What is Sabarna Roy, the critically acclaimed author of six literary masterpieces from India, doing in and around the Covid-19 Pandemic
Sabarna Roy is a Senior Engineering Professional employed in a large engineering-manufacturing Company, and a critically acclaimed Author of Literary and Technical Books and peer-reviewed Technical Papers that are published in National and International Journals of repute. After the National Lockdown in India, which started on March 24 and carried on until May 31, the production facilities where Sabarna Roy works were closed down and they incurred huge financial losses. Thankfully, they did not retrench a single soul during this time but were forced to implementing pay-cuts to keep their cash-flow afloat, with the higher salaried white collared staff taking the highest hit. Now that they have reached 90% of Plant efficiency, they have withdrawn the pay-cuts as well. As a traditionally published author, the first thing that hit him was – His sixth book “Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020”, which was published on June 26 and had come out on Amazon Kindle, could not be published in hard-bound format as was planned earlier since the printers were not working in Mumbai at that point in time. As such, the book could not have a proper physical all-India launch. His publisher and he had planned this book as a slim and an elegant hard-bound book, which has not seen the light of the day till today. However, he believes the hard-bound version will come out in October as the situation is improving day-by-day. However, the pre-publication and post-publication reviews were planned intelligently and as such, the sales on Amazon Kindle have been phenomenal on a sustained basis.
He has been busy during the continuing pandemic with various webinars in the capacity of a Senior Engineering Professional in some, and in the others as a Literary Author. He also planned and structured his next book on the pandemic during this time and wrote and published 4 Technical Papers on the Irrigation sector in India, Specialized linings/coatings that are anti-corrosive and anti-abrasive, and Desalination Plants in India. He says that the Pandemic has been a learning in tackling despair, hopelessness, remoteness and boredom. However, human beings with their implicit imagination, intuition, and adaptiveness carry on learning from one-moment-to-the-other.
Sabarna believes in threat being an opportunity. For authors, he believes, the pandemic has unleashed a plethora of topics and ideas on which they can write and explore new avenues.
Sabarna Roy has authored six critically acclaimed best-selling books of literary fiction. These are “Pentacles”, “Frosted Glass”, “Abyss”, “Winter Poems”, “Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018”, and “Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020”.
Currently he is writing a book on the Pandemic, which he wishes to publish in 2021.
“Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020” is his sixth book, and comprises a novella, Duality, and a poem cycle, Winter Poems 2020.
The novella, in the background is a sweetly evolving dialogue between a step-father and a step-daughter, and in the foreground it is a dissection of ideas pivoted around dualism of human life by discussing literary characters like Lolita, Humbert Humbert, Anna Karenina, and Nikhilesh; thought-leaders like Hegel, Marx, and Heisenberg; political phenomena like the Bolshevik Revolution; schizophrenia, love as an idea, and the secret love story of T S Eliot; and ecological phenomena like marine conservation. All of this is done in a unique way, almost as if we are engaged in a conversation with the author, to make the readers realize the plurality of life, and accepting it to find peace and harmony in life.
The poem cycle is an anthology of 20 sharp edged poems that excite and thrill the readers as they are involved in the whirlwind of the confrontations between the poet and his alter-ego.
The dialogue that motivates Sabarna the most is from Inception by Christopher Nolan. It is – “What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed-fully understood-that sticks.”
So, ideas and dreams keep him going.
Sabarna has been a poet since the age of 18. The first book that was published by him was a slim book of English poems, titled “Pain”, which created a stir in the student circle in Calcutta.
His working style is relaxed.
Sabarna has a working space where he does his work as an author with a dedicated library. There is also a separate working space where he works as a Senior Engineering Professional. Through the day and night, he shuttles between the working spaces; sometimes he is performing his roles as a Senior Engineering Professional and sometimes he is writing his books.
Sabarna mostly writes on things that he knows well. But he does research for sharpening the specificity of characters and events in his books.
The time taken by him to complete each book varies. It depends on the content and format of the book that he is writing. He says that the pandemic has not affected his pace of writing, except for the fact that he is writing much more now, including the technical research papers, which he gets published in National and International Peer Reviewed Journals.
At the present moment, Sabarna is not able to visualize the challenges to authors after COVID-19 is over, because he is not able to visualize a timeline when COVID-19 will be over. But, he says for sure that the world will not remain the same any more after having experienced this pandemic.
About what would make a good story, Sabarna says – “There is no straight-cut formula to write a good story. Readers can see through the drama, suspense, characters, events and ideas that flow through a story. What readers genuinely look for are lucidity, honesty and authenticity. A good story must build itself up on these three foundational pillars.”
Generally, Sabarna feels satisfied when a reader of his books is able to grasp the core idea behind the story that he has written. This is summarily literary success to him. And also when readers share their emotions of reading his books: pain, suffering, happiness and harmony.