Indranil Roy is an author of The Man Behind The Teacher’s Desk
Here is how he answered our questions.
1.How does an idea come for a story come to you?
I believe that most of the stories written by great authors are to some extent an experience that they have been through personally, or have witnessed very closely. Being a teacher myself, the story is very close to my heart. It is by no means an autobiography, but there are incidents which I have seen very closely. The idea of the story came out of what I have seen and felt.
2.At what age did you start writing?
I started writing this book a year ago, at the age of 31, with 12 years of teaching experience to back up my ambition.
3.Is this your first book?
This is my first book. I had written poems and stories and often posted the on my Facebook page – ‘Unheard of’, but never thought of writing a complete novel.
4.What is the story in ‘The Man Behind The Teacher’s Desk’ about?
Initially I had entitled it as ‘Behind the Teacher’s Desk’ but as I went on writing, I thought that I am missing an important point since it’s entirely a coming of age story which focuses on a boy becoming a teacher. So I added ‘the man’ to the title and it finally took shape as ‘The Man behind the Teacher’s Desk’
5.Why did you name your book as ‘The Man Behind The Teacher’s Desk’?
It is about the journey of a boy to become a worthy Teacher. The story is in 3 distinct parts. The first concentrates on his boyhood and school life, the second concentrates on his teenage and college life, while the third is about the boy becoming a teacher- a process which had begun in the second section.
6.Which is your favourite character from this book?
My favourite character is ‘Chaitali’. A friend like her is too precious, yet too rare. She carries an authority with her.
7.What do you think is more important- the words used or the feelings?
I prefer feelings. Words should be the vehicle to convey it – the simpler, the better. Everyone must understand what is being stated. I have tried to keep it simple. I call it ‘Pedestrian English’.
8.If a favourite character of your favourite book comes alive in front of you, what would you say?
In such a situation I would want ‘Feluda’ to come out and hunt down those who are tampering the basic ethos of education.
9.Is there a particular time of the day when you write your ideas? When?
I wrote it during the summer holidays. There was no particular time. I wrote in even while traveling in passenger trains.
10.Just like you are an inspiration to others, who is/are your inspiration?
Not sure whether I am an inspiration to anyone or not, but my inspiration has been everyone who has succeeded to become someone from ‘No one.’
11.What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is to get accepted as teacher my first batch of Madhyamik students, who were only 2yrs younger to me. They accepted me and made me what I am.
12.They say, “Nobody can judge you, as much as you yourself can.” Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I can see myself among my students, irrespective of the success of my endeavour.
13.What would you do if you weren’t into writing?
I have been a teacher for the last 13 years. Initially as a private tutor, and for the last 8yrs as a school teacher. Had I not been a teacher, I would have been a journalist.
14.How do you react to the reviews that you get about your writing from your readers?
They help me to get better as a writer. I don’t take too much negative criticism into consideration, as it is impossible to please everyone. Any constructive criticism is always welcome.
15.Which is your favourite fictional character?
I have been a die heart fan of ‘Feluda’.
16.Who is your favourite author?
In Bengali Satyajit Ray and in English Ernest Hemingway.
17.List any 3 books that you would recommend to our readers.
The Old Man and the Sea.
The Best of O’henry.
A long walk to freedom.
18.Is there one specific subject you would never write about? What would that be?
I would never get into eroticism. I am not comfortable with it. It is often too cheap, with due respect to the exponents.
19.Which is your favourite genre? Why?
Mystery. As a child I have grown up, reading a whole lot of it and is yet to get out of its impact.
20.Which genre, according to you, is the most difficult to write?
I think mystery stories are the toughest to write, since everything must be in order and in sequence otherwise the entire effort will meet the dust.
21.Are you working on your next? What is it about?
I have started working on the next. A bit of research work is required.
It is about four people caught in socio-political whim. The idea is still at the very base, a lot is to be thought of.
22.What is your message to other budding poets/writers?
I would like to say that try to communicate with as many as possible through your work, without being preachy. Keep feelings over format.
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