One of the Youngest Writer and Anthology Initiator.........She is a determined woman set to initiate a change...an exclusive interview with Shreyasi Phukon A Phase Unknown, Woman A Tribute

Dear Bookworms, welcome back


The summer is unforgiving and the winds all warm....so we thought of for a while finding someone who could really inspire you..We have Women's day to celebrate the strength of the power that we women hold in the making of this universe. And we know how difficult it is to be a woman with dreams. We young Bookworms feel proud to introduce to you one such woman, one of the youngest Writer and Anthology Initiator......a determined woman set to initiate a change...an exclusive interview with Shreyasi Phukon A Phase Unknown, Woman A Tribute in conversation with Sufia Khatoon another power packed woman for you all to get inspired and do something of your own. The book is edited by Sharanya Bhattacharya and Nilesh Gowardhan and book designed by Timid Fingers.






Shreyasi Rhittika Phukon, 22 years from Moran in Sibsagar district but born and brought up in Jorhat is in her final year of graduation in History from J.B College, Jorhat. She got to know that she had writing bug when her story got selected for an anthology of short love stories named “Seasons of Love”. Before this thing, She used to just write sometimes her random thoughts on facebook. Many people encouraged her to take writing seriously but she ignored thinking she would turn into a mad writer. But now she laughs over the general stereotypical thought about writers being serious and walking around with bad dressing sense and jolas.. One day she got a proposal from Henna Priya asking her if she worte write stories to which she said no . But after a few days she went through those posts which were advertising about competitions for budding writers to thier send stories, and she felt like trying and she is now a published writer .
                                                              She says "People will not believe but it’s true that facebook has brought out my writing skill. I met various people who were my inspiration and encouraged me to take it seriously. I will not forget to say their names they are no other than Anuj shrivastava, author of no vacancy for love, Ravi Teju, soon  his novel will be coming....
                             As everyone has a dream or you can say aim in life. I too had a dream that one day I will become an administrative officer so that I can change the evils that are eating up our society, State and Country..... But I also came to know that through writing also I can make useful change to society

I am also getting an award “ Aagaman Tejaswani Samman” for this book “a phase unknown women-a tribute” by sanmati publishers and distributors."
Congrats Shreyashi..we are really proud of your endeavours...welcome to Being Bokworms where we cherish that love called books

Q1: How were you as a student? Writing did happen to you by chance..then when was it that you decided to publish a book...or anthology and give chance to other writers with no prior knowledge in this field?

Ans: Well, I am a mediocre student and I gives some time to studies. Writing wasn't a God’s gift for me. But thanks to facebook which brought few chances for me to explore this never planned field. My fiction got selected in an anthology, authored by Ms. Heena Priya, which was my very first professional writing attempt apart from usual fb posts & notes. Eagerness increases when you taste success. No contradictory, I met some really passionate young writers, who’re my very good friends now. Especially, Anuj Shrivastava – Author of “No Vacancy for Love” and Ravi Teju – Working on his debut novel. They always inspire & encourage me and share their core experience of literary world.       
            Anthology is the only option to sum up the multiple creative brains into one box.  I went ahead with this. Being a girl, I always wanted to give something that narrates current scenario of women rather than sugar coated chicklets.
            On the note of no prior experienced writer, I would like to quote them ‘the freshers’. Freshers always come up with new and appealing ideas that added an edge to the book. That’s why; I went with them for this particular book.  

Q2: A phase unknown...for your efforts you have received an award from Sanmati publishers..How does it feel..to be achieving at such a young age?

Ans.  Obviously, it feels great! What’s better than if someone acknowledged you for your deeds?

Q3: Tell us about your journey of A Phase unknown and what were the problems that you faced...and how did your team helped you?

