Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Interview with Kumar Vikrant and Enakshi Johri

Kumar Vikrant has been a storyteller all his life. His fake stories still haunt his friends as they were told as the true stories.
His first novella, 'After Two Years,' was published online along with other stories. All his stories were critically evaluated by prominent writers and he was encouraged to write more. His first published story was, 'Progeny,' which he wrote for the anthology, '31 Sins.' After it, he wrote for several anthologies, including, 'Moonlit Matinee- The Notebook Of Romance,' 'Winged Hearts,' 'Case Files Of The Dead,' 'The Fallen Angels,' 'Stri,' 'Cupid Calls,' 'The Paid Eminence' and so on. Presently he is working on a fact based fiction along with a Co writer. As for the profession he is Civil Servant, working under state government of the U. P.

Active blogger and writer, Enakshi Johri, is a regular author for Indus woman Writing. She writes for Half Baked Beans as well. She is a postgraduate in Biotechnology. She has written several articles, stories and poems and most of her content has been published in the ejournal of IWW. Currently, she is working as an Academic content writer with the leading firm. She has been a part of several anthologies like “The notebook of Romance”, “Miles Apart”, “A phase unknown”, “Cupid calls”, “The paid eminence”, “Rhymes and Rhythms”, and several others. She is a creative thinker and a passionate writer and loves to pour down her heart in form of words. She shares her experience and her perception through her personal blog (http://aliveshadow.blogspot.in/).

**Unlike all the other interviews, this is a combination of interview with live chit chat session.

Enakshi: I am really glad to have this chance to interview you. Having worked with you in other anthologies as well, this is probably the right opportunity to know more about you, as a writer. How do you distinguish between the two job profiles- Civil servant and writer?
Kumar: My job as a civil servant is what I do for a living and writing is what I do for my inner peace. I generally try to maintain a balance between the both, sometimes  I'm successful and sometimes not at all.

Kumar: Enakshi, I'm really very lucky to interview you. You have interviewed a number of poets/writers of this book; now this is your turn to tell them about yourself. Please tell who actually Enakshi is, as a human being and as a writer?
Enakshi: Being a writer does not make me different from what I am when I am in no-writing-mood. Writing just helps me vent out my thoughts and perceptions. I am an introvert by nature but when the company is good, I can be the talkative one too.

Enakshi: What do you enjoy doing most- working full time under the state government or getting lost in the world, where you are the master designer of the characters and the story moves at your beck and call?
Kumar: I love my job because as a civil servant I have some powers to do some good things for the needy people. As a civil servant, I'm supposed to work 24/7, and sometimes I can go with a little sleep for a number of days. But as I mentioned earlier that I try to maintain a balance between my work and my passion which is writing. As soon as I get some spare time my thoughts start running wild and sometimes culminate in the form of a story.

Kumar: Renee has a fascinating premise. How did you arrive at it?
Enakshi: The society treats feminism as weakness. I argue this. The success rate of women is far better than that of men. But there is always a scope for improvement and it is high time that women of today realize their self worth and take a rebirth. The title of my story has specific relation to this sentiment of mine. And that is how I arrived at the plot for this story.

Enakshi: The plot of your story, “The inheritance” seems to be related or somewhat similar to the plot of the Bollywood movies, where the past of the protagonist haunts his/her future. How different is your story from what we all have already witnessed in majority of the movies?
Kumar: Inheritance is not a story where protagonist's past haunts her/him. This is a story of an Inheritance which goes to a daughter from her father. Her father lived a violent life so to survive she has to live an equally violent life.
Bollywood movies generally portray, the victory of good over evil, truth always prevails and such other things. But in reality we see the opposite of it all. There are all the true colors of life, hardships of life in this story where the protagonist is always not a winner. You'll find nothing common between Bollywood movies and my story, ‘The Inheritance.’ This is another thing that once a critic suggested that one of my stories, 'Progeny,' deserved to be seen on big screen.

Kumar: How much of Bella, is you?
Enakshi: Bella resides inside every woman. If not now then may be in future, there will come a time when it will be the need of the hour to realize our potential and fight all odds and snatch life from the jaws of death.

Enakshi: Who, among Aditi, Veer and the Wolves, is your favorite character and why?
Kumar: Aditi is my favorite. I like her because an unprecedented war has been forced upon her, killers and authorities have pushed her to the verge of breakdown, but she rises from her own ashes and fights back.

Kumar: Adam and Bella have different ideas about female infanticide. Would you care to talk about where you fall on that subject?
Enakshi: Being a woman myself, I will side with the fact that killing a life for sake of culture, race, ethnicity or society, is evil. Nobody has the right to take away the freedom to live and therefore, the prevailing issue of female infanticide has to stop now because the future depends on what we do now.

Enakshi: Veer is the character who probably has one sided love for Aditi. According to you, should one wait around for something,  one knows might never happen or should one give up?
Kumar: Sometimes circumstances brought two people together and one of them tend to like the other in a way that one can go to any limits to protect the other. That is what I call love, a selfless love.
Love is love no matter it is one sided. Who says one always wins one's love? Lucky ones get blessed with it and the others, wait for a lifetime to attain it.

