Rudra Narayan’s The First Time is the honourable mention for the Kolkata Lit Meet contest.
Editor’s note: The story is beautifully evocative of the late 80s and 90s. It is the time of Lux, Liril and Rexona, when two boys set out to fulfill a teenage desire. The reader is left guessing on what this desire is, through a detailed landscape of the past. There is humour, there is charm and there is a heavy dose of nostalgia. But beyond all this, there is a wonderful, imp-like twist at the end, which makes the story all the more delightful.
Juggernaut had a tete-a-tete with Rudra about him and his passion for writing.
According to you, what could’ve been the deciding factor that trumps your story from the other entries?
I think there are two factors. First is nostalgia, that small town romantic notion about everything big or small and secondly its unexpected end.
What was your inspiration when you started writing ‘The First Time’?
To get the Juggernaut writers contract! Alas, this answer has to look more profound now because I lost it. So my inspiration was my small town which is living inside me, which makes me what I am and to which I know I can never return.
What is the best time for you to write?
There is no pattern here. I write when I want to. And it can be anytime of the day and anywhere.
Who is your writing companion when you start writing? You know like coffee, music, etc.
Coffee sounds sexy but I make really bad coffee, so no coffee while writing. Also I can’t mix music with anything- basically my brain is not wired to multi task. I can only do one thing at a time, so when it’s writing it’s only the music of my laptop keys.
What is your favourite genre? Any specific reasons?
Biography, to know the other person’s life story. History, to know the present. And Supernatural and Horror stories, to test the limits of my fear.
Any author or authors who have influenced your writing style? How?
Satyajit Ray for his story telling style, Salman Rushdie for his madness in writing and VS Naipaul’s non-fiction writings. But one person who has influenced my writing style has been my mother. She used to write wonderful letters and almost painted a picture with her writings.
The book which is your all time bestseller and the book you believe should be adapted into a movie.
Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre
‘Rudra is a former broadcast journalist who wanted to sit under the tree, look at the sky and write. Lack of trees and sky made him purchase a house where he thought he would sit and write. Buying a house led to EMI’s and now he is only standing and reading on his way to work on Delhi Metro and repaying his bank debts.’ – This is how Rudra describes himself as. You can read his book, The First Time here.