Thursday , November 21 2019
GiveAway Of The Month
Home / Interviews / A Candid Author Interview With Sumana Dutta Chowdhury

A Candid Author Interview With Sumana Dutta Chowdhury

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Hi Friends,

Allow me to introduce Sumana Dutta Chowdhury, an engineer by profession and an author by passion. Well, she is a multi-talented person, she is a Hindustani classical vocalist too. After completing her B. Tech. from the Jadavpur University, she joined the corporate world.

Sumana D. Chowdhury : The Author Of - The Third Eye And Other Tales - In A Candid Mood

Sumana D. Chowdhury : The Author Of – The Third Eye And Other Tales – In A Candid Mood

The seeds of writing were planted into her when she was introduced to reading. Though, belong a very humble background and living a normal lower middle class life during her childhood, her parents tried giving their children the best growing up they can. Instilling the habit of reading is one of the best they did for their children.

We’ve got a chance to connect with her in regards of her debut book – The Third Eye and Other Tales. The Third Eye – phrase refers to the ultimate knowledge and wisdom, and the one who knows death more than anyone else, is the wisest person. Possibly that is why Lord Shiva is the only one with – The Third Eye.

The stories in the book are short yet thought provoking and refers to various aspects of human existance and covers a wide spectrum of genre. You can read our unbiaesd review for this book at:

In addition, we are able to bring you an entire story from the book to get a sneek peek into the same.

Hi Sumana,
Greetings…!
We are glad to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sparing some time to have a Q/A session with us. Your book “The Third Eye And Other Tales” is getting positive responses in both commercial and critical aspects. Please accept our congratulations for the same. Please tell us more about yourself, your profession and your passions.

I am an R&D professional working with a healthcare company and a fiction writer. I have been in the corporate world since 15 years after completing B.Tech programme from Jadavpur University in 2004. I have been all through a good student having ranked 2nd in the university. Having worked in R&D, Quality and Supply Chain I have always treated my profession as a calling, a passion. Some how in the last three years I have discovered another dimension in my life when I started writing fiction short stories.

What draws your interest in writing?

All of us go through daily grind of our routine . If we take a bird’s eye view we discover that our surrounding, people, incidents leave a permanent mark in our life as we unravel the chapters. Due to digital movement and social networking our humane connections with friends and family are getting shrunk and we are heavily glued to gazettes. I discovered writing can be a great medium to vent out the raw feelings and emotions. It keeps you healthy mentally and emotionally. For me it started with a blogsite in 2016 in the name of sumanaduttachoudhury.wordpress.com. Initially there were blogs on a specific subject/matters that touched me. Slowly the fiction bug had bitten me and I started fathoming on concepts that has live characters and situations that would excite the reader. This was the inception of the journey way back in 2016.

Can you tell us how the idea of writing “The Third Eye And Other Tales” was conceived?

When I completed almost writing more than 20 stories I thought of a collection which could be compelling and strong. This collection of 10 stories of different genres would leave a distinct impact on reader’s mind and would urge the reader to think what I wanted to say. It also has a thriller called Bloody Mary and Magnificient Mask which throws light on the triumph over one’s own fear.

While the book has 10 stories including “The Third Eye”, is there a reason that you’ve chosen “The Third Eye” to be part of the title? In other words, was it a concious decision to have a reference to “The Third Eye” in the title? Was it because the character of the female protagonist is very much near to your persona or something else?

Interesting Question ! Well, I think “Third Eye” depicts a fresh and a different perspective. It is seeing the unseen, knowing the unknown and discovering the unexplored. It means behind every obvious equation there can be some other perspective which is hidden and unsurfaced. Each story would strike a chord of vulnerability. Beyond the narrative and facts it would take the reader to a separate world. I considered this aspect before naming the book. The story “Third Eye” is very close to my heart as the protagonist Mayuri has a daunting spree to help her friend from a difficult situation. Well, yes I feel one aspect of my persona submerges with Mayuri 😊.

Do you think that in the hustle and bustle of the life, we often need to sideline some of our passions, and there come a time, a moment of signal which guide us to follow that passion? Was telling stories to your newborn daughter played a part in inspiring you to pen down the stories and eventually publish them?

Yes I agree. Working in a corporate entity in this dynamic and highly challenging environment is tough for both men and women . Being a woman I genuinely feel it is little tougher for a woman as to do multiple roles in professional and personal life. Being a mother I often wondered how child psychology works. My daughter Shrestha’s naïve yet thought provoking questions have kept me contemplating on the lazy and loitering cloud like mind of a child. Reverse wax Museum is a story for kids and is inspired by my daughter and her cousin Arnesh and their experiences in wax museum. On the similar lines “Magnificient Mask” is a story inspired by my childhood memories of Rath Yatra Mela in lanes of Chetla, Kolkata.

