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A writer by chance

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By know your neighbour: Sourav Mukhopadhyay Writer DALIA MUKHERJEE
  • Published 8.03.13

Writing was a hobby in college for Sourav Mukhopadhyay. A plot would come to his mind and he would sit down with pen and paper to write it down. But never did he imagine that he would become a regular writer in leading Bengali magazines. At present, Dhulakhela, a novel by Sourav is being published regularly in Desh. So far, three episodes have been published since January. It is a story based on personal experience of budding writers trying to establish themselves.

Sourav’s tryst with publishing began in 2003 when he wrote three stories, which were published simultaneously in three leading magazines in 2004. Bipannya was published in Saptahik Bartaman, Merudandi in Desh and Joutuk in Sananda. “It was quite a surprise for me because I had not expected my stories to be published. Although no one really knew me at that time, I later realised that many readers had read and remembered my stories,” said Sourav.

Since this was a great boost, Sourav started sending his short stories to different publishers. “It had to be a regular effort and not like a passing fancy like I had in college. Story ideas had to be produced instantly and I often had to choose subjects from current affairs,” he said. In 2005, Sourav won second prize at a competition for comic stories organised by Desh. In 2010, a similar competition was organised by Kishore Bharati and Sourav won first prize. By 2009, about 20 stories written by Sourav had been published. “I started thinking of a plot for a novel. I started writing Granthi. This was a first person account of four people of different age groups and at different stages of their lives, who recounted their relationships with women,” said Sourav. Granthi was published in the Saradiya issue of Desh in 2010. The Saradiya issue of Patrika in 2011 carried Andhar Nadi and the Saradiya 2012 issue of Anandabazar Patrika had a political novel, Sankranti. “All three novels have been published as books but the short stories have not been compiled as yet,” said Sourav.

Living in Domjur, Sourav had never had the opportunity to interact with any of the well-known writers. But he has often been congratulated by Suchitra Bhattacharya, Tilottama Majumdar and others, over the phone. “It may sound strange but I was never inspired to write. To a large extent, I wrote to keep my mind distracted from various personal issues that bothered me from time to time,” said Sourav. For Sourav it was like an unexpected gift to find recognition for his writing from a place like Domjur. “The person who encouraged me to send my stories to publishers in Calcutta was writer Ullas Mullick. Seeing his works being published gave me hope,” said Sourav.

Being a school teacher leaves little time for Sourav to write. But he must keep a regular habit of writing. “I wake up at 5am in the morning and write till 9am after which I have to leave for school. In the evenings I am too tired to write and ideas do not come easily,” said Sourav. While his novel is being published in Desh, Sourav is already working on another short story.

More about sourav

  • DoB: April 24, 1973
  • Born in: Howrah
  • Education: BA
  • Family: Mother, wife and son
  • Loves: Music and adda
  • Hates: Hypocrisy