“Writing can never be a hobby, nor can it be learnt. It can only be a passion and to be good at it, one has to know how to play with the 26 letters and then make a universe of your own out of them,” says Chinmay Divyadarshi Kar, who became a writer by chance.
Chinmay, who is in the final year of MBBS at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, first realised his love for literature and poetry after an accident. He also takes avid interest in the mysteries of the human brain, which made him pursue medical science. He wrote a book Catharsis: A Tale of Imperfect Coincidences when he was in the second year of MBBS. The book tells the story of a medical graduate and how some strange coincidences change him. Since then, he has co-authored poetry anthologies like Moontide: An Anthology by Poetic Imagica, The Rising Echoes: An Anthology by the Poets Weed, and Maples Anthology Book: An Anthology of Motivational Quotes by Top Indian Authors.
A holder of the Vajra World Record, Chinmay has also won the Swami Vivekananda Excellence Award for his contribution in the field of literature. He also won the Youngest Debut Author Award for his book Catharsis. In a candid interview with Orissa POST, Chinmay shares his story.
Tell us about your childhood memories related to writing.
I was not good in studies or in extracurricular activities. I was a daydreamer who never took any initiative to change his life. Growing up in a family where everyone is an achiever at times hurts you. You have to be their well-wisher, but you know that you are nowhere close to them. I first wrote for my school magazine in 2008. It was a piece on the 26/11 terror attack. I was only 11 but the incident created a deep impact on my mind and compelled me to write something.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My father is also a doctor, but I have seen him struggle in his initial days. Despite all odds, he devoted his entire life to making others’ lives comfortable. I have never seen him going on vacations or spending time with his family. My mother is a housewife and I have always admired her for managing the household singlehandedly, without complaining. They have been my biggest driving force.
What is the most fulfilling thing about writing?
The most satisfying thing is to end a piece. I think it’s the same for all writers because you might start with nothing and then some random emotions coupled with the play of words might turn it into a piece that becomes a prized possession for you.
When did you take up writing?
I wrote my first book of poems in 2008. It was a casual effort, and I never thought of taking up writing seriously. Every teenager knows how tough it is to crack Plus II. I was no different and had my share of failures. I was confused about my future and was under stress. However, I managed to crack the medical entrance exams in one go. However, the fear of failure still resided in my mind. I was trying my best to score good marks in the first two years of my course. When the exams got over, I was relieved. It was July 11, 2016. I planned a night out with my friends. The pressure of staying awake for five consecutive nights was too much for my body and I met with an accident that night. I regained consciousness after 11 days only to learn that I had lost my senses while driving my two-wheeler and had sustained head injuries. A sense of guilt followed because I had never been a reckless person. I thought my actions had hurt my parents and I started penning my thoughts to pacify my mind.
Tell us about your first book.
My first book was my attempt to prove to others that I am not a bad person. It was an attempt to finally bring that change in my life, which I had been postponing for so long. The book revolves around a medical graduate who is in a dilemma because of his inner feelings and is in search of the real meaning of life.
Words heal, so do medicines. Which, according to you, is a better healer?
I think words and medicines have a synergistic effect. Medicine heals the body while words heal the mind.
Who are your favourite authors?
I was never into reading the works of the greats. So, I have not drawn inspiration from any of them. Instead, I draw inspiration from the challenges that my family and I have faced in life.
How do story ideas come to you given that your studies take up a lot of time?
Ideas come randomly, sometimes from two or more unrelated events. I try to connect them and weave a story. I usually do this after returning from college. After drawing an outline in my mind, it’s just a matter of time before I write the rest of the story.
What is the most important thing for you in a story?
The most important thing in a story is how you picture yourself in that situation or a similar situation and how you draw a conclusion. We are called humans because we have the ability to change ourselves and become better.
RASHMI REKHA DAS, OP