My debut work of fiction, Patna Blues, is mostly set in Bihar’s villages and mofussil towns. I wanted to give my novel a distinct flavour by incorporating socio-cultural elements unique to these places. One day, walking down memory lane, I rediscovered the treasure trove of folklores my brothers and I had grown up with. Those fantastical tales were mostly about jinnats (djinns), pandooas (river ghosts) and rakas (demons with a thousand eyes), and had been in circulation for centuries. They were an integral part of our collective imagination. Given the way our elders narrated the stories, we believed those supernatural beings existed in reality.
As a kid, whenever I walked through the streets of my village alone, I felt the lurking invisible presence of some paranormal creature.