A Quick Chat with Deepak Sharma: Anurag Sharma

Deepak Sharma

Anurag Sharma in conversation with famous Hindi author Deepak Sharma



Anurag: Deepak ji, your fiction is terse and laconic. Many a time the central idea of your story is conveyed even without framing it in words. How do you do it? Would you like to share with us the process of writing a story?  

Deepak: As I set ‎out to write I keep a few writing techniques and theories of the masters of short story in mind. 

It is said that Chekhov's story is like a tortoise - all middle.‎ Also he said, "don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." and "In short stories it is better to say not enough than to say too much, because, because --I don't know why."

Hemingway coined the phrase 'the iceberg theory' or theory of omission for his writing technique and he believed the deeper meaning of a story should  shine through implicity and not be evident on the surface. "I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows". It appears here he was recalling the parallel that Freud had drawn between an iceberg and the mind: "the mind is like an iceberg,it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water."

Anurag: No wonder there is a sub-text in most of your stories and some even seem to end almost abruptly ...

Deepak: I try to keep Raymond Carver also in mind who said "Get in, get out. Don't linger. Go on." Raymond Carver was the "American Chekhov" and "the King of the dirty realists". He had been chiefly concerned with the dispossessed and was a minimalist.

I also believe that the dictum "less is more" leads to the reader saying "tell me more". And the more details the writer strips away, the more powerful the story is.


Anurag Sharma
Anurag: Your writing has impressed many in past 50 years. Who influenced you as an author?

Deepak: Besides these abovementioned authors I have been deeply influenced by Premchand for his incorporation of 'social realism' in his writings and Phanishwar Nath Renu impressed me for bringing our 'rural world' alive in his regional novels and Nirmal Verma,
'Pioneer of Nayi Kahani' in Hindi literature. His experiments with words and techniques were unsurpassable. The brevity and intensity of his short stories enthrall me.


Anurag: You are a well known name in Hindi literature. One can easily find your stories in any esteemed Hindi journal.  Over 250 stories of yours have been published so far. You have also published 19 books, and 20th arriving soon. But an average reader does not know much about you. Why is it so?

Deepak: I'm a loner by inclination and so far as possible ‎keep conversations to the minimum. Also I believe in what our great poet Shamsher Bahadur Singh had said -
Baat bolegi hum nahin,
Bhed kholegi baat hi.

Hemingway too had said, "The writer must write what he has to, not speak it".


Anurag: So true. When did your first story get published?
Deepak: My first story was published in a Punjabi monthly Preet Lari (ਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਲੜੀ)  in June 1970. First Hindi fiction Goodbye Columbus (कोलम्बस अलविदा) was featured in Dharmyug (धर्मयुग) in December 1979.


Anurag: Tell me about your childhood and your personal life. How did you develop interest in literature?
Deepak: My personal life: My parents came from Lahore during Partition of India and settled in Amri‎tsar. My father was an avid reader and loved Russian fiction and Urdu poetry specially Dostoevsky, Ghalib and Manto.


Anurag: Where did you do your schooling?
Deepak: I studied in Amritsar‎ Alexandra high School, graduated from Government College Amritsar and did my Masters in English Literature from Department of English, Chandigarh


Anurag: Would you like to tell us about your family?
Deepak: My husband and I live in ‎Lucknow while our son lives in Mumbai with his family.

Anurag: Thanks for your time Deepak ji. We would love to publish 'The Tanner's Yard', English translation of one of your famous stories in Setu (English), along with a few original stories in Hindi edition.

Deepak: Sure. Thank you and best wishes.

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