02 Jan Interview by Pikaia Women
Interview by Pikaia Women
PW: Nisha Sanjeev, I am so excited to sit with you today and tell our readers a bit more about you. I have heard you talk of your journey as an author and I know there is so much insight there. You have written and published your book; “Anamica the Secret of her Awareness.” This has been quite a journey, which has tested your commitment to yourself as an author. Reading your words on your blog posts, takes me into your world of words and musings. Therefore, I would like to start the interview with a quote you wrote on your blog profile: “Judge me by my face and you risk not knowing me. Judge me by my words and you risk asking who am I. A woman – an interesting bundle of paradoxes – that’s me!”
PW: Nisha Sanjeev, the women full of words and interesting paradoxes, how did she become an author? I am curious what moves you to write and how did you embark on this journey?
I dreamt of being published as a teenager. I started writing poems at the behest of my best friend ans so initially I wrote for her. Soon I found myself writing poems almost every other day, almost like one maintains a journal. My day was reflected in my written lines, which i penned down that evening [always during study-time]. It has remained thus – I write to relieve myself. Hence, it is no surprises that my 1st book ‘Anamica’ is an autobiographical fiction and a novel in verse. As for how one becomes an author… well, I would remark that one only becomes an author when published. Else you remain a ‘writer,’ similar to singing to an audience or otherwise singing in the washroom.
PW: What was your biggest creative frustration in the making of this book? What was that one thing that nearly broke the venture?
My biggest creative frustration was to bring across what I intended without hurting my family. In other words, I had to work between the tension of not being misunderstood without betraying myself. As I am the protagonist, I also had to constantly remind myself to honour the theme, as it was easy to veer away. The book has had more roadblocks: Initially not finding a publisher, then not finding a distributor. Let me just say, publishing a book is a whole lot of adventure in its’ own right.
PW: In your experience, what is the most important tip you can share with aspiring authors? Feel free to share here some genuine advice or story of your experience?
Honesty in capitals – HONESTY! If you are honest with yourself and write for yourself that is important. In short, if you enjoy doing it, you will definitely connect with the readers. For instance, whenever I’ve written a blog for the sake of writing, I’ve hardly hit triple digits. Those pieces that I was bursting at the hem to key in and where I felt the ‘ah’ moment after writing that last word –those have gone to fetch me hundreds of readers. It goes without saying however that for aspiring authors, it’s as important to look in the mirror and tell yourself everyday ‘You are the best.’ This retains confidence and belief in your dreams. The journey towards stepping onto the right platform and then getting readers can get frustrating at times.
PW: I am curious what word associations you would make with the following words; Fact, Fiction, Creativity?
Fact – Discipline, grey, serious
Fiction – Fun, play, colourful
Creativity – Divine; painful, awesome
PW: You just mentioned your word associations and I am curious how you would describe your relationship to these 3 words?
Fact: I’m pretty bad with fact-collection, because research bores me. But yes, I do take shelter in it, when I need to support my view. Fiction: A part of me is always in the fictional world, conjuring up ideas, situations, dialogues, characters… Be it official meetings or friendly chatter, the other me is up there busy. Creativity: Artists talk of ‘creative blocks’; writers of ‘muses’… I don’t agree. I strongly believe creativity is “Divine.” Each of us is blessed with a unique ability to express ourselves and our relationship with our “Higher Self” is what manifests as creativity in us. The process of creativity is laborious, as it demands long hours and there are no short-cuts. However, once you touch the finish line, it’s simply Blissful. Awesome!
PW: As an author, I am sure you take from your life experiences – good and bad. Can you share with us your most belligerent life lesson which took you the longest to learn?
Yes. Always. Every single piece I write either reflects my experience or is inspired by the experiences I’ve had. The most belligerent life lesson I learnt is to ‘stop being a people pleaser.’ It took me two years to correct myself, after becoming aware of my people pleasing habit. Might I say this habit has had the best of me for more than three decades. I realized that in order to stop pleasing, I had to learn how to say ‘No.’ This was only the beginning of a trail of lessons that had to be learnt. I am now able to spot the various forms of this habit and hence, try to stop seeking my worthiness in others. I continue to work at valuing myself and believing in myself … it’s an interesting journey, once you have discovered the ‘Real You’… a process that will never cease.
PW: If you had to write your 21-year-old self a letter, what would you say?
Actually by 21, I found my misplaced head and stuck it over my shoulders. So I would rather write a letter to my 16-year-old self and plead with her, “Please do not run with the crowd!” I would tell her that she is a courageous, talented and spirited young girl. As a teen, she is not expected to take the right decisions, but she needs stand bravely and correct her choices the moment she realizes.
PW: What do you feel the world needs more of?
Compassion and tolerance! There are challenges everywhere at the moment. Globally, we see tensions, wars, political upheavals, hunger, poverty, and somehow, compassion and tolerance seem the only medicine which could soften the suffering in the world.
PW: If you look at the balance sheet of your life, which are your assets and which are your debts to the world? Where have you contributed and where do you feel you want to give back in the future?
Assets in my life are definitely all the wonderful people who are in my universe. And of course, the memories I treasure of all those who crossed my path. My debts in life are to all those, who have helped me realise I was merely ‘surviving’ and not ‘living’ my life. My book, therefore, is my contribution to society; to stress upon the above fact – ‘live’ your life. And this is how I will continue giving back… through my written and spoken words, impressing upon people, especially women, to ‘live’ their life and not to abuse themselves.
PW: In conclusion, can you finish our PIKAIA sentences?
Women who experience or learn and share: … Like sea-gulls they glide across with grace and confidence. You can trust them and scoop up their knowledge in case of doubt or before initiating anything.
Women who lose, search and find: … Are persistent; positive go-getters. The de facto motivators to pull you up every time you feel low or lose hope.
Women who venture, initiate and create: … Are adventurous; they’ll be game in your efforts to realise your dreams without conditions.
PW: Thank you for a great interview. As I understand your book is available on AMAZON and in the Dubai Mall KINOKUNIYA bookstore. I look forward to speaking again when you do your next novel. Good luck, Nisha, in your next adventure!