Dr. Suneet Madan
- Can you tell us about yourself?
I am an explorer, traversing the life chapters with much curiosity and seeking to enhance my outlook and approach by analyzing the relatively invisible aspects of each phase. I am a gypsy spirit who goes with the flow and believes in manifesting the right energies. I am a nurturer of emotions, who discloses her inner thoughts, feelings, desires and convictions through verses and paints that make the canvas of life more vibrant and colorful.
I have been dabbling with words and other creative expressions since childhood. Perhaps, Tsujonophobic could be closest to the term that can describe the best. I believe in creative freedom of expression, while maintaining the sanctity of being a responsible citizen.
The mundane inspires me towards magnificence.
- Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest work?
My latest work is my English poetry book, titled “Poinsettia”. It has poems written in a unique style, that I call Duplet Verses. I selected the title of this book when I was sixteen, when I had close to a hundred poems ready to be published. But fate decided otherwise. Much water has flown under the bridge from then and now.
The metaphorical connotation of Poinsettia is that it chooses to reveal itself when your soul is ready for it. Perhaps, that is the reason that the title stayed with me for this long and finally got published with the latest collection of my poems.
The prime influence and inspiration behind this book is my dad in heaven, who prodded me to keep penning my thoughts even during adverse situations when I found myself having no inclination or energy to interact or communicate with anyone. Poems like “You Matter” are the result of some of my self-motivation endeavors.
- How do you approach the writing process? Are there any particular rituals or habits you have?
Being a sensitive, emotional, empathetic person, writing or painting comes naturally to me when any situation, animate being, inanimate object, or place tantalizes my cords. Thereafter, I am just a medium for the words to dress up the paper or canvas.
I do not have any particular writing ritual, but I do require relative isolation to allow the ideas to flow with ease, uninterrupted. After the initial flow has stopped, I revisit the writing after a day or two to scrutinize what it wants to convey or if any edits are required in it.
There are days when I am unable to pen anything and kind of live in a void, as if bereft of the art of articulation. Those are the days when I feel suffocated as if a significant part of me has gone missing. Yet I write a paragraph or two every day, even if I end up trashing it later.
- In your opinion, what role does literature play in society?
The role of literature in society cannot be emphasized enough. Literature illuminates the dark alleys of our social living, ignites the imagination, fosters empathy, challenges the norms, preserves cultural heritage and traditions, shapes the minds of the uninitiated, and promotes acceptance of diverse perspectives and narratives.
Literature offers a rich tapestry of various aspects of life and living, and serves as a vital connection between the eras gone and the eras to come.
Similarities in the traditional and cultural value systems of a region can also be traced to similarities in the genetic makeup of another region geographically distant, with in-depth research into their works of literature.
- How do you handle criticism of your work, for young writers to take inspiration from?
I believe that if the criticism is coming your way, it directly indicates that your writing has been acknowledged somewhere, somehow. I have immense faith in constructive feedback and have benefitted from many such interactions.
I would encourage young writers to go ahead and share their writing with people. Immerse yourself in learning provided by a healthy critique of your work. It will help you immensely in enhancing your writing skills.
Of course, believe in yourself and your work as well. If you are convinced about something, be ready to share your viewpoint in a manner that does not intimidate your critiques. Acknowledge their feedback and refine your writing accordingly for a wider reach and acceptance of it.
- How has your writing evolved over the course of your career?
Education, Exposure, Explorations, and Experience help expand the horizon and subsequently, the knowledge base of a writer. This, in turn, refines the language skills and quality of deliverance.
Embracing diversity in literature and life situations aid in building a mature worldview and in understanding the nuances of putting across your views effectively. My life situations and experiences, frequent travels into the wilderness, and journeys inside led me to experiment with unconventional subjects and writing structures.
Insights into the writings of others helped me understand my forte and style of writing better. I also learnt how and when, and the importance to step out of my comfort zone to experiment with writing. Be it the short stories or the poems, I have learnt to research my topic well and to build the narrative based on my comprehension and perspective on the matter, for the work to appear more authentic and detailed.
- Can you talk about any challenges you faced while writing your latest book?
Time was the biggest challenge. To manage home and office, to balance passion and profession, to be an individual and mother or daughter, lot many threads pull you in tangential directions. Yet, like a professor at IIT Bombay said during the orientation program – “You are designers, Invent Time”, so that is what I did.
My writing and proof editing was not limited to a table and chair. It trickled to the washroom, the kitchen shelves, the car dashboard, the airplane and train meal tables, while dining out, and where not!
Besides time, it is the fine print and invisible imprint that manages to thrive in that fine print of the related contracts you sign for the book. Those can test your patience and perseverance to the max.
But, in the end, all challenges are forgotten and what matters the most is the baby that you’ve delivered, aka, your book that has come out in print.
- Can you tell us how did you come up with the Duplet Writing Genre?
I am a preferred minimalist when it comes to painting and writing. I feel that expressing in a succinct manner teases the brain cells much more than usual writing or painting. The precision in delivery is of utmost importance for the audience to be able to grasp the intent behind the work.
Duplet Verses evolved, refined, and matured over more than two decades. I love experimenting with forms and structures, and Duplet Verses is an outcome of the same aspiration.
As I do not have an educational qualification in literature, I kept presenting and discussing my work with experts at various universities, or those whom I met at various poetry conferences, online as well as offline, until I felt that the format had become replicable and more widely understood, and could now be compiled as a book.
- How did you take it to the level of recognition it achieved in the field?
As I mentioned earlier, constructive feedback and positive critique go a long way in improving one’s work. The precursor to it is hard work and dedication, with a strong conviction about your creation and its practicability.
It took me a long to refine the style in my notebooks before I felt the format was ready to be presented and to find larger acceptance. From closed group gatherings to international forums, the journey this format traversed was wonderful.
I am glad that Duplet Verses is being tried by many poets and I’ve received encouraging reviews and feedback for the format, as well as for my book ‘Poinsettia’.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t let anyone dictate what ought to be released from the confines of your pen.
Let your soul or intuition guide you.
Write on whatever subject is close to your heart.
Let your passion and the conviction in your thoughts reflect their brilliance in delivery.
Write consistently. Read religiously.
Experiment and push your boundaries.
Embrace revisions, critiques, and rejections.
Invite constructive feedback.
Stay open to learning and enhancing your skills.
Most importantly, believe in yourself.
- Write about your involvement with NaPoWriMo & The Momma Clan and your experience with the same.
NaPoWriMo with The Momma Clan happened to come in my ambit by chance, through a social media suggestion. The prompts were interesting and caught my attention. Besides, what sealed the deal was the personal connection that the admin has with the group members. That got me hooked on to The Momma Clan. There is great bonhomie in the group and the members are pretty supportive of each other.
I look forward to more fruitful interactions with The Momma Clan.