Book: Where is Ekamra
Genre: Travel Writing
Bhuban Patra is a travel blogger by choice and a marketing executive by profession. He has a degree in management from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands and holds a certification in Social Media Marketing. He was born in Balasore, a quaint district in Odisha and was raised up in Bhubaneswar. He is a contemporary traveller, who found interest in writing when he started exploring and blogging about Odisha and its inheritance. He travelled deep into the history and culture, where he found monuments yet to be explored and its stories to be told. His traveller heart and spontaneous photography led him to become a travel blogger and then an author. His debut book “Where is Ekamra” has been appreciated by many and he has been awarded one of the top hundred debut Indian Authors of 2019, by Literatureslight and Criticspace Journal. He currently resides in Hyderabad with his wife and two pets.
Interviewer: First of all, tell us something about Bhuban as a person. What are your hobbies, likes and dislikes?
Bhuban Patra: I guess I am like most of us around, mired in quotidian details. I try to live a simple life while appreciating the creations of mother nature and empathising with the other living creatures around. I travel a lot, explore cultures, meet many exciting people and try to live positively. Travelling in a way helps me see this world differently and keeps me young, whereas writing keeps my mind active. Apart from my travels, I sketch, paint, read, listen to music, play whatever sport I can though none of them has been a fulltime hobby for me. Likes and dislikes are very subjective for me, so can't comment much.
Interviewer: Your debut book "Where is Ekamra" has won many literary awards recently. What inspired you to write the story?
Bhuban Patra: I am happy that my debut book, Where is Ekamra, was appreciated by readers and have been awarded by a few literary organisations. My indulgence to writing started when I began blogging. I found that there was not much written about the culture and history of my home state, and this is how my journey began. I wanted to unearth the fables as each monument had a story to tell.
Interviewer: Have you always wanted to be a writer or was it a single moment or event that made you decide on becoming one?
Bhuban Patra: As I said, I found the interest in writing when I started reading, exploring and blogging about Odisha and its inheritance. While travelling deep into its history and culture, I found monuments that were yet to be explored and its stories untold. It was this traveller heart and an inquisitive soul that led me to blog about them and eventually write my first book. There was no looking back after that.
Interviewer: Are you an ambitious person? What are your goals and aspirations with respect to your writing?
Bhuban Patra: I would not say ambitious but instead, use the word aspiration. I aspire to become a notable author and a prodigious storyteller someday. At least in my lifetime, I would want to cover most of the stories of my land.
Interviewer: You are a travel blogger, author and a marketing executive by profession. Tell us about your many roles and how do you achieve that perfect balance between them?
Bhuban Patra: My work led me to places, and that is how I developed a likeness towards travel. This, along with my personal trips, has introduced me to a lot of cultures across India. I capture these places through my lenses and express my thoughts through my blogs. With time I have learnt a way to keep a perfect balance between them all. I do not overdo any of these, and this gives me a lot of time doing what I love.
Interviewer: Do you read books by Indian authors? If yes, then tell us about your favourite authors.
Bhuban Patra: I am an avid reader, and most of my books are by Indian authors. The list is endless but having said that authors like R K Narayan, Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri are my favourites. I have also loved reading some of the mythological fictions/books authored by Amish, Debdutt Pattnaik and Ashwin Sanghi.
Interviewer: Which book has been your most inspiring read till date?
Bhuban Patra: J R R Tolkien, George Orwell, J K Rowling, Khaled Hosseini….the list is endless. There are so many of them, and it would not be fair to name one. From my recent reads Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari are some of my favourites.
Interviewer: Some tips and tricks for aspiring authors and bloggers.
Bhuban Patra: Everyone is born with some gist of storytelling, and I believe writing can be mastered with practice. One needs to read a variety of works and keep sharpening their skills. As a practice, I make it a point to write every day. Whether it is a blog or a few lines of my story, I put in my thoughts on my laptop daily. This is my way, and so one can imbibe something similar if they want to make writing as their profession.
Interviewer: Tell us about your upcoming books. How many writing projects are you currently working on?
Bhuban Patra: My second novel, which is a historical fantasy fiction, titled Lotus Land (Book 1), will be soon available across leading Ecom portals and bookstores. This is the first book of the Konark Secrets Duology and is being published by Leadstart Publishing. I am currently working on its second part.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Bhuban Patra: Thank you. Even I would convey my best wishes to the Literatureslight team for all their future endeavours.
Order on Amazon: "Where is Ekamra"