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Hear the Unheard: Know the story behind Kanya!

Kanya, a story that is inspired by a real incident that taken place in Pune. The book narrates the struggle of a brother coping up with depression to later unfold the reason behind his restive mind. There are norms in a society that shadows a woman’s presence however we have tried to highlight a story where she stood up against the evil acts of society. This isn't a love story, but a story that deserves love and respect.

To know more about the author and his views on his book and what made him write this beauty, we had a conversation with him.

1. When did it dawn upon you that you want to be a writer?

Well, I believe that each one of us has a writer in us that emerges out in our tough times. Similarly, when I lost my sister, I decided to write our book, ‘Kanya’. This was, however, a game-changer in my life. Until then, I was just an aimless wanderer, knocking on the door of opportunities. It was the readers who helped me earn the tag of a writer. It goes without saying that my family and friends recognised me as a writer even before the outside world did.

2. How did the idea stuck you to write such a book?

Honestly, it were the rejections who forced me to write a book. So, when I lost my sister to depression and drug addiction, I took her story to a short film director, who started throwing tantrums enough to prove that he was least interested in making the story a short film. That was the time when I decided to write a book. My friend Nilesh Damodar helped me with the idea of deciding the book outline, and then I explained it to my co-author, Hitakshi Kathuria.

3. What made you choose such a delicate topic of depression to base your novel on?

If you see, not many authors in Indian Literature chose to write something apart from love stories. And hence, someone has to take up a responsibility to write down on such social and delicate topics which are surely not cakewalks.

4. What according to you are the causes of Depression? How can we combat them?

To be honest, people need to first understand the difference between ‘Being depressed’ and ‘Being into depression’. Depression is chronic and keeps evolving, while one could be depressed for a while, minute,or maybe a month. And then, not being happy even with the smallest moments in your life can make you fall prey to depression. It is surprising, but, even the increasing pollution adds up more stress to our already stressful life. People need to take out more time for themselves before thinking of battling depression. Mainly, spending time with your loved ones and speaking your mind is the best cure for depression than relying more on medicines.

5. Why do you think people are so afraid of rehabilitation centers?

Well, depression and drug addiction go hand-in-hand, as though the phrase written by me in the book tells: ‘Depression can be unexplained but every drug addict has a story’. Similarly, those people battling depression have a story to be identified and worked on. They are afraid to let it out to the world, and no wonder why they chose to keep it chained with them. Rehabilitation centers usually make every move to unearth the patient’s story and then work upon their deaddiction. So, these positive changes aren’t absorbed or accepted, which leads them getting afraid. Also, since I have had my sister admitted to a rehab, I want to make it clear that the patients there aren’t beaten or tortured.

6. What is the symbolic significance of the title?

‘Kanya – A Green ocean of Regression’. People who have read our book were fallen for the cover and the name of the book. The name of the book was suggested by me since ‘Kanya’ refers to an unmarried woman, and so was my sister. The tagline of the book was made by Aditya Iyer, one of my good friends who is one of the editors of the book. It suggests that the Green ocean is a marijuana and regression is nothing but a downfall. So, when you fall for substances such as marijuana, you are bound to drown than less chances of emerging out.

7. Did your profession as a News Reporter ever contribute towards your writing in any way?

Yes, ofcourse. News writing is mostly based on the 5W1H formula, and so is the novel. So, being a news reporter, I come across various stories based on various understandings which jut out your capacity to absorb stories. And then, if you have a content, the rest will be taken care.

8. Do you use real life experiences for creating a base for characters or scenes in your stories?

Yes, every fictional story is inspired by a true event. So, fictional does not really mean that it has never happened in any part of the world. And, characterisation is one of the toughest steps to be followed while writing a book. You cannot just design the visuals of a person without getting inspired by someone whom you know makes resemblance with your character.