Leema Dhar, a final year student of Humanities, Allahabad University, penned down her thoughts when she was just 3 years old. By the time she was in her teens, she got her first book published. “Till We Meet Again” is her debut fiction, which is one of the national best sellers. Also, she left her architecture career from AIEEE to pursue her writings and won plethora of accolades and awards for her work.
Lets take a look how Leema planned her itinerary.
1. You were a science student, so how did you get inclined towards literature?
Nobody imagines success. All we can do is prepare a recipe. A few basic ingredients such as hard work, sincerity and determination topped with focus and will power and a pinch of hope would help you reach the place you wish to be. People ask me the recipe of success. I thankfully, have prepared one. Very few get a chance to follow their dream and I’ve been one of them. I’m going to use this as a golden opportunity to experiment with genres and bring out the stories of unsung heroes of our life and create characters that not only soothe but give us a thousand reasons to never give up on hope.
I started out as a poet with two anthologies ‘KUCH LAFZ NAQAB MEIN’ (in Hindi) and ‘FOR THE HUNDRED TOMORROWS’ (in English)
2. What were your parent’s reaction when your first book was published?
Mom and dad have been two strongest pillars on whom my existence as a writer rests. Without them I would never be the same Leema I am now. I remember how dad had analysed my first three lines of poetry for around fourty five minutes. And I had a huge smile knowing that he was my inspiration. They are always delighted when I come out with a new novel be it my debut novel ‘TILL WE MEET AGAIN (2012) or ‘MOM AND I LOVE A TERRORIST’ (2012), third novel ‘THE GIRL WHO KISSED THE SNAKE’ (2013) or ‘YOU TOUCHED MY HEART’ (2013) and the latest being ‘THE COMMITTED SIN.’ After seven books and more to come they pat me and say that by following my dreams I’ve overwhelmed their souls.
3. Where do you get myriad number of ideas for writing content in your stories?
One is observation. Undeniably, it is one of the powerful literary weapons of the writer. The intuition that gives new insight every time I sit to write.
And the second is imagination. Both reality and fantasy combined gives me the fuel to pen down stories.
4. Have you followed someone’s footsteps when you started to write?
Never! I believe originality keeps the heart of the writer going. Copying or imitating someone else is disrespecting your own craft. I read lots of novels but at the end of the day when I sit to write it’s just me and my characters speaking.
5. Who is your favourite author?
Authors- Jhumpa Lahiri, Elif Shafak, Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini .
Which is your favourite story among all those you have written?
I always say this-
Just as a mother cannot choose between any of her children. I, being a mother of seven books, cannot choose one. That’s basically choosing between my sensory organs. And I love all!
6. Which is your latest book that got published?
The Committed Sin in 2016.
7. What are your future aspirations as an author?
I love surprising my readers & would continue to do so further making them experience various slices of life and taking them in an adventurous roller coaster ride. I am a keen observer and wish to keep observing and studying every minute organism and object around me. I can even imagine the non-living things speak to me! I wish to bring out the untouched subjects or the burning issues that disturb the society. In each of my novels I’ve highlighted women as the strength of the family. And I root for women empowerment!
8. What’s your short terms plans now?
I’m currently working on my upcoming fiction and a collection of short stories.
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