To break it down, the world mostly consists of two types of people- the readers, and the writers. Both of them are intertwined with each other, both exist for and because of each other. A book becomes a dialogue between these two; often, a very silent one according to Deepti Madi.
However, there also exists a third category- the reader who writes (and vice versa, of course). Closet writers are blooming in abundance due to social media; we have a platform now and we’re making fine use of it. Most of us want to be published, but that doesn’t hinder our writing journey. It’s a dream, not the final destination. In such cases, if we are to follow our dreams, it is important to read and understand what the published writers have to say.
To gain insight, and to obviously fuel my curiosity, I had a small conversation with Deepti Madi, an upcoming and a tremonodus writer. Her book- ‘Manchal’ has just been released. The launch took place at Waari Book Cafe, Kothrud.
The book is her take on her inner dialogue and a restless mind, something we can all relate to. So without further ado, here’s a quick interview I did with her!
What gave birth to this book? Tell me about the exact moment which sparked the author in you?
I have been writing since my college days when I was a theatre enthusiast and began writing for drama competitions. Here, I realised that I immensely enjoyed the process of writing and developing characters. I always wanted to write a book which had a backdrop of Pune, the city that I belong to and music. This book is my tribute to Pune.
How has this city influenced the writer within you?
Pune has contributed immensely to my journey. As a college-going student, I learnt theatre through Pune’s various cultural events like Firodiya Karandak, Purushottam Karandak. Year on year I wrote one act plays for these competitions, which helped me a lot as a writer. Watching these competitions as an audience was an enriching experience too. In ‘Manchal’, the backdrop of the book is Pune. I could not imagine some of the stories anywhere else.
As a writer, what or who is the worst enemy for your writing?
I believe reflection of my personal space and experience is a huge part of what I write. In ‘Manchal’, a reader will definitely see traces of urban middle class Marathi upbringing. I believe this could be one of my limitations as well as strength.
Criticism also indicates that the person actually invested some time to understand what you want to say.
If Pune was a character/book which one would it be?
If Pune was a character, I believe it would have been Pune from the film Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai. This movie has completely nailed the concept of true blue Punekar.
If not for writing, what would your dream profession/identity revolve around?
If not for writing, my dream profession would have been that of an Actor. I would have definitely loved to be part of Marathi Theatre.
How do you deal with critics and literary naysayers?
I take any feedback very constructively. Criticism also indicates that the person actually invested some time to understand what you want to say. As a writer, one often has a one dimensional view of one’s creation. It always helps to have feedback from others. My family and friends have been my worst critics and always give me an honest opinion about what I write.
How do you dissolve your writers block—do you look within or do you seek inspiration from people or places?
I take a break. If I am stuck, I let it go for a while. I go back to my reading and listening to music. I have observed that it helps me overcome the block.
A word of advice for closet writers?
I have just began my journey and I guess it is too early for me to give advices. However, from my own experience I would say that you do have a story in you so do not wait for a right time; there is never going to be a right time. Take a plunge and make it right. Also make time to READ!