Interviewer- First of all Chaarvi, congratulations on your book ‘Across- The Vision of Futuristic Past’, that is soon to come out in the market. The whole team of Kalaage wishes you the best on this journey that you are to embark upon. My first question is where do you get your ideas from?
Chaarvi- I try to be aware of the surroundings and the people around me, incidents that happen in my day to day life provide me with ideas. If something really shakes my soul, I blend it with my imagination and let the words do the talking.
Interviewer- Do you try to be more original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Chaarvi- I try to write for myself; I always believed that any sort of inspiration whether it is poetic or something else should come from within. Ever since childhood, I kept my written pieces for myself, never gave them to any publication.
I believed in the philosophy of Leo Tolstoy that any Art is superior only if it reveals some sense of truth and that truth reflects your inner self, it can only be true if you have felt, dealt and lived it. And eventually, I think the readers also like it as it seems like a part of their own and they can relate to this truth.
Interviewer- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Chaarvi- I read a Hindi poem prescribed in our syllabus when I was quite young named ‘Hiroshima’ by Agyey ; I got goosebumps while reading it and after that all I could think about for days was how the tragedy that fell upon people living there and how it still affects generations of humans who can never be the same again.
Interviewer- Does the process of writing energize you or exhaust you?
Chaarvi- It does both, certainly. Sometimes writing is liberating, you feel amazing, and in the depth of something you absolutely know, swirling through the realm of the unknown; that is the territory of the words that you choose to define those known emotions.
I feel that when you can reproduce the thoughts and emotions that you have in your mind, that is the most exciting feeling but when you struggle with doing justice to your thoughts and are not able to portray them righteously, it becomes exhausting.
Interviewer- What form of writing expresses you the most or appeals to you the most?
Chaarvi- That would be poetry, for sure.
There are a lot of perks associated with writing poetry like it gives you the flexibility to write about the things (personal or impersonal) in the most mysterious, enigmatic manner that you otherwise cannot say explicitly. It gives you the freedom to exercise your imagination.
For the readers also poetry can seem like their own as it provides them with the liberty to choose/interpret their own meaning.
Interviewer- What is the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Chaarvi- It is difficult to write in the perspective of the male gender as all you have about them are some preoccupied notions or the males in your life that you interact with like your father and brothers and friends. You don’t actually know how they feel, handle situations, it is difficult to imagine their frame of mind.
It becomes hard to picture the uniqueness of men. Then what you have to do is build a character out of all these things and try to do justice with it.
Interviewer- This is a question I love to ask all the writers because almost everybody has one, what is your all-time favourite quote of any other author?
Chaarvi- Oh, it is actually from J.K Rowling, it goes like this:
“It’s our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Interviewer- What was the hardest/ most challenging scene you had to write in the book- Across?
Chaarvi- Well, in Across there were many challenging scenes that I had to write because as you know it is a very unusual story but some scenes were really challenging for me personally like the one where Yashpal, the male protagonist of the book stands on the balcony of the Dharamshala Guest House he is staying in and the beauty and enigma of the nature compels him to reflect upon himself and the human absurdity, the whole purpose of existence and the pain and suffering of our being. For me it was difficult as I got lost in my own thoughts, wandering through the past and thinking about the future. It actually made me gloomy to feel that I am just a tiny organism in the immensity of nature.
Also, there was this lovemaking scene between Yashpal and Leslie that I found hard to write as I feel that it is very difficult to try to write about the intimate things that happen. It is a powerful expression in itself so putting it in words never does justice to it.
Also, it is very hard to be objective about sex and to try to build the whole scene from the perspective of your characters.
Interviewer- What kind of literature do you like?
Chaarvi- I like to learn and explore all kinds of literature you know to gain all the sorts of perspectives that I can. If I were to mention my favourite kind I would say, Indian History and Mythology. I find the Indian mythology very intriguing and captivating, you can find all kinds of characters in them, it’s like you are walking through the entire universe.
And one more thing that I would like to point out is the language of Indian writings, I prefer reading them in the original form, that is why I am working on my Sanskrit, as I find it very rich and expressive and I feel that if you even read them in Hindi, it loses some sense of meaning in translation, the essence goes away.
Interviewer- Lastly, I would like you to give a few pointers for aspiring writers in light of these things,
- How to perceive/ take literature,
- · Best authors to look up to and
- · A message.
Chaarvi- Well, as for the first question, I would ask the aspiring writers to take literature as a friend that provides you with different perspectives in life that gives you a sense of connection with the feeling that other people have or are going through the same pain and experiences that you have. It inspires you to become a better person.
This was on a more individual level, coming to the social part of it I think people can relate to literature, it holds a mirror to the society, tells you how much culturally rich and vibrant we are.
It gives you the motivation to improvise the good aspects and to minimize the bad within ourselves that ultimately reflects to the society.
The best authors to look up to are Amish Tripathi, Premchand and J.K Rowling.
A message for the aspiring writers would be to listen to the driving force that pulls you to write something, that moves you from inside and don’t force yourself to write because that art is not going to be precious.