Interview: Uma Maheshwari
Uma Maheshwari has completed her Masters in English Literature, born and brought up in Nilgiris, training is her passion and profession. She works with GRG Institutions Coimbatore as Training Specialist, having overall 8 years of experience into training. Teaching students for Cambridge Language assessment is her leisure time activity. Driving alone in hill station interests her a lot, that is what she reveals of herself.
Why did you write this novel 'It Just Happened'? What inspired you to write?
I have trained close to lakh students; this is where I identified the lack of reading among students, every voice I heard added thirst in me to make reading easy. So I did a research in detail and spotted ways to overcome this dilemma. Finally, I ended up writing this book. Through Comprehensive Language I do not want to be a great writer, I just want to tell my story and make people read.
“It Just Happened” (Novel written for nonreaders), this is my first step towards reaching out to people. “English is a language not subject & Speaking is a skill not quality of a person”.
In the book you have used a very peculiar edible, 'Chocolate', what was your main reason for its inclusion?
Generally, people think women who likes chocolates will be cranky, they cannot be responsible etc.above all about 90% of people believe only female eat lots of chocolates. So my purpose was to tell my readers not to judge a female by the way she eats chocolate & ice cream. A woman’s talent is different from her liking.
Moreover personally I love eating chocolates that was the main reason to write more about chocolates.
I liked that you for the first time brought this concept of English being a language and not just a subject, what do you feel the present education system must do to make the study of English language more than a subject?
Not all schools have mandatory library hour or reading activity class, if there is a culture of reading incorporated into the academic time table, we would get better results. I believe reading can improve vocabulary and strengthen the choice of words to converse. English has become Internationally Common Tongue. It is estimated that the number of people in the world that use English to communicate on a regular basis is 2 billion, but we are still struggling and have a strong inhibition to converse. My vision is to overcome this situation and make people realize the importance of language and reading.
Which of the characters is your favorite and why?
Rishi is my favorite one. Though life has not blessed her with rose bed she still pursues her passion.
Who are your favorite authors?
Sudeep Nagarkar, Anuj Tiwari, Ravinder Singh, Nikita Singh.
When it comes to writing a novel how do you go about jotting down your ideas, what is the strategy you follow?
Honestly nothing much, this was a true story, so didn’t have do much research or work on it, I had to write whatever happened in real, the only struggle I faced was balancing my emotions and penning down certain incidents.
Writing is a different task and finding a publisher is another, how did you find these tasks?
It was really very difficult task as I knew nothing about publishing. Spoke to many publishing houses and people, nothing turned out. Finally Prassant Kevin bhai helped me through the entire process. I am always thankful to him.
How do you manage your work, writing and getting along in your family?
Being employed and penning down my ideas at leisure time is not an easy task, yet I have a strong vision to reach out young minds as English is a language, not subject. Somewhere at least one person would take initiative to do something about our present education system is my only wish. Most of the time I miss important rituals at home which annoys my husband yet he understands my work and supports me to write.
What would you like to tell your readers? Would you like to advice aspiring writers?
To my readers: I write in a simple language to reach many young minds, not all readers will feel happy about my language, yet reaching laymen through my words, cultivating reading habit in all, is my goal. From there they may have literary fest, but for a beginner hope, I have done something to make them read.
To writers: Once you have completed your manuscript don’t be in a hurry to get it published, search for good publisher, not all in market will do what they promise. It’s your story so have patience before choosing your publisher. Do complete proof reading and editing before going for print.