Sapna Kekre

QUESTIONS:

1. Take us through the journey of writing your book.
Answer:
I have been writing poetry since my childhood days when I was in school. My writings were an outflow of my emotions expressed in words. It was only much later in lifer, around 2014 when I was staying in Pune, that I had the good fortune of being invited to join a small ‘Kavya Goshti’ held at very dear friend’s home. This friend is a 80 years young inspirational lady, whom I fondly call Mohini Aunty. She encouraged me to read my own poems and after listening to them, encouraged me publish my own poetry book. That’s how it all started. 😊

2. Tell us something about your book.
Answer:
My book, “Oas ki Boondein” is a collection of a few of my poems. It is a bouquet of heart touching emotions and a take on life which has come alive through real life experiences of people around me. It’s also been transliterated in English for those Hindi lovers who can’t read devnagari lipi. It has something for all generations.

3. It’s a saying that writers are another creators. Do you agree with it?
Answer:
Yes they are ! Writers are blessed with the gift to create a different world for their readers and can weave a web of various ideas which may not have been thought of by others or express what we say in a manner which readers appreciate.

4. Your inspiration besides your family?
Answer:
Other than my great grandfather “Lala Lal Chand Falak” , it was my elderly friends, my aunties, whose support was instrumental in making me a published writer.
Mrs Mohini Guliani & Mrs Urmila Kishore, even at the age of 80, continue learning and exploring new paths which has been an amazing influence on me.

Mrs Kishore is an excellent writer, and the author of Four Mahakavyas written about the Women Of Ramayan.

Mrs Guliani, who is the most positive and inspiring person I have ever met, has done free translations for many books for various organisations.

5. Tell us something about yourself.
Answer:
I am an ardent believer of “Do your best and forget the rest”
I have seen a lot of ups and downs in my life which have defined me as a person. Coming from a small town of Ujjain, I used to be a shy girl who transformed to an extrovert personality as I grew and traveled the world. I am talkative people’s person; I love to interact with everyone and connect people, whenever an opportunity is presented.
Though most of my writer friends and readers at present know me as “Founder” UBI- United By Ink, a platform that’s connecting writers and facilitators alike, or an author of “Oas ki Boondein” but let me take this opportunity to share more about how I learnt and created different opportunities through choices I made in my life.
I was a working women but decided to let go of my full time job when my daughter was born. This left a lot of time at hand for me after she started her school. During those days I wanted to use my time in a constructive way and with the thought to give back to the society as gratitude. I got involved with social causes and conducted fun fairs for the underprivileged involving more than 15 NGOs and was involved in various social activities.
Teaching being in my blood , so given an opportunity, have taught as visiting faculty at Symbiosis Exe-MBA and BBA.
Dance being my passion I did Choreography and was instrumental in organising Annual events bringing nearly 250 plus participants of all age group on stage.

In Malaysia taught Indian cuisine to expats through “ Shivani’s Kitchen”

Learned Tarrot 😇, I am also a professional Tarot Card Reader. 😊🙏

So in a nutshell I enjoy life in whatever be the circumstances.
I believe in
accepting life as it comes, I try to make every moment count and at the same time helping others in my own ways.

6. By holding your own book is a special feelings always. For you, how was that feeling?
Answer:
It felt like holding my Baby first time in my hand. I felt very light within as if nothing else is left to do anymore. I felt content and complete.

7. Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
Answer:
I have a few favourite authors and not only one. I was not a avid book reader during school days but do remember a few poems from that time such as, “Pushp ki Abhilasha”, “Hum Panchi unmukta gagan Ke” and a few more. It was only a decade back that I was introduced to the works of authors such as Ruskin Bond & Khaled Hosseini and few others. “The Kite Runner” was one book that hooked me on to reading. I read it in flat two days. That’s what turned me into an avid reader and now I love to read and it is part of my daily routine. I have recently started reading more of books by first time authors to encourage them as well as to learn what kind of books are in being published and popular currently.

8. Share some memories (good and bad both) of your reader’s response.
Answer:
Most of the readers send messages with positive feedback and ask when I plan to publish my next book which reassures me that I am on the right path. Once in a while feedback does suggest areas of improvement which I internalize and try to incorporate in my next work. All feedback is always greatly appreciated.
9. What are your other hobbies?
Answer:
Cooking, Dancing, Gardening, eating good food and Socialising. Enjoy life in short.

10. What is your next plan of writing?
Answer:
There are a Couple of projects in the pipeline. One is my personal book, another two are anthologies for my group United ByInk (UBI) group. We had a weekly contest for Hindi and English poetry and the winning and special awards entries are being published soon. I am compiling and sponsoring the two anthologies for our group.

11. Do you ever feel like writing is tough?
Answer:
Yes at times you are just not in a mood to write. One should be in a right mindset and framework to write.

12. When did you first realize that language has some power to bind hearts?
Answer:
My Great Grand father was a Inquilabi writer who made a mark by his writing in those days so I knew in my heart that language or writing is a powerful tool.
Also when I used to go with my parents to attend the Kavi sammellan and the Mushairas as a child, I always thought these all people have just come to listen to this poetry, a poet is so powerful to pull so many people to hear him. Always admired the strength of writing skills that these senior writers had.
I wish i could add a few drops in this ocean of writing.

13. Which genre you prefer the most for writing?
Answer: I like to write poetry, non fiction or fiction based on real life experiences.

14. What challenges did you face while writing and getting published ?
Answer:
First of all to understand what goes into publishing. Finding a publisher in India , while I was staying in Malaysia. So at that time self publishing came to my rescue.

15. Few words for your lovely readers?
Answer:
Thanks again to all of you who have showered their love through reading my book.
My only request to all the readers is please do share your reviews about any book that you read . It can be on Amazon, Goodreads, or at least on your or the writers social pages. That’s the only way we can grow and make it possible to come with more books.
You all are the reason Why we all write. So keep reading , sharing and reviewing. Have a year full of reading wonderful books. Thanks again

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