Kumar: How come you chose the names of your characters from a society where female infanticide is not an issue according to me?
Enakshi: Female infanticide draws its history from the golden Age of Greece. Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunters and gatherers to high civilization, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule. But, truly speaking, I did not, even once, think about the names this critically, when I was plotting the story. Although I knew very well that western countries also follow this tradition.

Enakshi: Is this story purely fictional or is it related to you personally?
Kumar: This story is purely fictional. but you know a writer never leaves a chance to amalgamate her/his own personal experience in her/his story, so do I.

Kumar: Quite a lot has been written on female infanticide, how different your story is to steer your readers’ conscience?
Enakshi: My story will emit rays of hope, will power and strong determination. And I hope it will cause a stir and make the people (specifically women) champ at the bit and fight for themselves.

Enakshi: What genre do you prefer the most, when it comes to penning down a short story? Why?
Kumar: I love writing in mystery & the crime genre because it comes naturally to me. I prefer writing for a general readership, readers like some tangible excitement, and I try to cater their taste with my stories. If someone asks me to write a love story, I'll certainly pen down it, but with a smack of mystery and crime.

Kumar: I think your story indicates that we have free will in the present. Is this your belief?
Enakshi: The concept of free will is an illusion. The path of greatest pleasure is the path most traversed. I do not believe in free will completely. However, there are certain (infact many) social evils that need to be eradicated from the society. Stopping female infanticide has nothing to do with free will. To explain this better, I would like to quote Epictetus, “Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else”.

Enakshi: Why does the crime/horror genre excites you most? Have you tried writing on other genres (specially romantic fiction)?
Kumar: I really enjoy writing mystery/crime/horrors. I think people also seek some exciting stuff which I try to give them. I've written two romantic stories with a hint of horror. One of them has already been published in the Notebook Of Romance. One critic found this story interesting amongst all the lovey dovey stories. Second one is about to be published in The Cupid Calls, let's see how people like it.

Kumar: You are a blogger; I've read some of your blogs. What are you working on now days? Have you ever thought of writing a full length novel/book?
Enakshi: I maintain a personal blog and I write for Half-baked beans as well. As of now, I am working on my debut novella and hoping to get it in print by December. As far as blogging is concerned, I do not have a schedule planned for it. I write whenever I find a mind boggling topic to write upon.

Enakshi: Now that you know the synopsis of almost all the stories, which one did you find most interesting?
Kumar: Unfortunately I couldn't get a chance to read the synopsis of all the stories. Selecting only one story is really a tough job. In fact I liked all the stories/poems. But I can give you the names of three stories, which I liked very much, in descending order. First by Rajbeer Gill Sir, 'The Path Less Travelled,' second by you, 'Rene'e,' and third by Neeti Banga & Abhijit Narayan, 'Time To Fight Back, Girls!'

Kumar: How was your experience doing all the interviews? Which one was most challenging?
Enakshi: It was a new experience and I enjoyed a lot. The most challenging interview was that of Sir Rajbeer Gill.

Enakshi: What is your take on "camouflaging your writing to grab attention of the readers"? What will be your advise to the young authors who are stepping into the world of literature?
Kumar: Well, I try to keep my readers interested till the end of the story. For the purpose I  try to write a particular chapter in a way that the reader should be eager to read it completely and go on in the same way until the story ends. My simple advise is- read all you like and once start writing a story or a novel; don't rest until you complete it. Make a schedule and write everyday.

Kumar: I really enjoyed conducting this interview session with you. How did you like working with me a fellow writer? Would you ever like working with me with any other project like writing a story or a complete book with me as a co writer?
Enakshi: Yes definitely. It is always nice to know new people and working with you has been a great experience. I would also like to contribute as a co author, in a short story or maybe even a novella.

Enakshi: And now the last one- How was your experience with Sanmati Publishers?
Kumar: To tell you the truth Enakshi, this publication is really amazing. You must observe their literary endeavours, they are always busy promoting literary personalities no matter new or already established. I've written for so many publications but not a single publication organized a book launch ceremony. Though I couldn't go to the book launch ceremony of, The Phase... for some personal reasons, but the pictures of the ceremony show that it was really a great ceremony. I always appreciate Pawan Jain sir, who took all the pain to do it all. I really liked my experience with Sanmati, and would like to work with them again if given a chance.

Kumar: We almost ask all our writers/poets that how their experience was working with Sanmati Publishers, now this is your term to answer the same question. How really did you like working with them?
Enakshi: My experience with Sanmati publishers has been good so far. If given another chance, I would definitely like to work with them again. Kudos to Pawan Sir and the team for their constant efforts and hard work.

Happy reading folks! 


  1. It was a pleasure to experience interviews by both of you. the effort really needs a round of applause. Also, knowing about the both writers here is amazing. Thank you Enakshi mam and Vikrant sir for your support.

  2. Thanks so so much Anirban Nanda. We really enjoyed doing all these interviews. Hope we'll all get together somewhere else and explore what is left to be explored.