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Keep it simple, keep it sweet

Bookworm Babbles

September 28, 2016: Subin Bhattarai, whose first novel, Summer Love, released in 2012, is a fan-favourite among young Nepali readers. The author, with his exuberant themes and readable prose and his depiction of young character that are easily relatable, has been compared by some critics to the bestselling Indian author Chetan Bhagat. Now, having recently released his third novel, Monsoon, Bhattarai is fast cementing a place in the annals of Nepali pop-literature. In this conversation with Samikshya Bhattarai, he talks about his new novel, his reading habits and inspirations. Excerpts:

Tell us about your new book Monsoon and the inspiration behind it?

Monsoon is love story like my previous books but the plot is more mature and complicated. My previous books were more about romance of the college students; the plotline and characters were pretty simple. But in this new book, the story is more one-sided and it features hardship and pain of love along with friendship and family.

There is no particular one incident or story that served as an inspiration for this book. Love stories around me, my interaction with friends, and the people and stories that I come across everyday are source for my stories.

How did you first come to love to read and write?

I had books around my house and my parents were always reading books, so, mimicking them, I also started to read at a young age. As for writing, I have always loved it but until recently it was not possible to make a career out of writing, so I joined a science college and even completed my master’s. Even when I was studying, I didn’t stop writing. So, I decided to publish my collection of stories Kathaki Patra and surprisingly, it received good response from the

readers, especially the youth. So after that overwhelming response, I decided to focus on writing.

What was the last book that you read and how did you like it?

I read 40 Rules of Love recently. I thought it was a really good read. It has two stories being narrated in tandem: one from the present and other from 17th century. The way the stories were interwoven was beautiful.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I came to love reading and writing through the works of BP Koirala, Parijat, Dhurba Chandra Gautam and Dhanus Chandra Gotame, so I really like them. Among new writers, I love the works of Manu Manjil and Anthony Jacob. I am also a fan of Gulzar’s poems.

What is your favourite genre?

I love to read modern fiction and literature. I especially like love stories and romance, along with thrillers.

What are some books you would recommend as must reads?

I would recommend the book that I recently read, 40 Rules of Love, along with the books, Kiss of Life, Mrs Funny Bones and Khabuj. Also I think people should read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and BP Koirala’s works.

One book that inspired you.

Kiss of Life by Emraan Hashmi, which I recently completed, inspired me a lot. This is book about how his son having cancer changed his lifestyle and outlook towards life. This book has taught me about love for life and had a lot of positive vibes.

What do you value as good writing and what would you say makes a good writer?

I think good writing all comes down to good language and storytelling. I think language plays a very important role in a story and should be very simple and sweet. I also think good metaphors should be used in the stories to make it more interesting.

Talking about what makes a good writer, I think knowledge about the society and their readers is a must for writers. Also, a writer should be a keen observer and always curious so that he can explore and find new stories. Along with this, the good writer should be able to metaphorically relate the things.