Bienu Varma Vaghela is a debutant author. Her book- Life: An Existential Cocktail is a collection of poetry and is already on the verge of becoming a best seller. In this interview, Bienu is talking about her journey as a writer revealing the inspiration, motivation and the challenges.
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What gave you the motivation to bring out the work of poetry?
I always believed that POETRY is the highest & purest form of creative writing. I loved reading poetry and have read the poetry of many English and Hindi Writers. Though I have been a prose writer all through, rather a corporate style writer, who writes on hardcore business subjects, but poetry always fascinated me.
While exploring many new things during Pandemic, I wrote a piece and shared it on social media handles. It was very well-received and became quite popular. This gave me confidence and I continued writing, till I reached some 25 odd numbers. Poetry was coming naturally to me. I was writing with a free hand and free mind. Conventionally, I was not writing the book per se. I was just writing whatever I had observed or what I was feeling or what things fascinated me, all my life. Then the thought occurred, why not book? So, for me, it was the reverse process.
Reading through the book, I feel that you went through all this. In a sense, is it true?
Your observation is right to some extent. Most of the experiences, observations and expressions are mine. Feelings of accomplishments, vulnerability, longing, love, loss are mostly exclusive to me. However, some are of others too, with whom I have been closely associated or watched them from a distance. But I am glad to know that people across generations are relating to my poetry. I believe that at some point in time, everybody has passed through such emotions as love, loss, longing, betrayal, hits & misses, success, failures, accomplishments or even death. Though everybody’s experience is unique, the connection is universal.
While writing, I never thought about reaching out to people. I was writing for myself and was just pouring out my feelings, without even thinking how people would react. I am true to myself in the book, I am true to my readers, hence this adulation.
I am no poetess or a great writer, but I am honest to my feelings, expressions, observations and put them across as I felt these. Hence, the book is being loved by people across – nationalities, genders and age groups. As far as motivation is concerned, I am a self-motivated and self-driven person. It came from the inside, so I never looked out for any external motivation to accomplish anything like this in life.
What was that one challenge, you had while writing this book? You being a debutant author. Several amateurs out there would get inspired by your story.
As I mentioned, I have been a writing professional all my life and have explored many genres except poetry – which looked quite complex to me to handle. When the book was nearing completion, I faced a unique conflict: Will readers accept me as poetess? Or will I face outright rejection? Some suggested I should not enter into this territory for my first outing. I should write a book on the subject I know the best. But I stuck to my guns. Then there was no looking back. I went ahead with it.
My advice to all aspirants – Be honest, believe in yourself, work hard, yes creativity can be acquired and be true to your craft. Let the creative juices flow…unhindered, unadulterated!
The second conflict: Was I leading the larger world into my very private space? Is it the right thing to do? Will it not open Pandora’s Box? Can of worms? Till now everything was under wraps, suddenly this poetic shocker.
Then one day, I convinced myself – Let it be. Let people know what has shaped my journey, my life, what if life has not treated me fairly and squarely? My advice would be: Listen to your gut feeling and your first call. It’s always right! If not right, you are at least happy that you followed your heart!
When can we expect the next Book?
Ideally, it should happen next year. I am receiving requests to write a sequel; people are like Yeh Dil Maange More. I am still exploring subjects, topics and idea. I loved the ‘Shock’ on people’s faces, after this cocktail. So, wait for the next, for people’s expression on my next outing.