SUPERBU Homecoming is a tribute to Debarshi Kanjilal’s dog Buzo. A strong believer in #adoptdontshop , he is also working on a project that would provide homes to stray dogs. In his own words,
SUPERBU, for me, is a way to stay connected with Buzo. The three novellas planned for the series have to succeed, because the success of these books is the only way for me to fulfil my dream for Buzo – The Buzoland Project. A project that will create a home for a congregation of stray dogs; a home, not a shelter.– Debarshi Kanjilal
Without further ado, let’s dive into the engaging conversation that I had with the author, Debarshi Kanjilal.
Superbu Homecoming is indeed a work of love. For me, the scenes, where the vet and the nurse prodded poor Bu’s tiny body with needles, were quite emotional. Are these scenes inspired by real-life?
Yes, they are. Of course, I have taken creative liberties to tell the most compelling story I could. But when we first got our dog home, she had a case of acute dehydration and had to be given several intravenous injections. It was hard to watch such a tiny creature go through so much pain. I couldn’t not write about that.
I am a proud parent of six beautiful dogs: 4 spitz and 2 pugs. But, my mom was the one who brought my very first puppy home. After reading Superbu Homecoming, I am confident you are a dog parent too. Is it true? If yes, how did you become one?
That’s fantastic. Very few things in life are more rewarding than the time we spend with our dogs. I was a dog parent until 2018, when I lost her. I had a dachshund, again, no surprises. We got her in 2007 and spent the most cherished 11 years of our lives with her. Aside from that, I’ve taken in stray dogs every once in a while, and these days, I’m more of an advocate for adopting streeties. They are just as loving yet are so neglected.
Your narration of argumentative parents would resonate with several readers who have either hailed from or witnessed a dysfunctional family. The effect of such an environment is heartbreaking, to say the least. If you were to address these readers, what advice would you offer them?
The family dynamics presented in this book is characteristic of working-class India. The first thing I’ll say to anyone in that situation is to know that you are not alone. The second, and perhaps more important, thing is we need to be empathetic to all the people in these relationships. The reason there’s so much conflict is that each person is struggling and no one is heeding, much less appreciating, their struggle. But most of all, the good news is that we are all collectively moving towards better. Whatever the situation is today, there will always be a better tomorrow on the horizon.
A dog definitely brings families closer. I have witnessed it many times. Do you have a
real-life incident related to such an event?
I think a lot of this book is based on my real-life experiences. They weren’t as extreme as this story but our dog united our family in ways beyond measure. One of many things we fondly remember Buzo for is that she would walk into the middle of any argument, barking, whenever one of us was at risk of taking a stance that was too dominant of another. It was as if she was scolding us for not behaving ourselves. I’d love to read about your experiences about a dog bringing a family closer in a post as well.
When and how did you decide to become an author?
I always wanted to be an author, but it didn’t seem like a realistic path for a long time. Then Amazon introduced Kindle and inspired a new generation of indie authors and I thought that this was my opportunity to live out my dream. I’ve always been interested in writing as well as in entrepreneurship, so indie publishing was just what I was waiting for my whole life.
During these perilous times, the one thing most of us struggle with is keeping ourselves positive and motivated. How do you tackle negative thoughts?
I think it is important to have regular conversations with the people in our lives. Not texting, actual conversations. I’ve set up weekly calls with some of my friends and family and we stick to the schedule. It helps. One of the biggest challenges of isolation is that our feelings and emotions get isolated too. Conversations give us a much-needed release. I have also been snacking all the time, which I don’t recommend at all! But it is important to do the little things, other than eating too much of junk food, that make us happy.
While the first book in SUPERBU series focused entirely on Bu’s health and Ajay’s dysfunctional family, what could the readers expect from the upcoming books in this series?
Well, the focus will still stay on the family members. But with Bully’s health on an uptick, readers can expect some antics from her. And Ajay has yet to discover everything about Bu so readers can expect some surprises. And if Homecoming was focused on Barnali’s character a little more than others, the next one will focus on Ajay’s. It is going to be a little more whimsical.
Last but not least, what pearls of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers?
Write. Don’t be afraid of what may or may not come of your writing. Enjoy the process of writing, and continue doing it only if you are doing it for the love of the process. The future will be even more democratic and you never know when your story may reach someone who needs it and change their life.
On behalf of the readers of Mojito with a Twist and SUPERBU Homecoming, I thank Debarshi Kanjilal for including us in his busy schedule. I wish him all the luck for his wonderful The Buzoland Project.
Read the book review of SUPERBU Homecoming by clicking here.
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