The author of the book, Pabith Man Rai from Samtse talks to Bhutan Times reporter, Yangchen Lhamo, about the book ‘Love at First Sight.” He is a young and enthusiastic Bhutanese writer. Besides, he is an ardent reader too. He is currently studying in grade eleven at Punakha Central School. He started his journey as a literature enthusiast as early as grade three.
His profound passion for writing has already appeared evident in his debut book “From Bud to Bloom” which was first published in 2022.
What inspired you to write the book? Who are some of your literary influences or favorite authors? How have they shaped your writing?
Ans: I remember reading Shakespearean dramas quite passionately in my junior grades. Romeo and Juliet could be one I brought with me with much interest and admiration. I found a new inspiration to write my book Love at First Sight after reading this play. Further, I have deeply loved the story of Layla and Majnun written by the poet Nizami. These are some of the literary masterpieces I have enjoyed and that have influenced writership in me.
Can you provide a brief overview of the book for those who may not be familiar with it?
Ans: Love at First Sight is a book of love. It is such that regardless of age and agon, love finds its way out to occur naturally as an eye blink and heartbeat. Kasal is rather young in limbs but old in judgment—his memories are counted ever since he is caught up with the little butterfly called Yeedzin.
They paint their story together with colors and aromatize it with true feelings for each other. As they grow, everything takes a twisted turn. But there have never been instances wherein love survived without tragedy and darkness. Perhaps, only a few flowers can grow from the rock, ultimately, they make it the way they believe.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Ans: This book could be nowhere near to the writing of the learned and the wise written for some wise messages. I have written this book only for pleasure. Nevertheless, one may be able to find through this book that love isn’t a fashion to wear on like a sleeve, but an energy that originates from deep within and that is built with truth and loyalty. Also, it portrays to the readers that hard times are necessary for us to get smarter and stronger.
Did you encounter any challenges while writing, and how did you overcome them?
Ans: I was writing for the second publication keeping in mind whatever lessons and experiences I got during the first publication. I could comfortably bring the book to completion without any sort of struggle. So, I think I enjoyed writing this book from the first sentence to the last.
What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your book?
Ans: Even though this book has been discovered on the theme of love, it also remains alive to convey some of the messages like being passionate in whatever one does, being grateful in life, building productive friendship bonds, and cherishing valuable time and space with them.
Is there a particular character you strongly connect to in the book?
Ans: The book is an ultimate creation of the author’s imagination, and it has no character or setting to be connected to anything or anyone in real life.
Did you conduct any research for this book? If so, what kind of research did you find most valuable?
Ans: I would like to say that writing and publishing a book is something that requires a total of passion and consistency. It can be sometimes exhausting but that should not stop us from moving forward. And, seeking support from parents and advice from teachers and the learned ones who have moved before us would be a great complementary. With all these brought together, I think one can create a miracle.
Ans: My second book isn’t a product of my effort. I would like to thank my beloved teachers Passang Dorji and Bidhur Gurung and brother Santaman Rai for sacrificing their precious time and helping me publish my book. Gopal S Mongar and Sonam K Gyamtsho also hold a special place in my heart.
To my family and friends, and all the kind support, it would be impossible for me to come up with this publication without their support and guidance. Thank you each one of you.