The Green Signal by Manishi Gupta is a set of poems spread across three areas – virtues, positivity, and emotions. This short ride through love, life, family, regrets, motherhood, etc. speak sense in an attractive medley of words.
In a conversation with Bookish Fame, Manishi Gupta has a lot to talk about her book, her writing, her thoughts on artistic process, and her future plans.
- Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Manishi Gupta, born and brought up in the city beautiful Chandigarh [North India], one of the few cities planned by Le Corbusier. Currently, I reside in Mumbai for the past 16 years with my 2 beautiful sons and my better half [still deciding who is the better half ☺].
I am a post-graduate in Human Resource Management, Interior designing, and a passionate self-learned Graphic Designer, working as an independent graphic professional since 2012. Writing has been my hobby since childhood, but only recently collated them to give it a professional form.
Apart from the above, I love to travel [making my itineraries], listen to music, cook [sometimes], drive, swim, enjoy nature, do crafty activities, paint, indulge in adventure activities [to an extent ;)]. I hate hypocrisy, superficiality. I am honest, a proud Indian, grounded, who does things only if it comes from the heart.
- When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I won’t like to self proclaim to be a writer yet. And I never thought to be one. As shared, I used to pen my thoughts since childhood, and only during the lockdown, I thought to collate my emotions to compile them as a book.
- What inspired you to write The Green Signal?
Well, the main reason for my writing is that I enjoy it. And I enjoy it because it lets me share my learnings, pen down my emotions, it helps me know myself better. There are times when views are left inside, the anger is suppressed, why? Because not every time we are allowed to speak or are considered wrong or are trapped in the deep-rooted patriarchy especially in India which comes very naturally in day-to-day affairs in today’s millennials also. Also honestly, I cannot speak and express myself when I am in conversation with someone, hence the need to express in writing comes.
The desire to be heard, somewhere to get affirmations from the World, to boost my own beliefs, to be able to share what I want to speak, to win over my fears, or to simply express what I feel are few reasons that inspired me to write The Green Signal.
- Describe your book – The Green Signal briefly?
Out of the 17 poems in the book, few are generic in a sense that all ages can relate and learn from them, like Negativity is contagious, My God, A peerless man, etc but few of them have a very deep meaning for eg. A prudent mother, A myth or a fact, Revenge, The facet of moral character, etc, to understand these titles one needs to be mature and been there as a mother, a wife, a husband or experienced the corporate world. The underlying message in all the poems is very positive, paired with quotes from well-known personalities to validate the value of the respective poem. If people relate to them in the right context it might give them another outlook, dimension to relationships, and life in general.
- How do you organize yourself, as a writer, a mom, and with your graphics work?
Everything becomes easy and straightforward when you know what you want and who you are. Problem and chaos and stress comes, when you conduct yourself to the tune of others, the society, you expect from yourself comparing yourself with others’ growth. It is thus imperative to understand and introspect within, to be able to be organized and manage multiple roles.
Let me share an example to show what I mean. I know I cannot compromise on what my kids eat, I expect them to be productive most of the times ☺, so I make sure I do not overload myself with graphics assignments or writing, and for this reason, I deliberately take less work or no work at times, to just follow what my heart wants. I maintain my priorities, I deliberately try not to get involved in the rat race and follow my own pace in work, writing, and everything else because family is my no. 1 priority. Having said all this, I must share I am a very self-motivated person, and that drives me, I genuinely believe in the quote “If you can dream it, you can do it” by Walt Disney.
If someone is helpless despite clear priorities, then the person has to accept and learn to let a few things go. DO NOT EXPECT FROM YOURSELF TO BE PERFECT.
- Do you have a set routine in writing or does it vary?
It does tend to vary with multiple things in hand, but I try to remain disciplined. With any creative work, you cannot stretch beyond a limit. You can work best only when you are in the right frame of mind.
Usually, I get the best of ideas, during the night before I sleep and others asleep ☺, I collate my thoughts in mind, next morning I note down as initial draft.
- Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Yes, for me it is. It helps me to connect with myself. For me being spiritual is finding happiness in what one does, and writing gives me that. When people resonate with it, I get a sense of accomplishment. Writing does give me solace, contentment that I have said what I wanted to, I feel less burdened, it gives me independence and pride in being myself.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Honestly, I am not a reader. I am an observer, thinker, and a learner primarily. I am still learning to be a reader because I know it helps improvise your writing to a great extent.
- Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers.
Well, many people like me might think initially reading to be a pre-requisite for writing. But let me tell you, they are two separate subjects. You can be a writer if you are not a reader and vice versa. To be able to write, one needs clarity of thoughts, the ability to collate, and conclude logically and make sense out of everything.
Reading of course helps to improve your writing skills, so one must-read. Remember there is an audience for every piece of writing, for everything you might want to sell. It might take time to reach your audience. Have patience and don’t feel demotivated when you get negative reviews. Believe in yourself, and just keep writing.
- What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
As shared I am not a reader, I had to overcome this notion and give myself a chance. I was very skeptical if readers would like what I write, so had to believe in the fact that there is an audience for everything. Since I self-published, wrote, designed did everything on my own, it was very difficult to learn and get going with the process. But I loved this process of learning and finally delivering.
- Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
I am trying to work on a fictional story, not sure as of now. But I am learning and trying. And I would like to believe in myself that I will.
*We wish Author Manishi Gupta all the best for her future endeavors.*
Connect with the author:
- Instagram – @manishi_gupta
- Blog – manishigupta.wordpress.com
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Motley.ManishiGupta
- Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/manishiguptadesigns
- Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20543892.Manishi_Gupta
- Coroflot – https://www.coroflot.com/Manishi-Gupta-Designs