12 May 2011

Interview with Dr. Banerjee

A pediatrician by profession, Vivek Banerjee lives in Saharanpur with his parents, obstetrician wife and two children. In his own words,  Dr. Vivek Banerjee, the author of ‘The Long Road‘ is a “Full time paediatrician ( by choice) and part time author ( by chance)

Q: Could you tell us about your debut novel “The Long Road”?

It is a book about five resident doctors. They come to Grant Medical College from different backgrounds and with differing aims. Sarika is a very ambitious, hardworking and driven girl who wants to succeed at any cost. It is her life’s mission to become a neurosurgeon and excel in a field dominated by men. Her ex-boyfriend Rahul, who is a genuinely nice guy but easygoing to a fault, follows her with the hope of engineering reconciliation. Then we have Ranjiv the rebel, whose only aim in life is to chart a path different from the one his famous doctor dad wants him to walk. Hina is a bright and beautiful girl from a conservative and poor background, who finds the lifestyle changes more challenging than the burden of academics. And lastly, there is Sagarika, the girl who finds her American dream going horribly wrong.

The novel is a peek into the life of doctors in the making; it is about little triumphs and defeats, love and friendship and the struggle they have to face in balancing their professional and personal lives. It is an attempt to explore the world of these five individuals and documents their journey to find some meaning in life.

Q: Any character (from your book) that felt was a reflection of you? Something about the character
you would've wanted to change?

You may not believe it, but the book is not autobiographical. I don’t think any character resembles me even remotely. Anyway, it is much more fun to write about interesting fictional characters than base them on real life boring people (like me).

Q: How does it feel to handle two professions simultaneously – being a doctor and recently being an

No problems with that as I have just one profession, that of a pediatrician. I am an author by hobby and writing is more or less a means to escape from the pressures and stresses of my profession. I have no pretensions of being a serious / full-time writer.

Q: Nobel Prize for Literature or the Man Booker? Which one you prefer and Why?

Neither! As I said earlier I am fully aware as my limitations as an author. I just want some audience for my work. If my book brings a smile to your face and finds even a minuscule place in your heart, that is reward enough for me……..

Q: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not much. I just wanted to give the reader a peek into the world of doctors and talk about the dilemmas, trials and tribulations they face in their day to day life. I wanted to highlight the conflict every doctor has to face in balancing his/her personal and professional life. And above all, I wanted to write a feel good book, something that would leave every reader with a warm feeling in his/ her heart. Whether I have succeeded or not is up-to you all to decide.

Q: Was getting published a difficult task?

Let me just say that it is much easier to write a novel than to find a good publisher.

Q: Which is one thing which you would like to change about Indian Publishing Industry? And Why?

Now that is a loaded question. But I just wish that the industry was not so personality, publicity and commerce driven. Now I have told you what I wish for but I don’t have the foggiest notion of how that can be achieved.

Q: After “The Long Road”, what next?

 My contribution to Chicken Soup for the soul- Indian doctors has been accepted and is under publication. Few short stories are under consideration for various anthologies. And I wish to write a thriller this time, maybe a medical thriller, a genre unexplored in India till now. A collection of stories about paranormal is also on the anvil. So exciting times ahead, at least for me.

And I continue to blog at http://drvbanerjee.blogspot.com/

Thank you Dr. Banerjee for sparing some time out from your busy schedule to share your experience with "Things in Black n White" readers. May you debut novel get a good readership and we get to read more and more from your end.


Ben said...

Thanks Sneha! This was fun.

MumbaiGal said...

Great interview. Loved the book and it is nice to know what goes through the author's mind.

ritu singh said...

author's first book, 'The long road'made an interesting read as well,looking forward to his next.........next......n next........good luck.

L.A. Sherman said...

Good Interview!

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