The 25-year-old author Sanil Sachar’s latest book Rebound has a multi-layered story. This is his third book after Summer Promises and Other Poems, and The Dark Side of Light. We caught up with him at his home as he tells us about the plot, protagonist inspired by The Mahabharata and the need to talk openly about the struggles of schizophrenia.
How did circus and artists’ life end up serving as a theme for your book?
Circus is a dying art form. When demonetisation happened, circus business was hit badly, especially the ones in the tier-2 cities. Since the businesses were shutting down, the clowns were forced to perform in other circus companies as charity clowns. I feel like we are all charity clowns in a way, trying extremely hard to get to a bigger stage. When we get to it we are told to go back to being charity clowns.
Why did you name the protagonist Abhimanyu?
It comes from The Mahabharata. When Abhimanyu entered the chakravyuh without knowing his way out. He led everyone into the warp, and that’s what schizophrenia is. You can keep fighting it, but you can never cure yourself out of it.
Tell us more.
The whole idea for using Abhimanyu as a topic of schizophrenia is because it is alien to most people. They know of it, but shy away from discussing it. Would you have said the same thing to me, when you saw me on crutches with a broken knee, would yo