In Conversation with Chaitanya Salvi,
author of The Return Journey
The Return Journey is the story of Viraj who is on a mission to uncover the evolution of human existence. He represents a person who shares a deep insight into the philosophy and has an interest in knowing more about human existence. The book describes his quest, his love interest, the conflicts between astrology and modern beliefs, and moves on to touch upon the philosophical concepts such as existentialism.
I had the opportunity to know the face behind this book and I am thrilled to share his views with you. Let’s meet Chaitanya Salvi, author of The Return Journey:
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Chaitanya Salvi and I am enthusiastic about writing, especially existential fiction. I believe that writing gives me purpose and peace. The Return Journey (published in 2019) is my second novel but my first attempt at writing in the English language. My debut novel, Karaar, was written in the Marathi language (published in 2016). I like to read books of various genres.
2. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
There wasn’t any specific ”Eureka” moment as such.
3. What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
As they say, reality is stranger than fiction. The strange reality of life inspires me to write my fiction.
4. Tell something in brief about your book ‘The Return Journey’? How did the idea of coming up with this book strike you? What amount of research you did for this one.
‘The Return Journey’ is a unique story. It is a creative expression, an unusual world, a thought-provoking concept expressed in simple language. The book will not feed you an empty emotional satisfaction but will provide a medium to think. The book doesn’t follow formula-driven plots and cliche protagonist.
It’s a story of a common man who has vivid materialistic dreams. And it is his journey from exile to the true origin. From a materialistic world to an unearthly realization. He experiences two different worlds. One which is real for all of us. And one which is real only to him. He tries to navigate his life by balancing both. Will he be able to build his communication machine? Will he be able to make the first contact? Is it real or his hallucination? Take this journey with us to figure out. I have deliberately kept the end open for interpretations.
There isn’t a single idea. There are multiple thoughts that I tried to bundle together and presented in a fictional story. One of the concepts is fate v/s free-will. Do you believe that Viraj and Ishita were destined to be together or was it their conscious choice? Did everything that happened to Viraj was his fate or was that his choice? And many more.
I did a fair amount of research.
5. Do you see books as a carrier of an important message or a medium of entertainment?
I see books as a carrier of thoughts. The thoughts can have both, entertainment and inspiring message. All genres are equally important. Moreover, I don’t believe in restricting a book in one genre. A book can span over multiple genres.
6. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
7. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I don’t set any schedule.
8. Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
9. When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
Nope, I didn’t.
10. What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
There are many dreams that I want to achieve before I die. The one goal is to achieve all my dreams.
11. How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading in India?
India has always been supportive of art and creativity. India has a huge history of art. The contemporary scenario is no different. India is a remarkably rewarding place right now for both writers and readers.
12. How important is marketing a book in the present conditions when every day we see new titles coming up? Any tips to share?
Marketing is very much important to stand out. My marketing tip is – Honestly is the best policy.
13. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite genre?
Yes. Franz Kafka is my favorite writer. Kafkaesque is my favorite genre.
14. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Just write it.
15. Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
*We wish Author Chaitanya Salvi all the best for his future endeavors.*