Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Author Interview : Rohan Govenkar, author of ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa' (Part 1)
In this one, he tells us how the book first happened, how Ashwin, the lead character came about, how he came about with the central idea of the book, before developing it and what the challenging parts of the book were.
There is much more to come in the second part of this Interview, Folks…
How did ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’ happen? Could you describe the journey?
I cannot recollect one, single journey that led to the happening of the book. Different ideas coupled up, from various points in life, and they finally emerged together to give rise to the idea of writing ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’.
It took me two passionate years to get this task completed, and another year to hunt for a publisher.
How did you bring about each of the characters? How much of it was true and how much was fictionalised?
I have used certain habits and qualities of people around me to give birth to a few characters. Different characteristics and reaction styles of certain friends and acquaintances have been merged together to create those fictional people.
But no single character resembles in entirety, any person I know in real life.
Goa is a relevant part of your story. How did the life and the experiences play an important part in your novel?
I have known Goa, its culture and people too well, since I, myself am a part of it since birth.
So much of the Goan essence; its folklore, the habits, the lifestyle, and the speech is entwined in the plot that I can be certain, that it would have been very difficult for another writer from a different place to include it all with ease.
What kind of research did you put in it?
The research I have done is tremendous, in proportion to what I chose to include in my plot. Even though there are crucial parts, which involve the history of Goa, it’s still 1% of the relevant matter, I extracted from reading several books cover to cover.
I visited Divar Island four times and conversed with a lot of knowledgeable folks in and around the village. From what I learnt, the treasure of Divar could still be lying under the ground, below a landlord’s house. I spent some weekends in Morjim to understand the lifestyle of Russian people.
I even visited an offshore casino once, and the bouncers had to literally ask me to leave because they thought I was a nosy journalist trying to chat up their staff to make a story out it.
What according to you is different about your book?
Books about reunions are very common. But this one, is not a simple reunion spent having fun and reminiscing the college days. This one is a crackdown of Goa’s largest kept historical secret.
Even people who otherwise hate history have found themselves interested, because the characters involved are not professional treasure-hunters with sophisticated equipment and detectors, but normal young people, you meet in your daily life.
This book will make people realize how opportunities can cause regular people, with normal lives and jobs, to change their lives into an adventurous roller-coaster ride.
How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any similarities? What was the most challenging part about writing ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’?
The characters in this book are as natural as they can be. There’s nothing extraordinary about them, except for the part that they have found a map to an ancient treasure.
While penning the book, I had to figure out how an average person, in his life’s monotony, would react if he/she were to get hold of a treasure map and embark on an adventurous journey to track such a massive fortune.
Keeping the characters real and the story believable was an important part; very challenging too, especially in such an unconventional setting.
You can Read the Review, right here
You can also Buy the Book, here