The author is a research scientist by training. He is technical consultant who works in an advisory capacity to the pharmaceutical industry. He specializes in intellectual property, technology upgradation and information technology. He is a science writer specializing in theoretical and philosophical foundations of modern scientific thought.
In a conversation with CinnamonTeal, the author spoke about his book and his expectations from those who read it.
CinnamonTeal: What inspired you to write your first book?
Vaachakmitra: I have been an avid reader of English literature. I found out that these writers had developed insights into human nature through their writings. I also found fiction writing as an analytical tool. I write because it gives me an understanding about my own subconscious mind.
CinnamonTeal: After this first-hand experience, would you want to write again?
Vaachakmitra: I have found strange solace in fiction writing. I would definitely continue writing fiction. In fact , I am writing my second novel. I am already writing blogs on my experience in writing my second novel.
CinnamonTeal: Is your book based on a real-life inspiration or is it completely insightful?
Vaachakmitra: I think writing a novel is confluence of reality and imagination. For the first time novelist , the reality consists of his personal life and imagination consists of his interpretation of this reality. Maybe , in my second novel , there will be less of myself and more of mankind.
CinnamonTeal: Did you face any criticism while in the process of writing your book?
Vaachakmitra: I was brought up by my parents who dotted on me. My father was a serious student of avant garde literature. So criticism is something I have never faced. Now my family appreciates my communication skills.
CinnamonTeal: What kind of readers do you wish to aim at? The youth or a much older crowd?
Vaachakmitra: It is difficult to pin point my intended audience. On one hand the period of my novel and the sensibility of the protagonist are that of person who would be in fifties and sixties. On the other hand , Indian ethos are meant for all age groups. Finally , this is a sincere tribute to masters who have shaped my literary sensibility. I think all these three groups would enjoy my novel.
CinnamonTeal: What do you wish the readers to take away from this novel, at least thematically?
Vaachakmitra: Frankly speaking , I am not in favor of inspirational writings. A genuine fiction , like life itself , demands seriousness. If anyone can read through this novel ,I am sure , she/ he would try to introspect her / his life. The readers would find that everyone’s life can be interpreted in more than one way. The core , the philosophical core , of this novel is that all these interpretations of ones life contain , within themselves , a germ of truth. If my novel helps readers to be aware of these multitudes of interpretations of life , I would consider myself as a good writer.
CinnamonTeal: What does the title ‘The Multitudes of Ripples’ signify?
Vaachakmitra: I think my previous answer contains the reason why I called it by such a title. I have been asked by someone why the word multitude appears as plural noun. To some purists common noun can be used in plurality. However , I think that not only grammatically, but even semantically, this plurality is correct. When there is more than one multitude, then they can be called multitudes.
More importantly , I have used plurality here because I am convinced that such a multitude occurs in each one of us. The plural form refers to that , after reading this novel , every reader would become aware of her/his own multitude. Since the reader’s multitude is triggered by a the protagonist ‘s multitude , plurality of multitudes is correct notation.
Finally , I was asked about the use of definite article ‘The’ in the title. I think that definite article refers to the fact that beneath these multitudes of interpretations, there lies a unitary life. There could be many interpretations of life but life is singular. In some sense we, as individuals, are different but life that runs through our consciousness is one. The definite article ‘The’ refers to singularity that unites all of us.
CinnamonTeal: What kind of books do you personally like to read? Did they influence your thought process for this book?
Vaachakmitra: I was a voracious reader in my younger days. About , twenty five years ago , I decided to become a writer. At that point of time , I decided to stop reading fiction because I did not want to imitate my favorite writers. After such a time lag , I think details are forgotten but the sensibility has remained. My favorite writers were many. I can name only a few of them. Camus, Sartre, Maugham, O’Neill, Bellow, White, Achebe etc. When I had to read my own novel while editing , I found echoes of all of them in this novel.
CinnamonTeal: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Vaachakmitra: All I can say is the novel is lying dormant in your subconscious mind. Just tap your inner self to find that novel. I seriously believe that a fiction writer merely transfers the novel from subconscious mind to the paper.
CinnamonTeal: How, if at all, does your process differ from the other authors, when writing a novel?
Vaachakmitra: I wish I knew that answer. I am not much into biographies , so I can’t compare my writing process with those of others. However as mentioned in one of my blogs , the novel compels you to give it a birth. Writers are the instruments not owners of the novel. ( unless it concerns the royalty payments!).
CinnamonTeal: Any specific reason for choosing the pen name of ‘Vaachakmitra’?
Vaachakmitra: I have mentioned in one of my blogs why I chose to write under a pen name. As for this particular pen name , I think I want to emphasize that I was a reader first and then a writer. My empathy is with readers hence this name.
CinnamonTeal: In the years to come, will you reveal your true name or would you prefer it being masked from the media’s focus?
Vaachakmitra: I am not sure. I have been a private person all my life. I am comfortable with anonymity that a pen name offers. However , I am not sure what future holds. All I can say is ‘ Que Sera Sera’.
The Multitudes of Ripples, a novel, is a first-person narrative of an entrepreneur who struggles to make sense of his life and demonstrates how optimism incorporates meaningful semantic even in the face of psychopathology. Available on Dogears Etc.. Also available on Infibeam, Amazon.in and Flipkart.