Famed short story writer and Odisha Sahitya Akademi award recipient Paresh Patnaik notes history has several examples wherein someone can find considerable changes in a society after a writer raked up the issue while expressing his/her reactions to erroneous things. At the same time, Paresh tells Surya Narayan Pradhan a society never solely depends on a writer to initiate a change.

Edited excerpts: First of all, readers would like to know prior to start writing, what homework you undertake?

Paresh: Shortage of time usually does not permit me to do homework. As I am into the banking profession, most of the time out of the 24 hrs in a day is devoted to the office-related work. But to satiate my creative urge and out of my interest, I take out some time to pen down novels and short stories. Therefore, I usually write when I am emotionally moved by any subject, situation or circumstances. How do you choose a subject to write about?

Paresh: Actually, there is no clear-cut formula to select a subject. If any event or idea influences me, the writing begins. For instance, ‘A leave falls off a tree’ can be a superb subject to write about.

There is no clear-cut formula to choose a subject to write about. ‘Leaves fall off a tree’ can be a superb topic... In 2006, the Odisha government conferred the State Sahitya Akademi award upon you for ‘Soka Divas’ novel. As it  has been fairly some time gone, can you take us down memory lane?

Paresh: ‘Soka Divas’ is a story revolving around a piece of information regarding a student death which has not been confirmed. Yet people are getting ready to mourn the death of the student, classes in colleges are suspended in respect of the departed soul and political leaders also hold meetings to express their grief. In total, the story is about a petty issue which takes intensifies into a gigantic affair and becomes a talking point.

More to come.....