In this interview series we ask questions to people who are making a difference in our society, it can be big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter, what matters is their contribution. It can be anyone from any walk of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.
Akanksha Agarwal is an artist, poet and painter. She is the author of book ‘The Secret in My Blood’.
Following are her responses to our questions
Q1. Tell us something about yourself?
Hello everyone This is Akanksha Agarwal am from Bareilly, a popular town in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, I am in Delhi, though.
My parents were doctors. My father was a physician and my mother was a gynecologist. I lost my father from cancer a few years ago. And my mother, who is 65 plus now, is retired now. My father expected a boy when I was born. So, my parents actually raised me like a boy. I was never restricted from doing certain things just because I am a girl. I used to have boy-cut hairs and was exploring
almost all the segments of my choice. I am thankful to have such wonderful parents. Eventually, there came a time when I needed grooming and thatʼs why I was admitted to a hostel for further studies. I learned a lot there. When the time came, I got married and settled down. It is almost 10 years now in the married life. And I am happily married with kids. I believe I am born to spread love and happiness, I am a poet, dancer, singer, artist, musician, and a proud homemaker.
Talking about my writing journey I have won many writing competitions and prompt challenges. Recently I organised a live session with Poets around the globe My first book, The secret in my blood is a beautiful poetry book based on love and romance.
Q2. What motivated you to write and who are your favorite authors?
I started writing with the pen, that my father gave me, I was very close to him and he always inspired me to write. It was he, who could see the poet inside me, when I was young. Since then, I love to pen down my thoughts and emotions on paper. I always wanted to do something that makes my parents and my family proud.
Talking about my favourite authors I love compilations by Sylvia Plath. I love reading books by Khaled Hosseini, especially The Kite Runner. I like the works of John Grisham.
Q3. What sort of themes do you like to write on?
I write what my heart bleeds, itʼs all about the poems based on love, romance, and women. So basically Love is my superweapon and I can write anything based on it.
Q4. How has your life changed from this pandemic? How did you cope during the lockdown?
My life has completely changed during this pandemic, I was caught with a viral infection and my upper and lower limbs
stopped feeling. It was really a tough time. I had to be shifted between home and hospital. Now I am recovering I was totally based on the kindness of others. Every nurse, doctor, and physio, my mom, my husband, my family makers that helped me did so with humility and care making sure I was treated with respect and kindness.
When you are giving up on life, little moments of kindness – like a cup of coffee or green tea being made for you and just someone listening to what you have to say can change your day for the better. My hope was not lost and even if I was at my lowest, life could get
better, and that there is a reason to live. That moment will stay with me forever. While fighting with Corona, the side effects of heavy medications, the loss of mobility in my limbs, and unexpected things that happened I began to make the most of his time by writing down my thoughts into my mobile notes.
So yes now I am on the recovery track, settled back at my home with my kids. Life is getting back on track. I am sure with godʼs grace and love of my family soon Iʼll pick up my paint brush, paint my thoughts, I would sing -record my voice, I would write the poems, I will cook for my family and I will be as cheerful as I can.
Still some days I feel low, but Yes we are god lovers and with a good diet, exercises, positivity, and blessings of my family. Also, Now I want to write about the pain a patient goes through and how it affects higher psyche.
Of course, it may or may not be my next book, but I will write on that for sure. And the “Love” you get with your loved ones is the most powerful tool to cope up.
Q5. Tell us something about your book, what it is about?
My book “ The Secret In My Blood” The secret in my blood is a lattice of emotions expressed by a woman through her being that is analogous to life. The analect recites the intricate torrid state that marks the tumultuous journey from a girl to a woman. Every word epitomizes the indefinite feeling of love. The poetess weaves the alchemy of blood and love that demands to be reckoned, one meaningless without the other. The poems depict the fervour and rhapsody between a man and woman with vivid characterisation.
The book is spread across three parts –
1. Ovulating in Emotions – When someone falls in love, everything seems extraordinary and magical. You’ll begin analyzing your lover with everything you adore from celestial objects to edible items. You wanted to go to the places to spend quality time and enjoy each other’s company. This part portrays the feelings when you know that you can’t live without that particular person or how their love intoxicates your heart and mind.
