horrible death.

Dr. X : Did he die a horrible death?

I : No, unfortunately he died peacefully in his sleep.

Dr. X : Did your uncle ever marry?

I : No, he did not.

Dr. X : Why?

I : Because he was unemployed, and yet he was a big mouth. Everybody in the family discouraged him from marrying, and once he and mother started relating to each other I do not think he missed being married.”

In Abyss, which is a crime thriller, there is an interrogation scene of a character, namely, Mriganka, which is as follows:

Renuka: Your relationship with Oindrila was on the decline – I was told – is it true?

Mriganka: Our relationship was complex. It would be difficult to reply to your question in a straight-cut manner.

Renuka: I’m repeating my question if you’ve not heard it properly – was your relationship with Oindrila on the decline?

Mriganka: I said – it would be difficult to reply to your question in a straight-cut manner!

Renuka: You’ve a vested interest in hiding your declining relationship with Oindrila.

Mriganka: In a certain manner we had grown apart. But I think we still had a lot of love and regard for each other.

Renuka: Was the passion missing in the last six-seven months?

Mriganka: You can say that.

Renuka: Why? You were in love with some other woman?

Mriganka: Not at all. Oindrila was busy in her own work. I was busy writing my last novel.

Renuka: You never stood by Oindrila in her fight against her mother? When you talk about your

last novel, you mean the one which is going to be published by Oindrila’s mother?

Mriganka: I really don’t understand what you mean when you say whether I ever stood by Oindrila.

Renuka: Like, giving moral and emotional support to her.

Mriganka: I did all that up to a point. But she wanted to do it all alone. Sometimes I believe that was the reason why we grew apart.

Renuka: I suspect you’re a dangerous liar, Mriganka.

Mriganka: Please talk to me politely, Renukadebi!

Renuka: People like you don’t understand the language of politeness. [Pause] By the way did you sleep with Oindrila in the last six-seven months?

Mriganka: It’s a very private query. I may decide not to answer such invasive questions.

Renuka: You may, the choice is yours. But it’ll have grave consequences on you. If you answer and you lie it’ll have graver consequences.

Mriganka: I think I last slept with Oindrila three-four months back.

Renuka: Never after that?

Mriganka: Never after that!

Renuka: Why do you think Oindrila launched her battle against her mother all alone?

Mriganka: I think it had to do with her truest feelings for her mother.

Renuka: What do you mean by that?

Mriganka: I think she loved her mother most intensely at one level. And, at another level she hated her equally.

Renuka: You supported Oindrila’s causes?

Mriganka: Yes I still do. You’ve to read my body of work to believe it.

Renuka: Then why are you getting your book published by her mother?

Mriganka: She’s not a demon. Even Oindrila felt good about it. How can a writer reach a wider audience without commercial support?

Renuka: I believe by writing better.

Mriganka: You’re being very naïve!

Renuka: You don’t think it’s a conflict of ethics?

Mriganka: No.

Renuka: Why is it that Debasree agreed to open up a publishing business all of a sudden? This was never her core area of business.

Mriganka: Why don’t you put this question to the person concerned?

Renuka: I will. Please tell me what you think.

Mriganka: I don’t think anything. But she won’t put her money on anything loss-making.

Renuka: Is she very greedy?

Mriganka: She is.

Renuka: Are you very greedy?

Mriganka: All of us are. But I’ve my limits.

Renuka: What kind of a relationship do you have with Debasree?

Mriganka: We stay at a respectful distance of each other. Yes, after she decided to venture into publishing and proposed that she’ll publish my work, I became more frank with her.

Renuka: Frank as in?

Mriganka: Like we talk about many issues. Earlier we didn’t talk much. She didn’t find me a suitable boy for her daughter.

Renuka: So you stuck to your job of impressing your would-be mother-in-law. Why?

Mriganka: Her mother’s approval of me was central to Oindrila. I didn’t want to displease her.

Renuka: But later on she was irked by your closeness to her.

Mriganka: Because of the unique position she was in. At the same time she wished to achieve contrary objectives.

Renuka: Do you love her still? Would you’ve married her had she not died?

Mriganka: Of course I love her still. I’ll never be able to marry anybody other than Oindrila.

