I'm often asked if I know the source of my inspiration. I am fascinated by the wonder of existence, the magnitude of the universe and the human condition which are all powerful muses. Even so, the answer to what prompts me to write hides in my sub-conscious from where the ideas emerge.
In my experience, writing fiction is a metamorphic process; a slow, tedious, often lonely journey of constant self exploration that finally leads upto a story borne out of skill, knowledge and imagination.
“In her own words, Soorina sums up her career choice- "Although I enjoyed writing as a young girl; my desire to make a career out of it remained dormant for decades due to other priorities. Then I stumbled upon a personal diary of my grandmother's that led me to explore and capture the essence of a bygone era.”
Birds of the Air
It was time she confided in her grandmother who may be willing to believe in the possibility of reincarnation. She came from a land of mystical and mythical beliefs and was not as rooted in the present as the rest of the Diwans. The word ‘kaal,’ which she often used, defied translation; the same word for yesterday, today and tomorrow, which could cause confusion until the words, ‘bhoot,’ —a word used to describe both the past and a ghost, and ‘vartmaan,’ meaning present and ‘bhavishya,’ meaning future was added as a prefix.
The word-kaal- belonged to a people steeped in the belief that all beings were subjected to the continuous flux prevalent in the universe, concepts that came from a period in history that she could not fathom, because she was a product of too many thoughts and experiences, a cultural jellyfish of sorts.
The present-day offered far too much information than she required. These days a well-informed individual had to be aware of everything; be it La Boheme or The Simpsons, soccer or Russian ballet, Great Expectations or Huffington Post—art, drama and theories that had been read and interpreted by intellectuals, and which left little room for abstraction.
For those veering towards the weird, even an oddball stereotype was available. Could she break out of this twenty-first-century matrix and return to an old-world belief? Was reincarnation too archaic a concept? Or was it possible to look at something old in a new way and find that it made sense?
For days Anamika looked inside the postbox. It was to form into a habit. She hadn’t cried since Rajbir left. She didn’t cry when her letter didn’t receive a reply, when the telephone didn’t ring or when the clouds returned and brought memories of childhood’s first rain showers.
Barefoot to Paradise
And what was destiny? An unknown path taken after making a conscious choice? And if I had decided to paint, then why not one person, not two but the world became collectively responsible for my choice as they got to decide whether or not I could paint?
Blame it on Destiny
“The way I see it, there is no such thing as a real life character,” she announced and disappeared into the kitchen to fetch ice. She reappeared after a few minutes and set the ice pail down on the trolley bar.
I always enjoy Soorina’s writing style as it stands out in her latest book – Blame It On Destiny. Her earlier two books, Anamika and Barefoot To Paradise were equally brilliant in their contents, Soorina has a gift for discussing human interactions in truthful yet amusing ways. It seems I can always identify experiences in my own family with those she describes in her latest book – Blame It On Destiny.
The book narrates the stories of five strangers so different from each other. The characters are characterised in a superb manner, their emotions, sentiments and feelings will remain in my mind and heart for a long time. This book has overwhelmed me.
A wonderful web of characters takes you on a roller coaster ride with five people, who never meet each other, but are connected in some way. Destiny connects them in convoluted ways, so that the shape of their lives takes on twists and turns that you don't expect. An interesting read about the loves and lives of five people living in Mumbai.
The backdrop of this exciting city enhances the story of the life of present day youth in Mumbai. As the saying goes, "its a small world" and this book proves this to be true. Someday, somewhere, someone's actions may in a roundabout way, affect your life! You never know :) That's what people call destiny.
This witty, engaging novel is full of tricks and comic turns. It seems to be light and chatty yet it leads you through the heartfelt concerns of a stratum of Mumbai society. It seems to be simply written; it is in fact a maze in which you might even meet someone you recognise coming the other way. Read, enjoy, then read again if you've not paid attention to the signs on every corner you took!