Madhurima, the chief patron and editor-in-chief of the N.G.O ‘The Daughters of This Soil’ which focuses on women empowerment in India and creates documentaries and films. She writes for regional newspapers focusing on youth and women issues. Writing poems when free is her hobby and after few years of a successful career life she wants to devote her full time to writing. Currently she is a freelancer to an online magazine and working on her next non-fiction. She is a bookaholic and her room is stocked with innumerable novels. The most inspirational sentence which gives her the courage to write again and again is, ‘A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling how hard it to be God.’
AMIT- What made you become a writer?
MA’AM- It is a very difficult question to answer. Particularly I don’t know what made me write, but few incidents in my life stirred my heart to pen down my thoughts. The world around me serves the best example to become a writer. It shows so many faces, starting from the harsh realities to illusions; this world serves the best inspiration among all. I am not a writer by chance, I can’t control my emotions and thus I pen them down.
AMIT- Do you read fiction? Which genre do you prefer? Who are your favourite authors?
MA’AM- I am a bookaholic and I read books like anything. What I need is just a book and a serene atmosphere surrounding me. I really don’t care who has written the book and no personal feelings sway me when it comes to reviewing a book. Books are words inscribed on papers full of confused emotions and it really doesn’t matter how famous the author is. I enjoy all forms of books, be it Paulo Coelho or any XYZ author.
I came across a line somewhere that ‘do not classify authors, they are not genres’. I firmly believe in this line.
My all time favourite is Jhumpa Lahiri. I love to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Taslima Nasrin, Madhuri Banerjee and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni also.
AMIT- What are the lessons you have learnt about the publishing business?
MA’AM- The most difficult part after completing a novel or a piece of writing is to find a suitable literary agent and then a publishing house. The same difficulty I had to face. Several rejections will make you think at least for once that you have written something crap and that really doesn’t worth getting published. But I learnt a positive lesson and that is this publishing part will check your patience. If you lack that then you will suffer.
AMIT- Your views on two monsters in the publishing world—self publishing and eBooks.
MA’AM- Self publishing is absolutely dependent on one’s personal opinion. Every author will of course prefer Traditional Publishing rather than self publishing. And eBooks not really ruin the industry but also as these electronic gadgets and items are becoming cheaper day by day they are damaging the paperback. If there should be a change in this world of Publishing then it should be with these two monsters.
AMIT- What are you currently working on?
MA’AM- Currently I am working on a non-fiction and a fiction at the same time. I will take time to complete the non-fiction because it needs great research work and the material or the knowledge which I have is not enough for that. But the fiction will be out by the end of this year. I always try to keep one book a year and if I find any interesting anthologies coming up this 2K15, then obviously I will try my hand at it.
AMIT- Say about a normal day how you spend writing.
MA’AM- I usually start to write in the month of January. I remain busy in the month of February and continue with the same piece in March. It happened many times that for an umpteenth number of times I cancelled a prologue! As during the month of March I stay in Calcutta I go for a walk alone near Park Street area and near New Town. These two places are extremely beautiful and calm. The whole day I spend there in parks, gardens, in my club and I interact with few people. It becomes almost evening when my mother picks me up from my club and then we go for coffee. This is our everyday routine in March. We talk on various topics and surprisingly every day I experience something interesting and once I share it with my mother an interesting story comes out from it. This is how the world around me gives me new ideas. We reach home at night. And then the best part…after dinner I go up to my small room and start writing. I can never write when it’s day or until my parents or my whole family goes to sleep. In other words you can say that when the whole world sleeps I write!
AMIT- What according to you is the hardest part to write?
MA’AM-T o start a story itself is the hardest thing. It takes a lot of time to think on a topic and start writing on it. But once you start I think at least I can’t stop until I finish it or reach a proper status.
AMIT- Tell us anything personal about you that your readers will find it surprising.
MA’AM- Actually I am a very boring person and yeah my friends too tell me that. But I am a selfie freak and I don’t care where I am, be it a formal party, a conference or a wedding selfies are must for me. Moreover I fall in love everyday with new books and my surroundings. Usually I buy books from bookstores since the aroma of fresh pages scintillates me but due to lack of time I generally order from Flipkart. After every alternating day the Flipkart Delivery boy reaches my house. I remember a day when he got irritated and told me, ‘Madamji aap ek baar main hi sab books ek saath order kar dijiye please. Bar bar mujhe idhar aana parta hain!’ But I don’t do that and till today he keeps on coming every alternative day to my house. There is actually nothing personal like that but yeah I keep a diary. It has a lock and key so it is safe to keep that. I write in that diary about my soul mate who I would love to have in my life!
AMIT- What advice would you love to give to young budding authors?
MA’AM- Believe in whatever you are writing. Have confidence and do proper research on the topic before you start writing. Start writing on paper instead of a laptop since you know ‘Paper has more patience than anything!’I think I am not anyone to give you any advice. Whatever you heart feels like doing…DO IT!!!
AMIT- Give a message at last to your readers and inspire them with your kind words.
MA’AM- There is a lot to tell my readers. First of all, I would thank them from the core of my heart who have already picked up the book, finished reading and texted me on facebook and twitter that they loved it like anything. Thanks for the wonderful reviews. Secondly, I would thank to all those people who have inspired me to write and read books. Thirdly, my whole family on facebook and twitter thanks for reading my blogs and my everyday post on women empowerment. I don’t know whether you all have tolerated me or not but thanks for doing that also. It means a lot to me. Please keep reading good books because you know they are somewhat your best friends. And if by chance you are stung by any writing bee then please do write in the papers. Always keep this in mind that, ‘A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling how hard it to be God,’ and ‘Paper has more patience than man!’
Thank you so much ma’am.
You can contact her on facebook or twitter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org blogs at madhurimahalder58.blogspot.in