BANGALORE: Better known as the Greatbong, Arnab Ray’s latest and second book, The Mine that was recently launched at The Reliance Timeout, is anything but like his usual style. Known for his sarcastic take on films and politics, the author’s new book is drenched in suspense and drama.
Things begin to go mysteriously and drastically wrong in a secret mining facility in the desserts of Rajasthan. As the plot unfolds, the miners soon find themselves in the grips of a terrifying waking nightmare. As the situation begins to take a turn for the worst, five experts are called in, who then set out to investigate the strange occurrences. “The book throws light on the greatest evils that lie deep within us. It illuminates the human nature,” says Ray.
But questions that arises is, why tread on a path less trodden? “I had the idea since 2004, but, I was a little skeptic of writing the book. It was a very risky book for me in terms of the writing style and the theme. I explored the noir style,” Ray says and adds that he had the idea of how to end the book, but had no beginning. “For me, the ending is what drives the story,” he says.
Though Ray is modest enough to say that the book did not require much research barring topics concerning sunk technology, nerve gases and Greek mythology, while reading is when you would realises, the attention to detail that he has paid. “The story is about hell below hell. In fact I have used the mine as a metaphor for the VIP section of hell. Each character symbolises the different evil aspects of the human nature — blind revenge, hatred, tendency to control etc. The characters were born out of a sense of foreboding. The story only develops when these people who appear to be normal are put in a stressful situation. Stress and tension to survive is what triggers the main plot in the
book,” he reveals.
Daily news, headlines, the violence and the barbarity around has greatly influenced the development of the book and its characters, not to say that the author is attempting to make a political statement of any sort. “As much as I would like to write about politics someday, this book has nothing to do with it. It is a sheer suspense filled horror thriller with the underplay of philosophical thoughts,” he mentions.
The author has used semantics and cinematic techniques in the book that paint a vivid picture in the readers mind as he moves forward with the plot. “I could probably say that cinema has influenced my writing style — there are a number of events that occur in the book at the same time. Flashbacks are woven in with the present times to give the reader a clearer picture of what is happening in the book,” he says.
Meanwhile Ray says that he has already begun work on his third book, which is based on his take on the process of immigration to the US. “Unlike the last book, this will be a funny one, but not a sunshine book where all is well. It ponders on the selfish side of the human nature that drives people to flee to other countries to escape their issues,” says the author who also confesses that he is fascinated by the darker side of the human nature. “After all, being evil is only natural,” he says.