Poems are a treat to the soul. The young and talented Priya Tamang has managed to give a special treat to the soul with the book “Ivory Gleam”. We recently got in touch with her to know more about the book, what inspired her to write, her view on career, life and much more.
We had a great time with her, find the full interview below
The Must Read (TMR): When did you write your first poetry?
Priya Dolma Tamang: It must have been in the winter of my 12th birthday that I discovered a poetic hint in my random diary scrawls. Taking the liberty to call it my first ‘poem’, please allow me a shot at recollecting the lines:
I have nothing to bemoan
Yet nothing to rejoice
Nothing to hold onto
Yet so much to surrender
The world seems so wonderful
But there is to be discovered
A wonderland better
When what we see
Is not what we get
What we get
Is not what we want
And there is still a heart to burn
There are miles to go
Before I stop
And all of those corners to turn
TMR: How do you improve your writing skills?
Priya: From when I first started articulating my thoughts into words, and now, I notice a substantial difference in the quality of work created. This refinement may be attributed to my personal growth in mind, mentality and experiences. It goes without saying that the more we write, the better we get at it. But this holds true for any skill acquired and polished through practice. Also, reading aids in amplification of ideas and aptitude. Yet it sounds almost blasphemous to admit, I am not much of a reader. So there is nothing I proactively do in order to improve the way I write, except that I make it a point to expand my values and embrace the resultant changes.
TMR: What are your views on the expression of emotions?
Priya: Being an INFP and an HSP, I am overtly sensitive and in tune with not only my own feelings and sentiments, but also of those who connect with me.
It would not be presumptuous of me to specify artists as being the most emotionally charged of the lot. Any avenue of creative expression is foremost an emotion, be it music, dance, visual or literary arts. If the emotion is honest, it will definitely touch hearts. Thereby, to me, it makes little to no sense judging, rating or berating a second artist’s creation.
Emotions expressed via artistic medium make the joy and suffering of humanity, a uniform and common ground for association.
TMR: When did you plan to write the book “Ivory Gleam”?
Priya: The book is a solid selection of haphazard reflections. There was no pre-emptive plan to author something like this. I have always been poetically inclined. My well-wishers had a lot of convincing to do before I finally agreed to take a plunge into publication. This happened in 2018.
TMR: Tell us about your experience writing the book?
Priya: The isolated pieces were written over a period of two years. Each piece was a result of some stimuli, be it inter or intrapersonal. They were not originally written for a book and were mere pages of my journal; some posted on social media. I did not intend to get them published. However, with time and demand, my intentions evolved. I wanted something physical to hold for all the hours that were spent overthinking. Ultimately, I compiled those random rants into a manuscript and started publisher hunting. It did not take me long to land a deal with Leadstart Publishers, Mumbai. The whole experience has been fulfilling.
TMR: What are the challenges that you face as a writer/poet?
Priya: Poetry is open to interpretation and analysis. My portrayal of an event or emotion may not elicit the expected understanding from its reader. This gap between the poet and the target is a multi-factorial fluctuation, depending on age, experience, cultural variance, emotional quotient and intellectual abilities.
Since I am not a writer of straightforward stories or relatability, my work speaks in layers, and a fast reader is too lazy to invest that kind of energy into my genre. However, I do not see it as a drawback that my content may not be applicable to the masses. I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole process of poetry without calculating the obstacles or benefits involved.
TMR: What are the skills that you tried working on?
Priya: Brevity is what I worked on. This has been a conscious and fruitful move that edited my poems and prose into their crisp, compact versions. I reckon precision adds verbal density to words. It is an important skill to master for any writer.
TMR: What is your message to young women who want to live their dreams?
Priya: I would prefer not to address women based on their youth. That would be a bias of age, but we are never too old for our dreams. In art, we are creative equals. And in spirit, souls are of the same age. We are only young or old in experience and spiritual development, for how faithfully we chose to evolve from the lessons we were gifted.
My message to fellow ladies, the power of divine feminine, would be one of encouragement, glory and appreciation.
There is no feat
a woman cannot achieve,
no dream too tall.
For life begins in her womb,
for him and for all.
TMR: How do you tackle your challenges?
Priya: Though I am mentally overactive and an indulgent thinker, I am also easy-going to a fault. I have been casual about challenges, pretty much unaffected by what others view as adversity or distress. It will take extraordinary pain to break me. I am not driven by ambition or gain, my passion is peace and love. In pursuit of simple happiness, there are very few challenges. It is greed and hunger beyond need that make us suffer.
TMR: How do you work on the writer’s block?
Priya: A regular habit of journaling, diary entries and written exchange of communication (via digital texts) have kept me on my toes. Even if I am not creating art, I express in words every day. Hence, writer’s block is something I do not experience. But I also do not write for the sake of writing. It makes a lot of difference when writing is not a job for me. It is a mood.
TMR: Tell us two lines of your work, that you love and why did you write it?
Take your umbrella but return the rains
to which we danced our hearts.
I sound like a jilted lover lamenting a broken bond. But in all seriousness, this comes from one of my first poems where I had a lot of nursery rhyming done. I hold it dear for its sheer purity and my maiden endeavour.
TMR: Tell us about your favorite poet/author?
Priya: The only author whose books have been life-changers for me is Dr Brian Weiss. He emphasizes our immortality, the transmigration of souls and the transcendence of Spirit through episodes of past life regression and future progression in his work. His books are eye-openers for an open mind.
TMR: How has social media helped you to express your emotions?
Priya: Social media is the sole reason I have a book today. I’d otherwise have been a closet writer. On most occasions, authors activate an online presence to spread the word for their books. In my case, it was the opposite. My social media community had a lot of positive faith in my writing. The inspiration provided by our kind Instagram family has been a boon. It was their love, support and feedback that urged me to give my words a physical existence. This, in turn, indirectly and in fact, validated my impulsive expression of emotions to be a universal and natural phenomenon. There were others like me out there, who felt the same feelings, would think similar thoughts and emote the way I do. These connections are real and resounding in the artistic realm. And this acceptance makes us open up more, embrace every emotion and be confident writing on them.
TMR: What are your plans here on?
Priya: As an author, there are no serious projects in mind. I do have a second poetry book lined up. Probably, in the years to come, I will attempt a hand each at fiction and non-fiction. Thereby sealing my deal and fascination with the world of words.
You can connect with Priya and find her book on the links mentioned below: