The Year Of the Greats : February 2017 : Richa Saxena : The Soul Charmer

Happy Valentine’s Day folks! 

I started a segment called ‘The Year Of the Greats 2017’ in January with Kavita Singh’s interview and for February, we have a very special someone who made her debut in the literary world this year with a bestseller called The Soul Charmer, a collection of poems ranging from love, betrayal, self love and so on : Richa Saxena.

She is a simple, down to earth poetess who has made a niche for herself in a short period of time. In this little time that I’ve known and interacted with her, she has been nothing but kind, sweet and a true soul charmer. I think, to celebrate this love month, I couldn’t have found someone better than her to share her thoughts and be a part of this segment. 

We got talking and as you’ll read you’ll see the utter wit and humour of the lady! Take a look:

1. So, tell us something about yourself.

A dreamer. A qualified Company secretary. A law graduate. Content writer. Content
curator for Half Baked Beans. Copy editor. A writer. A baker by passion. Not a rule book follower. A typical
Sagittarian. Impulsive. A homebird . A rebel. A daughter. A wife. A mother. Like to hear stories of people.  That is how I would sum up myself. Just turned 30 and I feel have just  started out on my journey. A lot of things on the cards and a lot to do before I say my final goodbye. A soul charmer, truly.
 

2. Was being a poetess always on the cards or did a special reason trigger this desire in you?

Writing is something that
comes naturally to me. I was 8 when I started writing poems and my dad used to
take a lot of pride in making me recite the poems before the guests. I was a
very shy child and even in my free periods would just scribble and get lost in
my thoughts. So, poetry was always a natural trait that progressed with time.


3. Why ‘soul charmer’? How did you decide that this is what you are going to name your debut book?

I wanted to create a facebook page for my writings last year and that is when I zeroed upon this name for my page. I have always been a listener. Love to hear stories. And that people really appreciate because no one today really wants to listen. I guess that is how this soul connect came from. Someone who listens. Who soothes the soul. Who charms you. So the moment I decided upon publishing my book I knew it is going to be ‘The Soul Charmer.’

4. You are as well versed in hindi as you are in English but which one is the one language that you think expresses your thoughts better?

I started off writing in Hindi. It was only couple of years back that I started writing poetry in English, though I used to blog and freelance in English only. But when it comes to poetry, Hindi would continue to be my favorite medium of expression.

5. As a mother, this constant presence on social media and meetings that can make your life hectic, how do you balance it?

Dont even ask this. While I am writing down the answers, I am screaming at the top of my voice as Aarav is wall painting. It does get hectic. Tiring. But this is a choice that I have made so I ought to stick by it. I love my work. Even when I am off-work mode, I keep making mental notes, things to do, ideas and I guess that is how I function. I cannot sit idle. When I take Aarav out for play, I am working in my thoughts or writing down things to do. Or, most of the times, we work together. He reads and I work. It is all in the mind. Once you know you have to do a certain thing, it comes by. I keep him busy in story books or drawing pads. The other day I was searching for my cell phone and he handed it out to me saying,
“Mumma kaam kallo”. That was sweet. I guess he understands mommy does something on the phone and it is important.

6. Your poetry ranges from heartbreak to mother’s love, finding yourself to losing one in love. How was it going through this roller coaster of emotions? Did you at some point think, that’s all, I can’t write anymore?

Not at all. I wish I could write more. There is a thing with poetry that the deeper you go, stronger is the urge to push yourself. To dig out the emotions. To absorb them and release through your words. A lot of poems are a reflection of my own thoughts at a given point of time. A lot I have observed around. And that is how I write. Things and events stay in my mind. But, writing the one for my father made me cry.

7. The book is still running under the bestsellers and obviously, your name has been highlighted and you must have people who come across to you and tell you how much they loved your poems. How does it feel? Has it sunk it yet?

I feel humbled. Honestly, this bestseller tag and ranking does give you a momentary happiness but that is it. What stays forever is the love and support that people showered on a debut author. Obviously, it is a feel good factor when people ping you or inbox some really sweet things, but It hasnt sunk in yet.I have not done anything great. I just feel blessed and grateful to each one of them.

8. Name 5 ingredients that you think take a poem from being good to great?

1. Flow of words

2. Grammar

3. Punctuation

4. The consistency in thoughts

5. The use of simple, yet impactful vocabulary

9. I covered this topic in an article but I would like your opinion on the same, since you are a well known poetess. Do you think free verses and forgoing the need of alliteration have made it possible for anyone to try their hand article poetry? Does that hinder the classic format or do you think otherwise?

I see a lot of people trying their hands  on poetry and there  is no harm in it. But, just rhyming or free verse won’t guarantee a good poem or will not make you stand out as a poet. It has made writing poetry easy, but poetry is not just about these two things. The essence of poetry is in aligning the thoughts perfectly and creating the right imagery.

10. Tell us a little about your struggle to get your debut work published.

Honestly, I did not have to struggle for getting it published. I work as Content curator with Half Baked Beans, a Delhi based publishing house. It was only 2 weeks before my birthday that I though of gifting myself a book. I just called Chetan and told him I want an ebook of my poems to be published. He and the entire team at HBB have been extremely supportive throughout. From cover to typesetting everything was sorted out in a very short span of time.I feel so blessed. Lucky indeed. The entire credit goes to them for shaping my dreams. And not just me, but they are supportive with every budding writer. They  have paved a way for the struggling writers to get their work published.

11. What more can we expect from you in the future? Do you want to make a name in the poetry world or would we see you dabble in novel writing too?

I am already working on a novel, but when will it get finished, that remains the question. 

12. What’s the best time for you to write? Do you have a schedule or a routine or do you write whenever and wherever your heart sings a song?

I don’t have a fixed schedule. I write whenever I am low. Or charged up. Or happy.It just comes naturally.

13. Does your son, Aarav know that his mummy is famous? Edit how does he take it all?

Lol. I am not that famous. He just knows ‘Shoul Time charger’ 🙂

14. You have it all. Name, fame, family that supports, fans from all over the globe. What is the one thing that you still think remains unfulfilled?

That just gave me a high. Have not accomplished anything major, except Aarav and this book of mine that remains to be a piece of my heart. The actual journey has just begun. Lots of things on the cards. 

15. Any words to the aspiring poets out there?

Poetry is all about you. Just you. Put in your soul and life in the words. Write for you want to write, not because you want to get it published. leave a part of yourself in your poetry.

16. As I asked Kavita Singh, what would you advice budding authors and poets who are also homemakers, mothers/fathers and people transitioning from other walks of life to the literary world?

If you want to do something, just do it. Do not make excuses. Multitask. Follow your passion.  

17. Any special wishes to the readers on this valentines day?

Watch out for the Bajrang Sena before stealing that kiss in the park..;) On a serious note, embrace love in all its entirety. Charm a soul today. Be a soul charmer.

A huge thank you to Richa for being such a good sport about my silly questions and we hope to see great things from her in the future! Our best wishes and luck to her and her ‘Shoul Time Charger’. 😊

Until next time!

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