Exclusive Author Interview
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your book 'Pakhi'?
It is a collection of poems in Hindi which depicts the journey of different emotions a human goes through in his or her life. Pakhi is a Hindi word. It means bird. All the poems revolve around Pakhi.
Q. Any specific reason for naming your book 'Pakhi'?
I always wanted to write something strong. Something, that talks about love and emotions. While writing this book, all I could think of was a bird and how its life journey is similar to what a human goes through often. Hence, the name Pakhi.
Q. What inspired the idea for your book?
I have been writing since I was in 8th standard, but these poems were something I started writing in 2017. My previous two books: Knocking the Door of Happiness & Success Sutra, were published in English. So, my father insisted I publish this book in Hindi. It's hard to find young authors writing in Hindi. I took the leap of faith, and in April 2022, 'Pakhi' was published.
Q. What are your earliest memories of reading and writing poetry?
In my school days, my parents used to ask me to invest some time in reading books. I followed their advice and read a lot, including books by Hindi authors and poets. My dad still recites some of the poems he must have read in his childhood. He continuously reminds me of how during the Independence, the pen stood mightier than the sword. All these memories are the reason for what I am today.
Q. What does a day in the life of Astha Shukla look like when you are writing?
I am a pen and notepad person. When in a flow state, I prefer not to be disturbed. I stay in my room, keeping my smartphone on DND Mode, and write for hours in silence.
Q. Who are your favorite poets and why?
There are many, but my favorite ones are the Late Shri Munshi Prem Chand Ji, Dharamveer Bharti Ji, Harper Lee, and Mario Puzo. They are the type of writers who can create an impact on one's perspective towards life. Also, the language is so easy that you know what you are reading. It keeps you connected throughout the book.
Q. If you could time travel anywhere in the world at any time in history and stay there for a week when/where would you go? Or would you prefer to visit in the future?
I would have loved to travel back in time to when India was fighting for freedom or maybe at the time of World War I (WWI). Writing legendary stories about the soldiers fighting in the war and singing the songs of patriotism so that the future generation knows what it took to breathe the air of freedom. It reminds me of the song: Wind of Change by Scorpions.
Q. In your daily routine, what do you spend your time on, and how do you choose, equally, what not to spend your time on?
I am a Certified Animal Telepathic Communicator and a Dog Mom to a rescued puppy: Brownie.
My schedule includes daily chores, taking Brownie for a walk, writing, and working towards my professional commitments. There are days I have to keep my writing on hold due to my work commitments, but I cover it up during the weekends. The only thing I don’t spend my time on is comparing my journey with others. There was a time when social media affected me, but now whenever it makes me feel low, I stop everything and take a break. I prefer to spend time with my puppy and get back on track.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?
Salis Mania will grow tremendously. In the era of digital magazines and social media platforms, you have already established yourselves on a national level. Soon there will be a day when Salis Mania will be known globally. All the very best. I am so happy to have this association with you.
About the Book
One of the most notable poets of this decade Miss Astha Shukla comes up with her new book titled Pakhi. Each poem is a Specimen of her vibrant imagination, sensational lyric, and thoughtful recognition and appreciation of beauty in everything.