“There are many other designations and degrees that decorate my profile but somehow none of them could give me the satisfaction and delight which I get when people call me ‘An Author’. I was spending my life quite aimlessly until I found myself growing in the literary society. Writing gives me solace, peace and tranquility, it accepts me the way I am, I don’t have to be right every time- I can just be ‘me’. Composing stories and poems is what I live for, and I am sure it’ll be the only thing I would die for,” says Tanya Shrivastava, author of ‘Dear Diary’ and contributor in the recently released ‘Crumpled Voices’.
Apart from being an author, I am a ‘Marketer’- I am currently pursuing MBA in marketing. I am human by religion and an author by heart- that’s the only thing that conforms my existence.
Social service has been in my soul, and I have always wanted to make a difference in the society, with my pen as my armor. I have been rendering my services to a few NGOs like UNICEF, SOS and Aarushi.
Here’s a small account of a recent conversation I had with the dimpled author.
1. How does it feel to be a part of ‘Crumpled Voices’?
Ans. I always wanted to make a difference in the society, with my pen as my armor, and fortunately Crumpled Voices gave me the opportunity to do so. My story in this anthology is closest to my heart, out of all the stories that I have created so far.
I am quite a sensitive person who feels upset to see the dismal state of the underprivileged segment of our society, especially those women who have to undergo so much of pain and agony, since time immemorial. And, thus, a platform to raise my voice with an attempt to initiate a change in the society was like a treasure for me. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Gargi Publishers (especially Ila and Pulkit) and the entire team for coming up with this anthology, it was one of its kind. It was a great experience to work with this publishing house. And, if I do not mention Harshita Srivastava here, I would not be fair. An author who inspires me, a dear friend and the person who introduced me to this publishing house.
2. Tell us something about your writing journey.
Ans. Writing is in my genes. I got this as a heritage from my family- both the preceding generations of my family were into writing. So, at quite a small age, I started scribbling on the last few pages of my notebooks and developed an intense camaraderie with my pen. I started my writing journey with poems and then when my friends and family started appreciating me, I took this one step forward- I started composing stories. Writing was not just a hobby but a lot more than that. It was a passion, my first love and my best friend- it was the only medium I could express my emotions as I am a hell lot of an introvert person and I usually do not open up so easily.
I romanced with this love of mine with my debut novel- “Dear Diary…” and then I never looked back. There are a few more stories that would soon be released after Crumpled Voices. But, somehow, Crumpled Voices is closest to my heart, as of now.
3. Tell us something about your story. What instigated you to pen down a story on this issue?
My story is about a girl called Shalini, who, like all other girls, thought that marriage was all about love- a pious bond where two souls mingle to be one. But, she was unaware of the other side of this institution called marriage- the side which is so dark and obnoxious, the side which unfolded in front of her when she actually got married- the side where your own husband has a right to force himself on you just because you are married to him- we call it ‘Rape’…‘Marital Rape…’
Unfortunately, a close friend of mine was a victim of this social evil and she succumbed to it. This story is a tribute to her.
4. Name one social evil that as per you needs major attention.
Ans. I would say that the torments faced by the women, in all forms- may it be rape, marital rape, dowry, female infanticide, acid attack- any sort of harassment to them should be checked. On one hand we worship the goddesses and on the other hand we victimize the women of our society. How fair is that?
5. What do you think can be done to curb such practices.
Ans. We blabber a lot about the things which are not right in this society but, how many of us actually took a step in order to mend those things? The first step towards making things right would be changing yourself, for good, transforming yourself back again to a human being (assuming that the religion of humanitarism is becoming obsolete day-by-day). The day we stop ignoring the victimized voices around us, and start raising voices against the source causing pain and agony to the victim, that would be the beginning of a ‘Shining India.’
I just hope that unlike Shalini (the protagonist of my story in Crumpled Voices) all those women who have been victimized should stand out, speak out, make noise and initiate a change.
Even if a handful of women could understand their rights, fight for them and could make a difference in their lives, I would consider that my story has achieved its purpose.
6. If you were given a chance to help eradicate a social evil, what would it be and how would you fight the same?
Ans.‘Marital Rapes’, out of five women of our society, every third woman is a victim of marital rape. A relationship so pious actually takes such a ruthless form. Why? Just because the man has all the rights to force himself on her lady? How human is this?
I would like to start an online campaign, with the support of some NGOs which works for the progress and development of the women, and would sign a petition where I would seek legal punishments to be enforced for this heinous crime.
I would also like to start an awareness campaign, through which I would like to educate the women of our society to stop covering up for the tortures induced by their husbands, to raise their voice and fight against this agony.
7. Name one social organization that you feel is working in the most progressive manner. (Do mention if you are associated with any)
Ans. I am a philanthropic soul who religiously serves the society in some way or the other. Currently, I am associated with a few NGOs like UNICEF, Aarushi and SOS.
I would not really compare any social organizations per se, as there is no quantification of social service. All of them are contributing their level best in order to make this society a better place to live in.
8. Lastly, is there a message you would like to convey your readers?
Ans. Love, as much as you can, because this feeling is actually becoming obsolete these days. I have heard people saying that this society has been corrupted and in this world so corrupt, you can survive only if you corrupt yourself in some way or the other. And, I say, be a maverick. Why fear being different, why follow the crowd if you can actually stand out, why to fake your feelings if you can actually express them. Be yourself and enjoy your existence, rest of the world has been taken.
I would also like to convey a message to those youngsters who are actually not happy with what they are doing, just because they are passionate about something else, and it’s the environmental parameters that are preventing them to follow their heart. I would like to tell them that you get to live only once, why waste it at a place of which you are not a part of? Follow your heart and rest everything would be taken care of.
Thank you so much for such a lovely chat, Tanya. Wish you all the best!