Shilpa is a star-gazer and a romantic who has never been able to fathom how the left side of the brain works. In fact, the functioning of the brain itself has been an intimidating subject for her to comprehend. She believes she was born with a feeling apparatus only – the heart; and not a thinking one – the mind! Intellectualizing feelings and emotions is knottier than rocket science to her!
An unconventional, edge-of-the-seat, poignant yet action-packed drama in quest for love, her story has been full of intense passion, heartbreak, agony, social scorn, ebbs and flows and all the joys of being a rebel at heart, in a very conformist society. But the silver lining for her has been the rise of her consciousness, the awakening of her spirit, the beckoning of her calling: writing.
She now muses and writes poetry to feed her soul.
She hopes this book is the beginning of a trajectory that the Cosmos wants her to tread on to reach where she is meant to be, some day.
The destination will unravel, but the journey has been beautiful so far.
Akhila Saroha: I would like to begin by congratulating you on the publication of “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” How has the response to the book been so far?
Shilpa: So far the circulation has been limited, but I am positively overwhelmed with the love my fans have showered, the way they relate to my work, the way they convey their wishes and blessings and the connect my poems have with the youth. If it has helped them in any way to combat the challenges their generation is facing, I feel blessed.
Akhila Saroha: What led to the idea of writing “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat,”? Were there any events that inspired the work?
Shilpa: Any writer has two sources of inspiration – love and pain – associated with a person, nature, a system or a thing. It was solely love and pain that inspired me to write. All the people in my journey who gave me a chance to experience these emotions are the ones I’d like to thank from the bottom of my heart. I don’t think I would have discovered my calling, had it not been for them. I’d also like to thank my mentors who fuelled my passion and encouraged me to share my musings with the world, when I was going through rock bottom in my life. Also, I drew inspiration from the great contemporary poets of today.
Akhila Saroha: How easy or difficult was it for you to write poems that held relevance for all and also remain objective about them in your collection “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat”?
Shilpa: Writing has never been difficult. Because it comes from the heart. It comes from my passion for words and expression. I write for myself, but am so glad that my poems do help others heal and motivate them to find their purpose. Talking about relevance, love is such a universal subject that it holds relevance for every being in this world. As such, I didn’t have to try too hard. Poetry is not made, it is felt.
Akhila Saroha: What are your views about present-day writing? Do you think it does complete justice in depicting human nature in the light of “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat”?
Shilpa: Present day or contemporary poetry is for everyone because it is short, pointed, crisp, hard-hitting and relatable. The audience of today is exposed to various media and to hold their attention is challenging. The formats that have become popular with the current generation are epigrams, micropoems and aphorisms and I have tried to capture my emotions in these formats. Some of my writings are sensous, some dark, some motivational and some heart-wrenching. As such, I think have tried to pen feelings across the emotional spectrum of any being in love or broken by love.
Akhila Saroha: “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” shows the uniqueness of your style of writing. Are there any authors that you enjoy reading or any books which are your favorites?
Shilpa: Several – Najwa Zebian, Rupi Kaur, Elif Shafak, JM Storm, Nikita Gill, Paulo Coelho to name a few. My favorite books – Milk and Honey, Your soul is a river, September Love, Adultery, Forty rules of Love to name a few.
Akhila Saroha: How would you categorize “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” as its appeal seems to be to a broad audience?
Shilpa: It is based on a subject so universal that it defines our very existence. Hence, I think and hope that it appeals to everyone. It is for all. Putting it poetically, this book is
For the thinkers and the feelers.
For the atheists and the believers.
For those who were devastated.
For those who celebrated.
For those who surrendered to pain.
And for those, from the ashes who rose again.
Akhila Saroha: “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” has given a powerful introduction to your potential as a writer. Can the readers expect more from you in the future? Please share about your future projects.
Shilpa: Right now, I just want to lie back and see what my readers have to say about the book and if they can relate to the language of my heart. There are a few themes in my mind. But I’d like them to ripen a bit before I can start to pen them down. I’d like to write my heart out but also address challenges that today’s youth grapples with and share my perspectives in their rawest form.
Akhila Saroha: What is the story behind your work title, “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat”?
Shilpa: This book is catharsis of my emotions. It came to me when I could not contain them within me any longer. I thought I’d explode so I needed to share it with the world. Needed to air my wounds, talk about my vulnerabilities and the strength Universe gave me to combat adversities, loneliness and come out stronger and happier. The beauty of poetry is that it finds the one who needs it most and that is what feeds my soul – if my words help people fight their battles with a little more hope, faith and strength, then I’d feel I found my purpose.
Akhila Saroha: How easy or difficult was it for you to create the situations in poems and show the story from their eyes and also the eyes of a third-person narrator without hampering the readers’ perception in “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat”?
Shilpa: These are my stories. Real stories that capture authentic feelings. Stories of a passionate lover. And I feel what is written from the heart reaches the heart too. It was not difficult, it was simply penning down my journey, my pain and the process of my healing. Every word, every alphabet came from my core, without the expectation of any reward or recognition in return.
Akhila Saroha: In the present time, poems featuring people like your situations in “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” do not find much mention. What, according to you, could be the possible reason for that?
Shilpa: Maybe we have forgotten how to express, how to release emotions. Maybe we have inhibitions; maybe we’re scared to be vulnerable. Maybe we’re all faking smiles.
Akhila Saroha: If you were to describe your book “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat” in a few words without giving any spoilers, what would those words be?
Shilpa: The poems in this book reinforce that even though love is an uphill task, it is intrinsic and beautiful, and that every emotion it elicits – pain, anguish, anticipation, joy and passion – is so worth living, at least once in a lifetime. It makes you dive into them, feel them and live them through my voyage. My verses signify that pain is inevitable, but combating it, rising beyond it and upholding faith in love is certainly a choice. Through the sometimes heart-warming and sometimes heart-wrenching verses, I urge you not just to heal yourself, but also to rediscover your soul and its calling. The book conveys that love may or may not stay forever, but it leaves a blessing that stays with you, till eternity.
Akhila Saroha: What advice would you give to budding writers who may be planning to write in the same genre as “Love. Feel. Pain. Heal. Repeat”?
Shilpa: Write for yourself. Pen down your own feelings. Draw inspiration from other contemporary writers, but be authentic and honest in your expression. Write straight from your heart and it will touch hearts then.
Akhila Saroha: Thank you very much for sparing your time. I look forward to reading more books from you in the future. All the best.
Shilpa: Thank you very much for taking the time to read and appreciate my work.