What motivates you to write?
I grew up watching my parents who were academicians. They devoured books and I was introduced to reading different kinds of books at a very young age. Soon I realized I had a knack for writing. I was a little girl when I wrote stories, poems, and nonfiction. As I grew up, the urge to become a writer became more compelling and I started writing. I needed no motivation back then. I wrote for my satisfaction until I got the offer to contribute to the anthology, Book of light. The book was a big hit. The appreciation which I received from my readers and critics those days further propelled my passion. To be honest, I cannot survive without writing. It is the oxygen to my life, a passion I would love to live by.
Which literary genre do you like more – poetry or fiction? Why?
As a child, I loved writing stories and poems. As I grew up I took to writing nonfiction. My success as a nonfiction blogger and writer inspired me to delve further into writing poetry and fiction. Fiction comes to me naturally and I dream my poems. I turn a theorizer when I write poetry. But I enjoy writing both. They heal me.
How has your exposure to classical dance forms helped in your literary journey?
Yes, classical dance had played a prime role in my literary journey. I had the privilege of watching the live performances of Guru Sonal Mansingh, Mamata Shankar, Pandit Birju Maharaj, and Guru Mallika Sarabhai. Apart from classical dancing, I am also trained to dance with the songs of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore which we call Rabindra Sangeet and Kazi Nazrul Islam, i.e. Nazrul Geeti. I have danced with the fusion music of maestro Shri Ananda Shankar. It was in the year 2017, I sent out my first write up on “The Role of Indian Classical dance in Education” to the prestigious NY based magazine, Café Dissensus. The essay was a big hit. Later I contributed the article “The Secular Roots of Dance in India” to Indian Cultural Forum. Since then there has been no looking back. I wrote about the works of Dr. Sonal Mansingh, Ananda Shankar, Sanjukta Panigrahi. I have also written about the nine emotions in dance, “Navarasas”. My article on the classical dance form Odissi is out for publication with the magazine “The Education Post”. I love to write on dance, dancers and the history of Indian classical dance and will keep penning the same. You know the secret – I simply lose myself to a state of ultimate ecstasy whenever I write on Indian classical dance.
What is the role of an ideal reader?
Getting genuine readers is very difficult nowadays. However, we still have readers amongst us who share their reviews on reading our writes. An ideal reader should be a critique and must share his/her feedback. It acts to inspire an author and will also help the writer to fare better with each passing day.
Which authors do you read a lot and admire?
The list is huge. To name a few – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rabindranath Tagore, Ashapurna Devi, Maitreyi Devi, Sukumar Ray. From th contemporary writers I enjoy reading works of Mohsin Hamid, Rohinton Mistry, Yasmina Khadra, Khaled Hosseini, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Satyajit Ray, Mosarrap Hossein Khan, Nishi Pulugurtha, Tanushree Podder, Preeti Shenoy, Arvind Passey, Tarang Sinha, Murtaza Ali Khan, Sandhya Renukamba, Lopamudra Banerjee, Mallika Bhaumik. However the list is not exhaustive. I grab and read any book which looks appealing to me.
What is the role of literature in this fast paced world?
Literature is the medium through which we can let our creative juices flow. Literature is a form of human expression. A few roles of literature in this fast-paced world are – to get inspired, to get enraptured, to get intellectually and emotionally stirred and most importantly to discover ourselves. It opens doors to unique worlds.
What are your current and future literary plans?
I am currently focusing on the publications of two of my books- collection of fiction/short stories. The first one is scheduled to get released in mid-2020. The second one should be ready by 2021. I am also co-authoring a non-fiction on mental illness with distinguished psychiatrist Dr. Bharati Patil. This is going to take time. And oh yes, I will continue blogging for my favorite magazines. I will cease to exist without it.
What would you have done, if you had not taken to writing poetry and stories?
I would have had stuck to my grueling day job doing everything half-heartedly.
Have you received both bouquets and brickbats for your literary works?
Yes, and both bouquets and brickbats have helped me in honing my writing skills. I have never done a formal course on creative writing so it is the criticism and appreciation which helps me learn through my mistakes.
About the Author
Rimli Bhattacharya is a gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Agartala with an MBA in supply chain management from the University of Mumbai. Rimli had once aspired to study literature but fate willed otherwise. Having worked in the corporate sector for twenty years she realized writing was her true calling. She left her high profile job as a General Manager from an MNC in 2017 to pursue her passion.
Her works have appeared in many literary magazines & E-Zines, including The Education Post, Café Dissensus, Modern Literature, Setu, Quail Bell Magazine, Feminism in India & Women’s Web. She is also an Indian Classical dancer of Kathak and Odissi genres. Rimli lives in Mumbai.