‘Another Word Follows’ | In Conversation with upcoming author Manan Kapoor

“I’d always had an impulse to do something unconventional. I believe it matured merely to escape the idea of a banal lifestyle. But let me tell you what must have happened. I must’ve been sitting on my desk staring at the screen and reading a five digit number next to word count and realising the fact that what probably started off as just another diversion, has manifested into something I can work upon,” starts Manan Kapoor, a young city-based author who’s got a novel coming out this April, up his alley.

He took to writing this book two and a half years and eleven drafts ago; a resonant image of who he was back then, it’s titled ‘Lamentations of a Sombre Sky’.
Talking about the same, he says, “On the most fundamental degree, the book is about how you’re never immune to loss. No matter what you’ve seen, experienced, fought you will always feel it caress you gently, at every point of your life. The novel, Inayat’s story, is an augmented mirror of an average human life. I think the basic purpose of writing this novel was to elaborate that loss is a downward spiral that never ends. The moments when you think you’ve achieved salvation, are like words in one of those awfully long sentences written by Hemingway or Faulkner another word follows, always.”

The elemental step for the book was Manan stumbling upon Opeth’s album, ‘Ghost Reveries’. “The album focuses on the story of a man’s turmoil after committing an unconscionable act. I’d been listening to the album for the past decade and suddenly it got me thinking and the next thing I know, I have a plot. If I trace back my steps, I think that one moment led to the advent of my novel. That moment of doubt, that deliberation led to what the book is now.”

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Speaking of what inspires him to pick up the pen he tells us a great deal about what truly makes a novel, “I’m growing as an individual, as well as a writer. Two years ago, I would’ve told you that I write about pain and why it is necessary. I was reading novels such as A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Famished Road and The Lowland,books that compelled me to devise an intricate plot. I now think that I’ve written a rather complex plot for The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky,there’s a colossal design and a setting that magnifies it. But today, I don’t think I need the setting of Kashmir in the early nineties or the elaborate plot for a novel. I would be happier writing about the trivial pleasures of insignificant victories in the daily life rather than an elaborate tragedy, about a battle rather than a war.I firmly believe that a novel will always be a reflection of the writer. And simultaneously, it will continue to exist as pure fiction. Orhan Pamuk writes in his novel The Nave and the Sentimental Novelist that this paradox is the driving force of the novel. And I think most of my thoughts, musings and lies are there in my novel. So I exist, and I am absent at the same time. The reader can, if he reads thoroughly, comprehend not only my muses, my passion but my most deep rooted secrets after reading the novel and at the same time, he will still be oblivious about who I really am as a person. So I’ll leave some space for speculation. ”

On a final note, he leaves us saying,”I know for a fact that five years from now I will still be writing ,working on a third project after publishing a second novel (maybe) and certainly I will be daydreaming; because how else will I ever come up with the plots.”
(Here’s a handy link to Lamentations of a Sombre Sky’s Goodreads page: Lamentations of a Sombre Sky?)

  • 18. Writer. Theatre Artist. Liberal thinker and 2am philosopher (with a terrible sense of humour, you've probably figured that out already). Still contemplating which side to be on, in the feminism debate. My write-ups are my mirrors; for the information I don't cover in them, there are always wordpress information boxes.

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