Inspiration amid the ongoing global pandemic can be hard to come by. Taking on these bleak times as a challenge and opportunity for self-discovery, emerging or first-time authors are refining how they think, write and imagine…writes Siddhi Jain.
Young author Sanya Khurana, a Tedx speaker and author of “One Action: Towards Women’s Dreams and Ambitions” finds philosophy in chaos. She told: “History has shown that pandemics have always inspired artists to create art, musicians to write songs, and authors to write more books. Even today, as the world is going through difficult times, authors are using this opportunity to either express and vent out their feelings or escape into their world of imagination through writing. Some writers are also using the gift of time that this pandemic has given all of us to complete their books or start a new one. We all have gone through our own struggles during the pandemic and each one of us has a story to tell”.
‘Jean Angel’ author Atul Mohite explains how the lockdown allowed him the time and mind space to finally put pen to paper: “The pandemic allowed us all to have a lot of leisure time which helped in exploring the creativity which we had and I was no exception to that. The idea for ‘Jean Angel’ was on my mind for quite a long time yet never imagine that I will come up with a book about it someday. Lockdown gave me that opportunity and I am so glad I could write the book in such difficult times. I’ve been fortunate to have a job of my liking and busy routine associated with it. Being in a bank, I worked despite the pandemic.”
“Talking about reimagining their lives and getting inspired, Roopesh Bhole, author of ‘In Love You Fall, In Love You Rise’ says that it is not them who keep the writing alive, it is the writing that keeps them alive. Writing brings in the feeling of being liberated. It is a place where there were no rules, where the characters could be developed as per our own will, without bothering about the repercussions that otherwise could be so depressing in real life”. He also adds how creativity can bring sanity in life during pandemic, adding how he is already penning his next book.
For some authors the pandemic in itself is an inspiration. Author Sabarna Roy, author of ‘Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020’, feels that the pandemic has brought forward a plethora of subjects to the notice of Indian authors in a more acute manner: “Job losses, pay-cuts, shrinkage of economy and its social consequences, people restricted to homes in unrelenting fear, a sudden and critical switchover to the digital world in every form of human interaction and the very ingress of the disease to nooks and corners of the country”. To his mind, the chaos provides authors with a newer context to think in and write about.
Authors like Karan Puri discovered a new side to them. Author of ‘#Me Too’, Puri feels that the lockdown helped him discover the writer within. “It had been a long hiatus but I kept the passion of writing going through my journey as a blogger, now finally, I got ample time to step up and complete my second book. #Metoo Movement and the Nirbhaya case shook something inside me and I wanted to share short stories of these sexual abuse survivors in a positive light. To give hope to the women who still feel unsafe traveling at night or even at home”.
Ravi Valluri, Author of ‘Heartbreaks at Coffee Shops – An Array of Tales’, who juggles his writing with a job in North Central Railway, says he had a ringside view of transportation of migrant labour. “I was to witness stories of human suffering and valour. Some of these touching and heart rending incidents, I penned down for an anthology of articles to be published by an Australian author and IIM Bangalore. Some others found their way into a collection of short stories recently published in form of a book – ‘Heartbreak at Coffee Shop’.”
Rajendra Sarilla, an educator who wrote ‘Scarlet – Lost in the Five Lands’ concurs that the pandemic has been food for thought – and imagination. “The pandemic has shown us many things that we never imagined would happen. We are actually living in a science fiction story, all of us. Just soaking in information flowing in from all parts of the world and processing it is helping me evolve as a writer. It’s rich food for thought. The pandemic has taught us about things that truly matter and things that don’t. It’s teaching us about human tenacity, kindness, patience. It’s all education. What else does a writer need?”