Tale of a Nocturnal Sojourn
Author Antara Banerjee speaks about her latest venture- Tale of a Nocturnal Sojourn. Interesting idea of publishing it on a literary portal, like a series and with stunning graphics…
There is so much content out there that it is difficult to catch the attention of the readers, unless something really path breaking is done to stand out in that medley. The idea was to combine a Web series and a Coffee Table book, which seems to have succeeded.
The genre of ‘Tales of a Nocturnal Sojourn’ sounds intriguing…
It is an intriguing story with a blend of multiple elements, so I guess defining it had to straddle more than one. It is called a ‘Lyrical Fairytale for Adults’- Lyrical because the theme of the narrative is ethereal and out worldly, so a language close to classical English in lyrical form was preferred. Adult, since it carries extremely sensuous episodes which border on erotic.
‘She was his for just once. He had never tasted the sweet mead of a woman’s touch. She hadn’t spoken a word to him. Heaven knew what tongue she spoke, but her mesmerizing eyes had robbed every drop of sanity from his fervently impassioned mind. She had appeared on the altar before which he sat meditating, like an enchanted, magical being. A pearly glow oozed from her skin, a mist of fragrant air enveloped her as she stood of the altar. Naked.’
Fairytale, because it carries fantastic elements like the Crystal Ball, Diamond Throne, Mystical stones and herbs on one hand, and characters like the maven, the witch, messenger of destiny and such on the other.
‘Not easy was it, to bear the legacy of the Nocturnal kingdom. The Lord travelled across his kingdom on the chariot of darkness, appearing out of a mysterious nebula whenever he wished. A fierce octet of black stallions was harnessed to the chariot. The hand that held their reins was to possess the heart of a lion, cunning of a wolf and the brutality of a wild boar. Golden heads of the three formidable beasts were cast as the wield of the ostentatious scepter of Hell while the body was crafted after two hooded serpents, entwined in an ecstatic coitus. A gigantic sapphire, sat at the top of the scepter, shining brilliantly and throwing hypnotic blue rays on the emperor’s countenance, that made him look more fierce and awesome.’
It ends up being a heady concoction of what one may easily call, intriguing.
The characters in the story have no names…
It is a conscious decision to have nameless characters so that I could free the reader from considerations of particular cultures, religions, space and time. Even the place where it all takes place is called the Land of Eternal Night, which takes it to an ethereal level, giving it the mise en scène of a fairytale.
Active and passive narrations used in alternate chapters…
Yes, it was a risk taken, but going by the acceptance of it by the readers, it can be assumed that the experiment worked. The story begins with the heroine describing the unusual circumstances in which she was born and the next was a descriptive narration that took the story forward. This format keeps alternating throughout the seventeen chapters of the story.
Each chapter starts with a couplet…
Each chapter in the Tale of a Nocturnal Sojourn starts with a couplet, it is designed to intrigue and interest the reader to draw him into the chapter. As we know, poetry has an ethereal character and can be very cryptic, it helps to build up the curiosity of the reader. Moreover, poetry goes very well with fantastical things.
‘In eager anticipation do the dark hours wear,
for, who knows, what the message of destiny shall bear?’
Was the sensuous/ erotic element really needed?
Any writing that is packed with intrigue and emotions is bound to have a sensuous texture, so it was as if it was done to market the story, rather, it appeared very naturally in the narrative and stayed to rouse passion in the reader. All fairy stories have this sensuous element in it, which makes them universally appealing. It is an oversimplified idea that fairytales are made only to interest children, adults are equally fascinated by fantastical narratives and drawn to the inherent sensuality of the otherworldly experiences.
‘She said nothing, but moaned sensuously at the assertion of his virile manhood. He was breathless. Her burning sighs heightened his passions to frenzy as he thrust himself on her. It felt as though he was waging a war against his own will. Passion is not something a god gives in to. But his hazed mind could think of nothing but the tearing desire to conquer her. Her supple body heaved under his vigorous incursions and bent over like a bow as they erupted in ecstasy over and over again. Never had his body spun out of restraint like this. Passion ruled supreme. She was a Goddess indeed!’
Antara Banerjee wears many creative hats – Author, Poet, Speaker, Mentor, Brand and Customer Marketing Communication, Content and Design Specialist. Awardee- Sanmarg Aparajita Awards 2019– Literary- Young Achiever for outstanding contribution in Literature. Awardee- Award of Honour for Social Justice through Literature, from New Zealand Punjabi Association. Awardee- Udaan Empowering Women Awards for outstanding contribution in Women-Centric Literature. Speaker at Kala Ghoda, AKLF, TIE, Rakshak Debates. Council Member, India-Canada Bilateral Business Council, WICCI Chairperson, Communications, Rakshak Foundation, Kolkata Ex-Hon. Secretary, Rotary Club of Calcutta MILLENNIUM