Harika Bantupalli is a budding journalist, professional writer and an author, Harika Bantupalli grew up in the city of Hyderabad. She is currently pursuing her bachelors in Mass Communication and Journalism and dreams of traveling the world covering events in her style. From a regular girl to a nerd or a tomboy, she can be it all. She possess a gift to equally obsess over a fictional character or a latest gadget. An ardent reader of classics, romance and chick lit, she hopes to make a place in the world of writing and have her work recognized by Sophie Kinsella, the Queen of Chick lit genre someday. She loves writing fiction and blogging about different things including herself, her favourite books, movies and other issues that fascinate her or capture her attention. Her short stories have been published in the Anthologies ‘Love Bytes’ and ’31 Sins’. She has also been selected for the Anthologies ‘A Little Chorus of Love’, ‘The Fallen Angels’, ‘Stri’ and ‘Lovingly Yours’. Apart from playing with words, she is also passionate about craft-making and graphic designing. She owns a small online craft store called ‘Le Souvenir’ and showcases her designs at ‘Bluebell Designz’
Sangam-You recently took an interview of Sreelekha Chatterjee Ma’am And now you are giving your interview. How it feels to you in changing the position?
Harika-Well, It takes me by surprise to be the one being interviewed. It’s a first. I have interviewed Sreelekha ma’am recently, like a young author to an experienced one. It was great! Also, I have taken interviews of a few celebrated personalities like Jwala Gutta as a journalist. It’s one kind of experience to ask questions to someone and seek their opinions. It’s totally new and exciting to me to switch the places and be on the other side! I feel amazing, and of course, happy!
Sangam- If you succeed as a journalist in your life would you quit writing?
Harika-They say, Journalism is literature in a hurry. The only difference is you portray people’s views in one and your own in the other. I never want to draw a line between the both in my life. I am a writer. I started as a journalist and picked up fiction-writing along the way. And the best part is that, I am equally passionate about both of them. And leaving one just because I succeeded as another, wouldn’t make sense in my life.
Sangam- What you like most to be a guest writer, interviewer or to write anthology?
Harika-It’s hard to pinpoint what I like the most. Because, I enjoy doing different things. It gives me exposure. As a guest writer, I am able to express my views where as an interviewer, I get to talk to people and know things from their perspectives. And Anthologies, they simply trigger my imagination, fuel my skills and make me a better writer.
Sangam- If you got a chance to run a News Channel. What would be your first targets?
Harika -Most of the news organizations today compete for ratings and in the way, forgot the foremost duty of journalism – Social Responsibility. If I ever got a chance to run a news channel, I’d like to imbibe the very same sense of responsibility in the reports and thrive to bring back the former glory of this noble profession.
Sangam-It is not easy to run a handicraft business. What are the difficulties faced by you in doing that.
Harika– Actually, I’d rather not call my ‘Le Souvenir’ a full-fledged handicraft business. I started crafting as a hobby. I make stuff for myself and as gifts for friends. One day a friend suggested, why not take orders? Few things aren’t available in India unless crafted. Especially books and movie memorabilia. I took her advice and started a small online store.
I get orders time to time and enjoy doing them. As for difficulties, I would just be worried of not finishing the order on time, given, there are other things like college and writing that keep me busy most of the time.
Sangam- 21, isn’t a small age to enter in the field of professional writers?
Harika- I think 21 is just the right age to venture into the world of professional writing. In fact, I believe I am a late entrant. Like any other profession, you’ll be done with your basic training by 21. Say for example, my journalism course. And you must be groomed to be ready for the industry. When you start writing professionally at this age, there is a very good scope for exposure and better prospects in the days to come.
Sangam- Who made a deep impact on you as a writer. OR Who is your inspiration behind writing?
Harika– There are a number of people who created an impact on me as a writer. A good book, a person that writes a good piece of article, a message delivered in a creative way, or a fascinating writing style of an author can create an impact on me. Few people to be mentioned are Sophie Kinsella, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Helen Fielding, John Green, Shakespeare, etc… the list goes on.
And for inspiration, it comes to me every day in different ways. Simplest of things to the most complicated thoughts – Like a person that affected you somehow (good or bad), a silly dream during a power nap in a bus, a small street kid flying a kite with an innocent smile, or the hooker you see on the road while traveling at night, you feel like writing something and dedicate to them. That’s how writers get inspired, don’t they?
Sangam- How much blog is important in today’s world for a writer.
Harika- Blogs are necessary for not only a writer, but for someone who wants their thoughts reach a larger audience. When you’re working under fences, you have to follow certain rules. In the process, you might not have the independence to give out your feelings. In such places, blogs act as the perfect medium to let it out!
Sangam– “There is No wrong or right just write”. It was posted by you. Do you believe that People will love if you write something wrong?
Harika- I believe writing is something that is done to express views, not make believe or make people love it. If it is so, then it becomes propaganda, not writing. As a writer, you get to pen down what you feel. And as readers, they have full rights to love it or hate it. After all, we don’t live to please everyone. Besides, what’s right or wrong is debatable. Something good for you may be bad for me. It’s all in the perspective.
Sangam– Your name ‘Harika Bantupalli’ is so sweet then what is the story behind writing fiction with another lovely name “Miranda Grey”?
Harika- I want Harika Bantupalli to be known as a journalist while ‘Miranda Grey’ will be her author counterpart. So, I decided to use a pen name. Finding the right name was a big struggle for me. After my efforts in picking the right name went in vain, I approached my mentor. She suggested the name ‘Miranda’, the first of Shakespeare’s heroines with very strong and independent personality. It also happens to have the same meaning as ‘Harika’. So, I immediately took it. I chose Grey for last name because it’s a colour in between the pure, heavenly white and elegant, mysterious Black.
Sangam- Your father takes you as his son. What is the story behind it?
Harika- Unlike many conventional Indian Parents, my mom and dad wanted a girl child. And when I was born. His happiness knew no bounds. He brought me up like a tomboy – both tough and sensitive. ‘She’s my son, and my daughter’, he often remarks. I am truly lucky to have a dad who treats me like a boy, giving every inch of space, freedom and support that I need. Same with my mom; even though she could be rigid and worried at times, she supports me at the end.
My last question to you
Sangam- You seems to be so mature, talented and passionate for your work. From where you get so much passion,energy, eager to work and work. Share with us
Harika- It is nothing like that. You would not believe me if I said that I am one big procrastinator. I tend to postpone things. But I know when it’s time to stop lazing around and start working my butt off. My love for what I do and passion in achieving perfection is what drives me most of the time.
Interview by Sangam Nayal
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