Inderjit Singh Paintal views life in colours and portrays his characters with a pinch of his own life for readers to embrace real life dose of emotions that makes life worth living. Engineer by qualification he has savoured multiple roles as a businessman, poet, radio host, screen writer and now an author. ‘Pilgrims of Sorrow’ is his collection of short stories that narrates rendezvous of sorrow and joy.

Inderjit Singh Paintal

What was the driving force that compelled you to write?

It’s an amalgamation of my experiences. Whatever I experienced as a growing boy after 1984 riots and the seeds laid during Indo- Pak war, I compiled them to present to everyone stories of hate, sorrow and loss of life and how people evolved from that Armageddon. How family’s lives topple down and how protagonist reconciles to his fate and does a complete U turn in life. Then, there is a story of a girl going against her parents expectations and about those ‘invisible’ visible people in our lives who play major role in our lives yet neglected as they lie below the trajectory of society. My protagonists are real life inspirations for people to relate to them.

Why did you choose colours to portray your stories?  

I wanted to pick seven colours like redefining rainbow as a metaphor of life. Green is assumed to be a colour of prosperity, also considered sacred by Muslims who end up being a target of hate in that story. Then there is rust that depicts inner corrosion, rusting of feelings. The Wagah incident in the story will move you to tears. Orange depicts the flame emerging from pier. One will relate to Brown where a couple battles with the difference in opinions. The intense Burgundy is about passion of a couple going wrong in terms of judging the other person. I wanted the colours to convey the basic identification that we’ve always given them in our minds.

Instead of giving readers a ride to fantasy land, you gave them reality check. Why?

I feel we already have so much for fantasy. Television, cinema are doing their best in terms of fantasy and taking us away from reality, real writing is in dire need now.

Who is an ideal writer according to you?

I don’t think there’s anything like an ideal writer. Anyone can write. Our writing should be a reflection on how we’ve lived, our entire outlook towards life. Whatever is your inner voice, if it comes strongly as long as it’s original, it’s Okay to write.

Inderjit Singh Paintal

How real or surreal is story writing?

You have to envision your characters and see if they come to life how would you want to see them. Great and noted editors say characters should be let loose. A character has a life of its own. That’s why I’ve kept stories open ended for readers to think and step into the writer’s shoes. I’ve given them the pedestal to make their own ending to the story in their minds according to their psyche and interests.

Any message for cub writers

If you have a call from within to write, then don’t look back. Pen down the very emotion that binds you to your nature and give life to your character through it. The world is exploring truth, may it be of anything. Don’t hesitate to give your contribution.

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