Juggernaut writing platform’s editor’s pick of the week is Matryoshka, by Anand Venkateswaran
A story of lost and found, within another story of lost and found, within another and another. He never quite finds himself, but he does find kindness, and an endless supply of humour.
Read the story here :
Anand is an inveterate storyteller – as a journalist across print, broadcast and the web; as a copywriter in advertising, and as a communications strategist (certified in BS). Loves movies, food, books, people, and lots of other things. Writes about them all.
Your story is Editor’s Pick of the Week. Please tell us more about it, and its inspiration.
Yay! Thank you for picking Matryoshka. I’m a big fan of Juggernaut and honestly spiffed that you’ve read and liked my work. Matryoshka is named after the Russian nesting dolls, something I’ve always been fascinated with. You know there’s an end to the doll-within-doll process, but it still manages to captivate you, right to the last miniature figurine. My story is a series of events that stumble backwards and then forward into each other. Nested stories, if you will. The stories were always there, but the format was inspired by a coder friend of mine.
Do you have any particular rules or rituals you follow as a writer?
I tend to write in my head first, to let the story and some of its little nuances marinate. It is a heady feeling, a pleasant sort of high that lasts days, sometimes weeks. A story, you see, always reads better in your head than on a screen or on paper. Once I’m convinced it is strong enough to survive the teleportation from mind to matter, I begin cajoling the keyboard for the right words.
What got you interested in becoming a writer? Where do you go for inspiration?
I suppose writing is pretty much all I know to do. It is my day job, my refuge, and my escape. Inspiration is everywhere, to be honest. Writers are born with a peculiar perspective which they cannot turn off. The flow of humankind at rush hour, the heavy hush of unspoken conversation, moments of joy, and every one of our experiences (particularly the embarrassing ones) – they are all hoarded up as fuel for future writing.
What’s that one piece written by you which is your all-time favourite?
Uhm, a goodbye email I wrote to my friends and colleagues when I left CNN-IBN in 2009. Not a towering literary achievement, but the most satisfying bit of writing personally. It cemented my process of writing (marinated over days), and it was vindicated so sweetly and effusively by those that read it.
Your bestselling authors and books list. Why do they make it to your list?
Ah, where to begin. I believe that an appreciation of books, like wine, is subjective and deeply influenced by the circumstances in which you meet that book (and through it, the author). With that caveat, this list is by no means a recommendation. It is mine and for me alone.
Kahlil Gibran – introduced me to the passion for poetry that my twin carried in him
Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon – My smutty portal to big boy reading after the Amar Chitra Katha phase
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet – Pitch perfect novel in the saga format – a behemoth of a story that doesn’t build up to an explosive end, but goes down like a seven-course meal
Terry Pratchet’s Discworld Series – This is a recommendation. Read him and thank me for making your life better, more fun.
Short stories by La.Sa.Ra, a Tamil author – One would think he observed them from the inside, not from without.
Ray Bradbury – Fired up my imagination and opened up the world of sci fi, with an incredibly rich, descriptive style. You can taste the humid evening air of small town Illinois.
The Last Mughal, by William Dalrymple – Mind was blown by the richness of the narrative. One chapter in particular, where he paints the waking up of Delhi, was incredible, when you realise every line is saturated with verifiable research.
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Broke my heart. It was 20 years before I saw the little prince again. He charms me everyday, my little boy.
Sandman, by Neil Gaiman: One winter in Delhi, my brother and I spent our last rupee to get our hands on the last two volumes. Changed the way I saw stories.
Any writing tips you’d like to share with fellow writers?
Please do what I say, not what I do? I tend to give up on writing often and abandon stories and scripts less than half-way through. I would love for the reader of this piece to persevere and finish what you start. And start something every week. Everything else is confetti.