Friday, April 10, 2015

In Conversation With Siddhartha Garg :)

1.      Tell us something about your book?

The Silent Scream tries to take up a sensitive issue of child sexual abuse which people normally turn a blind eye to even though it persists nationwide. It is a sincere effort to throw some light on the highly sensitive and serious problem that continually affects the life of many in the society but most of the cases die a silent death with the individual. Forget justice, the plight of the individual is more often than not kept in the dark for the sake of preserving their honor and position in the society.

The book encapsulates Harshita’s story primarily, but also narrates the story of ten other child abuse victims, to make the reader aware of the many ways a child can be abused. It later on tries to throw some light on awakening the senses of people against these criminals and empowering women in India so as to help and make the nation a better place to live in. An earnest effort is also made to help develop awareness by providing a few crucial points that should be taken care of by all concerned to avoid falling into such terrible situations.

In short, this book can become a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil and sensitise everyone regarding the ways child sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also made to counsel the victims and provide insights to them on how they can make their life better and also carry their war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved.

2.      How did you select this title?

The title came in the last, random! It could actually relate to the plight of victims who suffer a lot and actually relates to the situation of our protagonist in the book.

3.      What inspired you to write this?

The mother of the victim, the bravest lady I have ever known in my life. Let alone her daughter who is the victim here, when I could feel the intense pain in the story while she narrated it to me word by word expecting me to share it with the world with a vision to bring about a change and awareness of the common people, it is needless to say how difficult it would have been for her to suffer the same in the first place.

4.      How does it feel to be a writer?

A little Ecstatic and a lot Relieved! I had a remorse of not being able to contribute anything towards my nation, towards this world other than just keeping myself glued to the TV set and witnessing the menaces like that of Nirbhaya. The changes don’t come around by just talking about them, we got to step forward and initiate a step towards their eradication. Today, when somebody asks me why were you not there on the road protesting for Nirbhaya, I can proudly say, I was busy writing this book.

Writing actually helps you to shed off a lot of frustration, anger, love and pain at a minimal cost of a pen and paper.

5.      What is your biggest strength when it comes to writing?

Although that is one question I leave for my readers to decide, I feel that I have learnt a lot from the feedback that I have received from the avid readers and the experienced bloggers. I have learnt to put things to paper in an unbiased form. I keep them neutral and let the readers decide their own emotions about a particular incident. I, though, am still thriving hard to try and have my readers attach to my writings in a way that they can live it through my words.

6.      Share some of your interesting memories you lived while writing this book.

Interesting? Ok! Difficult to say; a topic like child sexual abuse gives you very little opportunities to have a smile on your face. But one good thing it did to me was it motivated me to meet a lot of kids. Kids who were abused, kids who are orphans, kids who desire to study and kids who are too innocent to even realise what are they up to. In the midst of all the pain and heart wrenching stories all around, I happened to come across Arya Orphanage in Delhi. It is a home for thousands of homeless and orphan children. Having spent some quality time with them and realising with whatever I earn I could probably afford to make the life of one child better and I adopted a girl called Preeti. She still lives with them but I take care of her studies. I love my time with her.

7.      What do you understand by child abuse?

I believe that Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably one of the filthiest ones. Of late, we have heard a lot of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse occurring in and around the nation is child sex abuse. The term may sound too demeaning and give you goose bumps but it is in fact a very sensitive issue which needs to be addressed on a broader platform and so it led to the creation of “The Silent Scream”.

8.      Do you think a father fighting with mother in front of a child is a form of child abuse indirectly?

Definitely! Let us understand the fact that the abuse is not limited to physical harm to a person or a child. In fact the abuse is more related to the persecution of mind, the thoughts of the other person and when that person is someone as innocent as a child, the impact is severe and long lasting. An important aspect that I have emphasized on in the book is bonding in a parent child relationship and winning the child’s trust. When a child sees his parents fighting he loses a lot more than trust. The child can’t look forward to discuss their problems or share their secrets with them easily. In fact at times, it may also lead to the situation where the child may start looking out for harmony outside his house and gets involved in undesirable stuff. They have a tender heart, you got to handle it with care, utmost care.

