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This Valentine’s Day, nurture your love
Love is very rare and not everyone finds it but it still exists, unlike what many would like to believe, bestselling novelist Ruchita Misra – author of the new novel ‘Someone to Love’ - tells Ananya Borgohain
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Though I have been living in the UK for over seven years, I was born and brought up in Lucknow, India. Raised on the mantra that hard work can take you anywhere, I now manage two careers, one baby and one home. I work full time in a telecom company in London and am a published author of four bestselling books. I was awarded the Awadh Samman for the runaway success of my debut novel ‘The (In)eligible bachelors’.
I have been quite the geek all my life, ranked one all throughout engineering and triple gold medalist at IIFT from where I did my MBA, but I guess, behind the thick glasses was a diehard romantic .
The theme of your story is unrequited and unfulfilled love. Do you believe these emotions are universal and relatable to all cultures?
Love is the most universal of languages and most potent of religions. Most of us have stories of unrequited and unfulfilled love.
Weren’t you worried that your story would sound redundant?
My stories are always very simple. I often say that if I want to write a love story no one has ever written about, I probably need to write a passionate romance between a unicorn and an alien. Chances are, then too, someone somewhere must have written about it!
I write stories that grab hold of my brain and refuse to let go. The characters take shape and tell their own story, my pen (or fingers on the laptop) then become a mere medium through which the characters talk to the universe. I rarely think about how often the story has been told, for I can only write the story that tells itself through me. I focus on how I tell the story instead and make sure that that is extremely engaging for the reader. I think it works too, because most of my readers come back with a common comment of not having been able to put the book down.
What do you think sets your story apart from the others in the same genre?
A journalist once told me that I don’t write a book, but write the screenplay of a movie. And when I thought about it, I realised that it was very true. My stories play like movies in my head - I can see every detail in every scene and all that I do is that I go about describing every scene I see in words. A lot of my readers have also commented on how visual my writing is and one of my fantasies is to be able to see what a reader is seeing just so whether they are seeing the same thing I am trying to show to them!
Atharv's character does not undergo as dramatic a transformation as Koyal's, even after a decade passes. His narrative is formed mostly from Koyal's perspective. Why is that so?
Atharv was 14 going on 50 as teenager. He was the calm sea to Koyal’s ferocious fire. You can love Koyal or hate her but you cannot ignore her. And the same happened with me. I think I was very obsessed with Koyal, her mind, and her story. Somewhere I knew that for the beautiful cacophony Koyal could be, her man had to be an Atharv - calm and sensible. He changes too, he becomes more serious, tad angrier, a bit cynical but he retains the one thing that is important for him and Koyal to be together - the calmness in his heart.
Since they are both so different at the beginning of the novel, do you think they would have worked it out if they were married right at the beginning?
I am so happy you asked me this question because this is the unwritten, unsaid premise of the book that not many people have spoken about!
So there are these two people, inseparable and best friends but very unlike one another. Two people who perhaps cannot be together. Then life happens and it changes them drastically. But does it change them enough for them to become people who could be together is the question. The catch is that even in the beginning when they should not have been together, something told both of them that they are meant to be together - therein lies my concept of soul mates.
To answer your question more directly - no, I don’t think it would have worked out. This is why despite all the hardships they go through, for them to be together and happily together, they had to become the people life transforms them into.
Do you think there is a right time to unite even for soul mates? Atharv and Koyal seem to be soul mates but even then they have to stand the test of time.
I am just so impressed with your understanding of my book! Yes, that is the message of the book. Time is the most powerful of all elements. No relationship, no matter how strong can fight time. It is the beautiful and the scary thing about life - time is beyond anyone’s control.
This Valentine's Day, what advice would you like to give our readers?
Most youngsters I meet today are very cynical about love. They insist it does not exist, that it is a chimera that MNCs, Bollywood directors and novelists want them to believe in. My message to them is that love exists. Love is very rare and not everyone finds it, but it exists. A lot of people confuse love with lust and infatuation which is the main reason for the cynicism. Love needs time, patience and nurturing. Give it that. Because while it is rare, those who do find true love, find the most treasured gift the universe has to offer to anyone.
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