Get to know… Krishnendu Mukherjee

Hi writers (or would-be writers),

My name is Krishnendu, but most people know me as Tublu, which is my Bengali nickname. I work as a lawyer in London and in India, working on immigration and environmental issues. After having lived in India for several years, I came back in 2015 with time on my hands, and Writing Room became my new friend!

I have done so many courses at Writing Room now that I feel that it is a constant in my life. It provided me, and continues to provide me with, a wonderful learning environment, with such knowledgeable tutors and students, and a creative outlet for my cross-cultural heritage.

I started initially through poetry with the wonderful courses run by Jehane [Markham] and Paul, then went on to Kiare’s Novella Fever course, and over the pandemic I started Alison’s Prioritise Your Writing. I never thought I could write creatively to any standard, but the courses have improved my writing through constructive criticism, so that I really feel now that I could perhaps have something to contribute to the world of fiction. My confidence grows and grows.

Many thanks Writing Room, Kate and the rest of the team!

Extract from The Lament of Om Prakash, Red Earth (novel in progress)

It was already late night, when Om Prakash switched off the engine, plunging the field into darkness, save for the subdued yellow light of the half-moon and the blinking of a large group of fireflies spread out on a tamarind tree a short distance away. Every year was getting hotter and hotter, and Om Prakash’s rice crop was declining with it. Focusing on the blinking lights, he felt that it was giving him a warning that this year the crop would be even worse. Whilst the day’s work had left him exhausted, the prospect that even such endeavours would yield less money than last year, made him feel as though he was living in the shadows between life and death. Even at this late hour it was still so hot that Om Prakash’s kurta was stuck firmly to his back, requiring him to peel it off to shift his position. He was then able to wipe his face with the front of it, and move his legs from the floor, onto the hard plastic seat of the small tractor to try and relieve the intense dull pain, grimacing as he moved his position slowly and deliberately. Whilst his legs and arms felt numb, disconnected from him, his lower back ached, and he began massaging it with his thumbs, kneading the muscles first in a clockwise direction and then anti-clockwise, like his father had taught him as a child decades ago. Intermittently he would slap his back with the base of his palms to get the blood flowing to the stiff muscles, leaving a sharp pain, which momentarily took away the intensity of the ache, but which came back almost immediately. It took significant will-power to resist the almost overwhelming temptation to punch himself repeatedly on his back, or elsewhere on his body, as if in an act of self-hatred, as a way of bringing back feeling in his limbs, to quell the fire in his body, and to make him feel alive again.