Fight song meets romance novel in Rishabh Puri’s new book
Indian origin entrepreneur and author Rishabh Puri is out with his second book, Flying Without Wings. The 30-something author who bides his time between Lagos, Nigeria, Dubai and India had been suffering from a life-threatening heart disease since childhood, which meant frequent visits to the doctor and multiple surgeries growing up.
It was overcoming obstacles and embracing life, inspired by his own experiences that formed much of the thought behind his first literary venture, Inside the Heart of Hope (2016).
“(The novel) came partially out of a desire to see myself and people like me represented in stories as heroes, and not just as props for other characters to pity,” Puri says, adding that his optimistic attitude can be traced in his new novel as well. “It is, in a way, a fight song as well as a romance novel,” says Puri.
Flying Without Wings, published by HarperCollins in collaboration with Ravinder Singh’s Blank Ink, is essentially a story about two people navigating the idea of true love and the lengths to which they are willing to go for it.
An avid reader, Puri says that he always considered the act of writing as a healing exercise, and in fact used to keep a notebook handy to write, in verse, the pain of what he was going through.
“I came to a lot of understanding and healing through writing, and I realised after all the trials of my life, I could extend that understanding to an audience who might find solace in my books the way I’ve always found solace in literature,” he says, adding that the stories of King Arthur and his Knights by Howard Pyle always manage to cheer him up after a bad day.
The author, who has just finished reading The Power of the Other by Dr Henry Cloud, adds that he reads non-fiction, everything from neuroscience and self-help books to stories on environmental issues and biographies of great leaders, with equal interest. “But sometimes I like to sink into a harlequin romance novel or a classic story of love and loss, just to feel something I haven’t before,” Puri says.
Already working on his next novel, Puri says that his readers can expect a story about the idea of selfless love. “ I’m fascinated by the thought of a love that is unconditional and lasts a whole lifetime, in spite of the strange and sometimes horrid circumstances that life has in store for us.”
Puri is also excited about the various ways of portraying intimacy in romance novels, which has lead him to experiment with the epistolary format through love letters and diary entries in his next literary work.
“There’s nothing more intimate than getting a peek at something private, and writing a story told exclusively in private moments really helps to build that,” he says.
Black Ink, `199