Doing a job in the corporate world, taking care of a kid and sparing time for family while following our passion, is not an easy to manage multi-taksing. Of course, we had seen our parents, in majority of cases – the mother, flawlessly managing all these things. How do you manage all these aspects of the life?

Yes I faced this question quite often. Interestingly I genuinely feel that if I do not write stories and follow my passion in writing I would not be able to perform at work. This means both the aspects are important. It is critical to do something that takes you totally away from your regular spaces and give you the fuel to thrive along with family and colleagues. On the contrary I do not multitask, I do one task at a time and try to give my full attention to the task at hand. Taking care of the child and her small demands I believe effortlessly creeps in the veins of any mother and I am no exception. Writing happens to me in the late evening /night time when all are asleep. Silence and peace of mind is critical for writing.

Can you tell us more about your writing regime? Are you a method writer or an impulsive one?

Well, I have really not pondered over it . I feel I am sometimes methodical and sometimes impulsive. When an idea strikes I develop an uncanny impatience to pen it down and savour the journey of writing.

The book cover plays an important role in bookselling, were you involved in the book cover designing process? How much?

I am very fortunate to be associated with Mr Suhail Mathur and The Book Bakers literary group who have designed my book cover.

The Third Eye And Other Tales by Sumana D. Choudhury | Book Cover

The Third Eye And Other Tales by Sumana D. Choudhury | Book Cover

It is Suhail’s brainchild to give the cover design. I had very minor inputs otherwise largely done by Suhail and his team.

Getting your first book published is not an easy job. And, almost every author has to pass through a difficult time for his/her first creation getting published. Can you share your journey to get your first book published?

Indeed, it was challenging. All my submissions were rejected by most of the publishers when I started sending the sample chapters, blurb and book narratives back in 2017. Adding to this is the collection of short stories which is generally not preferred over a full time novel. The rejections continued until I got acquainted to The Book Bakers family the literary group and their proprietor Mr. Suhail Mathur who had been supporting the co-ordination with the publisher pool. I got a call from Suhail when I was travelling to Mumbai on work at the airport and he revealed that Locksley hall Publishing house has shown interest in publishing my book. I was quite taken aback and thrilled in parallel. I freshly shared the blurb, sample chapters and my biodata. It clicked and here I am giving you interview 😊. I am thankful to LHP for believing in me.

Every book affects its author in some way. How do you think writing “The Third Eye And Other Tales” affected you?

It has affected me in multifarious ways. It seems I have created the characters of protagonists in my own hands and often I revisit the characters and dwell on their pains and gains. Since each story is very close to my heart I can ponder on them well. This book made me think positive, create a vibrant ecosystem around me and above all elevated my confidence level significantly so that my decisions are well taken in both professional and personal life. The impact is above and beyond.

Who are your favorite authors whom you love to read? Of course, the name of Satyajit Ray will be there in the list 🙂

Well, I would first mention Satyajit Ray since his stories and movies were supremely intellectual and captivating. All his stories had something for the reader to decipher. I have repeatedly seen all his cinemas and my favourite film is “Nayak” where he casted the legendary Bengali movie star Uttam Kumar and “Paras Pathar” which was based on a novel by Rajshekhar Basu.

Apart from Ray, many writers have inspired me. Paulo Coelho, Jeffrey Archer, Alfred Hitchcock, Arthur Conan Doyle, Daniel Kahneman are to name a few .

I am a huge fan of JK Rowling and the series of Harry Porter.

I am fascinated by the writing style of Indian writers like a href=”https://amzn.to/2N1Wh4B” title=”Amitav Ghosh Author Page at Amazon” target=”_blank”>Amitav Ghosh, Sudha Murthy, Preeti Shenoy, Jhumpa Lahiri and many more.

Which are the book(s) you are reading currently?

I am an avid reader. I read both fiction and management books as well as books on Behavioural Economics and Marketing Strategies. Currently I am reading a book called “The Nugde” by famous economists Thaler and Sunstein. It is very simply written complex concept on transforming lives, happiness and well being by nudging. The theories are extremely deep and focused. I have just completed David Rock’s “Quiet Leadership” which gives me cues to improve my team’s performance at work.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

I am a trained vocalist and have learnt Hindusthani classical music for 12 years. I was born in a family of musicians. My aunt was a radio artist and my uncle is Padamshree Pandit Swapan Chaudhry the famous tabla artist. Singing has always been my hobby and initial part of life I wanted to be a playback singer. Somehow studies took precedence over music and I became an engineer. Writing has happened to me by chance and without plans. I think it was destined.