Ans:  We always have learnt that writing can do wonders and with that small hope, we stood forth to lay the foundation stone of 'A Phase Unknown'.
Now the problem was that we needed writers. Not only writers, we needed people who have the fire in them, who want to do what we want, support us with whatever they have and so, we thought of calling for submissions. Yes, the ‘Woman Anthology Competition’ you all know about. Slightly upset we were when didn't get much response in the beginning but later, they flooded. After multiple rounds of scrutiny, final 16 were chosen. The ones, who had it in them; whose feelings reflected in their writings.
The hunt for a perfect title was still on and finally it ended at 'A Phase Unknown-Woman A Tribute.' This particular title was chosen as here with a tribute to women, we are actually trying to depict ‘A Phase Unknown’ to all. Still, we had another worrying issue- The cover page. Tremendously searching for the perfect cover page from several designers, we got what we wanted, from Timid Fingers.

We especially want to thank a few people for their contribution - Riitik Babbar, for helping us with the back blurb at such a small notice. Vinod Pardhi, for the wonderful encouraging Foreword.
Our fingers were crossed for the final outcome. But we still had another phase to cross- The Book Launch. In association with Crossword, Kolkata; Timid Fingers did their best in organizing it.  I and my team will be ever grateful to them. To all the writers who were at the venue, my sincere thanks to them. To Mr. Diptangshu Das, for being our chief guest.
All said and done, when the reviews started pouring in, we were ecstatic; never knew it would be such a massive hit. We can now proudly say, yes, we are successful in igniting the fire..."
This was the story of A Phase Unknown-Woman A Tribute...




Q4: do you think after reading stories to empower women..there would be some kind of change?

Ans. Good writings have always influenced the masses. It is not something that would change overnight. The change should be in mind. At least some would understand and try to go deep inside the truths concerning women issues. Our anthology is just an initiative to make the society better.

Q5: As an initiator of the book...how do you feel? if you could publish it again..What changes would you make in it?

Ans. Somewhere something needs to be started. If I hadn't, somebody else would.  I’m happy that such small credit goes to me.  

Q6: Tell us something about the other authors of the book?..Which story is your favourite and why?

 Ans: Here in my book, you will come across 16 authors and poets having age differentiation among them and interestingly many of them are from engineering background.
  It’s very tough for me to judge the favourite one among all the stories. But if I have to choose then I will go for Mahua Ray’s (Ma’am) story “My affair with the Hooker”. I have found the story unique as well as touching. Everyone thinks that prostitutes feel great to do their job but the real cause which forces them to indulge into prostitution is their poverty, misery and financial crisis, they have to feed their families and are bound to walk into that hell.

Q7: Tell us something about your story in the anthology...haunting Paranoia...? What were you thinking when you were writing about Abhaa, the rape victim? 

Ans: “Haunting..... Paranoia, NEW BEGINNING” is a story about a rape victim, Abha.
Nowadays, there are increasing numbers of rape incidents and the fight for women safety is in the air. So I tried to write something related to this painful and dreading issue. Here in the story, Abha tries to put forward her thoughts of a rape victim in front of the judge in the court apart from everything according to law.
   She speaks for thousands of victims like her, who have to suffer as well as accept it as their fate, sometimes hiding the crime. She questions that can her life come back to her even if those rapists are found guilty and punished? They will be sentenced imprisonment for a time period and they will soon be out after that particular period.

Here is an extract from my story-
“Today, so many months after that crime against me, I’m just alive but not living. I am dead from within. My soul is dead. I’ve become a machine. The ‘unkindest cut’ was not to my body, but to my soul, to my trust, to my self-confidence, and to my self-esteem. I can no longer trust anyone. I’ve lost confidence in myself and others around. I dread striking relations. I don’t go out. I don’t meet or mingle with people. I don’t even open the curtains of my bedroom window. The worst wound is to my soul, my psyche, my inner self.”
“I shall still be a walking dead, a zombie but they, they will still be young and alive; especially after proving their manhood by raping me and turning me into a soulless being- a zombie. They may even continue with this adventure of theirs on some more unsuspecting, innocent women. That’s what I meant when I said that the murder of a soul is much more devastating than the murder of a body; its effects are much more deep-rooted. The only solution available for me is to die, to commit suicide.”

  Why a crucial issue like rape to be focused in the story? Many stories have rape issues, child infanticide, dowry, abuse, etc as their themes...can you tell us why one can get empowered by them?

