Author Interview

Abhishek Bhattacharya

the author of Messiily Married

Messily Married by Abhishek BhattacharyaAbhishek @B is the short form of the author’s full name – Abhishek Bhattacharya. ‘Messily Married’ is his second novel. His first novel ‘Lollypops to Cigarettes’ was published in October 2020.

Abhishek is a post-graduate in Business Management by education and a corporate leader by profession. Over the last two decades, he has been working with various multinationals and Indian firms. Abhishek has worked in leadership positions with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in the past and presently associated with a large retail conglomerate based in Mumbai, India.

He has grown up in the city of Kolkata. His entire student life, from school to post-graduation, was completed in Kolkata. After that, during his tenures with various organisations, he has worked and lived in various cities in India.

Right from childhood, he has been passionate about literature and creative writing. His writing skills had won many accolades during his college days. He always had a deep desire to write and publish novels. For a long time, the wish was veiled by his corporate responsibilities. Finally, he could steal out time from packed schedules to publish his novel ‘Messily Married’ with Leadstart.

 

TBE: Can you share with us something about your latest book, “Messily Married”, that isn’t in the blurb?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Messily Married is a perfect amalgamation of romance, tension, parenthood, and suspense. It’s a peep into normal life of a couple and at the same time has an unputdownable story.

 

TBE: Your book deals with a very sensitive subject matter exploring the complexities of a troubled marriage. What made you want to tell this particular story? How did the idea for ‘Messily Married’ spark?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Firstly, it is not a story of “troubled” marriage. It’s a story of a “normal” marriage. Personally, I can vouch that there would not be a single couple on earth, who at some point in time did not find their marriage messy. Even if it for a brief period, any married man or woman, would have felt the same way. And that’s exactly the story – it proclaims that there would be differences in marriage, different priorities at different phases – but the show must go on.

Messily Married, is in fact a sequel to my previous book “Lollypops to Cigarettes”. That story was of a young boy, Abhinav, growing up from the age of lollypops (childhood) to the age of cigarettes (adulthood). In Messily Married, the same protagonist, grows up from a young adult to a matured married man.

 

TBE: One of the most poignant aspects of Shreya and Abhinav’s story is that they loved each other deeply, and yet, their marriage is at the brink of shattering. A marriage can be tested, can fall apart for reasons big and small, despite the couple still loving each other. Was this a point you set out to make, or what did you hope to explore?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: What I tried to probe was that two people are different and different phases of life has different priorities.

At one age, romance, love, and marriage are the priorities. Two people engage themselves in a lifelong oath, not knowing what life has in store for them. In another age, career becomes a priority for one or both. Then as time moves on, children and parenting acquire the highest priority.

While a married couple traverse through these different phases of life, their relationship and outlook towards each other changes. And mind you, that’s just normal and not “troubled”.

 

TBE: Well, whatever magic you worked in your writing process worked, because this book is amazing. I think my favorite thing about ‘Messily Married’ was that it felt completely real. This couple is going through a rough patch, even if they were very much in love. How does the couple’s relationship change?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Let me draw your attention to the tag line of the book – “as marriage age, lips lock less and talk more”. And trust me it’s a universal truth.

That’s exactly how Shreya and Abhinav’s relationship change. They start with romance, move on as successful professionals, then face harsh difficulties in becoming parents – at each moment their feelings change. What they realize at the end of the novel, is that though their outlook towards each other changes, the underlying current of love persisted.

 

TBE: Give us some insight into Shreya and Abhinav. Could you tell us a little bit about each person?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: In the story Abhinav grows up from the age of 25 to 45. The plot shows his youthful journey over twenty years. Abhinav is a very simple man who lives life with simplicity. Though he is moderately successful in his career, he leads an ordinary life. He is extremely emotional and loves his wife and son very much. Abhinav is not at all ambitious and gives priority to family over his career. At the same time Abhinav is a gullible person and unable to confront tough situations.

Shreya is a strong personality. In the story Shreya too grows from the age of 25 to 45. She is extremely ambitious and quickly climbs the corporate ladder. She is a quick decision taker and remains calm and composed in every difficult situation. Shreya is a loving wife and mother. She is brand conscious and elevates lifestyle as she grows financially. She has the hunger to conquer.

 

TBE: What’s one thing that you learned from your research that you think any single person should know before marrying?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Good question. My research show that the only key to successful marriage is developing the “habit” of being with one another.

What do I mean by that? For example, smoking is a “habit” and that’s exactly why its so difficult to come out of it. One may have a habit of having a bed tea, ask that person, it’s so difficult to even give away something as simple as a bed tea.

Similarly, being with one another is a habit. People form that habit and stick on. Even if romance fades, the habit stays.

In my words – romance is a feeling and love is a habit.

 

TBE: What was your writing process for Messily Married?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Usually I use writing as a recreation after my day is over. Since I am also a senior corporate professional, undoubtedly, I have my days packed with schedules. I usually use writing as a process to rewind and mentally move to a different world. Most people may use reading as a recreation, I use writing. Every day I write 500 to 700 words and within 60 to 90 days I am ready with a novel. Not that I publish all of them, at the end, I take a call whether to discard the piece or go ahead and publish. Messily Married, by its virtue made it to the publisher.

 

TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

Abhishek Bhattacharya: Yes of course. As I said, writing to me is a form of recreation and I continue to recreate myself.

My next would be a genre other than fiction. Its more of a corporate story where I tell the story of failures of some very highly successful corporate leaders who eventually made it to the CXO suite.

Naturally, their success definitely came across paths of failures. While many talk about success, my book witll talk about blunders that successful people made.

It was difficult to convince successful CXOs to openly speak about their blunders, but ultimately it would be a ready reckoner for young corporates.

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