Today, we have the honour of an interview with author Priyanka Bhatt, who has written Minuscules: When Less Is More… Recently, I was speaking with Priyanka on Instagram and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you live and has this place inspired your writings at all?
I am from India, a culturally diverse country. Among the people there are numerous races, castes, creeds, religions and language. The place where I live has immensely inspired me as a human being and as a writer. I have this habit of observing people meticulously. You can find reflections of them in my poems and stories.
Your book, Minuscules: When Less Is More…, is a book of short (micro) stories. Please could you tell us a little bit about the types of stories you have written, and how long they tend to be?
Minuscules is a collection of micro tales and short stories, written on various of themes like love, loss, trauma, heal, war, unrequited love, etcetera… The genre of micro tales is new, but has become extremely popular in today’s time. Micro-storytelling allows content to be brief, focusing on what is truly important. Also, it connects with the audience directly through the revolving themes.
Apart from micro tales, I write poems on pain, agony, depression, women issues, and social topics, among others. Through my personal, deep, and relatable poems, I want to tell people that it’s okay to share whatever you feel from inside; that it’s okay to say that you are not okay; or that you are going through a tough time. My poetry allows me to be real. It gives me the space to express myself openly, without fear of being judged.
This blogger: First, that is a fascinating observation about micro-stories. Come to think about it, more and more users on Instagram post micro-stories these days. At least, that is something I have noticed since I have become more active on the platform.
Second, your stories/poems are definitely relatable. I, for one, am a huge fan of them and feel the emotion that you put into your work. Moreover, they give me real insight into matters that I don’t know anywhere near enough about. Please keep writing them!
In a couple of my blog pieces, I discuss how writers can target their audience. Who is your target audience for Minuscules and how you came to this audience?
I do not write thinking about a specific type of audience. I write for myself, to be honest. The thoughts that remain buried inside me for a long time, I try to express those. I feel every reader is my audience, and I want each one of you to read my pieces.
This blogger: Fair enough. The people who come across your stories are your audience, after-all. (*Smiles.*)
Which of your stories in Minuscules is your favourite? And why?
There are a few pieces in Minuscules that are close to my heart, like ‘Civaan’ that celebrates love; ‘Love Candies’ that teaches us how people lose their significance with time; and ‘Smell’ that deals with the memories of a loved one.
If there is one over-arching message among the many stories within Minuscules, what is it?
I would like to mention about a particular story, titled ‘Rape.’ It conveys the message of how a woman doesn’t let herself fade into oblivion after such an incident. It’s true that the misfortune shatters her. But it doesn’t crush her spirits. She outlives the pain. Though she has been terrified, frightened, and hysterical, she has lived, fought, lost, and fought again.
This blogger: That is a very raw and powerful message. I am glad you have mentioned it, and I hope this story inspires many people who have suffered from this terrible attack.
You also write poetry from what I see on Instagram. Do you find it harder or easier to write poetry than non-poetry?
I write poetry to give voice to my thoughts. Whatever I feel, I express through my poems. They are brutally honest, raw, and unfiltered. Although I have written stories too, poetry is more personal and closer to my heart. Poetry and I are like two best friends on the same journey.
You are a teacher by profession. Has your job influenced your writings?
Yes, definitely. My job has indeed influenced my writings. While teaching my students, I have to do my homework well. In the process, I have to read many stories, poems, and essays from various eminent writers. Reading more has made me a better writer with time. A writer who doesn’t read is a myth. There are two ways to become a better writer: write a lot and read a lot. Reading and writing are inseparable.
Do you ever show your students your stories and poems? If so, how do you feel when you do this, and when they comment on your writings?
When my readers appreciate my writing, I feel so motivated and inspired. Their kind and generous words make my day. Most of my students are ardent readers of my stories and poems. They follow me on Facebook and Instagram and keep sharing my works often.
This blogger: Aww, that is so nice and rewarding. You have the best students ever!
If you could give your younger self some advice about writing, what would it be?
So here’s the advice I’d like to give to my younger self: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Try to be confident and have belief in your passion. Read more and more. Never cease to be kind and compassionate towards others.
This blogger: (*Smiles broadly.*) That is fantastic advice. May many people, including your students, see this and take inspiration from it. We need more kind and compassionate people in the world, like yourself, Priyanka.
How has writing changed you?
Writing has helped me become a better person. It has been a consistent source of personal inspiration. I began writing when I was at a vulnerable stage of my life and I am very glad I did so. Writing has made me more disciplined, humble, and honest.
Are you writing another book currently? If so, please could you give us a sneak peek on what it is about?
I have finished my second book, which is a collection of poems. It explores the journey of a woman who has faced hardships and challenges in her life that threaten to take everything from her. The four phases of her journey follow some well-known patterns. It begins with the ‘when you are deprived of love’; moves on to ‘when you are scarred for life’; then to ‘when you fall into oblivion’; and finally to ‘when you rise from the ashes.’
The book is a stinging indictment of the deep-set trauma, pain, prejudices, and unmistakable agony represented by the society that an individual must contend with. I hope my readers will give it the same love they have given to Minuscules.
This blogger: I have every faith that they will! It sounds like a terrific book and character journey. It has the feel to it of a phoenix.
Lastly, what do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I read books, spend time with my mother, meet friends, or visit a new place.
End of Interview
That brings an end to our interview with author Priyanka Bhatt. I would like to thank her for her time, and to say that it has been wonderful interviewing her. I wish her all the best in her future writings, teaching, and her other ventures going forward.
Minuscules can be purchased on Amazon and Notionpress, and I thoroughly recommend it as Priyanka is a seriously talented writer/poet. Otherwise, like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. That way, you can keep up to date with her and be the first to know when her next book comes out.
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