Always consider failure to be inspirational. It should make you determined to try harder.

Devraj Singh Kalsi works as a senior copywriter in Kolkata. His short fiction and essays have been published in The Bombay Review, The Assam Tribune, Tehelka, The Pioneer, The Statesman to name a few. Pal Motors is his first novel.

Pal Motors

pal motors storieo book

Devraj Singh Kalsi has woven an intricate tale of fortitude in the time of loss. The three protagonists of the story – Biji, Nasib and Preet – face the loss of the man in their lives with inherent strength. The equations between the three women change like a kaleidoscope with shift in power. They bond in ways they had not done before. It is also a story where they pursue their dreams supporting one another and adjusting to the changes in their lives. The story is peppered with Punjabi phrases as the author loves his roots. The story is gleaned from everyday experience and punctuated with doses of humour. This flowing narrative is embellished with minute observations by Kalsi about people in all walks of life. It is an easily readable and engrossing book which keeps one wondering about the events that are to follow. All in all, a story that looks forward.

What is the story behind your book? Where did you get your idea for the book?

Pal Motors is a family novel that explores the dynamics of relationships in a Punjabi-Sikh family. I have observed many people and found certain situations quite similar. Like families getting badly affected after the death of the householder. But families respond better to such a crisis and emerge stronger after the tragedy hits. This gave me the seed for the novel. Having lost my father early in childhood, it made me reflect on my own state as well. It also imagines things that did not happen though those things should have actually happened. This reality gave me the conviction to pursue this serious subject with passion and energy.

Challenges you faced while writing this book and in your life as an author?

 It was a challenge to complete this book within two years. Ultimately, it consumed three years if I include editing it several times. Add another year of finding a home for it. It was also difficult to strike a balance between advertising agency work and creative writing pursuit. Deadlines made it worse. For 10-6 routine slot, I focused on office work and did not think of the novel at all.

What is your life mantra?

Always consider failure to be inspirational. It should make you determined to try harder.

What is your writing process like?

I prefer to write in the morning slot – from 5 am to 9 am. The first draft is always on paper.  After that, I type it out on the computer. And when I write, I let it flow out – without trying to exercise any control. What keeps me worried is whether my characters are coming alive on paper. I am always looking for some extra detail to make them livelier.

Anything special about your book that you want to share?

 The novel is about relationships and how women make their lives meaningful in the absence of a man in the house. The story telling is unique because it tries to capture the change of direction within a few days. Besides, visual clarity and fluid language should make readers connect better.

 According to you, what are the three qualities an author must have to achieve success?

Write fearlessly, be honest in portrayal, and come up with original ideas.

 What are your plans for next book?

 I am currently working on an eclectic collection of short stories. Also exploring the potential of a sequel. Pal Motors is about a week after the death of Sardar Pal Singh. In the sequel, I would like to see how their lives change after a year.

What advice do you have for young writers?

 Though wide reading is preferred, I would like to suggest young writers to read extensively in the category you wish to write.

Share a quote or line that has been your inspiration.

Miles to go before I sleep.

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