Interview and words by Shristi Jaiswal
Header photo by Joy Berdina
We lose the ability to feel energy within ourselves- to understand the power of solitude, for the world has taught us to be so dependent in search of others we often lose ourselves. – Sakshi Shaw
Sakshi Shaw, a writer based in Kolkata, India, paints us poems dipped in dreamy analogies and perceptions based on self- love. From scribbling along the margins of her notebook to building a community online, she has come a long way as a writer all the while incorporating matters such as feminism and the utmost prominence of independence in her poems. During our call, Sakshi shared with us some intrinsic details about her affair with writing and how she fell in love with it in the first place.
How did you come about the process of being a writer?
Becoming a writer never really crossed my mind until I got into high school. I remember writing poetry at the backseat while our teacher taught us Political Science. Back then, I had no idea how to write a poem so whatever rhymed was poem for me. However my friends’ cheering me on was a pusher for sure. Soon, writing for me was no longer poetry alone. In my first year of college, I doused myself in experimenting with blog writing. I was in love with the idea of blogging back then. Somehow, promoting my skills to a large audience just became cheesecake with it. My present Instagram writing account was born soon after.
What would you say holds the main inspiration behind your writings?
I am a staunch believer of learning from personal experience. The traumas in life, constant cycle of thick and thin, these are subjects that have woven me up as a writer far more than anything else.
In many past experiences, I have found a sense of comfort in writing when all else has failed.
What are the books you believe have changed the way you look at life?
Over the years, several books have driven me to construct a strong perspective of life. But none have touched my heart the way the entire series of Harry Potter has! This book is such a fine mix of everything that you can never have enough of it. What is most exciting is the intimacy you find in it. To me, it has helped learn a great deal about sustaining friendships, cherishing life and reciprocating love. Above all, the idea of living life before death finds us is so beautifully cemented in it.
What are the social aspects that you believe should hold a stringent place in a contemporary poet’s writings?
As a woman, I feel feminism is the need of the hour. Over the years, it has been able to acquire a stringent place in contemporary poems that has helped women a great deal. Aside from that, I feel there are many other topics that we hardly ever cover the way we should. Trans phobia, mental health, vulnerability and self-acceptance are the most important ones.
Do you plan to publish a book of poetry soon?
My first poetry book is under construction for a year now. I constantly find myself editing the same 110 pieces that I wrote last year so I am always juggling between the two. A part of me wants to launch my poetry book as soon as possible while the other half is yet to convince. But, hopefully soon!
To me, self-love is extremely personal, empowering and essential.
Can you share with us a moment that made you realise why you fell in love with writing in the first place?
Honestly speaking, I am awful at expressing my emotions. Framing my feelings and expressing them in an understanding fashion isn’t something I find easy. In many past experiences, I have found a sense of comfort in writing when all else has failed. It instigates a sense of comfort that helps me express my emotions in verses to all my readers. To sum up, this inability to express my emotions fades away in my poems.
Would you consider yourself a romantic or a realist? How do you seek to emit the same through your writing?
I am a fair bit of both. Some days, I find myself failing to balance between the two, but then I manage. I have never quite attempted to emit either through my writing. It is never intentional. Some days, when I feel more romantic than a realist, it comes naturally. Other days, it is the quite the contrary.
An artist living or dead you admire the most?
This one is tough but as long as we have Beyonce, I think it is fair to go with the former!
Can you share something about yourself unknown to your readers?
I am an ardent dreamer with an undying love for solitude. To me, the idea of solitude is in fact, empowering. But like any other love, this one comes with a cost. It feels guilty but most days, I end up with an extra dose of over-thinking. Aside from that, I love experimenting with different flavours, dancing to favourite songs in my mind and singing 90s music out loud until my neighbours leave complaints.
I want my readers to find solace within themselves, accept their being gracefully and live life on their own terms.
Your writings focus a lot on self-love, how according to you would you describe self-love in simple terms?
To me, self-love is extremely personal, empowering and essential. My writings on self-love are often intentional. Most days, I find people around me stringing between finding love for the self in others. It pains me to see this because I have been in that place all my life. So, the idea of self-love to me is simply the first step towards a sustainable life. When I focus on self-love in my writings, I want my readers to know that they do not need others to find the love they have been looking for, all their life. I want them to find solace within themselves, accept their being gracefully and live life on their own terms.
Any quote you want to leave us with?
I have often found myself reading this quote in my mind. On days when I feel myself less, this quote that I found while reading Sophia Amoroso’s Girl Boss helps reboot me at once. “I’m bad and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”