Why I write?

About Mona Verma

MONA VERMA is an alumni of prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and an award winning author of 6 works of fiction, A Bridge to Nowhere, God is a River, The White Shadow , The Clown of Whitefields & other stories , The Other and Lost & Found in Banaras. She had edited various science journals, self -help books, biographies and is a regular feature writer for online newspapers. She is on board of various Universities as an advisory expert and is much sought as visiting faculty for Creative writing, Haiku and Limericks. She is regular invitee to Writers' meet called for by Governor of Uttarakhand, at Rajbhawan Dehradun. A Paul Harris fellow, she actively volunteers with Interplast, Germany and Rotary International foundation for the treatment of surgical accidents and burns victims. Recently, she has been honored with the executive membership in the Management Committee of Anushruti, a social initiative of IIT, Roorkee for the exemplary work done for the special children at Anushruti. She is also serving as a member of the Academic Review Committee with Anushruti, IIT Roorkee. She is the first chair for the Outreach Committee with Kumaon Literature Festival planning board. She has been offered to organize and curate a Literature Festivals at many levels and is a regular speaker at CBL panels , across the country. She is also serving as the Chief Coordinator for FLO FICCI, Uttarakhand Literature Committee. Presently, she co-owns and runs her firm DISHA, which deals with corporate, organizational and faculty/student trainings in Universities and Corporate houses. She is a visiting faculty at Mahindra & Mahindra, American Express, DRDO, ONGC, THDC and IITs across the country. Apart from the above, she has a keen interest in classical music, charcoal sketching, oil painting, photography and travel.

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Writing to me came from the revelation that no amount of prayers can solve Trigonometry.
Algebra came close second within terrifyingly intimate distance.
And the Fulcrum and Focal Lengths were treachery personified; they could alter without a forewarning.
And then, arrived a report card that armed me with mastery in Language skills and nothing more.
Hence I realised soon enough that Arts were the only pipe dream that might take me somewhere that is if it at all they do.
Another reason that fuelled my writing skills was that I was a cosmic accident that arrived in the era of non digital romance. Today no amount of flowers can equal 2 blue ticks. Where today an emoticon takes care of our feelings, in our times, our amorous writing skills were tested.
Adolescence arrived and parents vehemently discouraged poetry for they felt it was a spill over of some infatuation and we were hammered with the gyan that emotions are only for the stupid. Little did they realise that I was hugely, impossibly, irreparably stupid that way. It’s in today’s time that 50 thousand shades of grey outweigh a single colour of sentimentality. In mine, it was sorbet hued and stayed just that.
And then I found T.V. very educating with only one movie a week and the rest crammed with Krishi Darshan and Adbhut Kahaniyan – every time someone switched it on, I ran for my book.
But soon I realised that this was no funny business.
Antony de Mello very rightly said “You have to understand that the shortest distance between truth and human being is a story.”
Even though it is a foil to what lies inside and the struggles we all wage, it is a huge responsibility that we are hefting as authors. True that it has shades of truth and illusion in equal parts but as a writer one has be sincere, imaginative and precise.
Reading will always get the first billing here. Drawing inspiration is best motivation to write better. When crafting your protagonists, give them an inner life, believe in them. Don’t worry if they are not likeable. Normal people are deeply flawed but learn to draw a reader into the hero’s world. Harry potter started as an unassuming ordinary damp squib, Sherlock Holmes was weird…. Not people you would take notice of. Yet, once they entered our think space, they refused to leave. They were relatable characters. We all know that perfection is a myth. After all, normal is just a cycle on Washing Machine. So stay real, clear, precise and simple. Go easy on your readers.

Read, write, edit and the ruthlessly slice out the pesky details. No one owes you an obligation to read it coz you wrote it. Through my writings all I want to say is – Follow your dream. Nothing is impossible. Be true to yourself and work really hard. There are no short cuts to success. Read a lot and observe. Keep resurrecting your work till no further improvement is possible. Understand the tiniest nuances and at any point if you are not ready to respect and enjoy reading your own work, believe me nobody else will.


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