Tasnima Yasmin: First of all, Big Congratulations to you Smita Ma’am on your book, “Within Four Walls of the Mind “you’ve achieved something remarkably huge! What responses are you getting from this book of yours? Please share your experience about this book.
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: The responses are great and I am both touched and honored to hear such kind words of appreciation about my first non-fiction book.
Tasnima Yasmin: You have a very realistic take on everything in the book. Does this sense of practical understanding in the writer within you bring with it a lot of psychological stress?
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Just like as it must have been the case for some, the pandemic and the associated lockdowns were quite unnerving for me, too. All of a sudden literally everything came to a sudden standstill. The Covid19 pandemic brought along with it an overall feeling of fear and total uncertainty about the deadliness of the virus, the time it would take for the development of a life-saving vaccine, the sudden change in day to day life, and of course the chaotic health and social crisis that we could witness on the news channels. It was in the midst of all this that I penned down my thoughts about the prevailing situation. Yes, there was a lot of psychological stress involved but once we are out of this pandemic and if one wishes to revisit those difficult days, this book will be a good read. It will remind us about most of the incidents that happened worldwide and within our country but more importantly it will remind us that though life had taken an abrupt turn and had become very difficult, many of us did manage to get out of it, unscathed but stronger.
Tasnima Yasmin: As a reader I have noticed one thing. You have not mentioned any tips on how to cope up with the stress of lockdown. Do you think it is presently difficult to make general suggestions for it?
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Managing stress at a personal level varies from person to person. During the pandemic last year (2020) all the trending social media activities such as posting happy pictures from the past, the random cooking or dressing up in a particular way or playing an instrument and posting it on social media was a trending content. All this that people resorted to was to forget about the stress that the pandemic had inflicted upon our minds. Ways of managing stress can be different for each individual but what is most important is to remind ourselves to lead a stress-free life. That is of utmost importance.
Tasnima Yasmin: As many people from literary circles have noticed a change in the literary practice of the day, do you also notice a change, ma’am? Do you feel that the profession of writing has changed its course with the times?
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Our lives have changed with the outbreak of the pandemic. I cannot refer to the good old previous times as the pre-corona era because we are still not out of the pandemic totally, but yes when life and lifestyle change so does your thought process. And that can influence the way people have been writing or voicing their opinion about anything.
Tasnima Yasmin: I’ve read your book and I genuinely liked the concept of this Plot. So, my next question to you is that what inspired you to write this book? What was the impetus behind this work of yours?
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: I just began chronicling the initial days of the covid 19 pandemics. I wanted my writings to reflect pure facts about the first 100 days of the lockdown- the associated general feelings that gripped people’s minds during those difficult times for the entire globe. The future generation that will read this book might get a cue of how the situation unfolds and changes when a pandemic breaks out all of a sudden. This book might help them deal with their own fears and apprehensions if they ever experience a pandemic in their lifetime (I hope no generation has to go through such times ever, though).
Tasnima Yasmin: Ma’am, your writing seemed to be really impeccable and you were bold with your writings in your book, which I really appreciate. So next, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you and whom you follow!
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: There are many authors who have inspired me and I enjoy reading their books. Some of them are Late Mr. Khushwant Singh, Amrita Shergill, Shashi Tharoor, John Green, Amish, Sydney Sheldon, and many more. The list goes on…
Tasnima Yasmin: Many writers and readers may come across this interview. What advice would you like to offer to them who are new to fiction writing?
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Believe in yourself. Be bold and confident about your style of writing
Tasnima Yasmin: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Yes, there is one fiction and one thriller in the pipeline
Tasnima Yasmin: Well, thank you for answering all my questions about your wonderful book. All the very best to you for the future and your book too!
Dr. Smita Naik Salunke: Thank you very much