Woman is a creation,
who symbolizes creation herself,
Woman is an emotion,
empathizing with you & forgetting herself ,
Woman is a force,
who takes a back-step to fuel your journey ahead,
Woman represents half of the race,
Still struggling to make herself heard,
This piece of work is only a beginning,
a movement to make her voices heard.
The above poem is my own feelings towards this book as it is not just a simple book but a bouquet of enriching sentiments of thirty authors who have come together to create this unique piece of art.
The book that I have picked up today for reviewing is The Woman that I am – An Anthology celebrating Womanhood. I had the privilege to interview the creators of this book , Rashi Roy & Manas Mukul . You can scroll down to find the same as well.
Let us know more about it.
- Book Title– The Woman that I am – An Anthology celebrating Womanhood
- Conceived & Compiled by- Rashi Roy & Manas Mukul
- Published by – Self Published on Blog- chatter platform during Blog -chatter E book Carnival 2020
- About the Author(s)– This book is a result of collective effort of thirty brilliant authors coined as the Super 30, each coming from different walks of life and carrying varied experiences.
- Title and Book Cover- The Title in this case is like the soul of the book. It represents the central theme of the book. The womanhood being represented through the words in the book has been captured by the book cover design as well. The dark shades of the background enhance the sole woman in her yellow attire and probably is symbolic of a woman who shines through like a sunflower trying to find her own sunshine even in the darkest of the hours.
- Narration: The book is a combination of poetry, prose and anecdotes that voice the mind of thirty Authors in one go. It is a very unique book which is bilingual in nature having the content published in Hindi and English. Every Author gets a brief introduction and then their work of creation is represented.
- Content: This is not a book but rather a memoir which celebrates the womanhood. There are poems and anecdotes describing personal experiences which undoubtedly make it almost like reading a page from one’s own personal journey especially for a woman. Starting with a poem, depicting the identity crisis that a woman undergoes in her life time to the various masterpieces that depict judgmental conditions, emotional turmoil , the endless sacrifices that a woman makes, the never ending prejudices, the uneven trajectories drawn out for a woman, the change of hormones that her body handles, the alienation in her own family, have been beautifully narrated , portrayed and to some extent echoed. The struggle to realize her potential , the passion to achieve her goals , the burning desire to carve out her own niche can be felt in the words itself. The journey for every woman is unique in its own way and is brilliantly mirrored in the book. However, one central message that one can come across is the steel-like resolve that nothing can stop a woman from dreaming to chart out her own path. Womanhood is probably like a river and no matter what, she will meander into a new course, change into a new shape and she will continue to evolve,forever !! This book is a page turner and I strongly recommend it .
- Though it is very difficult to pick out any favourite part , I somehow was moved by this part (given below) where in a daughter writes to her mother:
- I’ve seen you emerge, phoneix like- scarred from zillion battles you fought within.
Each scar a winning story, of love you embraced yourself in.
They called you sin, they called you bliss. Negating passion, emotion, beauty
Vulnerable yet serene.
Danger, darkness, fire brewing like a storm.
Undaunted Resolute Audacious A Goddess took form
I hope I can be a woman like you some day. I am coming home and I will be part of you from now on.
- What I missed? This is a platter of emotions, experiences and enriching thoughts that need to be felt before being understood. The echoing voices in the book , if heard properly , resonate to announce the journey of a woman and the very essence of womanhood. Hence, there is nothing to miss here.
- Hurry up Guys… This is free to download in the below link! Click below:
- Download link for my Ebook- Five Petals:
My Interview with the Co- creators of the Book
Rashi Roy Manas Mukul
Q-Please introduce yourself.
Rashi – Am an author, YouTuber and a multi-lingual blogger writing in English, Hindi and Bengali. My articles, stories and poetries have been featured in Juggernaut, Women’s Web, Momspresso, Youth Ki Awaaz, The Edge Media to name a few. An ex-HR with Infosys, a musician at heart and passionate about recycling things, my recycled art won accolades from Sheroes. Winner of Author-Hunt by Readify and featured on international radio for poetry. You’ll find a glimpse of all of that I love to do on my blog and YouTube channel.
