Today at Behind the Book we have Barkha Parikh who is an I.T. engineer and also a Computer teacher from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She is an avid reader and can hog books just like cup cakes. She can read any genre at any time. She writes for a Cause and Not for an Applause and the cause is - ‘ To touch many hearts and Enlighten many souls.” She pens down whatever her heart feels. She believes in ‘Live in Present because Present means a Gift’. She is a bubbly , Full-of-Life girl but at the same time too emotional. She loves spreading smiles. Her only mantra in life is – “I romance words, I write.”
There had been a time when she had no one to listen to her and she got confined to a shell. But today she has more than 64000 readers on her blog who listen to what her heart says. It’s all only because her Mentor found her undying talent of writing and encouraged her to write. She is her only source of inspiration for whom she writes. She is a Cold-Coffee addict and to know her more visit her blog – U, Me n Coffeetalks .
She made her debut with a book – “Minds @ Work 2” which is an anthology of poems. She has written a heart-touching poem dedicated to Mumbai rape victim and one another poem where she expresses her gratitude to her mentor leaves one speechless.
The way she has described chocolate in her poem, anyone would love falling in chocolate rather than love. Her story “A Dollop of Romance” is also published in an anthology – “Drenched souls”. She has also made a remarkable contribution in great anthologies like “Minds @ Work 3”, “Blank Spaces”, “Purple Hues” and “The Fallen Angels”.
She is here to talk about her latest book Pearls that shone in the dark - a collection of 40 poems dedicated to her mentor Arti Ohri. Let's hear her pour her heart out in a heart-to-heart conversation with us:
1. Tell the readers something about your journey to becoming a published author.
There was a time when I had no ear paying heed to my one word… Only when my mentor discovered my talent of writing, I started blogging. And from blogging I switched over to writing as a contributor author in various anthologies. It’s now that I have decided to write for my own.
2. Your book is a collection of poems. Share some more details about it, along with an excerpt.
India is known for respecting teachers and elders. For the first time in India, I have dedicated a book of 40 poems to my mentor - "Arti Ohri". Teachers are second mothers as my mother had taught me when I was a kid. The book strongly proves the fact.
Excerpt: 40 poems penned by me describe my gratitude to my mentor and even that’s not enough. Mentors preach. It's not always studies. It's at times beyond it. Just the way Lord Krishna taught Arjun the principles of Life and Kurukshetra... In the same way, Ms. Arti has taught me the principles of love, life, laughter, career and all in totality...
There are such Mentors still today who preach... And there are such to students today who respect and love their teachers....
3. Your book is an ode to your mentor; can you tell us something more about your mentor?
She is dignified lady who staunchly believes in feminism. She has not only bloomed my life but nurtured it as well and of many other girls too. She has helped girls stand on their own feet just the way she did when she came to Ahmedabad 8 years back. She started from zero and made it all without any reference. A self-made lady of dignity she is! A perfectionist!
4. Any special message that you want to convey to your mentor through this book and also to various other students?
For students – “Mentors don't walk for you... they just show you the path and walk besides to ensure you are safe in case you fall down.. You have to walk on your own”
For mentor – “40 poems are still not enough ma’am.. Lol.. I hope just like Mitch Albom, I get my Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with you… learning more and more.”
5. In today’s times how much acceptance do you think is there for a poetry book?
Not much I know. But certain things are meant for a class and not for mass. There is still a class which understands and loves poetry.
6. Any favourite poem from this book? If yes why? If no, why?
You can’t ask a mother who is your favourite child. No mother can be biased. My writings are my babies and I certainly can’t be biased.
7. How has your journey from a blogger to a published author been like? Any special moments that you would like to share with us.
Yes along the journey I made beautiful fellow authors, publishers. I have learnt from every single person I met.
8. How different is Barkha the author from Barkha the real person?
I am not a hypocrite and unfortunately have only one heart. So am the same – a happy-go-lucky but highly overly emotional person. Beware! (Devilish laughter)
9. What pushed you to write this book?
At times you have so much love and cares in you for someone that you can’t express it out. And India is known for respecting teachers and guru. So what better than the occasion of Guru Purnima.
10. Your writing has always been high on emotions, and it reflects you as a person. Your comments on this.
My emotions are my strength. They help me put across things exactly as I want.
11. What does writing mean to you?
12. Any words for your readers.
Teachers are your second mothers as my mother taught me. Remember the lesson for lifetime. Acceptance is the only way to healing.