Pulkit Khanna’s 98 word microfiction, “Save Me, My Love”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Pulkit graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Save Me, My Love”?
“Save Me, My Love” can be summarized into a single word. The word is betrayal. I’ve always been a keen observer how people aren’t who they seem to be. It’s ironic but “nice” people are the worst. So, the story showcases how the people who we claim to be our own are capable of hurting us beyond measure. Initially the title was supposed to be “Save Me” but later on I changed it to “Save Me, My Love” because I wanted to depict how the character still loves her even after he was stabbed by the same person.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I’ve always been a conversationalist. The more people I meet the more stories I want to tell the world. This keeps me going. The fact that everyone has a story, and the fact that every story needs to be told is something that pushes me to write. And to live a life which eventually becomes a story worth telling is something that pushes me to be better.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
There is no single way to escape misery and despair. It’s all hit and trial. I focus on staying busy with the things that make me happy. I don’t give misery a single second of my day. Some days it is reading a good book, or penning down my thoughts, while some days it’s just laughing with my friends and family while enjoying a good meal. Some days I play my guitar while some days I just lay down and close my eyes with the hope that tomorrow would be a better day. Hope is always the answer.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Microfiction is harder than writing a long story. Here, every single word counts. Every word should have the weight to convey your intentions to the reader. You can’t create an atmosphere or describe characters or scenes. The best advice that I’ve received is that a microfiction starts with the last line. The story should be in the mind of the readers rather than on a paper. Keep the readers guessing, keep them surprised and leave them with a cliffhanger. Let them weave their own assumptions about the story in their minds.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
English is not my first language. It has always been a deterrent to my dream of being an author. But I’ve learnt that like any sport or any musical instrument, you can get better at writing with practice. And after practicing for years, I have recently completed my first novel and I’m looking for publishers now! I’m elated and surprised how I started without any knowledge of the language and now I am being published by a renowned magazine like The Centifictionist.
Pulkit Khanna graduated from Kirorimal College, Delhi University with a commerce degree. He is currently studying to be a Chartered Accountant. Since his school days, he had always been intrigued by the stories that people carry with them and how these very stories were capable of altering lives of other people. Hence, he started writing. After being published by various magazines, he is currently preparing for the release of his first novel. Other than penning down his day-to-day conversations with numerous interesting people, Pulkit loves to write about human behavior, philosophy of daily life and about silence – the things people don’t say. Instagram: @moonlightissunshinetoo. YouTube. Twitter: @pulkitkat. Quora.