Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: Pulkit Khanna joins us today to talk about his novel The Other Side of it. Pulkit, can you introduce us to your book?
Pulkit: A hundred-year-old bridge connects an isolated village of Punjab to the rest of the world & the villagers have lived their entire lives without finding the need to walk on to the other side. But there are always some people whose idea of a life well lived is non conformity. Two such little boys, Jeet and Sabr, embark on a journey to find what lies on the other side of the bridge, and in their quest to find the unknown, they discover some secrets about the villagers that not many knew of. Thus begins a story of love, loss, friendship, belief and most of all—hope.
Sabitha: That’s a fascinating premise for a novel. Which of those characters do you relate to the most and why?
Pulkit: I relate to the boy ‘Sabr’. He’s a little boy who is full of emotions but can also be very mature when the situation requires him to. He believes that kindness is the most important virtue; knowing when to stop being kind is important too.
Sabitha: What was your favourite thing to write in the book?
Pulkit: The ending was my favourite thing to write in the book. I had multiple endings planned but I wanted to leave the readers with the perfect aftertaste. I wanted to blur the line between the last page of the book and their real life that lied on the other side of it.
Sabitha: What advice would you give to someone who’s writing or querying?
Pulkit: There’s a story about a pottery teacher who splits her class into two groups. The first group is tasked with making a single, perfect pot. The other group is tasked with making as many unique pots as possible. At the end, even though the first group had pooled their resources and spent all their time researching, the second group had the best pot. This is because, at the end of the day, your first pot is always going to suck. So, keep writing. Write a dozen stories, a hundred stories, a thousand stories. Eventually, one of them will be a winner.
Sabitha: That’s such a motivational way to think about writing. Has being published changed your feelings about writing?
Pulkit: As a writer, self-doubt is something that always stays with you. But after I got published, people started talking about my characters like they were real people. It was the kind of acceptance that I was looking for. It was like they gave life to my characters.
Sabitha: What do you most want your readers to take away from reading your book?
Pulkit: Life isn’t easy, grief is omnipresent, and things will almost never go as you want them to. I want them to know that you have to just hold on and just keep on trying. Hold on to hope, hold on to the people that love you, and most importantly hold on to yourself. Eventually, one day, you will most definitely move to the other side of it. And you’ll know it was all worth it.
Sabitha: Thanks for sharing your writing motivation and your story. We’re looking forward to reading! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?