- When did you discover your love for writing?
I discovered my love for writing during my teenage days. I remember I was in class seven when my Bengali teacher asked us to write a composition on the topic ‘ A Moonlit Night by the Seaside’ and I scored highest even though I was twelve and I had never even seen the sea. I was over-imaginative and I loved reading books. Writing came simultaneously.
- What drives you to write or who inspires you?
I am driven to write after observing the slumbering pace of reality and how often our hopes are dashed by fate. The pain inside me from the death of my loved ones drives me to write. I am also a brutal realist and so incidents around me also initiate me to pick my pen and write a few words.
- Which genre do you prefer to write about?
I prefer to write in the realist mode of fiction. As for my poems, I mostly write in the confessional mode. It comes to me naturally and is never preplanned. Sometimes I end up writing poems in the middle of the night but it is also a time when everything remains quiet and I can concentrate.
- How long does it take you to write the book “Snippets from my Graveyard”?
The stories that are a part of the book have been written three years ago. The poems were written after my husband was diagnosed with cancer. For nine months I struggled to keep him alive with a lot of care from my side. The poems reflect this struggle and my terrible love for him-he was an idealist who had to give in too soon.
- Tell us more about “Snippets from my Graveyard”?
This book of mine concentrates a lot on human relationships and how my psyche has evolved from being an outsider in my family to feeling loved. My husband was my pillar of support and with his death, I have also changed as a person. He was just forty-two and died with a lot of aspirations for his little son and wife. My poems deal with my love for him and death gradually extending its tentacles as hope keeps disappearing.
- What are your thoughts on ‘Storytelling is an art’?
Storytelling is simply an art if it is preconceived. We can make it ornate by adding figures of speech. For the writer, the process can be cathartic whereas for the reader it can be self-explanatory, an unguided tour which is bound to make him feel better as he sees the fictional world as an escape from the cacophony of real life.
- Do you like reading? If yes, please tell us about your favourite authors and books?
Yes, I love reading. My favorite authors are Kahlil Gibran, translated the Urdu poetry of Mirza Ghalib and Rumi, and the poems by Amrita Pritam. I also enjoy reading books by contemporary poets like Tishani Doshi.
- Do you have any message for your readers?
First of all, I want to thank them as I find it extremely encouraging to have young people who are reading my book. Next, I would like to ask them for their suggestions which can make my poetry better.
- What’s your message to budding/ aspiring writers?
My message to budding/ aspiring writers is not only to keep writing but also to learn to experiment and speak your heart out without feeling afraid.
- Lastly, how was your experience working with us?
It was nearly perfect as I can see that a lot of time has been spent designing my book and post-publication practices too have been followed. I am greatly satisfied. 😊
So that was Bhaswati. Thank you for taking out time and interacting with us.
Wishing her good luck for future.
— Interviewed by Abhisar Garg.