Chandni Hemdev brings to you her book which is a collection of teenage feelings, emotions and a memoranda of some mystic nostalgia. The poems deal with those mundane issues in a teenager’s life pertaining mainly to their family, relationships, the dating taboo and a whole lot of love affairs. Is it with just a bond of friendship or a normal folk relationship?
Life in itself is a paradox and we come into accepting that. As much of our life we know is written, there are vast expanses of blank unwritten sheets spread out for us to fill with the colourful events that we happen to carve in our journey of life. Sapna Ink shares this banglore based self-publishers journey and ideologies.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing three years ago. When I was in 11th and 12th grade I had studied a set of 16 poets, and studied poetry in depth. So that really got me interested. But in 11th and 12th grade, there were a lot of things running in my head that I could not explicitly express to anyone. So I gave my first shot at poetry, and I showed it to my teacher Mrs. Bobin, and she absolutely appreciated it, and said she would publish it in the Cotton’s School Magazine. Hence after that it somehow never stopped for me. Every time I needed to vent or find tranquility, I wrote a poem, and hence it took me three years.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first saw myself as a poet, when my first poem was published in the School magazine, and then in no time in the CMS-Jain University College magazine.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I kept penning down my verse for 3 years, when suddenly in December 2014, my friend and now editor of the book, Pruthvish, suggested me to publish myself, and I was like ‘no way, that just seems illogical!’ But he insisted, and soon I saw myself compiling my poems, him editing them, so I can self-publish it online by my birthday. And I did achieve that milestone. I published my work as a book on CreateSpace and Kindle on January 9th, 2015.
How did you come up with the title?
I have a poem titled with the same name, and that name was appreciated a lot and so was the poem, besides it went with my theme and gave the exact mystic outlook I wanted to express.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message I want to send out through my poems is that, never think you’re alone in any situation, and problems are just like a wait you need to get past, before you enjoy your cotton candy. Never feel bogged down by anything, for you can be rest assured that what you’re facing now is just a peace of Heaven in Hell’s despair. Specifically for teenagers, you are put to test in the most eventful phase of life, throw you tantrums, enjoy your mood swings, sway in those love affairs; it will never come back and haunt you again. Take the bliss of the moment, because each one is precious as a memory.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My book is a culmination of a lot of my experiences as a teenager, the phantoms I used to dread, the apparent torture I was put through, and lot of experiences of friends and acquaintances that I watched, witnessed, or heard about.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Harry Potter is the one book series that has had the biggest impact on my life, and Princess Diaries played a HUGE influence for my ideals and fantasies.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My mentor’s I feel have and will always be my teachers, who gave English to me, poetry to me, and made me what I am. Mrs. Rozario from Baldwin Girl’s High School, and Mrs. Dennisen, and Mrs. Bobin, from Bishop Cotton Girls School. But if it were a writer/poet I had to choose, undoubtedly it would be J.K Rowling, and Meg Cabbot.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Among the new authors, I would consider Chetan Bhggat’s writing influential, he knows his target audience well, and taps just those right sinews for a read of his book.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The only thing I would change is a few words in a few poems that I recently feel are irrelevant, apart from that as the book is, it shall always remain.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
For me writing came to me at its best when I started writing my toastmaster speeches in College, and completed 7 speeches in the first 7 weeks of College. It was then that poetry most flourished as well. But the beginning will always be my 12th grade experience, where I wrote my first published poem ‘When the present, becomes a memory’
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Favorite authors to assure are J.K Rowling, and Meg Cabbot. Each of them have built so beautifully images of the characters in their book in all the readers minds. Each have created a world of fantasy, fiction and all that is perfection. They wrote not to please people, but wrote for themselves to be happy, they did not try and try to write, it all came to them automatically. And I relate to them a lot because of that, for even my writing comes to me, and I write for my own tranquility and solace.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Travel not in the literal sense, but yes I did have to travel a lot in just the journey of life, to understand so many concepts that I had misconceptions of.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me while writing the book was to get the spellings write; they’ve always been my biggest nightmare.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I did, my book has shaped me to be the person I am. For the person I was had a lot of misconceptions, had a lot of low self-esteem, and low self -confidence, a lot of immaturity. It was through my experiences that I grew, and poetry shaped that growth into accepted individualistic norms of life.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The only possible advice I could give is that ‘write, write till you’re tired and you fall asleep, write till you heart asks you to stop, because there is no more to let go off. For it is only your word that can leave you at pace, and ease the other who is in similar grief.’
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To my readers ‘My verse may seem personal in the beginning, but just as you flow through it, there is something at the end to make each of you reflect on some aspects of life, you never knew could mean so much.’
My personal favourite of the collection is my poem titled ‘Forlorn’ because it is one piece I never figured while writing and I have used my best emotions, literal imagery and the best of my vocabulary to express that poem. Poetry has always been a very niche form of literature, and the popularity is definitely growing now more than ever, with the numerous poetry recitals and competitions that include slam poetry. So as a medium, it is doing exceptionally well for itself and the good things is readers are even taking a lot more interest into it. For the reader’s attention span is low, poetry is easy to read because of its short lines and direct meanings.
I have recently been selected as a top blogger contestant for ”blogistan”. I was selected as one of the finalists for the Slam India retreat organized by Delhi Slam, held in Goa between 26th September and the 30th September, 2015. Having gone to Goa and been trained under Jamaal Jackson Rogers and Nicole Summer, I learned the art of Spoken word poetry and performed at a cafe in Goa for the local Goan audience.
For the future I see myself to continue writing, manage the wedding planning firm, and someday study and in London, and maybe even teach Literature there.