Rohit Trilokekar eats, breathes,and dreams writing. His debut novel ‘The Kitty Buddha’ is a work of fiction although the underlying premise is very real.
The book falls into the genre of magical realism and is a fable about a cat’s search for meaning in this life, much like any human being would. In essence then the cat is merely a metaphor for a human being; the plot is introspection into the deep dark side of human emotion and what the meaning of existence really is. Call it existentialism.
The main protagonist is Kitty, the feline, who is quite candid in her choice of words. The novel is bold and daring merely because it is told through the eyes of a cat and a cat can, well, say just about anything at all. The book is all about the interactions of one cat, Kitty, originally domesticated, who leaves her home one day much like the prince Siddhartha who went on to become the enlightened one, hence the connotation with Buddha. It is not reflective of Buddhism in any way. It is all about how one cat goes through the same gamut of emotions much like any of us human beings would, and how she attempts to transcend the cycle and somehow find everlasting peace, spinning her own unique philosophy. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
The author first considered himself a writer way back in seventh grade when he first discovered his love for poetry. “I would write poetry in class while the lessons were on, oblivious to what the teacher was saying. That was when I knew I was born to write,” says Rohit Trilokekar.
He adds further, “One day I just got up and decided that today I shall begin writing a book. I sat down at my dining table and a few moments later, Kitty was born. I had no clue as to what I was going to write. I just did,” says he excitedly.
The story behind the title of the book is very close to the author. He says, “I have always been fascinated by the Buddha and have grown up with a plethora of cats. Hence the influence of the two in my book, Kitty and Buddha.”
He considers Antoine de Saint Exupery as his mentor because his book, ‘The Little Prince’ is what dreams are made of.
According to him, books should remain books. “I have seldom heard the phrase ‘The movie was better than the book’. It’s easy from the point of a producer to buy a bestselling book’s rights simply because he knows the product is tested and proven. And that probably spurs many authors to write books that can be adapted into movies. As for me, I can see my book being adapted into an animated film but the whole thing would have to be created by someone with a bizarre mindset. I never intended to write a book that would be made into a movie. That’s why I never bothered to make my characters human. I would simply be happy if my book achieved cult status,” says he.
To aspiring writers he says, “If you think you want to be an author, it’s not an easy task. You will face many rejections from publishing houses along the way, but never give up. One day, if your writing is good, you will get a publishing offer. Just like I did. And whatever you do, never ever self-publish. That just takes away all the charm of being an author. And all the pride too.”
– Babita Balan