India's Top Book Blog

Your Ad Spot

Interview with Dharshana Bajaj


She is a book editor and visual artist. She lives and works in Chennai, India. Her greatest inspiration is Nature. And her favorite theme is depicting people living in harmony with Nature, with the awareness that they are not "apart" from Nature but "a part" of it, interconnected, inescapably responsible for their impact on it, collectively and as individuals. She recently published her first book, which reflects her insights and inspirations as an artist and writer. 


Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
A.
Not many people know me at all, so anything I say would apply here. Like I wanted to be a writer even as a teenager but decided then that I did not have enough life experience to write anything interesting. I guess, now at 49, I have sufficient life left behind me to write something substantial and insightful.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
A.
My next book is called Gulmohar Dreams. It will be out sometime next year. This one is fictional but will cover ideas and insights that are a common thread in my work and then some.

Q.3 What made you write Gaia’s Own: Every Child’s Guide to Living in Harmony with Nature?
A.
I’ve always wanted to write but somehow never gathered enough courage because I always seemed to circle around to the same personal issues, the same bugs in my emotional system that still need working through. Then, one day I decided to change my focus around, away from myself and my little world to the greater picture. 

I decided to put into writing my thoughts and ideas that have been guiding my art practice for more than a decade now, based on the concept of living in harmony with Nature. And, to cut a long story short, Gaia wove her magic through me, much to my amazement and delight. And this little book practically wrote itself out in a matter of weeks!

Q.4 Do you think we still have time to save our planet? Tell us a few contributions of yours to saving the Earth.
A.
Anything is possible. Miracles are always happening around us. Yes, I believe we can save this planet and our place on it because that is what all of us genuinely want and hope for if we take the time to think about it. 

I’m not much of an activist, but I do contribute in other ways to appreciating and honoring the beauty and glory of Nature. I create art with the hope that people would awaken to this wonder called Nature. And now this book carries insights I lived and experienced, once again to raise collective awareness and our consciousness.

Q.5 What are some simple resolutions that we all can follow to make the world a better place?
A.
Spend more time in Nature. Feel the love for it. And let that love move you, guide you, toward the actions that you can take.

Q.6 Why do you think it is essential for children to develop a love for reading?
A.
Reading is empowering. And the love for reading is one of the most precious habits we can inculcate in our children. It sharpens their concentration skills, helps build their vocabulary, and introduces new concepts and insights we may be too busy as parents to share or be aware of ourselves at the moment! And of course, books are much better alternatives to video games and T.V.

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while you’re working?
A.
Usually, I start the day writing in my journal, thanks to the beautiful book The Artist’s Way, which I first read many years ago, but to which I come back often. I owe this book a lot, even as an artist. 

For me, more than discipline, though, it’s the energy of the idea that moves me. So, when I was working on Gaia’s Own, if I had a particular idea that I wanted to address, I would work late into the early morning hours to do so, just to get it done before it could run away from me!

Q.8 Many writers describe themselves as “character” or “plot” writers. Which are you? What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?
A.
For me, the characters make the story. It begins from there. What I find most challenging is writing something relevant yet not too revealing! It’s about getting to the humanity in the issue without getting personal or hurting sentiments.

Q.9 Which children’s book most inspired you as a child?
A. The Emperor’s New Clothes
was the first book I received as a gift as a child. And my mom had gotten me a collection of miniature books on fairy tales. But the books that really inspired me as a child were Enid Blyton's Enchanted Forest series. A world so magical, unlike the one that I lived in!

Q.10 How do you select the name of your characters?
A.
Creativity is led by the heart and instinct. I try to keep my head and ego out of these things as much as possible. There’s no rationale here, therefore.

Q.11 Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s book authors?
A.
Thank you for considering me qualified to answer that! Seriously though, I would say just let your inner child lead the way. Enjoy what you do, and never mind how others will receive it. That you can worry about later!

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
A.
Writer’s block, artist’s block, yes, they exist, but they do so because we like them there. Either because we are afraid of failure or even of success! 

What works for me, both as an artist and writer is to just get started! Just do it! And once we are in the flow, creativity takes care of it all. Then we just become witnesses to the magic unfolding before us.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A.
Yes, I read what people have to say about my work. Good or bad, feedback always motivates me to do more. But really, it's just entertainment. The work cannot be inspired by feedback. For that, one has to go back to looking within.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A.
Not that I’m aware of.

Q.15 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
A.
An art critic and some artists, and all those inspiring books that egg you on to do better. Like Robin Sharma.

Q.16 How will you describe your life before and after getting published?
A.
The latter hasn’t really happened on a large scale. I’m still waiting to be discovered and read by the majority. I hope this interview and your support inspire more people to read Gaia’s Own.

Q.17 What three things should readers expect from your book?
A.
To rediscover their love for Nature, to be inspired to spend more time in Nature, and to believe they can make a difference.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A.
There are too many to name…da Vinci, Picasso, Jane Goodall.

Q.19 What is your favorite book (apart from children's ones) and why?
A.
There are a lot of wonderful books, but some we come back to often, depending on the season in one’s life. Right now, the book of the moment is Women Who Run With The Wolves.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A.
It’s been a long winding road, but I’ve just begun.


Share your social account links -
Facebook - 
https://www.facebook.com/dharshana.bajaj
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/dharshana-bajaj-9902b9241/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/dharshana.bajaj.art/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/DharshanaBajaj
Website - https://dharshanabajaj.in/

No comments:

Post a Comment