Being a history student, I put my views from the social perspective. Women are the wealth of the country and they have contributed in almost every field and made country feel proud at every occasion. They are in front, leading the country, making mile stones and source of inspiration for many. However this is the one face of coin and on the other side of coin is the hard truth of the Indian society. There is systematic discrimination and negligence from early childhood of women in India, which could be in terms of inadequate nutrition, denial or limited access to education, health and property rights, child labour and domestic violence. The fear of sexual violence has been a powerful factor in restricting women's behaviour and sense of freedom.
  


   Men should perceive women not as subservient being but as empowered individuals who are equal partners. The issues just not to be seen  in the context of a patriarchal social framework and a value system based on ‘son preference', such as the son being responsible for the carrying forward of the family name, support in old age and for performing the last rites. Further, the practice of dowry and the tag of ‘Parayadhan' translate into daughters being considered an economic liability. Women's are not only entitled for survival but also to a life with dignity, grace and equal opportunities so that they can grow to their full potential. There is an urgent need to pay attention to the issues that concern this section of population. The focus should be on poverty reduction, gender justice, health, nutrition, sustained awareness of rights and redressal, eradication of social evils etc. In fact they are fighting for their rights to decide their own path for development.
  

Q8: What are your future plans? do you want to take writing and publishing seriously?

Ans:  Well, I want to be a creative professional. Writing is in my attitude. It gives me satisfaction. 

Q9: Are you planning to go for other themes for the anthologies part from women? and when can our readers and writers expect...the announcement of Women phase two competition?

Ans:  Yes, I’m planning for other themes for anthologies and soon my next anthology will be out. Well, till now I have not planned for the second part of “Unknown phase”. Let’s see what God has planned for me in future.

Q10: As a writer how do you like to express yourself? Do you think a high vocabulary always helps?

Ans:  I’m soft spoken and calm person that reflects in my writing too. I’m a keen observer and never wished for cheap publicity for being in limelight. On the note of high vocabulary, I can only comment – It is helpful unless readers don’t refer dictionary for your write up.    

Q11: You are a very young author, you have experienced the pros and cons of writing...so tell us what one should do if one wants to take up writing seriously?

Ans. First and the foremost, you have to be serious about your writing, about yourself and your vision. It’s not that easy as it looks like. Writing quantity doesn’t make you a good storyteller but quality measures. When you’re writing, you’re at the other side of the table.  

Q12: Not everyone who wants to write can get published or become successful writer..do you think...making it as a career is the right option?

Ans. What’s the surety about this life or the very next moment? Struggle is everywhere from creative to academics. If you’ve already presumed, you can’t be a successful writer; no manuscript will help you to break your prejudices. Many young people have chosen it as career, like I’ve mentioned above -  Anuj Shrivastava, who is rising name of this industry and Ravi Teju, who also opted it as career.    

Q13: While participating in writing contests...what should a writer keep in mind? Many new publishers are now exploiting a writers right...even after getting published, the royalties aren't given, the writers aren't promoted properly, and huge money is asked form them in the name of publishing...what steps should a writer or a new publisher take to avoid this?

Ans.  Every industry has its merits and demerits. All I would suggest to new writers to understand the contract very clearly and negotiate with publisher rather than just singing and uploading snapshot on social networking sites. 

Q14: your take on Being bookworms, how important is reading in our age and how does bookstores or blog add to this hobby?

Ans:  Reading has at all times and in all ages been a great source of knowledge. Books are no doubt very faithful friend of a reader. They never betray but accompany the reader, either sitting alone or travelling. Those who are habitual of reading feel comfort with books. They soothe and relieve tension and loneliness. We are the dwellers of this speedy advancing world. Everything is moving so fast just like a rocket. To keep the pace, we must also need to do things that benefit us. Reading is no doubt a stupendous habit. It can make a stagnant, barren mind rich and cultivatable. It pours rich thoughts in minds. It brings the best out of someone. Reading also helps one to see the present in relation to the past and the future and thus develops a historical perspective. But, care is needed to ensure that reading doesn’t become a substitute for the real life. The moment one ceases to enjoy the ordinary pleasures and happiness of life and is content to enjoy them vicariously through fictional and historical representation, one loses all the benefits of reading and loses contact with life.
   As a result of reading books over a period of time, a learning process is formed. There are a great many benefits to be gained from reading books. It is proven that in this technological society the demands for higher levels of literacy are creating unfavourable consequences for those who fall short. This is even more of reason to get into the habit of reading books, but with the cinema and television taking up a great deal of attention of children, teenagers and even adults, the habit of serious reading is dying out. We must never let it die out.
 