Manas – I chose to be the Jack of traits like blogging, writing, traveling and acting and while mastering the art of joking and being human. After serving seven years as Business Consultant I went on to pursue my passion for Blogging/Writing and Theatre acting. This June I complete 10 years of my blogging journey and am a published author now. In my free time, I mentor budding authors and bloggers to achieve their goals and edit manuscripts. I also translate my passion for traveling into some beautiful customized journeys for those who seek suggestions.
Q-Please tell us how you started writing or what made you think that you can pursue writing.
Rashi – I started writing during my childhood, while writing my diary I used to scribble a few poems too. Later, when I decided to share my motherhood journey, I wrote for a parenting platform and the very first post got some 4L views. The encouraging comments motivated me enough to start my own blog.
Manas – There is a funny story, which I have described in my 10th anniversary blog post, how I discovered I can write during my school days. But it was much later around 2010 that I started my blog with the aim of reaching out to readers and one day becoming a published author. The initial overwhelming response made me believe that there is acceptance to my writing and that fueled me further.
Q-How has been your writing journey so far?
Rashi – It has been wonderful. I have written for various platforms and have also authored 2 and co-authored 3 books so far. My stories and poetries have been appreciated and I wish to continue to write for as long as I am able to.
Manas – There is a different perspective for everyone how they view the journey. I never started to make money out of it. Wanted to become an author and wanted to test-market my writing. Well I haven’t yet realized that dream but in the process have completed 10 years of this journey. I won’t say it has been a very successful one if you look from the financial aspect of it. But yeah it has definitely provided me a sense of contentment that I am still here after 10 years and I am not done yet and have a lot of writing still left in me.
Q-How do you keep yourself motivated to create and deliver?
Rashi – The real motivation comes from within, I do something because that makes me happy. The love and appreciation I receive for my work, be it writing, music or art, has played an important role and has kept me going.
Manas – I always try to remember why I started – the love for blogging and writing. Ups and downs are a part of any journey, but I never let that demotivate me. Recognition, acclaim, readers, all come a little later. For me the happiness lies in the fact that I am able to create something new and yes, definitely when your work gets appreciated it adds a spring in your step.
Q-What has been the inspiration to write the current book & what are your expectations from it?
The very first blog hop – ‘Decade Hop’ that we did collaboratively was a huge success, making it one of India’s largest blog hops and that motivated us to conduct the second one, ‘The Woman That I Am.’ That again was received well and the entries that were so touching, impactful and real that it inspired us to come up with an anthology with the same name. The only expectation is to reach out to more and more readers who can relate to the book and find their own stories being told. The book is also doing decently with around 1500 downloads done so far!!
Q-How did this unique idea of co –creation come into your mind? Has there been any interesting behind the scenes that you want us know?
When we started the second blog hop, we wanted to take it a notch higher than the previous one. We wanted to give something to our wonderful participants, something more than mere prizes and in the form of this anthology our association will remain forever.
These 30 entries were the best and we definitely wanted them to feature in the book. We had a tough time coming up with the best because all the entries were beautiful.
There are plenty behind the scenes, enough to write a humour book on it. One interesting activity was to finalize the book cover. We wanted all 30 of us to brainstorm and so we shared a few images and asked them to vote. That wasn’t as smooth as it sounds and instead of finalizing on one image our group of Super-30 came up with many more! That discussion went on for a few days before we finalized the current one.
Q-Who do you think are your target audience and what can readers expect from your book?
This book has stories, poems and anecdotes about real and everyday women. What they go through, how they face the challenges and how they continue to inspire each one of us. Readers will surely enjoy reading the realistic write-ups. We are not restricting it to any particular target audience as it is about something bigger, it’s about Womanhood. We were glad to see a very young boy pick up this book to read and also reviewed it for us. Since it comprises authors and write ups from every walk of life it would be best to say ‘It is for everyone.’
Q-Please share your favorite part of the book or that little sentence which has touched your heart.
