Sudeep Satheesan, the author of ‘Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay – The Next MLA!’, always had a strong passion towards writing. His friends advised him on multiple occasions to pursue it seriously. But until now he never took the leap. Every endeavour has its own time, so he believes. And that is probably why he got serious about writing over past 1 year.
Over last few years, there were other stories that Sudeep conceptualized and started writing. The genre spans across Science fiction, Horror and short allegories. He also aspires to script a series – Television or other medium, on a concept rooted deep within him. The genre would be fiction drama.
Writing streak runs through the veins of Sudeep’s family. His paternal grandfather and great grand uncle were writers in their times. They had published few materials in Malayalam in their district.
TBE: Tell us a little about your story and the story world you’ve created.
Sudeep Satheesan: The story is about an unemployed young man named Bandu, who is rolled, bounced, and dunked into basket of woes by the whims of fate. His friend, Ronak, too gets ineluctably twisted in the tumultuous halo of Bandu.
The novel expounds humorously the travails of few young men in the current sociopolitical backdrop that is depicted with a satirical intone.
Whether getting minced as a political minion in Lucknow, getting ostracized as an outsider in Mumbai, browbeating with boors in Bangalore, colluding with cons in Cochin, or swindling as a Sadhu in Hyderabad, the narration eventually unravels into whether Bandu Poli-tricks his way into the foretold Raaj-Yog.
TBE: How this story first came to be? Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
Sudeep Satheesan: I read lots of articles about politics and political nuisance in newspapers. From my view point, it’s all very funny. That’s when I felt that politics is humorous if you see it in a different vein. And it’s funnier when the actor thinks that he’s being lauded for his heroic role, but is actually being cheered on for his buffoonery. So, that was the genesis of this book.
TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Sudeep Satheesan: All the corruption in our country is not due to handful of politicians and bureaucrats. You replace common men in those positions and you will see the same rampant corruption. Reason is that even ordinary people – majority, if not all, have manipulative streak, and it unveils when an opportunity knocks at their doors. All this is bundled in a humorous package.
TBE: Who are your main characters? Tell us a little about what makes them tick.
Sudeep Satheesan: Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay, aka Bandu – The quintessential common man with grey scruples. When it suits, be good and lambast the corrupt; and when opportunity winks, be manipulative.
Ronak – Bandu’s close compatriot and partner in crime; a man with a funny bone; very clear about his scruples – none actually; his luck is such that for all of Bandu’s actions, Ronak gets thrashed and bounced.
Hyppo – The ‘Aam’ Hypocrite. His high moral talks are accompanied with completely opposite actions. Joins Bandu and Ronak in few of their escapades, especially as chief Baba in one of their chicanery. I’ve started a spin-off cartoon series on this character and regularly post on one of my Instagram accounts @hyppo_the_aam_hypocrite
Guru – The fourth member of the quadrumvirate. He’s very flexible; joins Bandu and Ronak without any qualms or expectations in whatever they do.
TBE: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Sudeep Satheesan: Entirely from my imagination
TBE: Who’s your favorite character from the book and why?
Sudeep Satheesan: Ronak, because he’s funny – many times unwittingly. And if this book becomes a movie then Ritesh Deshmukh would be the perfect fit to play this character!
TBE: What was your writing process for this book?
Sudeep Satheesan: To borrow a line from Star Wars – Let the force guide you!
TBE: How long does it take you to write this book?
Sudeep Satheesan: I was writing multiple stories in parallel. So, I don’t know how much time I spent on just this one
TBE: During your journey from the idea of this book to the publication, what was the most difficult thing you faced? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sudeep Satheesan: Getting the book published is the most challenging. Completing a book is entirely in your hands, but after that things are not in your control, and that’s what makes it challenging.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Sudeep Satheesan: I hope they find this book humorous, engaging and most importantly feel that they have got value for their money: That is the bottom line for any commodity. And considering that the e-book version is just Rs 99 (paperback is Rs 150) I’m pretty sure that everyone will get their money’s worth of enjoyment, entertainment and er… “Fun hai to aur kya chahiye?”
TBE: According to you what is the most challenging thing for budding writer?
Sudeep Satheesan: Finding the will and discipline to cross the finish line
TBE: How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
Sudeep Satheesan: I didn’t. I want to celebrate the success of my first book.
TBE: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Sudeep Satheesan: I like to read diverse books, ranging from Fiction, International affairs (politics, terrorism, economics etc.), World history, Spirituality, Espionage, Technical to Comics such as Asterix, Tintin, Star wars etc. Favorite authors: Frederick Forsyth, Dan Brown
TBE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Sudeep Satheesan: I’m an avid fan of football – both playing and watching; I like reading books, creating cartoon strips etc.
TBE: Do you believe in the concept of a muse? What is yours like?
Sudeep Satheesan: I don’t disbelieve in the concept. I don’t have one.
TBE: Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
Sudeep Satheesan: Am I supposed to have one? Hmm… Maybe by the next book I’ll build one!
TBE: Have you ever learned anything thing from a negative review and incorporated it in your writing?
Sudeep Satheesan: Since this is my debut novel, I haven’t yet encountered that situation.
TBE: What aspect of writing have you most improved in over time? What resources helped you most in this area?
Sudeep Satheesan: Grammar. Me grammar gotta lifts after I study few book of GMAT. I feeling it are best reads to improve our’s grammar! ; – )
TBE: In your opinion, what is the most important thing about any book?
Sudeep Satheesan: Value for investment – both time & money. I’ve bought expensive books when I found the topic interesting. If I find the premise of a book promising and captivating, I usually end up getting value for my time & money.
TBE: What aspects of your creative process do you enjoy most? Which are most challenging?
Sudeep Satheesan: Most enjoyable process is conceptualizing the idea and plot in the mind. Most arduous task is to type it all on a computer.
TBE: What would you advise young writers trying to build a publishing history or an author platform?
Sudeep Satheesan: I don’t think I’m yet qualified to give advice. Let me publish few books and then we can come back to this question.
TBE: A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, and they are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
Sudeep Satheesan: Not at all. Just because authors keep long beard and unkempt hair, carry a wrinkled cloth sling bag, and sit in tea stall for hours writing on sheets of paper avoiding people doesn’t mean that they are socially inept and lonely. It just means that you are watching a 1980s Amol Palekar movie!
TBE: Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Sudeep Satheesan: It’s a combo. You get ideas only when you are inspired. But to jot it down you need to have discipline and make time.
TBE: What are some must-read titles in your genre?
Sudeep Satheesan: I’m not aware of any other political satire (fiction) from an Indian Author. I know about Animal Farm by George Orwell, published in 1945! There may be few, but I’m not aware.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Sudeep Satheesan: I’m working on two pieces currently, and one more is there in pipeline. They all belong to different genres. One of them would be a comic book – a new Indian superhero to stand tall alongside DC and Marvel heroes (how I wish!). But I don’t want to reveal too much of details now.
Buy Now: Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay – The Next MLA! by Sudeep Satheesan
Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay - The Next MLA!