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Author Interview: Nalini Dhiman

Published Book: The Labyrinth of Clouds
Genre: Poetry
Order Here: Amazon Paperback
Publisher: Pothi, 2019

Interviewer: The Labyrinth of clouds is a book which entails many experiences regarding the different facets of life. Were all of these your personal experiences or some were imaginative as well?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Most of them were inspired by life itself; be it my story or the world’s. For example, chapter Infinity revolves around my father, chapter Reality is about real life directly, and chapter Happiness is about what makes me happy. The rest of tehe chapters include poems that I have written, inspired by my own life as well as the lives of those around me.

Interviewer: It is understandable that the work of every poet including yours can be read by different readers and be understood with different perspectives. But what is your own perspective and take home message from this book?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Of course, that’s true. Those who read my poems can interpret my poems in the way that they find most relatable. That’s why my book is open to interpretation. The only fixed thing is the theme that through all the poems, ups and downs, the poet tries to find herself.

Interviewer: Is this your first book? Are there any future books you have plans to work on?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Yes. It is my first book. I’m working on another as well.

Interviewer: Is poetry solely the basis of your expression, or have you tried your hands in prose and stories as well?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Apart from written poetry, I am also a performer of Spoken Word/Poetry. I also write prose, but writing stories aren’t my cup of tea.

Interviewer: What time did it take for you to complete the book? What were the challenges you had to overcome to have this book in your hands as a successful project?
Nalini Dhiman:
 I started writing immediately after my Class X Board examinations, in April 2019. By the end of May 2019, I had completed 69 poems distributed over 9 chapters. Then, it took about one and a half months to get published. The biggest challenge I faced was the challenge of my self-doubting swings. I doubted myself a lot, always wondering whether my poems would be understood by all, or if I was being too hateful in writing, or what if the theme is too cheesy, et cetera.

Interviewer: From your writings in the section “infinity”, it is evident that your father must have been a divine person. How did you cope with the tragic loss? Is it how you started putting your thoughts into notebook?
Nalini Dhiman:
 That’s true. Not only for me, but for almost everyone, my father was the best. He was one of a kind. I don’t know how I coped up with his loss. When I lost him so suddenly, only less than a month was left for my boards. I didn’t know what to do, how to focus, etc. My father was my best friend; we were the treasurers of each other’s secrets. His death resulted in a loss of someone extremely close. Nevertheless, what kept me alive was insanity. I pretended that he was somewhere in my room, I would talk to him; go for a jog with him, etc etc. But no, his loss was not primarily why I started writing.

Interviewer: Your writings are intense. Are you an equally intense reader as well? What are some of your favourite works of literature?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Yes, in fact, I am an ardent reader. I read lots of novels and there isn’t a particular genre I am into. I have many favourites but Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my top favourites.

Interviewer: Who and what has been your biggest inspiration in this journey as a writer so far?
Nalini Dhiman:
 My father has always inspired me to write and express myself through words. He was a great expressionist himself,with amazing comprehension skills. So yeah, it was my father who pushed me, and still does, to write. Nonetheless, he never felt good after reading my sad poetry, but he felt it, and that was enough reason for him to encourage me to write more.

Interviewer: What is “writing” to you? Is it writing down everything that passes through your mind in a flow, or do you think writing skills are equally important?
Nalini Dhiman:
 For me, writing is a way of expressing myself. When I write, I compose beautiful poetry. Automatically, my sentences include metaphors, alliteration and other such poetic devices. However, when I am told to write, such as while I was writing this book, writing skills come in handy. Sometimes, the true magic of expression is lost when one writes to impress others. I guess that’s pretty much it.

Interviewer: Your language is quite eloquent and the poems are splendid narrations and in flow. Have you ever wrote poems solely on the basis of rhyming the words?
Nalini Dhiman:
 Thank you! Yes, there is a funny story to it. When I was a child, like 10 years old or so, I used to wirte poems. Some on nature, others on my parents, or my siblings, etc. My father used to make fun of me, in a joking manner, that for me, poetry was anything that rhymed. He taught me that words could leave an impression even without rhyming words. We even invented a game where we had to make and complete a poem by forming sentences, one by one, ending with a given word, such as: flight, might, sight…

Interviewer: Is writing a priority or hobby for you? How do you integrate it with the rest of your daily schedule?
Nalini Dhiman:
 It is a hobby for me. I write to express so really, there is no need to integrate it into my schedule.

Interviewer: Where do you want to see yourself five years from now, in your professional as well as writing career?
Nalini Dhiman:
 I have no idea. I want to complete my schooling first, and then my graduation and post-graduation. Writing will always be a part of me. So, many books will be written while I complete my education.

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