Neha Sharma: Deep and intense – would be the gist of the feelings that one experiences while going through this brilliant piece of work by you. Congratulations on bringing out this compilation successfully. How’s the response around you and beyond so far?
Shilpa: Thank you so much. With the pandemic situation worsening, the mindshare has been limited, but I am positively overwhelmed with the love my fans have showered, the way they relate to my work, the way they convey their wishes and blessings and the connect my poems have with the youth. If it has helped them in any way to combat the challenges their generation is facing, I feel blessed.
Neha Sharma: Apparently, not all of what you have specified in the Love.Feel.Pain.Heal.Repeat is your personal experience. A lot of it seems to be imaginary too. What motivates you to be so creative in your imagination?
Shilpa: Honestly speaking, the entire book I can say is my journey articulated on paper. It is a catharsis of my emotions. Writing has never been difficult. Because it comes from the heart. It comes from my passion for words and expression. I write for myself, but am so glad that my poems do help others heal and motivate them to find their purpose. Talking about relevance, love is such a universal subject that it holds relevance for every being in this world. As such, I didn’t have to try too hard. Poetry is not made, it is felt. Any writer has two sources of inspiration – love and pain – associated with a person, nature, a system or a thing. It was solely love and pain that inspired me to write. All the people in my journey who gave me a chance to experience these emotions are the ones I’d like to thank from the bottom of my heart. I don’t think I would have discovered my calling, had it not been for them.
Neha Sharma: I doubt if you would have got a writer’s block anywhere while writing this beautiful book. Although, most probably you would have written it in a flow, would you like to share if you felt stuck at any place in the process? If yes, how did you deal with it?
Shilpa: Not really. However, I cannot write daily. But I ready daily. Especially the work of contemporary poets of today does inspire and broaden one’s horizons when it comes to visualization. Feeling is very personal though. And authentic writing comes only when you feel.
Neha Sharma: What do you enjoy doing the most when you’re not reading or writing?
Shilpa: Driving and listening to music! It’s a big release and fuels my senses. I am a big Sufi music fan and love the fusion music like shows such as Coke Studio have to offer. It accentuates my inner being. Sufi music transcends me into a different realm of imagination where my creative juices start flowing.
Neha Sharma: How long have you been writing and how do you zero-in about what to write? What influences you the most in making the decision?
Shilpa: I started writing as a kid when I was 8. Stopped after school and decades later resumed it, because my calling started to beckon. When I feel too much, I write. Anything and everything. However, I have an innate propensity towards love as a subject, because that is what I feel I am made up of and that is what defines my existence – rather everyone’s existence.
Neha Sharma: Who is your role model in the field of writing or apart from it, if anyone?
Shilpa: Several – Rupi Kaur, Elif Shafak, JM Storm, Nikita Gill, Paulo Coelho, Najwa Zebian, to name a few. My favorite books – Milk and Honey, Your soul is a river, September Love, Adultery, Forty rules of Love to name a few.
Neha Sharma: Post-reading your book, the readers may feel curious to know more about you. If you are asked, how much of it is based on personal experience and how much is core imaginary, what would you say?
Shilpa: 100% experiences and 0% imagination.
Neha Sharma: One may enjoy reading humorous write-ups more but romance when it comes to writing. Which are your favorite genres in reading and writing? Are they same or different in both the fields?
Shilpa: Romance certainly tops the charts for me. Be it fiction, novels, poetry – narrative, dramatic or lyrical. There needs to be rhythm, a story and my chords are struck!
Neha Sharma: Would you like to say a word to your readers?
Shilpa: I am no literary expert or master of the language. I only know the language of the heart.
This book is a humble attempt to open that heart out to all of you, air my wounds, and share both, my vulnerabilities and strength that Universe gave me to combat adversities.
Hope this book touches you. Hope this book heals you. And most of all, hope it makes you fall in love, again. I am hopeful you will shower your blessings on my debut venture and give me the strength
to feel a little more, write a little more and live a little more.
Gratitude and love.
Neha Sharma: Have you already started working on your next book aur may be have a concept in mind? Anything you would like to share with your readers about it?
Shipa: Right now, I just want to lie back and see what my readers have to say about the book and if they can relate to the language of my heart. There are a few themes in my mind. But I’d like them to ripen a bit before I can start to pen them down. I’d like to write my heart out but also address challenges that today’s youth grapples with and share my perspectives in their rawest form.
Neha Sharma: If you’re asked to convey a message to all the lovers of the world – be it the blessed ones or the heartbroken – as a summary of your book, what would be it?
Shilpa: I’d like to answer this with a verse from my book.
‘pain’ is to love, what
‘death’ is to life.
the ultimate destination.
the absolute inevitable.
but tell me one thing,
do we stop living because we know we will die one day?
then why stop loving even though we know it will hurt some day?
it may hurt
but i promise
the cosmos will heal
Neha Sharma: Great! Thank you for your precious time and efforts to make this interview happen. Best wishes for all your present and future endeavours.
Shilpa: Thank you so much indeed.