When a book touches a reader’s heart, it is a bestseller, not in numbers (maybe) but in its purpose. Two beautiful heart-touching novels – The Red Butterfly and Saanvri were recently launched and Varsha Verma had a chance to meet the authors of these novels – both well-known names from different industries altogether. Excerpts. Avinash Pushkarna, author of The Red Butterfly

With his graduation in Zoology (Honours) and later a degree in Law from Delhi University, Avinash Pushkarna joined the State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer in 1983. But his passion to be a Civil Servant made him join the Government of India in 1986. He has put in around thirty years of active service and is presently serving as an Additional Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax. He has received World Customs Organisation’s Certificate of Merit for his distinguished service. A passionate and voracious reader, Avinash aspires to be an author of repute. Published by Niyogi Books, My Red Butterfly is his debut novel.

My Red Butterfly is a modest yet sublime tale of unparalleled love and romance. It could be of any one of us; of requited or unrequited love; successful or torn apart. Set during the late seventies and early eighties, it takes you across many states in India and the ups and downs of the protagonist’s journey of life and the people who influence him and shape his life. It’s a story of hope, aspirations deep filial bonds and unadulterated chords of friendship.

On asking about how he came up with the plot of the novel, Avinash replied that he had the ready template of the novel long time back. “I always had the ability to comprehend the emotions of people and romantic stories always appealed to me. So, I always knew that whenever I start writing, it would be a romantic novel,” he shared.

“It’s a story to relive and remember, set in the decade when love was not alloyed with materialism and practicalities and when relationships were not tortuous, but were straight and heartfelt. It’s a story that will touch the inner chords of your heart. There are values, bonding, love, friendship, romance – its sure going to touch the reader’s heart,” he added.

Being such a busy person himself, it would have been difficult to write? “I took five years to write the novel. I really enjoyed giving shape to the idea of my novel; the whole process was so creative. It took one-and-a-half years for the editing and I am happy with the way it has shaped. I do not want to be a run of the mill author; rather I want to be an author of repute. My Red Butterfly is the result of my seven years of toil of passion. Being a totally Indian story, I believe that it will touch many a hearts and will also appeal to the connoisseurs of literature,” added Avinash, who is now busy working on his next novel, which he feel might be a sequel to this.

Vinod Pande, author of Saanvri: The Story of Concubine

Vinod Pande has walked many a path: a civil servant with the British Government, a broadcaster with the BBC, the maker of several documentaries and ad-films, he helmed one of the popular TV networks launched during the late nineties and ran his own advertising agency in London. After his foray into Bollywood, he was a member of the jury for important award ceremonies and chaired the selection committees of the Indian entry for the Oscar Awards on two occasions. He is, however, most well known as the producer, writer and director of the Hindi film Ek Baar Phir; other notable ones like Yeh Nazdeekiyan and Sins; and acclaimed TV serials Air Hostess and Reporter. He lives and works as a filmmaker and author in Mumbai. After Don’s Wife, a story on forbidden love, born in the crucible of crime, Saanvri: The Story of Concubine (published by Niyogi Books) is his second novel.

Saanvri’s tale is about decadence in high palaces of power; the story of a woman who learns to use the wanton carnality in men in a society that uses and abuses her. It is also about the three most important people in her life, all of who use her with impunity. As Vinod shares, the characters are inspired by real-life incidents. “Interestingly, I started working on Saanvri as a film script as one of my friends wanted to make a film on the subject. Unfortunately, the project was shelved and the script lay with me for quite some time. Later, I reworked on the script and presented it in the form of a novel,” he said.

On asking how Vinod feels as an author, he replied that he has reinvented himself in the form of an author. “This gives me more freedom to express my thoughts and I am completely enjoying it. I wish to bring out more books in future and continue writing,” he said.



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