Dissecting The Creative Arc of Ashwathi Mohan
For the very first Creative Arc feature, we are in conversation with a very special person!
R.K.O: Hi Ashwathi! Welcome to Bookish Brat. Tell us a little about yourself!
A.M: I’m a writer, presenter and voice artist with a passion for movies, music and dance. I fell for the craft of writing after reading P.B.Shelley’s poetry in 10th standard and discovering dancing allowed me to be more than who I am. Also, I prefer dogs over humans- since 1994! At 25, I find myself writing, dancing and cooking my way through life. I’ve worked in print, radio, TV and digital platforms aka I’ve studied Mass Communication. I’m an Army Cantonment product who enjoys travelling, living movies and music!
R.K.O: For you creative expression is…?
A.M: For me, it is giving a voice to your soul. It is the freedom of the human mind that will not only liberate you but will also liberate others around you. In other words, it is the most beautiful act of survival that has ever caught my eye.
R.K.O: When did you first begin writing?
A.M: I remember I wrote my first poem ‘Bake The Cake’ when I was in 2nd or 3rd standard. It all started with poetry, then diary entries and eventually the essays you write for the school magazines. Later, heartbreaks or joyful experiences staged a floor for my ink to perform. Gradually, I understood that I had a thing for words and that they intrigued me. I believe when your focus shifts from reading the said things to the unsaid things in the things being said- you are one step into the arena of writing. And then, the game begins!
R.K.O: Do you get writer’s blocks? How do you cope with them?
A.M: I believe that a writer’s block strikes you, only after you have invested a minimum of 10-15 years into the craft. Before that, if you are struggling to proceed with writing, either you are not reading enough or your observational skills have taken a backseat. So, not yet! But yes, I do struggle with thinking. At that time, I just consider it as an alarm for homework or a call for new adventures.
R.K.O: How do you work through difficult days?
A.M: My only cure to difficult days is to dance my heart out. Dancing brings me joy like nothing else. Somehow it has all the answers to my questions and clears most of my subconscious blocks. Or maybe it is the endorphins at work. Well, who knows! It works big-time!
R.K.O: I have seen that writers struggle to give their writing their name. Is this something you also feel?
A.M: I have been fighting this psychological battle for years now. The feeling is like giving keys to the doors of your house to a bunch of strangers who get direct entry into the rooms of your mind. An identity or representation changes the perception of the narrative, I feel. Also, readers link your work to the thought that the writer is going through or has gone through everything and anything that he/she writes, which is not true in my case. Sometimes it is just the branching of your ideas and it should fruition by just being left alone. Or maybe I’m on the cynical side of the whole thing. This is why I’m leaping faith by giving a face to my page that was anonymous all this while, through this series. Win-win!
R.K.O: You can’t leave us without telling us about your favourite poetry!
A.M: I fell for the craft of writing fully, after reading P.B. Shelley’s ‘Ode To The West Wind’. So, definitely recommend that. ‘Hymn to Intellectual Beauty’ also has my heart. ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Summer Rain’ by Henry David Thoreau and ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost are my all-time favourites. In Hindi, Gulzar’s poetry touches a chord every time I read it. ‘Muhajir Nama’ by Munawwar Rana will also make your eyelids heavy. Must read!
R.K.O: What speaks to you the most about these poems?
The way these writers have woven their words and tailored these masterpieces simply makes my jaw-drop. The stories behind these poems simplified life’s complexities for me and gave them a meaning that I could understand. Also, the revolutionary ideas that are hidden in their poems are what fuels my mind as a reader. For example- P.B. Shelley leaves no doubt in his reader’s mind that change is inevitable, and so is a revolution.
R.K.O: Where can the readers find your writing?
A.M: On Instagram-
@ashwo_mohan is where I freely post whatever I feel like.
@decemberdiaries is dedicated to general quotes.
“December Diaries” where I narrate my poems.
R.K.O: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
A.M: Be patient with me, we might just understand each other.
Well, there you have it! The conclusion to this conversation on creative expression! As a bonus, here some beautiful writing by Ashwathi just for you!
Thank you for reading! Hope you liked the interview. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.