Author's Interview With Arnab Basu.

Author's Interview With Arnab Basu.

First, before we move forward with our Author's Interview, I would like to start with an

1. Could you please introduce yourself to us? 

I am a sustainability consultant by profession and environmentalist by training. For more than 20 years I am working in this profession of advising industries and institutions on various aspects of sustainability. Also I teach sustainability in various academic institutions as pro-bono activity. However, wildlife photography and ecotourism are my hobbies, which I have been pursuing for more than a decade. My experience and training in environment and sustainability always provide me a special perspective to these hobbies, and make both my profession and hobbies equally interesting and complementary to each other.

2. Congratulations on your book. So what inspired you to write this book?

Thank you very much for your wishes. A decade back I started wildlife photography and ecotourism as hobbies primarily with an intention to become most interesting person in the room. However, as I went deeper in these hobbies and interacted more and more with various other people directly and indirectly related to these hobbies, I started noticing a correlation between these hobbies and my profession of sustainability. That made me realize the need of telling stories to other hobbyist wildlife photographers/ecotourists about this correlation. Hence, this book was conceptualized.

3. What is the book all about? 

As a sustainability professional, I would love to call this book as a "book of sustainability". However, in reality the sustainability is not at the forefront of this book, rather its situated at the very core, hidden by various layers. These layers are - layer of human relationship, human desire for fame and glory, materialism, commodity fetishism etc. And, perhaps the most prominent layer around the core concept of this book is adventurism in forests and mountains. Which involves, surviving in difficult climatic condition, challenging terrain, dealing with animal attacks etc. I personally feel, my readers will enjoy swimming through these layers and eventually reach at the very core of this book - which is sustainability. One more thing I would like to clarify here - this book is certainly not a book of wildlife photography. Although, I started writing this book, when I was a hobbyist wildlife photographer and I also used wildlife photography to tell stories. But, at the same time, I have been satirical about wildlife photography. In more than one occasion, my readers will come across such stories, where I have been sarcastic about wildlife photography and used them to create subtle humor in my book. 

4. Why did you choose this genre for your book? 

As a sustainability professional and hobbyist wildlife photographer/ecotourist, it was quite obvious for me to tell stories based on these concepts. Also, in today's world climate change has become a household terminology. Interest for nature and wildlife has also increased simultaneously. All these inspired me to write a book on sustainability and ecotourism themed memoire.

5. How much time did it take to complete this book?

In 2015, I started writing various chapters of this book, in the form of documenting my experiences in various forests of subcontinent. However, the manuscript of this book in its present form was first written in 2021. After that multiple re-writings had happened before I submitted the final manuscript to publisher on March 2024.

6. What makes your Book Special? 

Here I would like to mention what one of my friends and colleagues, Dr. Arun Venkatraman had said after reading this book. Arun is a biodiversity specialist and scientist. He said, that he had read many technical and academic books on sustainability and wildlife. But he had never come across another book like this which is written for general public, on these issues. He opined that, of course there are books on hunting and nature travelling. But there are hardly any book which also emphasizes on correlation between ecotourism and sustainability for the people who do not have academic or professional background in this subject. Therefore, the specialty of this book is narration of sustainability through stories of relationship, human desire and adventurism. And this is a memoire, a non-fiction. All stories narrated in this book are true stories.

7. When is your second book coming?

Currently my priority is ensuring maximum outreach of this book, so that the sole purpose of enhancing peoples' awareness on correlation between sustainability and ecotourism is achieved. In this book I have coined a term "inclusive ecotourism" which is an alternative to replace "pseudo-ecotourism". Before, I publish my next book, I would like to see that the concept of "inclusive ecotourism" is well received among people. 

8. While writing did you get any writer's block? What is the Tip that you will give others who are facing writer's block?

Several time I got writer's block. For me the best way to overcome this is stop trying hard to write and stop thinking about the book for a while. In such situation, I took a break from writing and started reading some other books which were not related to the genre on which I was working. Watching movies or some documentaries on unrelated subjects also helped me to overcome writer's block. In fact in few cases reading or watching something unrelated had given me better and unique idea to express, which I was struggling for.

9. What are your other hobbies besides being a talented author?

I do running, swimming and occasional working-out in gym to stay fit and healthy. However, I dedicate most of my time to my sustainability profession, hobbies of ecotourism and writing about both profession and hobby. That's how my hobby and profession complement each other.

10. Last but not the least, How did you feel, while giving this interview? 

I feel very honored and like to thank you for giving me this opportunity where I could talk about my book and my journey as an author.

Comments

  1. Amazing work! 🙏👍 Thank you for helping us truly understand ecotourism and sustainability. I felt as if I was traveling to all the places you've been, experiencing it all from the comfort of my own home. Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

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