Meet Mr. Rafeed Elahi Chowdhury, a talented new novelist from Bangladesh whose work offers a unique perspective on the country’s rich cultural heritage and its contemporary challenges. Despite the challenges facing the publishing industry in Bangladesh, Mr. Chowdhury has managed to break through and make his mark on the literary scene with his captivating storytelling and insightful commentary. In our conversation, we delved into Mr. Rafeed Elahi Chowdhury’s journey to becoming a published author in Bangladesh, the role of literature in shaping society, and the ways in which his work reflects the complex and diverse reality of life in Bangladesh.
What made you switch your track from non-fiction to being a novelist?
My ardor for writing began when I was in grade six. I had a small diary, where I’d be writing poetry and short stories. During my college days, I used to write short stories only. Since I’m a marketer by profession, I thought of writing books that would specifically help the young crowd develop their skills. But now that I have finally published my first novel, I am planning to put my entire focus on this.
Your upcoming book – Rules of Eternity – what is it about?
Rules of Eternity is a lighthearted story about a former startup founder who is going back to his country due to the demise of one of his friends. It’s a mixture of comedy, romance, and family drama. It’s a story that starting from teenagers to adults, everyone can enjoy.
There are not a lot of homegrown English novelists in Bangladesh. Don’t you think you’re writing for a smaller crowd?
I agree with the statement. In fact, if I compare my first novel to my first ever Bengali book that I wrote on self-development, the numbers are far apart. This is why I want to explore this field, and start the practice of publishing English novels here. As for the crowd, my dream is to not stay bounded, but also write for people all over the globe. That will only be possible if I work on expanding one crowd at a time, and if the crowd accepts me little by little. I can say that Rules of Eternity is a story that not only Bangladeshis, but Indians would really be able to relate to.
The language you write in, is very dull and simple. Don’t you think that it makes your own brand a bit pale?
As we were discussing, there are not a lot of homegrown English novelists in the country. If I have to turn non-readers into my readers, I have to make them understand that I’m one of them. I have to follow plain language that won’t give them the hassle of constantly searching for vocabulary in the dictionary. That doesn’t mean the other writers are wrong. It’s just that I want to construct my own writing brand in a way that people know that I write in simple language.
What are your plans for the way ahead?
For now, I am concentrating on the publishing of Rules of Eternity. Later this year, I will announce another book, which I want to keep as a surprise for now. I think the toughest part for me is promoting the book to the right crowd. Everyone has their own tastebuds when it comes to reading, and reaching out to the ones who will enjoy this novel, will require a lot of hard work. That’s what’s keeping me busy for the time being.
As our conversation drew to a close, it was clear that Mr. Rafeed Elahi Chowdhury’s passion for writing and commitment to exploring the complexities of Bangladeshi society through literature will continue to guide his work. It was a pleasure to speak with such a talented and insightful author, and I have no doubt that his debut novel “Rules of Eternity” will continue to captivate readers and inspire future generations of writers in Bangladesh and beyond. We wish Mr. Chowdhury all the best in his future endeavors and look forward to following his journey as he continues to break barriers and push the boundaries of contemporary literature.