Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:48

#TalkTo Aparna Sanyal Author Of Instruments Of Torture

When I talk about Aparna Saniaal's books, I can vouch that it is going to be a head turner. Her writing, quite lyrical, will wow you and the stories might leave you tongue tied. Circus folks and village freaks did that to me. And instruments of torture? Well, it's unmissable. Two words to describe this read, poignant and heart wrenching, descend into the deepest, darkest torture chambers of the soul, where patience, dreams dwell and nightmares are forged

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:51

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

Hello bookworms. Welcome to my swellcast. In today's session, we have with us one of the most lauded storytellers of our times, Aparna Upadhyay Sanyal. Her books have created quite a stir in India with her latest, which is receiving rave reviews. Instruments of torture instruments of torture isn't your usual short stories collection. These stories that are named after medieval instruments of torture can rattle you and leave you astounded
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 2:04

@Book_gobbler

And I was lucky enough that these stories came to me and I wrote the book, and it was actually accepted for print way back in 2019 or early 2020, just before we went into the lockdown. So. And, of course, then the book got delayed, and here it's finally out in 2024. But, yeah, I'm very lucky that we waited because I think the market is a healthier market, as can be evidenced by the kind of feedback that the book is getting. Thanks
Swell Team
@Swell · 0:15

Welcome to Swell!

Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:33

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

Only an author of your caliber in praves can see stories hidden behind instruments of torture. Your stories aren't cliche short stories, but they have a high recall value, and there are certain themes that are like lit motives, especially showcasing the marginalized. Your stories are like hidden in the crevices of life in some dark and g forgotten places, quite traumatic. Even so, are these inspired by real life people or incidences that you have come across? How do these stories occur to
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 1:37

@Book_gobbler

Of the people in the book, I would like to say that the accounts in the book are fictionalized accounts of what would happen to those people if they followed the most extreme trajectories that their lives would go to. So, for example, if I've known somebody who has some sort of a mental divergence, I've kind of thought about it, and I thought, hmm, what if this person were faced with a certain set of circumstances, and the circumstances were to lead to XYZ kind of conundrum?
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:12

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

We learn from the best, they say. So which of the authors have inspired you, especially your way of thinking and your storytelling, and any of their works that you would recommend the readers?
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 2:26

@Book_gobbler

I love to talk about anything to do with reading, because I don't think I would ever be a writer if I were not a voracious reader myself. I tend to favor woman writers. I just love the way women flesh out and write about their characters, the themes that they pursue. I think India has some of the best women writers out there in fiction as well as nonfiction. When it comes to short stories, I've been very, very influenced by the works of somebody like Ismak Chuttai
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:11

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

So from the book instruments of torture, which story was the most difficult to write and why? And what was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 2:33

@Book_gobbler

Writing the book was like not just an emotional catharsis but also a lot of emotional work in the sense that after a full days writing I would be completely emotionally spent. And I would feel like I'd lived a thousand lifetimes in that time. So, yes, it was. It was. The most difficult part of the book was to actually feel the emotions of those protagonists without feeling at any given time that I would co opt their story
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:11

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

So if I had to describe instruments of torture, I would say that it is hauntingly beautiful. But I like to know it from you. If you had to describe instruments of torture in few lines, how would you describe it?
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 0:16

@Book_gobbler

I would describe instruments of torture as being subversive, difficult, raw, honest, truthful and an engaging read
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:13

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

From a reader's perspective, I see that Aparna Sanyal gives me a wholesome reading experience. But from an author's perspective, I'd like to know what's quintessential to write such stories
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 1:56

@Book_gobbler

You should be able to portray things which are not considered kosher by the mainstream society without feeling like, oh, I need to write something that will get me more readers. You need to write something that feels true to yourself. It should ring like a bell. The truth in that story should ring like a bell. At least that's the only thing I use as a meter to judge whether my story is even in any way worthy of being told to the public is if it rings true to me
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:12

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

I had a wonderful time talking to you, but these would be my last questions for this session. What's your advice to the budding authors out there? And what can readers experience from the book instruments of torture?
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 2:55

@Book_gobbler

So definitely read mindfully as a reader. And apart from that, be patient. The story will come to you. There will be opportunities if your writing is good. The world is a big place. The world is full of people, people who are wanting to explore. So don't lose your nerve. Go out there. Write as much as you can. Apply to different kinds of literary magazines. Get your work out there. Get it read. Get on every forum that you can
Aparna Sanyal
@aparnasanyal6 · 1:04

@Book_gobbler

Also, what do I expect readers to take away from instruments of torture? I hope that each reader takes away a personal epiphany of some sort, in the sense that they come to the book expecting nothing much but go away feeling like they have gained something in their own emotional or overall worldview. I hope that they are not just entertained by the book, but informed by the book
Siddhi Palande
@Book_gobbler · 0:06

In conversation with author Aparna Sanyal about her book Instruments Of Torture #swellinterview #authorinterview #indiaspotlight

I'm utterly humbled by your words. Aparna. Thank you so much. And thank you for doing this live session with me