About Snehashree Mandal
Snehashree (Treasure of Love) from India is a freelance content writer/storyteller who completed a Master’s in Human Physiology from Vidyasagar University West Bengal and worked with a healthcare company for a decade. After working there, she realized she needed to get back to her life and writing seemed to be the only way, to connect back to that self she left behind in the journey. Now, she writes but wants to spread the message she carries in her books. When she is not writing books or stories, she is writing to fend for her belly and others, she considers family. She is also fond of animals and wants to do something for them which can improve their lives on this planet and beyond, if the world comes together to help her.
She is the author of two non-fiction books
My guest on the blog today is Snehashree Mandal, Human Physiologist, and freelance content writer/storyteller. Her poetic stories were published in several online international journals like Vita Brevis, FemAsia Magazine, and Spillwords poetry outlets. Let’s dive into this resplendent Q&A series with Snehashree Mandal where she uncovers many aspects of her writing journey, personal front, expertise, and more. To explore more of my poetry-book reviews visit the Poetry Section of my blog.
Q. You have been writing since childhood, so what was that chaos that made you start writing at such an early age?
My mother is truly my first teacher. She taught me about all Gods, especially about God Ram and also about the spiritual master Lord Buddha. She would every night fill me with Jataka stories and tales from other ancient books like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and everything where there was a story. But as I grew up and stepped out, it was a different world from the tales.
Life seemed different and the difference at first seemed like chaos in itself. That is probably why so many people around us dislike the different ones. Most of us are trained to see the difference as a scary part of our living and to remove our own fears; we end up creating more chaos and confusion. If only we knew the right ways to handle each of these differences and not get scared by them, our circumstances might have been less threatening.
It was when I met the outside, I learned I was a girl, and that women are weak. It was there that I was told, that if you are subjected to something wrong and you cannot take revenge from them since you are weak, you must torture the ones weaker than you.
The outside world was full of fear and fear of each individual seemed like chaos too hard to handle. It was here that I learned people liked domination, subjugation was for the week.
This is all how it started and it kept growing with each day until I could take it no more and began my first steps to address it by questioning it- an obvious way to begin.
Q. Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know?
I have always been one of those people who questioned everything and only found a few who wanted to answer me. Most people tried silencing me by trying different ways. But, I learned questioning was the only way to reach our bigger self and what we have to become here.
I question a lot and unless I am really clear about something, my questions don’t stop and I know it’s a bit irritating sometimes.
It was also these questions that led me ahead and helped me realize the force that lives still.
Q. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process? How well does being an artist help in your journey as a published penwoman?
I am still trying to become published and creating is one of the most beautiful yet the most painful process. Like a mother creates a baby and suffers from losses so does any kind of creator. It leaves you weak for many days and people usually call it writer’s block.
The most difficult process is to get out of this writer’s block situation. There is a block from one creation phase to another. We will need to wait till we receive that energy from somewhere and we start creating again.
Another thing that happens often is life comes in the way of creating and I often need time off from what I like doing and transfer myself to this world where I am often needed.
Q. Which title describes you a lot: Poet or Author or a Storyteller and why do you think so?
I owe this storyteller identity to a friend as she is the one who told me that I am more of a storyteller. She helped me with the previous book “Five Lotuses and the Morass.” I was undecided as names really didn’t matter much to me at that point. But then I needed one and having it made more sense when you want to be commercially published. Being a storyteller suits me and that definitely increases my boundaries.
Q. Are there any poetry forms you have not tried but would like to do?
A dramatic monologue is something I have never really tried and when the time is right and I am ready, and I know I am ready, I would like to try writing at least one, maybe, in some more years’ time.
Q. What was the source of your inspiration? What prompted you to begin writing poetry?
I think the usualness of Earth made me feel like I know already a lot about this Earth and people’s feelings towards me as though I am an alien. It led me to become a snail as many of my friends remember me. Snails don’t live out of their shells long. So I began looking at my father and started imitating him. I began making poetry in English and Hindi both. Even though I can read and speak my mother tongue, Bengali, I quite don’t know how to write poems in Bengali.
Q. What is your take on the common myth: “Poetry is more to deal with depression and loneliness”?
I don’t think so. I never felt lonely or depressed but rather felt like there was nothing new to explore more than what we see around us. After a time, all of this became mundane and quiet a daily rigmarole and everyday living a small wonder is what I would look out for. Slowly, I realized there is more wonder within people than it is outside. Even people’s fears, worries, pains, happiness, and everything that is in there are so different from one to another.
The degree to which we feel a feeling is also so different and that is what makes us unique. Exploring it meant delving into these depths and my grandpa told me to delve in, you need to introspect, and to introspect, you must know how to make poetry. It was this thought that gave way to my poems as I began living with each human and tried to understand why they did what they did. I almost reach the person’s soul and try to find out if what we do really justifies what we do. But I stop at that as there is no necessity to judge people in order to write poems and to paint anything.
Q. Tell us more about “From Chaos and Confusion to Confucius”? What can readers expect from your new book?
When I was writing it, I was following my inner course about what this world is, what will happen to us, and who we are. Most of us have different versions of the story that we keep telling ourselves this version as to who we are and what we are. This is my version, this is what I have heard, and felt. This is what I have believed and with the proofs, it does a convincing job.
