Adolescence years are a very important part of our lives. They are responsible for building our characters. And, it is very important to get the right direction during these years. That’s why in the Bharatiya way of life, the study happened at the Gurukul. With the change of circumstances, of course, the way of living is also changed. Hostel life – still plays a very important role in one’s life. Obviously, for rich kids, the type of hostel(s) chosen for them is quite different than those of coming from a humble background. For some families putting their kids in government or NGO running hostels is more of a necessity.
While we love reading thrillers, fiction, mythology oriented and inspirational book(s); we love exploring realistic meaningful read as well. So when approached for reading and reviewing “The Fishbowl” by Vivek Kumar, we were quite enthusiastic to explore it.
You can find our unbiased views for the book at:
The way the book is written shows how good the author is, at linguistics and other attributes. The way he has explored the psyche of a growing up kid and the curiosity in his mind about the things happening around him, is interesting. It made us curious to know more about the author and his books. And, what could have been a better alternative than having an author interview with him?
Fortunately, we were able to have a small Q/A session with him. I am delighted to share it with you all, here we go.
About Vivek Kumar
The Author, Vivek Kumar, 41, is a writer and director.
He has published four works of fiction (2 Novels, 1 Novella & 1 short story collection), directed one short film (Kafka & I, 2017) and one documentary film (I Pravir The Adivasi GOD, 2020). His focus is on applying a human lens to historical and cultural narratives. He lives in Mumbai, India.
We are glad to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sparing some time to have a Q/A session with us. Please accept our congratulations for getting your debut book – The Fishbowl – published. Can you tell us something about the response to the book you’ve received so far.
It is early days yet but reviews are positive and am hopeful of things picking up.
It is a kind of cliché question, obviously, you are feeling joyous, accomplished and happy. Each time we are able to follow our passions the way we want to and getting a positive response on the course, we feel, inching more towards completeness. Do you think so?
I guess the completion of such projects leads to a sense of weary emptyness. Subsequent suceess or response may lead to a high or momentary completeness.
Can you tell us more about yourself, your background, your profession, and your passions?
I grew up in a boarding school at the outskirts of a Tier-III city, though now I live in Mumbai and work as a Brand Consultant.
Can you tell us how the idea of writing “The Fishbowl” conceived? Also, why you chose the title “The Fishbowl”, if you can tell?
It started during my post-gradute days when some of my real-life stories used to get shocked reactions bordering on disbelief.
It was also the time I was looking for ways to make myself differentiated. The two things got together and I started dreaming about compiling many such stories. But that was long ago, about 15+ years.
The initial working title was “Hostel Days“. The title “The Fishbowl” came much later. The word “Fishbowl” popped during writing a certain episode in the book. Later I adopted it for the title as it seemed more apt and possibly artistic.
Can you share – how much of the book is from your (or someone you know) firsthand experience and how much is imagination?
I would say 60-40. It is a curated form of my experiences in boarding school etc. But real life is more chaotic and stories do not find definitive endings in a similar timeframe, so a lot of creative work and fill-in-the gaps is required to make it palatable for the reader.
It is said that a writer often expresses his/her feelings/thoughts and emotions through his/her characters (at various levels, of course). Do you think so? If yes, can you elaborate?
I guess that would be true of all creative mediums, especially if it is an expressive output. Whatever we are engaging with, it is difficult rather impossible to delink your personality completely from it, so it will filter through.
But with awareness, one tends to filter out or select what aspects of their personality or style they want to work with and which aspects one wants to filter out.
Also, did you grow up hearing moral and ethical stories from parents/grandparents? If yes, how it affected your persona? And, do you think it affects the social canvas of our culture?
There were no moral storytelling but there were lectures :).
While the question of “what affects our cultural-social-canvas” is difficult to answer with conviction, my personal feeling is that it is our experiences that shape-up our cultural-canvas. Stories we tell etc. create a superficial layer that we learn to operate under the cover of. They tell us what is acceptable not what is appropriate.
A society where stories we tell, and the life we live, have a gap, develop double standards and deep-rooted hypocrisy and corruption leading to eventual decay.
You seem to be a nature-lover. And, you may like travelling also. Can you share your thoughts about your likes, hobbies and more.
I thrive on experiences, whether it comes through travelling or simply engaging with people. Nature obviously has a calming effect and is beautiful but one tends to miss the hustle-bustle and the engrossing complexities of the urban life after a while.
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?
Well, it is my fourth book actually, though getting it published hasn’t become any easier.
I self-published my first book, a short story collection (To Catch A Smile, 2008).
The next two books found traditional publishers (Pustak Mahal, Srishti Publishers). The Fishbowl has possibly been the hardest to bring out because of its unconventional style and complexity of the subject. It took about 10 years from the time I wrote the first page of it. Needless to say, the number of revisions, rewriting etc. have been exhaustive and it still seems more work can be done 🙂
Can you tell us more about your writing regime? Are you a method writer or an impulsive one?
A mix of the two. The insightful pieces come through impulsive writing but a constant attempt at working/completing it is required to hit the impulsive spot. But there is no definite regime, I follow my instincts with often large gaps between two periods of writing.
Every book affects its author in some way. How do you think writing “The Fishbowl” affected you?
It has made me wiser and probably a little calmer or dull in plain words.
Who are your favorite authors whom you love to read?
I read sporadically and do not have any favourite author per se, but have some favourite books.
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger), Narcissus & Goldmund (Herman Hesse) could be counted in. Some of Franz Kafka’s stories and maybe of Murakami can also be included in the list.
Which are the book(s) you are reading currently?
Last book I read was “Dance Dance Dance” of Haruki Murakami.
What do you think about video trailers of the book(s) which are an almost inevitable part of marketing these days?
It could be an effective tool for building awareness as almost everybody consumes content trough net today. But I feel that a video-trailer by itself has limited appeal when it comes to books.
Do you love to read traditional printed books more or EBooks?
Am increasingly becoming comfortable with eBooks. It’s much more convenient and gels with present-day lifestyle better. A traditional printed book probably works for consummate readers who treat book-reading as a deep, personal experience and do not want distractions but for those who treat reading as one more activity, eBooks work better.
Please share your contact details where readers can reach you.
Sure. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share anything you want to from your end?
Hope you enjoy reading “The Fishbowl”. Would love to hear about your experience of reading the book.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy – The Fishbowl By Vivek Kumar – Paperback – Amazon India
- Buy – The Fishbowl By Vivek Kumar – Paperback – Amazon US
Over To You:
I hope you have enjoyed the Q/A session with him. And many of your questions might be already answered. Let us know that what do you think about this Interview session? Do you want us to ask anything else to heron your behalf? Do let us know. Also, let us know which other authors you like us to interview? Do let us know your thoughts and remarks via comments below. Do not forget to share this article with your friends over various social networks via Twitter, Facebook and others. And yes, you may like to subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on various Social networks to get latest updates for the site to land right in your mailbox.