9.      How was it working with Rumour Books India?

Brilliant! They came to my rescue and believed in my work when everyone else wanted another Ravinder Singh or Chetan Bhagat. It’s difficult for publishing industries to entertain new faces with the kind of competition they are facing of late and with a story like that of The Silent Scream, the genre doesn’t really suit the Indian audience as much, as they put it. It has a limited reach, they told me. But Rumour Books and I believed that the Indian readers could not be restricted in a boundary of genres and they would welcome anything that is good. Today, I can proudly say that we were right. I have had some lovely feedbacks about the book.

10.  Do you think author’s conversations and events are important for a book’s promotion?

I think so. Though I am new to industry, I believe that it is very important for the writers to connect with their audience. It gives readers a sense of confidence (they would also know the face they would require to buy the rotten tomatoes for, haha!). I personally like to get in touch with my readers, know their reviews; they are the best motivators and the ultimate source where I can learn the most from. They shall help me overcome my flaws and help me write better. Plus in a world where more than 1000 books are published every month, it is very difficult for a new author to create his mark unless he goes out and connect with people. You got to be J.K. Rowling to sit back home and expect the readers to come looking out for your work. 

11.  What is your least favourite part of the writing process?

To be honest, naming the characters in your book unless you are willing to put in the real ones! Sometimes it takes me days to come up with a suitable name for my characters, though it seems pretty random but they are not selected erratically. There has to be a reason for most of them.

12.  Describe your writing style in ten words or less.

Apt, precise and unbiased and most importantly, an effort towards a change!

13.  What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am full time software engineer and a technical job gives me very less time to spare. I still find out time to persue my MBA efficiently and I love to teach so, I have been teaching students for past six years now. Talk of leisure, I am a movie freak!

14.  Do you think that writing about this topic can actually be of some help?

All I can say at the moment is, the intent was true. How people react to it is still very unpredictable. One thing I am sure of is writing about this topic is going to help more than keeping mum about it did.

15.  How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you say or have written?

I say wow, that’s a perspective. Why didn’t I think of that? Then I involve myself in a friendly debate with that person with intent to convince or get convinced. I welcome all the critics as an opportunity to improve, given they are put in a respectable form.

16.  Tell us something about your future projects.

I have pledged to keep writing on topics that touch with social issues, the topics that everyone criticize, talks about in their rooms and the topics that are considered taboo in our society. I want to eradicate unrealistic taboos and strengthen the position of women and children in our society. I am currently working on two books simultaneously, Maya – is a true story that narrates the trials and tribulations of a male survivor and “Not Just a Love Story” – is a kind of twisted love story, more of a murder mystery and thriller.

17.  Was this path difficult to tread on or a smooth ride?

Very difficult I must say, but when you love something you don’t give up on it. The most difficult part is finding publishers, especially when you are new to the industry. Sometimes it takes more number of years in convincing a publisher to publish your work than it takes to research on a book and write on it. The key is to be patient and learning to accept the rejection; as a author you will get numerous of them.

18.  Lastly, is there a message you would like to convey your readers?

When you have an opinion, use it to make a change. I am thankful to you for picking my book because if you have bought a copy, knowingly or unknowingly you have helped a child in his education. With the enormous time you have and because you are a wonderful person, spare some time for those who need love and care. Try and help someone in need. And about my work, please don’t just read, tell me how you like it, tell me how I can improve. Your feedback matters! Love you all.

And now, before we end this session, how about a snippet from the book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

This appears as part of the book blurb, so that the reader is tempted to get a copy...

"Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably the filthiest. Of late, we have heard of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse is child sex abuse. The Silent Scream takes up this issue which people normally turn a blind eye towards. Through the subtlety quoted instances mentioned in this narrative non-fiction we are exposed to the disturbing lives of child predators and their innocent, young unassuming victims.

The Silent Scream is a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil with the aim of sensitising the general public on the ways in which sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also being made to counsel the victims and carry forward the war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved."

Buying Links: Amazon | uRead

No comments:

Post a Comment