22 May, 2018

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Creating characters that Go beyond Social Labels by Ruchi Kokcha

*** Special Feature - May 2018 ***

About the Book:
Disturbingly dark and full of shocking surprises, Obsessed traverses a path along the razor’s edge of twisted love. How far will Avik’s and Ananki’s obsessions take them? 

Investigative journalist Avik has finally found the one case that could bring him glory. Or death.
As the mystery behind millionaire Kalki Rajput’s murder thickens, Avik is forced to risk it all to bring out the truth that has eluded many before him.

If only he could uncover what the victim's daughter had witnessed. Of course, that would mean diving into the depths of her madness. He had thought he could resurface with the truth. Now he will count himself lucky if he makes it out alive. And sane.

Populated with characters that pose at the chasm that separates the real from the unreal, in prose that belongs to worlds not our own, Obsessed will snatch you from your comfort zone. None will ever guess the identity of the killer until the book chooses to reveal it. 


Creating characters that Go beyond Social Labels:


Let us play this label game
Oh it is easy and fun to do
You just stick one on me
I’ll find one for you too.

People so keen to put a label to everything and everyone. There is an inherent tendency in people to bring everything into the realm of their own understanding. The tool with which they do it with is the language they are most comfortable with.  It has nothing to do with the one labelled, but their failure to look through the person. 

It doesn’t end here. Most of the times, the labels are intended to shame, to remind someone of being an outsider, someone whom you have failed to understand.

Without knowing anything about someone’s health issue, people would label them as ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’. Body shaming is so conditioned in the collective psyche that people do it without even realizing they are doing it. There are countless labels related to the physical attributes or lack of it. If you do not belong to the acceptable paradigm of how a so called perfect person should look, there is a label ready for you.

Why do people have a problem with a certain body type? Why is it impossible to understand views of someone with a different political ideology? Why do we not think twice before calling someone “dark” or “ugly” or “attention seeking” or  “crazy”? Why fingers are pointed at someone who is considered to be an outsider?

Is it the person’s fault if other people fail to understand him/her? If someone is different than you, physically, politically, intellectually or emotionally (and does not pose a threat to the law and order of the State) what right others have to question the natural state of being of that individual?

In Obsessed, I have tried to create characters that not only break the stereotypes but reject the labels people around them try to stick on them. The characters do not belong to black or white but they are all shades of grey.

Ananki is someone who would not stop at anything to get back the love she desires from someone she loves, even if it means that every now and then she is labelled as “crazy” or “mad”. She does not adhere to the social standards of beauty either. She does not wax her body hair, does not do make up or style her hair. She is comfortable in her natural physical appearance so much that Avik finds it extremely attractive when he first sees her. She is poetic and manipulative at the same time, making it difficult for anyone to be able to cast her into a mould that they would easily understand.

Avik is a journalist. But he is the kind of journalist who follows a set of ideals. He wants success because of his talent and merit. He does not want to take the easy way like others and get a salary hike or a promotion to a higher post. He would instead take up a case that could cost him his life.

Obsessed as a book would want its readers to be more empathetic and understanding of others. It was what I had in my mind when I started writing it.

About the Author:

Ruchi Kokcha is a writer and a poet who truly believes in her saying, ‘People come, people go, poetry stays.’ A lover of stories, she did her master’s in English literature from Delhi University. Currently working as a teacher, when not immersed in books or typing her heart out, she loves weight training at the gym or swaying to a Bollywood dance number. Obsessed is her first novel.

Contact the Author:

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