Whenever I hear about Jharkhand a scene from Chak De India flashes in my mind where Jharkhand was referred to as the State of Bushes. It was true to some extent till the arrival of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Jharkhand is lot more than mere bushes. It has beauty in its rawness and wilderness, effectively painted by the author Dr. Razi in his debut novel The Secret of the Palamu Fort.
In a candid discussion with Dr Razi about his newly released book, the author pours his heart out about his love for Jharkhand, his priorities, and some fun facts him.
Read on to know about The Secret of Palamu Fort and its writer.
Q. How would you describe The Secret Of Palamu Fort to someone who has not heard anything about the book?
A. One hell of a ride in history, mystery and supernatural world! It is a book that can hook you in right from the prologue, no matter what you are doing and I bet you can't keep it down until the very last page.
Q. What was the most challenging aspect of writing the The Secret Of The Palamu Fort?
A. This place Palamu and the Palamu Fort, around which this whole mystery is created has a fascinating history and many amazing folk-lores associated with it, which are unfortunately not given the attention they deserve by the historians. But once you get to know about it, you feel why hasn't somebody written a book over it?It was a difficult task to take the events in the history of this place along with the legends and folk-lores associated with it and weave them into an intelligent modern day murder mystery.
Q. Your debut novel is receiving raving reviews as an action packed thriller. What does literary success look like to you?
A. It is really overwhelming.I am thankful to God(and to the readers also!)for the kind words and success of this book. When you create something with so much love and passion and pour your heart into it, then nothing can give you more happiness than to see it flourish and grow. I am feeling like a proud father!
Q. The Secret Of Palamu has many vivid descriptions of the state of Jharkhand. To what extent the state is close to your heart?
A. This place is really close to my heart. It is a land unspoiled by time.The people here are so helping and innocent. It is said that God has created us with dust and sometimes I feel that the dust he used to create me was taken from this very place.
Q. What was your aim with The Secret Of The Palamu Fort? What message did you want to get across to your reader?
A. I have always believed that Jharkhand has been heavily underestimated and ignored in the mainstream Indian literature.You can find a few books related to it here and there, and some of them are pretty good too, but its presence in the popular fiction is nil. So my aim was to popularize it! I wanted this story to make its presence in the popular fiction so that people get to know that there are some really fascinating stories hidden in Jharkhand also that need to be told.I also wanted and hoped that this book positively impacts tourism in this state. I hope when people read about Palamu Fort they get motivated to visit this place.
Q. You are a person with multiple talents and interests and also doctor by profession and now an aspiring writer. How do you manage your time to don so many hats with ease.
A. It is never about time,it's about how much you love doing something! I have always believed that you can always take time out for the things you love. Everybody has the same 24 hours! So you need to prioritize things.You need to decide what is important to you and then you can easily manage your time. I knew my family, my work and my book were important to me so I decreased the amount of time I spent on other things like tv, outings etc. so that I could give more time to my priorities.
Q. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
A. Process of writing not very much! I still believe that when you are writing a book just write it with your heart and tell the story you want to, without caring about anything else.Writing is like true love - pure and unconditional!But yes the long process of editing did teach me a few things which I would be careful about in my next books.
Q. Do you believe in writer’s block?
A. I haven't encountered it yet(if such a thing even exists!).I researched well for my book and I was pretty much clear about everything I had to write. So I don't think I believe in it. But then I haven't seen ghosts too, but some people believe in them!
Q. Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you. Be creative. Any fun details that would enliven your fast growing admirers.
A. 1. I am a cartoonist also! I used to make cartoons of all my teachers and professors while sitting in the back bench!
2. I am a master in making excuses! I have even acted as a blind man once to get out of a tough situation in my college days!(The details of which I would never want to share!)
3. I still read comic books.
Q. What’s next after The Secret Of The Palamu Fort?
A. There are 3 more books planned with the same protagonist, Detective Robin Horo. Out of these, two are based in Jharkhand again. And a nonfiction book is also in the making which is based on my experience in ICU's.