Books

Anita Nair: ‘Only one actor would be able to do justice — Prakash Raj’

The author discusses her audio stories, and how words and voice can transport a listener to the heart of a story

Audio books are a new medium for Anita Nair. The Bengaluru-based author has written two stories for the audiobook app, Storytel — Twin Beds and The Little Duck Girl.

“I have always been a great fan of radio, and so some of what drew me to radio shows was what I harnessed in the writing. Words and voice can transport a listener to the heart of a story so it unfolds before their eyes,” she says, before adding, “The pros of audio books are also its cons. An audio story that hasn’t been carefully structured, written and read with impact can water down the experience.”

Anita says she writes differently for audio books. “I do not have the luxury of time to draw a listener in. In the first minute, I need to establish a location and the characters in such a manner that they want to know more and stay on to finish hearing the story.”

Twin Beds tells the story of a long-married couple who rediscover each other on a holiday in Thimphu. “Twin Beds was my first audio story, however as an idea it has been living with me for several years. I was in Thimphu and I had taken my notebook and pen in the hope that I could write the story there. It took me a couple of months after to be able to write it, and then the story seemed to demand for it to be set in Thimphu,” she says.

In The Little Duck Girl, Shree Raman’s well-ordered life in the sleepy village of Kaikurussi in Kerala is turned upside down with the entry of little Asha. “This was not a story I planned to write,” says Anita.

“As the anti-CAA agitations grew in strength, it made me question where people like me who are not affected by the Act stand. The Little Duck Girl was born out of my compulsion to talk about the perils of complacency and how it leads to death of democracy. And even as I was writing it, I knew that only one actor would be able to do justice to it — Prakash Raj,” she adds.

It is difficult to imagine anyone else narrating The Little Duck Girl as Raj brings Shree Raman’s inner life alive. Actors Konkona Sen Sharma and Satyadeep Misra narrate Twin Beds. “If a celebrity reader can do justice to the reading, it only enhances the storytelling. What is more, the listener has a face for the character,” says Anita.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:18:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/anita-nair-only-one-actor-would-be-able-to-do-justice-prakash-raj/article31932419.ece

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