In a conversation with Ushasi Sen Basu, the author of Kathputli
We often don’t get to meet a lot of people who can easily inspire us. However, we were lucky to meet someone just like that. She is none other than Ushasi Sen Basu, author of the lovely book Kathputli.
BV: How many months’/years to complete Kathputli. A little about its journey so far!!
Ushasi: I wrote the first draft in 7-8 months, but I polished it and rewrote entire sections of it for the next 3 years. The first draft has very little similarity to what is now available as the book.
I love books. They’ve been my friends, companions and guides ever since I could read. It was only natural that I would want to be part of that world, and tried off and on to write a full length book, but abandoned them all midway. Then after my daughter was born and I took a break from outside work to look after her, I began to write this. Motherhood had meant very intense emotions for me, so I poured all of it into ‘Kathputli’. Luckily, the combination of more time at home and this flood of emotions that needed to be expressed tided me over to the end, and I finished writing the novel, this time.
It’s received great critical and reader response in the 9 months since it’s been published. Look me up on Amazon or Goodreads to know more.
BV: E-book or hard copy, what’s your take and why?
Ushasi: I was a traditionalist when it came to reading. I had all these set ideas about needing to hold a paper book in hand for the “complete experience”. But as my book collection started to spread across the house, attracting dust and making my family sneeze (not to mention the prohibitive cost of paper books nowadays) I finally had to consider getting myself a kindle. And I’m incredibly happy I did! I read voraciously at much lower damage to my pocket and my family’s health than earlier. When a book turns out to be extra special I pick up the paper copy. I don’t want to add a screen to my daughter’s life, so I buy her books in paper not in e-book format.
BV: If you are granted a wish, what would that be?
Ushasi: If one were to take the question literally, I would say, with my luck…none of my wishes would be granted.But my foremost wish is to be granted the ability to conceive of wonderful stories and the endurance to write them all down from start to finish, every couple of years or so. That would be the greatest gift.
BV: A message you’d like to give to budding authors
Ushasi: Don’t be taken in by the few success stories you see out there. Writing and getting a book published is backbreaking, heart breaking work. Choose this line only if you love books and writing dearly and if being a published author means more to you than anything else in the world. I take pride in leaving some of my meaning as subtext, so I will do so here as well. But if pushed I can write pages on this.
However, if it is indeed your dream, you must write and publish your book. There’s no feeling like having people read what you’ve written and saying “I totally got what you’re saying. I thought I was the only one who felt that way.”
On that note,we’d quote something that’s very close to what we feel about her:
“The secret of success is sincerity”