What do you think about video trailers of the book(s) which are an almost inevitable part of marketing these days?

I think videotrailers are good and eye catching. It gives the mass an effect of a movie/ documentary.

What is your opinion about EBook readers and their impact on the generation overall?

This is an interesting question. I am personally a non believer of Ebook. I strongly like reading paperback and unless I get the smell of the pages and feel the book I don’t enjoy the reading experience. Moreover all our time is going behind digital platforms and surfing. Although I do not deny the revolution brought by digital platforms in creating reader/consumer base and awareness on anything relevant in today’s world I feel reading experience is best with paperback as it gives you some spare time off your screentime.

Will we see a Kindle EBook (or any other EBook version) for “The Third Eye And Other Tales” sooner or later?

Honestly I have not yet engineered it . It is there at the corner at my priority list but soon you should hear something about it.

Author often explore something related to their jobs, especially when it comes to their debut work. Ravi Subramanian, for example, writes banking thrillers. John Grisham explores legal thrillers and so on. Of course, there are authors who write fantasy fictions or mythology retelling which are far from their area of professin. We just want to know about the reasons behind your choice of genre.

I would echo what JK Rowling once mentioned to the students in her speech at Harvard Commencement that Imagination is the greatest power humans have. It knows no bounds and spreads it wings and takes a high on a roller coaster in your mind. I am so far a fantasy fiction writer. Although I must agree that all my stories have reflections of my journey in my work life and real life. My creations are not directly influenced from my work . It is pure fantasy and has relevance to our lives .

Will we see Sumana writing a book in a different genre? Possibly, a corporate thriller or something else?

Yes absolutely. Why not. Many of the early feedback I got from my readers are that I should write a novel. The concept is weaving in my mind and I shall take it out at the right time. Do expect a thriller novel …….

Do you love to read traditional printed books more or EBooks?

My choice is printed books and have always read paperbacks

What are your opinions about various social networks and the way it can be used to spread awareness about some important cause around the globe?

Technology has a huge role to play in modern awareness and I think social media are an inevitable part of our life making the penetration easier and better among the readers. It is fast, widespread and within reach of everyone around the globe.

Did you grow up hearing moral and ethical stories from parents/grandparents? If yes, how it affected your persona?

My grandmother was an eloquent storyteller and she used to tell and sing folklores which had morals. Panchathantra, Thakumar Jhuli are some of the books she used to narrate. I have grown up listening to her stories. My father was also a writer and an avid reader. Stories and literary exposure was party to my grooming. Rabindranath Tagore’s short stories were a part of my daily doze while having lunch or dinner in my childhood.

Do you think that we are gradually losing the tradition of hearing “moral and ethical stories from grandparents”?

This question is very relevant and I have a view on it.

Sumana D. Chowdhury : The Author Of - The Third Eye And Other Tales - In A Candid Mood

Sumana D. Chowdhury : The Author Of – The Third Eye And Other Tales – In A Candid Mood

The advancement of our lives revolve around nuclear family and we feel concepts of joint families are ceasing to exist. Primarily becoz we are forced to come out of our hometown in order to pursue our career and grow higher in the ladder. The flipside of the move is the inevitable detachment from parents and for our children it is the grandparents. Their love, care, moral preaching are priceless and cannot be replicated or acquired through any other means. The detachment from grandparents is detrimental to the overall well being of child as we as parents have to constantly try and build the connect whenever possible for our child to feel the warmth and love of the grandparents. So yes in this cosmopolitan cities we are losing the tradition of hearing the stories and at the same time frequent nudge and efforts can bring them back to our and our children’s lives as it is priceless and coveted.

Do you think it affects the social canvas of our culture?

India is known for its rich heritage and culture. The famous monuments and intricate work of art on temples and caves depict the rich cultural bent and platform India holds for rest of the world. There is so much diversity and ethnicity in Indian soil. All the grandmother’s folk tales of Bengal, Orissa, TamilNadu, Kerela has still a lot of relevance in modern world. The folk dances, folk music of Rajasthan, Gujarat are the foundation of Indian classical music. Stories and music are a pivotal part of social canvas which should be tried to restore and glow in the hearts of all Indians.

Please share your social media/web presence, so readers can connect with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*