Mathew Vincent Menacherry on his second book release after 10 years

From the apt description of the scenic beauty of Goa to hailing from a family of litterateurs, here's an exclusive interview with Mathew Vincent Menacherry who recently penned his book titled 'Feni Daze' which was published by Pegasus Publishers.

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Mumbai's Mathew Vincent Menacherry, author of Arrack in the Afternoon is back with his new novel, Feni Daze (Pegasus Publishers, UK). The plot careens through the tourist scene in Goa, filled with underage bartenders, drug peddlers, corrupt politicians, and their wayward progeny. It also delves into Punjab at the height of the insurgency. Here's an exclusive tete-a-tete with the author: 

 
• As you have elaborately described the scenic beauty of Goa in the book, What would be your go-to place there?

I was always fond of the Candolim-Calangute-Baga stretch. It's lively and fun, though a bit crowded these days. The beaches further north, like Mandrem and Morjim are lovely as well, more secluded and a throwback to the old hippie days. The food, though, is great everywhere.


•There has been a gap of 10 years between your debut novel and the current one, how has this decade impacted you as a writer?

In terms of style, I feel my writing has evolved since my first novel, Arrack in the Afternoon. I try to express my thoughts more concisely now, and, perhaps consequently, the prose is tighter and sparer.
With regard to storytelling, the same things still appeal to me - alcoholics, the underbellies of places, the kinks in human nature - so nothing much has changed there.





• Your grandfather, MP Paul, was a well-known critic and essayist in Malayalam literature, and your aunt and uncle, Rosy and CJ Thomas are also renowned novelists and playwrights. How has hailing from a family of several litterateurs influenced or shaped you as a writer?

The ability to write is prized in my family, so I guess that rubbed off somewhere. Also, I have been surrounded by books and avid readers all my life, which helped.
I've always been fascinated by the power of a story - to entrance, entertain and educate.



• Decoding the title 'Feni Daze' and its relevance in the story?


Feni is alcohol, which is brewed from, amongst other things, the cashew fruit. Cashew Feni has a fruity, metallic flavour, and is an acquired taste. It is also the drink of choice of the protagonist, Victor Gabriel, ex-soldier and aspiring writer, who is on a sojourn in Goa with his girlfriend, Ana.
Regarding the use of the word "daze" in the title, all I can say is - if you were a feni drinker, you'd know. 




• Whol is your favourite authors and which are the books that you absolutely adore? Also, what are you currently reading?

Hemingway is an all-time favourite, though I prefer his short stories and essays to his novels.
Tom Wolfe, Irvine Welsh, Roddy Doyle, Shashi Tharoor.. there are so many..
I'm currently reading A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry.



• Any tips for aspiring authors?

Do the work, don't just dream of the glory. Sit down and write every single day.
And edit, edit, edit.. as Hemingway said - the first draft of anything is s**t.

 Also Read: Re-Script Your Life By Reeta Gupta Perfectly Exemplifies How A Tragic Childhood Can Be Both, A Burden And A Benediction


• Tell us a little about the plot of Feni Daze

Feni Daze's protagonist Victor Gabriel is an ex-soldier, who has been discharged from the Indian Army. An aspiring writer, he meets up with his former girlfriend, Ana, on a beach in Goa. The tryst, made at Ana's behest, is to see if they have a future together. But Vic's demons, combined with a host of unsavoury characters they run into, cause the trip to spiral out of control.

Set over a long weekend in the erstwhile backpackers' paradise, Feni Daze is a no holds barred romp through the underbelly of Goa.


Also Read: A Pen Mightier Than A Golf Stick? Tiger Woods All Set To Write A Heartfelt Memoir

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