Welcome to my talk show. I’m Arpan Ghosh . Today Ms. Shalini Samuel is along with me in
this show. She is the author of “Singing Soul” and “The Painted Life”. There is going on monsoon season all over India. This is the time to observe the beauty of nature. Everywhere is green environment. Thank you Ms. Shalini Samuel for participating in this show. Now let’s go for a chat.
(1)Tell me about your journey from a normal person to an author.
The transition was so smooth. Once I finished engineering, I tried web designing and content writing. I wasn’t a person who sticks to rules, so going for a job wasn’t in my cards. This led me to blogging. In the beginning I was just blogging about interesting facts. I love to learn new things and blogging quenched my thirst well. In my eagerness to keep blogposts intriguing, I was constantly in search for new things through reading or through experience. One fine evening (January 24, 2010), my mom and I were having a chit chat over coffee. I said “Mom, I am good at writing poems. I have even won in school competitions” with pride overflowing from my eyes. She said ignorantly “No, your poems look like prose. No one will read them.” This irked my ego and I wrote a four line poem. Mom smiled and said “Post it in your blog”. This was the beginning.
I started a separate blog for posting poems titled, “Sensible Scribbling”. Friends and family used to read and post their comments. I never thought my poems would be published one day. It was just a playful venture. One fine day haiku poet “Ramesh Anand” visited my blog and he commented on my poems. He said “You write well, try sending your poems for online magazines”. He suggested Muse India’s forum to begin with. I did send a poem and “KumarendraMallickji” was at the receiving end. He immediately accepted the poem with some corrections. I was so happy and that’s how everything started.
(2)What is your latest book? Please explain about the book. Does that book carry any message to the society? If yes what is this?
=> My latest poetry collection “Drizzle: Little drops of poetry” is just released. Before that I would like to talk about my previous books.
Singing Soul was a book that was closer to nature and it’s still my favourite. And my next book was “The Painted Life”. Painted Life spoke about society and people. First book was light and the second book was sophisticatedly harsh on society. Drizzle would be between these two. It would talk about society but in a gentler way like Singing Soul. Drizzle is just like the rain drops that soothes the hot earth. Readers used to say most of my poems have a very nice ending every time with a punch. You will find lots of it in this book too. As a budding writer I am improving. I won’t say I write the best poem. I would like to say, I am doing my best to present you the best poem.
(3)How do you take criticism from your critics? Is criticism helpful for you?
=> Yes criticism is the one that urges me to improve. At times, my growth becomes stagnant. Mind sets a goal, once it’s reached, it says to itself it’s the end, it’s enough. Then a sense of pride peeps in. When a critic points at you, the pride breaks and the mind comes back to reality. So as per my thought, critics help us in improving. At times, certain criticisms do confuse us. We have to be very careful. Criticism should never push you down, it should help you rise higher and higher.
(4)What do you say to the budding writers for the betterment of their writing?
=> Read well. Observe the nuances in the art of writing. Gather knowledge. Keep refreshing yourself. Don’t be scared of the fall. And never feel proud,you are and will be always in the learning phase. Give space for changes, but never ruin your strength. Create your own style of writing but see to it that it doesn’t become redundant. Readers are your destination, create a reader base for yourself. Quality writing is important. But at times, we forget that. There will be days when you will just scribble, you might get a writer’s block too. No worries, its natural, give space for that too. It too will pass. Write the worst and read it, you will improve automatically. When you get a writer’s block, just stop writing, utilize that time for reading or for pursuing a different hobby or even travelling. Come back rejuvenated, you will write better than you did before. The most important point I would like to say is don’t think you will become Shakespeare in a day. Be patient, keep practicing. All the best young champs.
(5)What is ‘SUCCESS’ according to you? Do you believe in luck? Please explain.
=> SUCCESS is temporary, before it fades succeed again. Success just says you have not failed. Little victories lead to bigger victory. Thank God for every little victory and never think about failure unless you are scrutinizing it to improve yourself.
