Nidhi Vyas considers herself an engineer by profession, but a writer at heart. From Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Nidhi joined Pratilipi in 2019 to pursue her incessant love for storytelling which she carried with herself since childhood. Her book ‘Safar’ navigates through the day-to-day struggles facing the women of our society, the book further explores inspirational stories of women who have emerged victorious despite the roadblocks they faced which can serve as an inspiration for generations to come.
In an interview with Thought Habitat, Nidhi Vyas is revealing the role of female characters in her book and how Pratilipi made way for her writing career.
There are several engineer turned writers in India who switched careers to unleash their dream. How unique is your storytelling approach to stay ahead of the competition?
To be honest, there is no competition at all. I feel that nobody tries to become a writer, it is there in a person. It just takes time to come out of the shell, so everyone has their own style to put their feelings into words. But how to pour ourselves on paper is an art which people learn day by day. Hence, I feel no competition, not with anyone.
Of course, many authors are my favourite and inspire me a lot but I feel that I should write as simply as possible so that people can read it in one go and relate my work with the life incidents. It should not be complicated but still it should leave an impact on the reader. Reader should get the message which I want to convey apart from just entertainment. There are many great authors around us, and it is a dream to write as best as I can so that I can reach a huge audience but with the content and not with the competition. Last but not the least , once an engineer, you can do anything
Your book Safar talks about a woman character Nalini and the story is in a typical patriarchal style. Isn’t this more similar as we come across women authors talking about this issue?
Yes it is, the condition of women in India has no doubt changed a lot as we can see after 74 years of independence but so many issues are there at the society level which are still present. It is true that still many women have to fight for their survival in society for minor to major things and requirements.
So yes, I am among those writers who want to put women related issues in front of people so that not only women can understand that they are not weak at any point but also to the men out there that nobody is higher or lower but all are equal. All the incidents which I had mentioned in my story still exist in the society including many villages and big cities as well. If I am a writer then I feel like it’s my duty to put the societal issues in front of the readers to convey the message of gender equality among readers.
Some years before, it was Kamala Markandeya, Anita Desai, and Mamata Kalia who are strong names when it comes to feministic fiction. Can we say you are joining their league?
They are all undoubtedly great authors, I am just a budding writer turned author. I am a feminist but at the same time I feel feminism is a feeling, an emotion and it should be there in men too. I am not against men and also I cannot support those women who are doing many unacceptable things in the name of feminism.
I love to write about women – in all my stories, women play a strong character but at the same time I have characters like Kabeer in my stories , who understand the actual value and meaning of feminism. I just want to work as a responsible author towards society and to entertain my readers at the same time.
Are you somewhere thinking beyond feminism or your future work will be feministic too like Safar?
No, Safar is my first published book but I have written a few stories on Pratilipi. Many people liked them, and not all are about feminism. Most of my poetry is on romance, I want to write in many genres and also recently started working on a few. Of course, when you write stories that revolve around Indian families and society , a little part about women’s struggle comes automatically.
Last but not least, please narrate the role of Pratilipi in bringing out your art to the public domain.
Where I am today is all because of Pratilipi. I joined Pratilipi in 2018. I’ve been a writer since I was a child and have always loved to express myself through words. Pratilipi, in my opinion, is an authentic platform for writers like me. Pratilipi has made many writers’ dreams come true, including mine, and I am grateful to the entire team.
A writer writes in their comfort zone, and Pratilipi has done all of the work to turn my story into a book. Throughout the project, the communication and interaction was very kind, supportive, and professional. There are numerous exciting plans for writers, such as books, comic books, web series, audio stories, and so on, that provide writers with a platform to reach a wider audience.
I sincerely thank the Pratilipi team and would love to work with them in future. My best wishes for the team’s multidimensional growth.