We have already presented the best of the lot in this book. Every piece is different yet connected by the common thread of womanhood. There’s not a single one that you should miss. They have touched our hearts and we wish they continue to touch your hearts too.
This anthology is in fact the best of the hop so it would be unfair for us to pick and choose any particular write up or sentence.
Q-How do you envision your writing journey in future?
Rashi – I am not the person who ponders much about the future. I write whenever I feel like writing. There’s no schedule that I follow and write only to pour my heart out in the form of fiction or poetry. To be honest I sometimes write just for myself and that is the reason that I have a lot of write-ups that has never been shared or published anywhere. I might continue writing like that forever.
Manas – Nobody has seen the future. I may be writing today, I may give up all tomorrow. I always try to remain in the present. I like writing. In fact I love writing and presently enjoy the process. So I will try to continue till my readers and I both enjoy it. Today about a couple of people know and read me, tomorrow I might be lost in oblivion but one thing is sure, even in that state also I would be writing – for me and the Univerrse.
Q-Name your favorite authors/poets. Please share any favorite excerpt from your favorite book.
Rashi – There are many but would like to share a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Manas – Not fair, I am sure one can never single out a particular book or author. Let me try. Of late, these two books have had the most profound impact on me – 1984 and Animal Farm. Both the books are from George Orwell.
1984 – ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.’
Animal Farm – ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’
Q-What is one strong philosophy that you live by?
Rashi – I believe that everything happens for a reason and most of the time it is for the good. So, even if you are in a difficult situation, just believe in yourself and keep sailing.
Manas – Always remember why you started in the first place. There will be criticism, there will be people who will demotivate you. But remember why you started. Don’t trust anyone, Don’t expect anything from anyone. Nobody owes you anything. So just keep your head down and keep focusing on what you are good at doing. Keep hustling. Keep creating. Keep marching ahead and one day you are bound to succeed.
Q-Failure is inevitable in life. Have you ever faced it? If yes, how did you overcome it? What has been your learning lesson that you can share with us?
Rashi – Indeed failure is inevitable but what I have learnt is no failure is the end, it’s always a beginning to something new and better. Temporarily we lose hope but in the long run, it only makes us stronger.
Manas – I believe failure teaches you more than any success. When we succeed, we tend to overlook the shortcomings but when we fail, and after the mourning ends, one can sit and analyse what went wrong. Yes, I fail more often that I succeed, but I try to remember the more I keep trying the more opportunities I am giving myself to succeed. Never Give Up!
Q-How has recent pandemic affected your thought process and what is one message that you would want to advocate during these stressful times?
Rashi – This pandemic has definitely shown us the real and scary picture. Staying far away from family and friends have made it even more difficult. Life is uncertain so I try to make the most of it and that is what we did during this lock-down. With kids all day at home, we came up with a series on my YouTube channel on how to keep kids engaged at home and spend quality time with family. There’s always some good and positive hidden even in the most stressful times.
Manas – People have become too ignorant and have started taking everything for granted including nature. This pandemic is just the right reminder that the world needs for everyone to understand what are the things that should mean the most to you. What is important and what is purely materialistic. It has only made me more determined. The time is now. There won’t be any tomorrow if we continue like this. Whatever we have to do, we have to do it today. My message for everyone is ‘This too shall pass’, just hang in there.
Q-What needs to be done to inculcate the habit of reading and writing among today’s young generation?
Rashi – Start young, make it interesting and don’t pressurize them. Imagination has no boundaries, so allow the kids and young minds to think freely and they will come up with creativity that will surely surprise you.
Manas – I have always believed that kids try to imitate what elders do. So if you have a phone in your hand they will want a phone. If you have a book they would want that book. Only thing with kids is to start early. Remember how it gets difficult to learn to ride a bicycle once you grow old. Plus every generation feels that they know the best, and I am sure the younger ones will teach me more than they learn from me.
Q-Please give your review links to your book so far.
Website – www.rashiroy.com
Email ID – firstname.lastname@example.org
YouTube – www.youtube.com/c/rashiroy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RoyrashiRR
Instagram –https:// www.instagram.com/royrashi17/