Anadi Sharma likes to read and know about geo-politics. Though an avid student of history, for sustenance he took shelter in present day economy when he found a job. And after becoming a people manager, he got ample opportunities to dwell in his interest every day – the people and the places – which has led to his debut novel – MUCH LEFT TO RIGHT published by Leadstart publishing.
TBE: Tell us a little about Much Left to Right and the story world you’ve created in it.
Anadi Sharma: There is no satire the title might yield an impression of. It is a fiction yet weaved around some real-life personal experiences and the age old yet still prevailing socio-political walks of life in the hinterland Bharat. While a part of the story depicts an every-day IT world, the characters speak the mind and language the office goes remain hush-hush about. And then there is vivid depiction of Left leaning academia and their attempts and successfully so a narrative for the society through texts.
TBE: What kind of research did you do to write Much Left to Right?
Anadi Sharma: In the context of 2018 Haryana Assembly elections, I prepared notes from the governmental portals, such as demography data, last election’s results, the religion and caste of sitting MLAs, Reserved Constituencies etc. For the farm output, yields annually, the agriculture export statistics I relied on leading dailies such as Indian Express and Hindustan Times.
TBE: Your novels lie at the confluence of science, politics and history. How fascinated are you by these subjects?
Anadi Sharma: Quite a lot. History tells us where we have come from, the reason behind our beliefs, our likes, preferences, practical wisdom, our outlook. Why and how our day to day lives go by a loosely composed ideas or a framework derived from our past, our ancestors’ learnings, their failures and survival.
Politics paradigm tells us the vision or no vision for that matter our leaders possess for a region or our country. That connects us with our future. The diversity of this great landmass makes this even more complex to understand and a tad even more to determine the practical needs of career politicians. All in all, they determine the present course, our exhibits for the outer world which in turn determine what our priorities are and the outlook we have, so quite a lot is always at stake hence not only a fascination but also a shared space and a stake for every Indian.
TBE: You interweave elements of fiction and non-fiction in your stories. How easy is it to do this?
Anadi Sharma: It takes time to build a context and be able to, at the same time, make it contribute towards the overall theme of the story. The bottom line is to get the facts correct as far as non-fiction elements are concerned while picking the right set of fictionalized elements. It’s challenging every time as it is imperative to get the characters speak the way they must so that they do not jump out of their skin while keeping the context alive to overall theme of the story.
TBE: Are there any lessons from Ancient India that we haven’t learnt correctly?
Anadi Sharma: There are many, heaps of them. But the problem does not lie with us – the readers – the students in schools, the students in colleges, it lies in our texts – that teaches only a part of our history and that’s a shame.
TBE: How do you choose the subject of the books? Are these lessons learnt from your own experience or is this what youngsters want to read?
Anadi Sharma: What youngsters want to read must not drive an author. Every story leaves a message. Every author I am sure starts his quest for a story with an inkling of the message he wants to deliver. My efforts are no exception. There are areas – such as Geo-Politics, Indian and World History, our lineage – I have been interested in, and thus find many subjects within them to try and build a story which must eventually possess a message in the current context. The personal experiences, if any to relate to, allow me to analyse and determine the context. Without contemporary issues in the backdrop, the story would turn out to be just an entertainment flick.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Anadi Sharma: Just to become aware of realities of our everyday life, which impact us unconsciously. Whether it is the carefully chosen text in our History books or the unrelenting patriarchal ways of everyday India or the carefully crafted and sustained Left narrative – they all have and do impact us every day and most importantly our next generation. Nation is built by youngsters – the next generation and if they cannot see through the wrong doings and narratives, the future of nation and its discourse would remain slanted.
TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for a budding writer?
Anadi Sharma: To be able to write a story requires a lot of determination, that’s the first hurdle. Second is even more challenging, which is to be able to convince oneself to believe in one’s story. Rest is easy.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Anadi Sharma: I read rarely, but as and when – they would mostly be the history subjects. Fictions are hard to concentrate on for me – my apologies.
TBE: What aspect of writing have you most improved in over time? What resources helped you most in this area?
Anadi Sharma: Writing style, and that needs even more improvement. An optimal balance between diction and ability to depict context with subtlety, remains an elusive skill to date. Resources are some books such – The Tea by Roy Moxham.
TBE: How was your publishing experience?
Anadi Sharma: It was good. An overwhelming yet a very welcoming experience to any first-time author.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Anadi Sharma: Let me beg for your pardon – I am yet to start on the next, so there is hardly anything I have zeroed on, though there are some topics I look forward to blending in the current political context.