Renuka: I don’t think so. I don’t find that sense of loss on your face.

Mriganka: I’m not sentimental.

Renuka: I’m not talking of being sentimental. I’m referring to a realization of loss that comes with somebody’s death who you love most dearly.

Mriganka: You’re being uselessly judgmental! I’m not here to prove my love for Oindrila or my sorrow at her death. Can I go now?

Renuka: No. Tell me something. Did you go to Oindrila’s house sometime around early afternoon the day she died?

Mriganka: Yes.

Renuka: Why?

Mriganka: Oindrila wanted to hear a few chapters of my new novel.

Renuka: Did you read out your novel to her?

Mriganka: I did the first two chapters. It was yet to be finished at that point in time.

Renuka: Who all were there in the house then?

Mriganka: Nobody other than the two of us and the servants.

Renuka: How long were you there?

Mriganka: Maybe for two hours.

Renuka: And, the whole time you spent reading out your novel?

Mriganka: Yes, mostly.

Renuka: Was Oindrila drinking listening to your novel?

Mriganka: Yes she was.

Renuka: You never objected to her alcoholism?

Mriganka: I did. I was in deep anguish. Her mother and I made many efforts to counsel her. She won’t listen.

Renuka: Do you think Oindrila was murdered?

Mriganka: Yes.

Renuka: Who murdered her?

Mriganka: Debibabu of course. I saw him spiking her drink.”

in Sabarna’s latest book, Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020, there is a novella, titled: Duality where ideas are discussed conversationally as if they are independent characters by themselves, between a step-father and a step-daughter. We bring out a small dialogue made by the step-father, which is so intense and poignant:

“In spite of mammoth inventions, and discoveries of mankind, we have not been able to fully grasp the duality of love, and lust in human relationships. In The Museum of Innocence, Pamuk establishes a tale of pure love between Kemal Bey and Fuzun [his cousin]. In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera establishes a lustful yarn between Tomas and Sabina. All of us are swinging between the extremes of this pendulum. Where and how we exist at any given point in time is very complex to figure out.”

About Sabarna Roy

Sabarna Roy is a trained Civil Engineer and passed out with a First Class Honours Civil Engineering Degree from Jadavpur University in 1988. He is presently working as Senior Vice President and is in the 25th year of his employment with Electrosteel Group.

Sabarna Roy is engaged in giving leadership to Business Development, Applications Technology and certain key Strategies in the Electrosteel Group.

He has a technical book, titled: Articles on Ductile Iron Pipelines and Framework Agreement Contracting Methodology published by Scholars’ Press in European Union with two of his Co-authors, which have been translated into 8 major European languages.

He has been visiting national and international conferences to talk on various matters concerning ecology and environment. He is a firm believer in Paris Climate Accord and believes in lowering the Carbon Footprint in the industry to reverse the climate change effects on the planet.

He is an active participant in the multifarious activities of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, Confederation of Indian Industries, Central Board of Irrigation and Power, and Indian Geographical Committee of International Water Resources Association.

Sabarna Roy is an author of critically acclaimed bestselling literary fiction of six published books. They are: Pentacles; Frosted Glass; Abyss; Winter Poems; Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018, and Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020.

He is a Goodreads author with present rating of 4.05 with reviews and ratings in excess of 1,500 and on Amazon, he is rated between 4 and 5 with reviews and ratings in excess of 1,250.

He has been covered by all prestigious national and international media including The New York Guardian, Nigeria Tribune, Kathmandu Tribune, Financial Nigeria and The Guardian Post, and he is on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabarna_Roy).

He was an invited speaker on the opening day at the Noida International Literary Festival 2019 and a panelist at the Tata Steel Literary Meet on the opening day at a session, which discussed the Dark Side of the Mind. He has been awarded the Literoma Laureate Award in 2019, Literoma Star Achiever Award 2020, Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 won the best book of the year 2019, the A List Award for excellence in fiction by the NewsX Media House, Certificate for The Real Super Heroes for spreading a spirit of positivity and hope during the COVID-19 Pandemic from Forever Star India Award 2020, and the Certificate for Participation in the Indo Russian Friendship Celebration 2020.

Source: thekolkatabuzz.com

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