2. Bleeding in Love – this part is dedicated to the stage where one’s heart-breaks. The loneliness, darkness, negative thoughts looming
over and everything reminds you of your partner. The sleepless night, tears, yearning for physical touch, endless memories become part of life. You try to forget everything, but still unable to do it because in your heart you know that maybe one day, he will come back, and that fantasy lives on.
3. Fertile to Fly – Love and lust are both the side of the same coin. Physical intimacy is as much important as an emotional bonding. In this part, Akanksha Agarwal depicts the craving of bodies where passion and love for each other are boundless and sturdy as the ocean. This segment is also a gentle reminder that love is about growing old together, and there is no moment you regret if you are with the one you belong to.
A special poem thatʼs winning hearts of the readers from the Secret in my blood is –
The whiff of his bones, intoxicating… Her eyes wandering to never blink, her ears wanting to tune into his sound, her brain asking to abide with him. Forever, ever and ever!
Her path is where his road is, her shadow is where his footsteps are, her fingers swayed with his touch, her smile is when he beams.
Forever, ever and ever.
Q6. What are some of the challenges that women writers face in your opinion?
In my opinion, today women are the strength of any country, they can write, speak and think As equal to men. Authors and poets like Rupi Kaur, Priya Malik, Courtney Peppernell. They have already given the answers to such questions, there is no challenge to women writers now.
Topics like love, Romance, women hood anything female writers can write and they get good support from the readers too.
In fact, today female writers are getting more fame, more popularity and their journeyʼs have been very inspiring.
Q7. What are some of the social issues that you care about most?
Some of the social issues that I really want to raise and I care are Hygiene and Sanitation It is estimated that 88% of the households
in India have a mobile phone but 732 million people in India do not have access to toilets and clean sanitation. Sanitation is a basic right of every citizen of the country.
And especially as the tough times going on the Covid -19, the spread of virus. So hygiene and Sanitation is amongst the social issue that I really care for. Another major social issue, that I am Concerned is about Drug abuse and consumption. Abuse of drugs not only poses a threat to the individualʼs health but consequently gives rise to socioeconomic problems. Alcohol and drug abuse cause stress in a family and drain national resources drug abuse leads to poverty and family breakdown. Especially the youth of country is heading towards it, which will impact the nationʼs growth. “Love yourself and your family and say no to drugs” So they are the major social issues I care for.
Q8. What would be your advice for aspiring authors who want to get published?
The first thing is to as advice for the aspiring authors who would like to get published is to Stop thinking about it and just do it.
Write, not for others for you, in the first place. Donʼt start writing trying to impress all, if it is written with heart it will grab the eyes of readers. Always write from your heart, and inculcate a deep connection with the work that you are writing upon keep chasing your curiosity! Be open to learning. You can pick up something new from anywhere. Also keep on writing and not have long breaks in between. Because once you start taking breaks or keep yourself away from writing, you end up missing out on the thoughts and
emotions. Which is the essence of poetry.
Be a dreamer, have a vision and the world has a bowl full of opportunities. Also Participate in as many competitions, compilations, book events, literature festivals as possible.
Q9. What are your plans for the future in your literary endeavors?
Getting so much love from the readers of my debut book, I would definitely love to write more about love! I have decided on the next title of my poetry book which is The Burning Syndrome. It will be out by next year hopefully.
Also being a Corona Survivor, I would like to write about the pain a patient goes through and how it affects oneʼs psyche.
And have a long-lasting effect of the body. Writing on them are my future plans. I would also love to host a live session soon with a few of the Corona Survivors, who could share their experiences and life journey.
Q10. Your message for our readers?
If you wish to write, then find the time and make it fun. Do not think of it as a way to make money, but as a way to explore your own inner self. If you have written something and that in itself is an achievement in these days of videos, selfies, and gaming.
Also during the times of corona, I think itʼs the best time to take care of yourselves, Explore yourself, chase your dreams.
Pick your paintbrushes, paint your dream. Pick your pens, write out your heart sing your favourite songs Open your voice recorders, record your voices, share with your loved ones. Itʼll makes you happy and make your families feel special.
Ending it up, I would like to tell all the readers life is full of uncertainties. Live it fully, Go confidently in the directions of your dream and live the life you have imagined.