In how many ways one can think of a father-son story? Probably, a few, if you are not a gifted storyteller or writer. However, for writers, who have that one single quality that separates them from ordinary others - their extra-ordinary imagination - possibly there could be innumerable ways of sculpting a father-son story.
One such Kiwi-Indian writer, who normally works as a digital marketer in his day-time job, and unleashes his power of imagination after work, to embellish a father-son story, in the genres of fantasy, sci-fi and mythological-fiction.
Auckland based Nimish Tanna has come up with his second novel Divyastra, four years after he finished his first novel The moments of truth. Like many first published novelist, Nimish had then vowed never to write again – a promise that that league of writers, including Nimish - seldom intend to honour at the first place.
They usually re-embark on another imaginative journey as soon as they feel their creative juices have fully replenished. The journey of such writers, from fatigue and self-doubt after finishing their first published-project, to starting, and ultimately finishing, their second project, is always intriguing and worth exploring.
The Indian Weekender speaks with Nimish to uncover a similar journey, and know what readers should expect from his second novel Divyastra. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
IWK: Congratulations, Nimish for completing your second book Divyastra! How does it feel?
Nimish Tanna: Thank you very much. I am experiencing a concoction of happiness, anxiety and nervousness. Although I may have successfully won a battle of completing the book, the war is yet to be won - winning the readers and that is the most important part.
IWK: After completing your first book ‘The moments of truth,’ you had said that you were not sure if you will ever write a book again. What prompted you to say that?
Nimish: Well, I said that because I wasn't a trained writer when I wrote my first book. Apart from some teenage poetry and a published article in my college magazine, I had never written anything else. So, when my first book, 'Moments of Truth' got published, I merely considered that as a one-off creative pursuit not realising that I was bitten by the story-bug. It was only a few months later that a new story had started germinating in my mind and the only way I could provide an outlet to it was - well, writing again.
IWK: What motivated you to start writing this book again?
Nimish: As clichéd as it sounds, what drives me or any writer for that matter is a good story. Once you know you have cracked a good story, the story keeps the writer motivated as he lives the world of the story, it’s characters, the conflicts, all of it.
Within 4-5 months of releasing my first novel, Moments of Truth, I had a few story ideas to work on but I was a bit conscious about the subject I would choose to write. It wasn’t long before I knew I had to tell a father-son story.
A story where a parent raises their kid telling them how special they are, how they can always achieve their goals and that this world is a fair place to live. Like every writer, I decided to decode both facets of this relationship, especially the unpopular flip side.
So, I started to develop an ambitious character that is unable to deal with life’s harsh realities because his father’s foul conditioning would overshadow his own mind. A character, who blames his father’s uninspiring genes for his own failures. This, at the very core, is where the story’s central conflict germinated. Now, I needed to build an interesting world around this idea. All I had was just this core conflict with no layers and no plot. Eventually, I gave up and stopped writing.
A year later, I found myself living in a remote suburb of Melbourne for about six months where I had no TV and no social engagements. The only source of entertainment I had was an internet connection. So, when I got bored of staring at the ceiling for hours, I would watch reruns of Ramayana and Mahabharata episodes. Immediately, YouTube’s intelligent algorithm got to work and started suggesting documentaries on celestial weapons. I took their suggestions and started watching all of those videos one by one, eventually leading to a documentary that brought everything together for me –A documentary on Dr. John Hagelin, a renowned physicist, a leader on transcendental meditation in the US and the guy who claimed, although controversial, astounding similarities between ‘Unified field theory’ (string theory)and the ‘Unified theory of consciousness’.
Immediately, my mind started to weave a world of celestial weapons, ancient wisdom and mythological characters. I attempted to develop a mythological fictional world around the father-son relationship. That’s how the entire story of Divyastra was born.
IWK: How do you manage writing book along with your day job? Is it too taxing managing two things?
Nimish: Frankly speaking, it's tough but very much doable. All I needed to do was sit down and work out a plan for effective time management.
IWK: Your first book was a romantic thriller, what genre does this second book Divyastra belong to?
Nimish: Divyastra belongs to a small mix of genres – fantasy, sci-fi and mythological fiction.
IWK: Tell us about this book, what is the background of the story and what should a reader expect from this book?
Nimish: I would describe the book as the story of - an ambitious, yet unsuccessful Shankar, who in pursuit of his identity, is manipulated to embark on a never-told-before fantasy tale only to rediscover the father he never knew and eventually find his true self. There is one man stopping him from all this – a mystic who cannot be traced.
IWK: When is the book releasing and where all will it be available to purchase?
Nimish: The book is currently available on -http://www.becomeshakespeare.com/product/divyastra/ and within the next 7-10 days, will release on global popular platforms like Amazon, Kindle and Indian e-commerce platform such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, infibeam, Rediff etc.