Author Ejaz Ahamed Talks About His Book “Dancers in the Dark”

Author Ejaz Ahamed Talks About His Book “Dancers in the Dark”

Author’s Background: Author Ejaz Ahamed, was born in India while he lived in the UAE until the early adulthood days of his life, before moving to Australia. His passion for exploring social injustices and racial inequalities influenced his writings. In the past, he wrote poems about life, the world and its complexities. After studying at The University of Melbourne, he spent many years travelling to broaden his views of the world. This title, “Dancers In The Dark – In The Darkness Of Her Skin, She Found Light” is his debut novel.


Neel Preet: Firstly, Congratulations on your book, “Dancers In The Dark – In The Darkness Of Her Skin, She Found Light!” Well, can you please share your experience about making your work come into the form of book!

Ejaz Ahamed: Thank you Neel. I always felt I had the story that took shape in the book inside me for many years. Making it a reality was something I always felt so strongly about I knew one day I had to make it happen. Now for it to be available in physical copies is honestly nothing short of a dream come true. I spent years writing it, sometimes editing pages or scrapping entire chapters that I wasn’t quite happy with because I wanted the messages to be as powerful and strong as I could make them.

Neel Preet: What inspired you to write this title? What was the impetus behind this work of yours?

Ejaz Ahamed: It’s our society’s obsession with colourism. My main goal was to shed light on the still existing stigma in both India and world stage against people of colour and more specifically people of dark skin. The way in which wheatish lighter skin is prized over darker and the mental and emotional repercussions of a society which proliferates this.

Neel Preet: Your book title is definitely a very catchy one! So, can you please explain the reasons for going with this book title!

Ejaz Ahamed: I wanted to convey the sense of futility and utter helplessness that the main characters felt on their journey and the many unjust but existing social barriers they had to overcome. The title alludes to a moment in the book when the main characters are completely free of judgement and are only able to celebrate in total pitch darkness away from prying eyes and the sadness of why this could be the only way they could celebrate.

Neel Preet: Well, can you please explain that how is this book different from the other books of the same genre?

Ejaz Ahamed: I noticed that a lot of other books dealing with prejudices related to skin colour focus on adults. For this reason, I deliberately chose children as my main protagonists to convey how vulnerable they are to the ideals imposed within society. I decided it had to be children  to highlight that even the minds of such innocent kind hearted kids are affected immediately from the very earliest stages of their life and the desperate lengths they will go to for acceptance and to adhere to the unrealistic standards of a society obsessed with fair skin.

Neel Preet: Apart from the literary fiction category, in which other genres would you like to make your contributions?

Ejaz Ahamed: At this stage I’m just focusing on literary fiction however in the future I would perhaps go into thriller/ mystery. Having said that even though my book is fiction, a lot of the emotions I tried so hard to portray and capture are what I have felt on my skin or witnessed in my life. Even though the characters in my book may not be real but the heartaches, desires, triumphs and failures that I think many readers may have felt at one stage in their life is very real, without exaggeration and completely authentic.

Neel Preet: Reading the plot of this book, I’m greatly impressed & I want you to explain us, in your version, that how this book will appeal the readers of the present day!

Ejaz Ahamed: Firstly, thank you for your kind words. The major themes of the desire to be loved and accepted, treated as equal by others and earn one’s place in society are just as relevant today as ever. We are all still fighting to be loved and accepted by our friends, families and society exactly just the way we are without the need to change anything about ourselves.

I hope that the innocence and the vulnerability of the main characters appeals to readers of today. Human nature is also exposed in some of its rawest forms both beautiful and despicable and I am hoping that readers connect with the timelessness of both sides.

Neel Preet: Next, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you!

Ejaz Ahamed: Arundhati Roy author of God of Small Things and Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns, have been a huge source of inspiration for me in both the writing style and the emotive way they describe events, emotions and characters. Their works are magnificent and left me thinking about their words long after I finished reading their books. I wanted to write an emotive piece to challenge people to reflect on their own place in society and the way they interact with others. Everyone is on their own journey and we can’t judge others harshly as we don’t know the inner battles that they may be fighting despite appearing fine on the surface.

Neel Preet: Is there any message that you would like to convey to your readers? Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!

Ejaz Ahamed: My only message is the book itself so I am kindly asking readers to please read my book to encourage discussions among peers and friends about the themes explored in the book.

Neel Preet: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.

Ejaz Ahamed: I am currently working on a few plotlines. I have very strong ideas for them. I am usually inspired the most when something triggers an emotion that I feel I absolutely have to express and convey through characters that people will be able to relate to. But for now, I am just relishing listening to people’s feedback about the current novel and super grateful for the overwhelming support I have received from those who have already read Dancers in the dark.

Neel Preet: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very best to you for future and your book too!

Ejaz Ahamed: Thank you for your time.

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