By Esha Chaudhuri
In his fourth book yet, Aldous Mawlong returns with ‘Deuce’, depicting two contrasting tales of Kim and Jezebel, on whom the two parts of the book is based. Inspired by an old French reference meaning two points from the end of the game, the all-embracing message is about love, hope and discovering peace after treading turbulent individual journeys. Delving further, Sunday Shillong dialogues with the author, Mawlong. Excerpts of the interview are as follow:
Hello, Mr. Mawlong! Tell us about your most recent release – Deuce. How did the book come into being?
Deuce is a collection of two novelettes, Kim and Jezebel. These are two separate stories of fiction and myth. The book would have been separate stories but I thought, why not give readers a treat with two stories within a single publication. The book is a collection of many scripts that I have penned down over the years.
What prompted you to write this book? And what is it that you want to convey through it?
Writing is a hobby and an art, and is seamless. I draw inspiration from the ordinary things of life and bits and pieces of Kim meandered into the story-line. Jezebel is from the Old Testament of the Bible,a horrifying story of defiance to God,ending in a tragic death.Both stories convey that good eventually triumphs over evil. The reader will have much to reflect on but will (hopefully) dwell on the motivational aspects.
Tell us about the characters/stories of Kim and Jezebel. How do you think it’ll resonate with the people?
The characters in Kim are fictitious and inspired by a romantic storyline of two lost souls, both of whom are incidentally, orphans, and later find love in a turbulent world. Love can happen anywhere, anyplace and anytime, and most often, unexpectedly. Jezebel, on the other hand, got me intrigued as she is demonic and merciless and makes for a good character portrayal to weave a story around to showcase the larger message of victory of the good and pure over evil.
You have had a life’s experience holding key positions in the state, then the Fashion Society Shillong, followed by various philanthropic endeavours. What is your driving force?
To me, life is a journey of opportunities and the only way is service. I view the world and people as a sea of humanity that needs service and have served in many capacities and contributed each posting with a touch of innovation. Let people judge me here.
Most know you as ‘Bah Aldous’, the friendly face of the neighbourhood. What makes you a people’s person?
I think nobody knows of my turbulent childhood. I stand tall conquering my journey of a lost childhood, growing up with no roots and still trying to come to an understanding why I am here.
All throughout life, I’ve imbibed and tried my fullest to present myself with humility and empathy.
Which author(s) books have influenced your writing endeavours?
I would rate Sidney Sheldon as number one, followed by Jeffrey Archer and Ken Follet. Amongst Indian authors I enjoy the works of Arunadithi Roy and Manu Joseph.
Which was the last book you read and why did you like it?
Elvis and Me: The True Story of the Love Between Priscilla Presley and the King of Rock N’ Roll.
I’ve been a Presley fan, and I particularly liked it because it’s based on a true story. It portrays the struggles of Elvis and Priscilla from different angles, especially the dark side of being a celebrity. Being a prominent personality comes at a price; and the book showcases the deprivation of a normal – private and personal lives of the rich and famous.
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Mawlong is the Chairman of Fashion Society Shillong, a post which he has held for almost 40 years, and is a promoter of arts and fashion. Previously, he has served in the Civil Services for 35 years and retired as Commissioner and Secretary, after having secured an A-Grade from All India Radio. Mawlong has also authored April Fairy, Collage and Soliloquy, and has been accorded with awards by the Poetry Society of India.