Connections by Shreesh Kakkar is a collection of heartfelt pieces of poetry which have an ability to resonate with any person reading it. Divided into 4 broad categories – life, heart, soul, mind and power – the poems speak in lyricism with our dormant spirits.
On this World Book Day, we bring to you an exclusive interview of the young poet and author Shreesh Kakkar. We hope you like reading him and he inspires you.
- Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, I am Shreesh Kakkar; 23 years old; a law graduate. I tend to express creativity either in the form of dance or by penning it down in the form of poetry. I also enjoy playing football.
- When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Uh… I never had this in mind- becoming a writer was a thought that never crossed my mind. I started writing 6 – 7 years back, it was 2014, probably and I was not very open about it. I kept writing and never really shared my work with a lot of people. Today, if I have come forward to the world as a writer, the credit for that goes to my friend Isha who helped me in this journey and made this possible.
- What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
Like I said, writing a book was a thought that never crossed my mind. So I cannot really say what inspires me to write books, but now that I have come out with one, I feel there are a lot of people who bottle up their emotions just because they cannot find the right words to say it. So, maybe, if my words can reach people and help them express themselves – their love, anger etc – I would like to take that as my inspiration to try and help people find the right words.
Emotions? Mainly emotions catch my attention and that is what I write about.
- Tell something in brief about your book ‘Connections’? How did the idea of coming up with this book strike you? What amount of research you did for this one.
‘Connections‘ is my debut book. It is a pretty short read – a compilation of 41 short poems for different phases of life that a person goes through while growing up.
I remember it must be around 3 years prior to getting published that I talked to my father about getting my work published. We did talk to a couple of people back then and they suggested I should write more before getting published (I had written just around 20-25 poems back then.) So, a few years later, as I came across new people in life, I came across Isha who loves reading; so I shared my work with her and asked for her opinion on getting the work published – therefore here we are today, in front of you, with this book.
- Do you see books as a carrier of an important message or a medium of entertainment?
Both! Books (or writings, to say) just like any other form of art – music, movies, paintings, dance etc – are both, a carrier of message and a medium of entertainment. All these art forms have emotions that are being expressed in those particular ways and even in cases where you think that it is merely for entertainment, maybe try looking deeper or if possible, get in touch with the creator and you might get to know about a hidden message.
- Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Not really. I mean, yes, writing brings peace to a lot of people as they are able to pen down their emotions and feel free from any sort of burden they may be experiencing but seeing it as a kind of spiritual practice? That’s a no for me. I feel it is about what brings you peace while helping you express your emotions and feel light; it is writing for some people. for some it is dancing, some go for a jog in order to calm down.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Oh no no! I do not have a set schedule for writing. I feel you cannot force your writing, you have to let the idea – the emotion, story, rhyme or anything – come to you naturally, unless of course, it is a fiction where you really need to run your mind and be creative.
- Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
I do not think I have ever faced a writer’s block yet. Maybe because I do not have a set schedule or maybe because writing is not my full-time thing so I do not really stress on it. I do not have targets to achieve, no fixed number of write-ups I have to come up within a fixed time period. I feel I end up writing when my mind is fresh and I when I do not have other stuff to work on. Like they say “an empty mind is a devil’s workshop”, I would say for me, “an empty mind is a home to new writings.”
- When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
Never, haha. I was in class 7 when I decided I wanted to become a lawyer. I had never even dreamt of being a writer, that too at such a platform.
- What does literary success look like to you?
Urm, a dream come true, but a dream that was not really a dream? Initially, all this never existed for me, not even in my dreams. But, now that I am here and it is happening, I dream of this success. I wish I can make it big, reach out to a great number of people and help them find the words they have been looking for to express their emotions. More than achieving success, I would be happy if I can help people in any manner.
- How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading in India?
There’s no doubt that the scenario has been constantly changing and there have been big names who have contributed to the field. Just like any other thing in one’s life or in the world, reading and writing trends have been through phases, through the ups and downs. Writings have evolved over time, new names have come up, new writing styles have come up too. I feel we are going back to the time where more people are getting back into the habit of reading and take reading as a serious activity to learn new things, grow and gain knowledge. I also feel that the cinema has a role to play – when it tries to put forward the story or idea from a book, if not anything else, it does raise the question “whether the book is better or the movie?” So it takes interested people back to books.
- How important is marketing a book in the present conditions when every day we see new titles coming up? Any tips to share?
Marketing the book is really important. It is just like advertising any other product, or service. You need to spread the news about it, make people aware and try and reach the right audience. You can also believe in your work, not really market it and take the comparatively slower route to be famous through word of mouth.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? What is your favourite genre? Your favourite book/s?
Much? I do not read at all. If everyone will read, who will write? Just kidding. I can justify not reading by saying that it speaks for the originality of my work. This way, I can stay true to myself and be sure that I have not stolen words from someone else’s writing. On a lighter note – it keeps me away from getting into copyright issues (lawyer hacks, haha).
- Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
I would just like to say that all the writers should believe in their ability and should be true to themselves while expressing themselves; not worry about the success or failure. There are going to be people who will love your work, and some people may not enjoy it that much or not like it all, which is completely okay.
- Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
I guess yes. Probably. I have not stopped writing, so we never know. I might come out with something in a few months or maybe in a couple of years.
*We wish Author Shreesh Kakkar all the best for his future endeavors.*