Let’s Clutch Up! • Season 3 • Manali Desai

I know Manali from Instagram. Thanks to her Instagram page – A Rustic Mind.

I have read her books – A Rustic Mind and The Untold Stories. Both beautifully carried the poetic flavour and also conveyed thought provoking ideas.

I particularly like The Untold Stories more as they carried the reflection of depths in their unique ways. I totally recommend it to be read atleast once.

I got a chance to ask her a few questions and I am glad she agreed to do this for my blog. Wishing her the best and hope that more books be written by her.

Let’s now read on her journey and get to know her more.

1. Hi Manali, how does it feel to be a published writer?

It feels like that piece of candy given to a child he’s spent days or years craving for. It feels like that first drop of rain touching the soil after months of summer, winter and autumn, and the fragrance that follows after that shower.

In laymen’s terms, it feels like a lifelong ambition fulfilled.

2. Are you more of a writer or a poet?

Definitely more of a poet, because even unintentionally my writing follows a kind of rhythm (as you can make out from my response to the first question)

3. You are a regular blogger and an editor too! How do you balance time?

This may sound clichéd, but making time, even in the professional front, is all about priorities. Since I love both these jobs equally, I ensure that I give equal time to both. That’s if there are both kind of assignments to take care of at the same point, because usually I have just one of them on hand.

4. You run a blog to showcase talents of women around you? How did you start this initiative?

The idea for #WonderWomen came to me through a few close friends of mine, who were doing multiple things besides just a day job. I was amazed at their talents and how one person could be defined by so many titles, besides of course their ability to juggle between it all so well.

However, once the segment came to fruition, I chanced upon women who were doing extremely well in just one profession too, be it baking, home décor, architecture, crafting or fashion designing. This gave me the idea to expand on the kind of women I could feature. My aim with these features is to promote all kinds of self-employed women, irrespective of their age, caste, religion, location, etc; and especially women into creative pursuits of their own.

These women are those who defied societal norms of personal and professional tags and made a name for themselves.

5. What does writing mean to you and let us know which form suits you best – poetry or story?

Writing to me was, is and always will be an escape and a form of solace.

I think poetry suits me best.

6. You are/were an English teacher too, how does it feel teaching kids?

I can sum up my teaching experience in just one sentence, “It’s not as easy as it looks!”

7. When you launched your first book, what was running in your mind?

Honestly, even today, after having four published books under my name, the feeling is surreal. Sometimes I have to look at my books, and go through my various published works, to remind myself that it’s actually my work that has gone out and reached so many people.

8. How do you switch between writing and editing mode? How is the transition for you?

They’re two sides of the same coin.

However, I have to keep my mind open while editing because I have to keep the original writer’s thought process and idea behind writing it, in mind.

The transition was difficult initially, because as a writer I know what I want to put across but as an editor, I must think on behalf of the original writer. The switch happens only with practice I’m afraid as there is no such mantra for it.

9. What is the one quote you resonate the most with?

“Miles to go before I sleep…”

10. If you were to introduce yourself in form of a poem, what would it look like?
A poem from my own book (A Rustic Mind) defines me perfectly (at least I believe so)

Dark blends in with the light
Making the dull less slight
Some need both by their side
To assuage the brightness inside

Hop on to her blog: A Rustic Mind for more interesting people and collaborations.

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