Rajshri Raajgopal is a graduate in English Literature from Kerala University. She also gained CELTA from Cambridge University and Postgraduate Diploma in Pre-Primary Teaching from Pune. Rajshri was a Cabin Crew with Emirates Airlines and has lived in Dubai, Ireland and United Kingdom before relocating to Bangalore. She also writes children’s books for Mimitra Enterprises. Her first book in this genre is Mani. She is a single parent whose determination to become successful led her to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. Boomerang is her first adult fiction.
She joins us exclusively for an interview –
Aseem: From graduating in English literature to writing. Your life seems to have come a full circle. How did it come about?
Rajshri: Destiny. I took up English Literature because I love reading. Writing had always been on my mind but it never really materialized until now. I guess that’s why they say there is a time for everything.
Aseem: What’s the most challenging of them all – Writing or being a cabin crew member?
Rajshri: The most challenging was being a housewife.
Aseem: What difficulties (if any) did you ever face when you wrote for the first time?
Rajshri: Writing was never difficult for me. It came naturally.
If the question is specific to “Boomerang”, getting the prologue right was difficult. I think I wrote the prologue at least 7 times before I decided on going ahead with one. Creating the suspense at the beginning was hard since it was my first time. Once the prologue was in place, everything else just flowed. The whole story, plot, characters, situations and even the dialogues were already there in my head. And, the climax too!
Aseem: What’s your mantra for writing? Do you write everyday as a ritual or only when time permits you to?
Rajshri: Once I start a book, I maintain a discipline. I write for a few hours every day. Of course, the writer’s block kicks in at times, but I try to get over it fast and resume my writing. I love my stories and characters. When I leave them aside for a long time, I begin to miss them. So I go back to the routine. In my opinion, discipline is necessary for a writer. It helps to focus. When you know that it is time to write, you only do that. Your mind is tuned to it then.
Aseem: If you get an idea for a novel / story, what do you do? You write it on a piece of paper or immediately start typing it away?
Rajshri: It depends. If I do not have anything else that needs my attention, I sit down to type away. Otherwise, it remains in my head till I am able to settle down with my laptop. Sometimes, it takes days and weeks to do that.
Aseem: Unfortunately, unhappy marriages are more than common these days. Do you have any message for women stuck in such a situation?
Rajshri: Yes, try and work your marriage out as much as possible. Give all you can to it….wholeheartedly. Still, if you feel that it is not working out and it starts affecting you physically, mentally and emotionally, then it doesn’t deserve you. It is easier said than done but you gotta be selfish when it comes to the end of the tether. Do not be afraid.
Aseem: You have portrayed the angst, the hurt and the agony Anna goes through in her marriage over the years. Do you think it was slightly easier to portray such a character because you are a woman yourself? You could understand the pain and the trouble she faced.
Rajshri: Yes, it definitely helped to put feeling into my writing, especially about Anna and her life. There are many women I know who live in similar pain; many such Annas. I know how they feel. I have seen their pain. Anna portrays all those women who suffocate in dead marriages they are unable to cremate.
Aseem: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or if I may say do you believe in afterlife, spirits and the likes?
Rajshri: I believe there is God. Having said that, I also believe there is AntiChrist. Otherwise, afterlife, spirits…I don’t know. To me, there is some mystery around those subjects. It is this mystery that kindled my interest in reading and writing about spirits. Whether they actually exist or no … I don’t really think about those aspects.
Aseem: Reading or writing – You prefer?
Rajshri: I used to read a lot many years ago and write less. Now, I prefer writing.
Aseem: How do you unwind yourself?
Rajshri: I daydream with the music on.
Aseem: What kind of books do you read?
Rajshri: Varied. I don’t have a preference here as such. I read whatever interests me. I don’t like books that are heavy for my mind though. These days, I read novels by Indian authors.
Aseem: Any new books we can look forward to?
Rajshri: Yes, definitely.
Thanks Rajshri for the lovely interview. We wish you all the best for all your future books!