Category : Interviews
Friends, today we have on board the bold and beautiful writer Nalini Priyadarshini.
Can you please introduce yourself to the world of literature?
I am Nalini, the author of Doppelganger in My House and co author of Lines Across Oceans. My poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, podcasts and international anthologies including Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Dukool, In-flight Magazine, Yellow Chair Review. I am presently working on a travel based fiction in collaboration with my husband as we both are ardent travellers.
When did you start writing?
I was extremely fond of reading as a child. In those days I tried keeping a journal and wrote story books complete with pictures. I also enjoyed writing letters and had several pen-pals. Got interested in poetry when I was in college and wrote in both Punjabi and English for our college magazine. I was also the student editor of English section of Deepshikha, our college magazine and my short story on female feticide won the first prize for the best article. After I started working, writing was reduced to a stray poem now or then scribbled in haste at the back of books or notebooks most of which were eventually lost.
My second and more serious inning with writing came after the birth of my second child. I quit work to be a full time stay-at-home mom. Suddenly I realized that wiping dirty bottoms all day did not fulfill me. I missed the company and conversation with other grownups. I was lonely and miserable. At such a time, writing came to my rescue and I started writing poetry which proved to be cathartic. I started a blog ‘Twilight Musing’ and started putting my poems over there. It was beginning of a new and exciting association with other poets and writers I found online.
When you published first?
I published first in 2011. In fact, I stumbled upon a call for submission on facebook while browsing. Brian Wixon, a Canadian writer and published was publishing an anthology. He also made a group with all the poets that he included in the book. It was exciting to read and share poetry in those groups and a great learning experience too. That was the beginning of my tryst with anthologies and literary journals that I not only love to read but also write for.
What are your hobbies apart from writing?
Reading remains my first love. I enjoy watching movies, traveling, gardening, hanging out with friends and cooking for them. I am open to new ideas and adventures and one of those people who would try anything at least once.
Tell us more about your books?
Doppelganger In My House is my solo poetry collection. Poems included in this book were written over a span of 10 years or so. Since it was not planned in advance, there is no thematic unity in poems. There are love poems rubbing shoulders with food poems and funny, irreverent poems while jostling with existential and political poems. The book is roughly divided into 5 sections. Each section starts with a four line poem that sets the mood for succeeding poems.
My second book, Lines Across Oceans, is a collection of love poems written in collaboration with an American poet, D. Russel Micnhimer. Russel has been writing poetry for over forty five years and has been conferred with Poet Laureate for his book, Notes To Be Left With Gatekeeper. Along with free verse, various Japanese poetic forms have been used to create classic piece of poetry included in this book. Writing Lines Across Oceans has been an extremely enriching experience as I, for the first time, learnt the discipline needed to write form poetry.
I cannot speak about these two books without mentioning the wholehearted support and encouragement of my mentor Dr. Madan G Gandhi that made these books possible.
How do you manage your writing time?
Though I would love to have some sort of daily writing routine, I have none at the moment. Poems have their own whims and fancies and come to me when they are ready. I try to capture them and if I don’t they just float away.
Your favorite writer and why?
There are several writers and poets that I love to read. It will be quite unfair to name just one. And then, I keep discovering new writers whose writings fascinate me. T.S. Eliot, Khalil Gibran, Kamala Das, Khushwant Singh, Ruskin Bond, Gabriel Garcia Marquez besides several contemporary poets and writers have been a source of inspiration.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am working on a travel based fiction for adolescents/young adults in collaboration with my husband, Vikas Singh who is an avid biker, traveler and story teller. Also, I am planning to engage more in translating and writing literary articles than I am at the moment.
Any tips to the upcoming generation of writers.
One should read and write as much as possible to improve one’s craft and never rest on past laurels. And yes, always follow your heart without worrying too much about what others think.
Nalini in one sentence.
Oh, Nalini is too complex to fit in a single sentence. My poetry is mostly as attempt to understand my own self in relation with the world I live in and people who cross my path. The journey of self discovery is long and I have just started.
Thank you so much Nalini for the honest answers. I wish you all the best for your upcoming projects.