In conversation with Aditya Chowdhury – Author of ‘Colorblind’

Recently I got an opportunity to ask a few questions to Aditya Chowdhury, author of ‘Colorblind’. Without wasting any time lets head on to the fun chat.

Colorblind is a work of dystopian fiction and debut novel by the author. It will take you to an imaginary world with real life propagandas and sufferings, making you question your own perspectives.

Click here for the detailed review of the book “Colorblind”

Welcome, Aditya. Tell us something about you and your book.

Well, I am a first-time author, an amateur filmmaker and by profession, an engineer. I have been interested in literature and cinema since I was a kid, and more so in college. Till about a few years back, I had only been a consumer & an admirer of these mediums of expression, albeit a big one. But I got involved in the process of creating a couple of years back when I wrote my first screenplay and pitched it to my wife and immediate friends, some of whom were involved with cinema already. But I have written short stories and poetry before, none of which I felt was good enough or had material urgent enough to be published. So. Colorblind is my first attempt at trying to make some coherent sense of the incoherent ramblings in my head and to compile it all in a novel.

You sound really clear with your approach and that same reflection can be seen in your book as well. From where did you get the idea of writing this book?

Whatever I write or create has always been my way of reacting to the environment around me. I have always felt a need to first understand my environment and the events in it at a purely fundamental level, after removing my biases as much as I can, and then to mold it in an abstract story that might be more universal. This novel was basically conceptualized during the end of last year, when our country was going through a tumultuous time(and still is going through) in terms of how dissent is stifled and how propaganda is weaved into narratives. I was in Delhi then, and it felt even more real here than it would have felt for people watching the propaganda being fed on television sets. So the idea about the book basically was born out of the unrest and complete breakdown of public discourse then, and writing this novel was my way of dealing with it.

Yes, our outside environment is capable of giving us some tremendously crating ideas.

The storyline of the book is really unique. How was your journey with this book ???

As I said, I usually try to reach a wider audience by trying to break down my understanding of stuff I feel is urgent, into abstract notions and ideas. That’s how the idea of the plot was born. I could see that identity politics, whether the one being played out in this country right now, or in any other place on the planet by any side of the political spectrum, has always been the reason there’s still so much hatred and complete disconnect between people with differing opinions. This was something I could relate with people who can see a single color and can’t see, or stubbornly refuse to see other colors in my novel. But yeah! getting this plot in a coherent form, forming characters with unique characteristics of their own, even the secondary ones, was difficult, especially since I haven’t been privy to the process of writing a complete novel ever before. I did have pointers from all the literature I have read, but I wanted the novel to feel closer to our dystopia of a world filled with single-minded individuals who can’t see past their side of political spectrum, so I did spend countless days writing and rewriting major chunks of the text which simply didn’t feel right.

Well did you face any rejections for this book??

Yes, loads of them, especially being a debut writer. I faced around 12-15 rejections, not just from publishers, but from literary agents too. In some cases, like the big 4, it wasn’t a rejection, but I never got a reply back. But some agents and publishing firms were gracious enough to reply back and tell me that they can’t publish the manuscript.

Yeah, rejection is an integral part of publication.

So Aditya, What are the other things that you enjoy apart from reading and writing??

As I mentioned, I love watching cinema, and not just the usual commercial cinema. I am an amateur filmmaker too, having written and directed a feature film and a short film traveling the international film festival circuit. So I try to put my love of cinema into the films that I create also. Most of my ideas of storytelling are derived from cinema itself, so whenever I get a chance, I try to get back to it as much as possible.

That is really great! Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with negative feedback?

Yes, I do read my reviews, especially since I am a debut author, and there are so few of those reviews 🙂 I definitely love to read negative reviews with constructive feedback that I can work on, and build upon. Also, being an avid reader, I kind of know quite a few things in my book that don’t work, and even ones that do work. So, if a review can show me something on top of that, whether good or bad, it’s always a welcome realization.

Well with that wehave arrived at our last question.

What will be that one piece of advice you want to share with your readers??

Please derive your own meaning out of the story, rather than what I would want you to. Although symbolic or perhaps political in its tone, the book doesn’t necessarily have to mean the same to everyone. It’s a rally against any kind of closed-mindedness towards people or things different from you, so even though the undertones might be political for me, it doesn’t have to be the same for you. Also, a request from my end would be to review the book on Amazon if possible, even if you think the book is horrendous. I’ll love to know where you think the book failed and why you felt it was bad, so kindly leave a review if you happen to read it.

 

It was really great having you here Aditya. We wish you all the luck and success or this book and hope to read many more such amazing books from you.

 

 

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