Q15: Something you have to say to the readers? And how has been the response of the book phase unknown?

Ans: Nowadays, uncountable books are available in the market as well as on various online sites which helps the readers to get their favourite genres. But, according to me a reader should read as have the taste of every genre. I would suggest going for some meaningful, motivational books having classic tales. And one thing more, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. They may look dull from the cover but that particular book can sometimes leaves an imprint on your life.

Q16:  how important is the relationship between a writer reader and a publisher...in all with the initiators of keeping the habit of reading alive like Being bookworms.

Ans: Stay blessed and I wish that all your dreams come true and luck will not leave you. Go ahead always. It was nice associating with you.

Hope you had a good time knowing our author of today and had been inspired from her to create something meaningful of your own.Keep reading and enjoying your life.

Interviewed by Sufia Khatoon


Warm Regards
Being Bookworms

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Wonderful!
    Shreyashi sounds very clear with her thoughts. I do appreciate her ideas, not only about writing but life as well.
    Her views about situation of women, "Practice of dowry and the tag of ‘Parayadhan' translate into daughters being considered an economic liability. Women's are not only entitled for survival but also to a life with dignity, grace and equal opportunities so that they can grow to their full potential. There is an urgent need to pay attention to the issues that concern this section of population. The focus should be on poverty reduction, gender justice, health, nutrition, sustained awareness of rights and redressal, eradication of social evils etc," are testimonial of her true understanding of vary essue.
    Her view on reading, "Everything is moving so fast just like a rocket. To keep the pace, we must also need to do things that benefit us. Reading is no doubt a stupendous habit. It can make a stagnant, barren mind rich and cultivatable. It pours rich thoughts in minds. It brings the best out of someone. Reading also helps one to see the present in relation to the past and the future and thus develops a historical perspective. But, care is needed to ensure that reading doesn’t become a substitute for the real life. The moment one ceases to enjoy the ordinary pleasures and happiness of life and is content to enjoy them vicariously through fictional and historical representation, one loses all the benefits of reading and loses contact with life," are truly wonderful.
    I do appreciate the interviewer too for selection of questions intelligent and opt enough to get the whole picture of an young author.
    I would like to say, all youngsters who are connected with reading, writing or publishing, should read this interview atleast for once!
    My best wishes to Shreyasi, Sufia Khatoon and Being Bookworms. :)

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  3. thankyou Vijay for taking out the time to read this....:) and for supporting us...we need everyone's love in continuing our work...warm regards..Sufia

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  4. Thnk you vijay sir for the support n appreciating us

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  5. Congrats shreyasi , Blessed Be and i love your honesty and your straightforward answers. Keep writing and be as you are.

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  6. thnk u so much di .will need your blessings,guidance n support always

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  7. My congratulations to budding Axomiya author Shreyasi Rhittika Phukon for such an wonderful debut. Hope that she would be a true torch bearer of Axomiya Sahitya and Axomiya society in the outside world through her pathbreaking literary exercises. Hope to see Shreyasi shine more and more in the years ahead. My cudos and best wishes for her.

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  8. Thank you so much arnab sir.i will always try to do something meaningful to Assam and offcourse my country.

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  9. Thank you dear bloggers and readers..you all have been very kind and supportive to Being Bookworms..we now feel that the whole idea behind bringing people more closer to books and the readers closer to authors has been successful....keep reading, keep shining....and keep sharing your reviews

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  10. Congratulations... keep it up.. my blessings and support ll b alwyz wid u in our life

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