The story of our origin, our lives, and our meanings all merge with the coming and going of these great men and women. Do these men live and if their genealogies do what they are up to, I mean their lineages. Well, according to the story, the higher beings are trying to get where they have to and are getting ready to build the next world and the genetic mutation and alterations (insertion, deletion, substitution, and translocation) are already there.
The story engulfs how the water, sand, air, and fire came into existence and how the earth wielded all these powers. One of these stories I have begun in my blog (https://writersnehashree.com/), as I am not sure where I can fit all these stories. However, this book series is about the future and I form a few characters that will walk the way with us up to a certain point paving the way to the future.
Q. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why? How do you choose the names of your story protagonists? Do you think the names of the characters in the book play a vital role in the entire story?
For this book, it is the plot. But for some other books which are based on struggles of our home, and their stories, it is mostly the characters that come first as some characters are created, inspired by certain characters.
Story characters and their names arrive side by side. As I plot a character, I almost instantly find their names within their characters. Names are usually what we expect someone to be or see someone has in them. I use the character names to convey what they can be up for.
Q. What are the things to consider when writing a book as sequels? Do the readers really like reading the sequel storybooks?
Knowing what we want to say from the beginning to the end is very much important and knowing how much to tell in each book is essential so as not to confuse the readers. I think sequels are a way of telling big stories and making them more understandable and comprehensible for the readers. It is like the movies that appear in sequels that apply the same concept.
Q. If “From Chaos and Confusion to Confucius” were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
This is one of the most interesting questions. Right now, the story I am telling is about the future of the world and the universe. The fate of us and the fate of all! How we are connected to everything is something that the book will touch base and how we can better understand everything is another point that this series will uncover.
It is just a thought and I am not sure if this will really be possible. Also, the star cast would have to agree or get decided as I desire, but I wish that would be possible. If I have to take a dive at our industry and currently existing actors then I think perhaps Parineeti Chopra would fit the role of Deecem and Yami Gautam or Sushmita Sen for doing justice to Tahiti’s character.
John Abraham would look stunning in the character of John which develops a bit more in the coming books. Misler would be a whole new villainous role the world needs to remember and I am sure someone would be born to play it if at all it is made into a movie.
Meru’s father could be Akshay Kumar. There are many characters and a lot of roles for actors and actresses as they can fit in some roles easily.
Q. Authors often describe going through writer pangs when writing. How was your journey while writing this book?
I have seen complete blockages when I have been this ordinary woman doing the most ordinary things and have not found a single line to write and one fine day, the writer’s block vanishes like it never was there.
I would grow anxious at times even while writing as writing can deeply impact you. When you have to write about pain, you have to feel it right within you. It breaks my heart to tell stories like that of Misler often as I am aware that the world is unknowingly creating many as all tortured souls are not weak to succumb, some do rise and they rise this way also.
Q. If you were given the superpower to drastically change something that critically impacts the livelihood of the planet what would that be?
To be able to create food, clean water, and sustenance for all the main fight is around these resources. Had these issues been resolved, the remaining fight would only be for power and supremacy and that fight is not for everyone, and not all would want to fight it. That can bring down the cruelty metrics considerably towards our fellow humans. Also, to bring down the cruelty towards other species other than humans, we have to learn to stop exploiting them and start conversing with them. Finding effective food that is not built by killing our fellow beings or coming to an agreement with them as to how they wish to regulate their population is another power I would like to have.
There are good humans even now but if right now we don’t care, we might lose goodness in no time.
Q. If you could go to the past or future, where would you stay and why?
I would love to live here on Earth in my own future somewhere that I can still relate to from my beginning.
Q. What specific thing have you done that impressed you?
I have learned to forget, forgive, and yet, not go back to the same people again. I have understood that to be strong, you don’t need to fit into the definition of what people call good but only do what is right for yourself. I have understood that various life forms have different destinies and forcing yourself to fit a single type of destiny can only bring pain and destitution to the ones who try to fit in.
We need to respect differences and not bully them, hurt them, demean them, and definitely not try to change them into being us. These realizations came long back but to put them into action took me long and when I could do it, I really felt impressed by this very me.
Q. Tell us about “The Scientific Triangle”?
It is my work and a blog I am so vehemently trying to put together. But like everything has a time, this too has its own time. We are still planning it and I am sure it will evolve into something good. I want to talk about different headers within the blog. We are on the verge of executing a proper plan in place and if I am not facing jolts this life often brings on my path. Hopefully, we can reach somewhere with our blog. There is an article that we did in collab with some scientists. That article is an example of the work we are trying to get to, a small but good start I would say.
Q. How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write? Can your readers interact with you?
My Instagram handle @Sne8798 is the only place where I am really active, I mean the best way I can be active and the best activity I can put up. Yet, I am trying to experiment to find out the best ways to reach a larger audience and what could connect better. Once I am certain I plan to put it up as my book’s release draws close.
Q. Share your website links
I maintain two websites to reflect my thoughts on interesting articles both from research and my personal writing spree. Do explore and drop your valuable suggestions that truly help in improving and innovating.
Links & Foot Note
Additionally, you can also go through my Author-Interview Series -> Here
Author Contact: SnehaShree Mandal
My Handle: Kiran_Kumar_Adharapuram
You can also explore my Self-Help Section -> Here
You can also explore my other works -> Here