I don’t believe in luck, but I believe in destiny. Every life has a purpose. A flower may live to become a fruit, a seed, food or it might decorate a happy or a sad occasion or it would just become manure. Can you say one purpose was greater and another was mean or can you say flower shouldn’t be used like this it should be used this way only? You can’t. Maybe you can control the destiny of one flower, but before that who placed that decision in your mind. Did you have the full control? Can you change its destiny in the middle? We are all walking on a predestined path, we have choices to make, we can change it a little, but we have less control on our life. I never thought of becoming a writer, I was a person who had an aversion towards fame. I hated it to the core. A simple, peaceful life was my choice. I had been a reserved girl from childhood, who didn’t like mingling with people much. I had a set of friends and family and I was very much happy with them. I was so careful in maintaining that sweet den. Fooling me, my destiny pushed me to the limelight. But luckily still I have a simple and peaceful life.
(6)Do you have any messages for your fans? Please tell.
ð Yeah I have a big request. I love you all. You treat me like I am your family member. At times, your kindness have brought tears in my eyes. A big thank you for all your support. I don’t like to address you as fans, you are my friends.
We Indians have a habit/character. When someone does something that we cannot do, we give them a celebrity status. We think they are some super humans. But when you treat me so (not a celebrity like Amitabh or Sharukh though) I feel embarrassed and I feel like I am far away from you. I would like to be your friend, your next door girl. I am just a little girl like you, writing is my passion. Just like the way you have your hobbies, I write.
Another thing is when you want to chat with me or when you ask my phone number, I might not have replied in the affirmative. Sorry for that. I too wish to talk to you all, but if I do so then when will I write.
(7)What do you mean by ‘MODERN SOCIETY’? Do you believe we should be modern by all sides to develop our society? Please explain.
=> Modern Society is little confused. Between western and Indian, which to choose is the question in their minds. Some choose the western way, some the Indian traditions, some try a mix of it. Today world has come closer, everything is available in a click. Everything includes the good and the bad. Which to choose, which to avoid? Are our brain equipped enough to choose the right? To be frank, we are not. We are learning, we are experimenting. So as of now, the system looks fragile. But I believe in our young champs, they will come out strong and will shine bright like the morning star.
But however modern our society becomes we will keep gossiping, backbiting, and fault-finding. I wish if someday we stop doing these things our world would look awesome.
Let’s support each other, lets live and let others live too.
(8) How do you get the idea for your poems? Are they imaginary or related to real life? Please explain.
=> Most of my idea comes through experiences. Sometimes while reading or travelling. Sometimes I write down my weird dreams. But I have seen, I write my best after a meditation session.
Most of my poems are related to real life. Real life has lot to be written, let me finish them first before moving on to the imaginary world.
(9) Would you like to tell us about your daily life? Without writing could you live for one day?
=> I don’t follow a fixed routine. Some days I wake up early, but for most days I am a nocturnal bird. I love to write, when the entire village sleeps. But I am changing it nowadays for it’s not a good habit. When you want to achieve, a discipline is much needed.
Yeah I can live a day without writing, but I can’t live a day without thinking about it. My mind will keep writing and my memory will keep storing it.
(10) What do you think about the competition going on everywhere- is there a competition going on to become a successful author? Please briefly explain.
=> Competition is in every field. I am a bad competitor. To be frank, in between I feel like admiring my competitor. Some do annoy me. But I don’t wish to compete with another person. Competition brings in jealousy. So a big no to competition. If someone competes with me, let them move on, just like the overtaking vehicle in the highways. Let me not rush and dash with someone.
I compete with myself breaking my previous achievements. I feel that’s the best path for growth.
(11) If i ask you to explain your name in one sentence what will be your answer?
ð Humble, calm and simple.
(12) What would you say about your latest book if readers ask you why they would read your written book?
=> If you want to read something that would stay in your heart for long then do buy my book. Read it like coffee, it’s not fast-food, you have to taste it slowly to feel its aroma and taste.
Thank you very much Ms. Shalini Samuel for giving us your valuable time and sharing your noble thoughts to us. I would like to request all readers to read her books and share their views about your her books to her so that she can get more encouragement to write new one.