Sudipta Mukherjee isn’t just another new writer out with a first novel. She’s a true blue storyteller committed to the art of storytelling, working hard to craft a tale that gets at your gut with a punch that you’ll remember. She wrote her first novel, Crossroads, because she wanted “to write a story not exclusively about ‘falling in love’, but ‘elevating it’, ‘rediscovering oneself in it’. So that one realizes that life is complete and whole in itself, and love is only a part of it.”
And she isn’t stuck at crossroads but has moved on, writing amazingly pungent, sensitive and luminous short stories, deftly handling the new form. “In a novel, the scope is broad, the picture is bigger. You can take the liberty to express yourself more and at ease. You can twist and turn your story; add characters, settings and be a lot more innovative to express yourself so that you can tell your story more completely. But a short story is different. There are constrains that you have to keep in mind while writing one. You cannot afford to over-detail it, or flood it with too many characters. You have to be short, precise and to the point. You have to say a lot of things through a few chosen words and dialogue.
When I write a novel, I write a sentence, or a say a paragraph, and then I stop. I read it, I think. If necessary I edit it, make changes right away. That’s not how I write a short story. When I write short story, I write it in one or max two shots. I continue to write and don’t stop until I reach the end. After I finish it, I read it aloud and see how the story has shaped. It is at this stage that I do the editing, or make the necessary changes.”
The intensity and precision that she brings to each of her stories is breathtaking… and the craft she employs stays invisible and does not bear down upon the narrative, allowing it to breathe its own essence.
She has taken to the art of the short story as a duck takes to water. “My story grows organically, without too much structuring and planning. I let it flow, be simple, work towards an open end and leave the reader with a powerful thought or feeling of otherness.”
Few young writers say this….
“I write to express myself; I write to explore life and its myriad aspects; I write so that I can seek and find the true purpose of my life (which I had talked about earlier). I don’t write out of compulsion. I don’t write because I have to write. I write, because I want to. I don’t write to compete with anyone. I am my own competitor. I write so that I can evolve. With each story that I write, each character that I draw, I want to see myself a little advanced than my previous self. A little better and a more complete human being.”
Watch out, Sudipta is on her way to blasting you off your feet!
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