Comedy Drama Fantasy
"An excellent display of human emotions and a great portrayal of the characters are evident in Shaan Avasthi’s new book 'The Scenes of Life'. The veracity of the story brings out the rawness of reality. The jaw-dropping climax keeps you on the edge. This piece of fiction is a must read….." reported Vandana Sharma, Reviewer, Hotline News.
I opened the gates and hurried up for my interview with Shaan Avasthi.
On reaching, I saw that the door was ajar. I rang the bell and waited. While I was waiting, I rehearsed, "Hi, Mr Avasthi, I'm Raashi Kaul from Express News. I'm here to interview you on your latest book "The Scenes of Life" since I was meeting him for the first time. Nobody came to the door. I took the liberty of going inside. The living room was well designed. I saw an open laptop displaying a paragraph of a story on its screen. Probably, it was a new story Avasthi was writing about. I looked around there was no sign of him, so I thought of snatching a peek preview of the story.
The story started with an adolescent about 13 years collecting shells on a beach. She was wearing a pink cotton top and blue jeans. Her pockets were full of seashells and now she was heading towards a monument she had just built with sand. The structure described sounded like one of the castles from a history book. I'd seen sand castles in movies and on television and pictures of them. It even talked about some big shadow coming from the castle and the girl.
A sound startled me. The continuous humming of a voice coming from the top floor was now the centre of my attention. I slowly went up stairs. I was nervous in a new place without the owner or anyone around. My hands were shivering when I opened the door of the room from where the humming sound was coming.
A big giant flung at me. I screamed and landed on the floor. "Hello, madam. Are you ok?" asked a towering man. After gaining consciousness I said, "I'm fine. Who are you? Why did you scare me?" Forwarding his hand he said coolly, "I'm Shaan Avasthi. I wanted to set a scene for my story and scaring you was part of it." Further, he added, "I required an unknown character and wanted to see the actual reactions before putting it on paper. When I saw you entering the gate from my terrace, I set this all up." I was shocked. "Sorry about scaring you. Let's start the interview. I'll give you the details of my story in the interview." I thought, 'What a weirdo'. "I'm not weird, but a prankster," he said. I was appalled at his arrogance more than the fact that he read my mind.
Thereafter, in the interview…
"I'm Raashi Kaul from Express-News."
"Tell me, where did you get the inspiration for your book, Scenes of Life?"
"From my life."
"Interesting. You mean the story line is on your own life, which has been converted into fiction?"
"Which is the best part of the book according to you?"
"All of it…but, the climax in which the main character changes is my personal favourite."
"What were your feelings when you had put down your own story on paper?"
"It was easy and difficult. Easy, when I decided to write, and difficult, when I'd to pour my emotions into words."
"Are the dialogues from your real life?"
"Most are. Some are created."
"Why did it occur to you that readers would be interested in knowing your story?"
"Well, it is full of emotions, it has a complication, which many relate to and the resolution is devastating. People love dramas. And this book was for readers, of course, but more importantly a dedication to my late wife."
"Tell the readers about your new story."
"You've had a peak preview…further, the story is that the sand castle evokes a monster, the girl screams and gets absorbed into the sand castle."
"Then what happens?"
"The story continues with the girl's efforts and adventures of coming out of what she built."
"How does the story end?"
"I haven't thought about it yet." Of course, Avasthi doesn't reveal the climax.
"I'll call you once the end of the story is finalised." How does he read my mind every time?
"You're not concerned that I will get it published before your book is out."
The published interview was a hit among readers and Avasthi's fans. My editor was over the top for the publicity the paper gained.