Author Interview- Mohua Chinappa A Promising Author With A Different Approach
Interviewing people and knowing about their journey is something, which is of interest to me. My weakness is always towards authors. The moment I got the opportunity to interview a promising author like Mohua Chinappa, I felt like my prayers got answered. In this author interview session, I am glad to present author Mohua. Join me to know more about her journey and latest release Nautanki Saala And Other Stories.
Hello Mohua, welcome to my world, “Indiacafe24”. It’s a definite proud moment for me to introduce you to my readers. Mohua, please share with us a few words about you, your background, and your family.
I am an author, podcaster and an ex-housewife. I recently launched my debut book, Nautanki Saala And Other Stories. This book is an anthology of 15 stories of real men and women who I have met during a span of two decades.
My formative years were in Shillong, and then I shifted to Delhi.
I left Shillong in the 80s, when there was political unrest and many Bengali’s left their homes overnight. I grew up in an environment of tension, where there were shoot at sight orders, schools were shut, roads were empty and curfew was declared for months on end. But all I saw was the blue mountains, the butterflies and the mist in the mornings.
I moved to Delhi and seamlessly merged into the city. Currently, I live in Bangalore.
I am a mother to Neel, my son, who is 22 years old and is working as a banker in London.
How does writing come into your life? When did you first start writing, and what did you first write?
Writing came to me during my primary school years. I enjoyed writing essays and scored effortlessly well in English as a subject, unlike mathematics. The sheer fear of numbers made me collapse in desperation. Also, my father had a travelling job. Our updates about life were in the long letters we exchanged. In those letters I described my everyday life to him. When I grew older, I choose media as a profession. Therefore, as a journalist and a Public Relations professional, writing was a necessity in the job.
Then I became a full time homemaker and a mother, I gave up work and my writing came to a grinding halt.
When my son left for London in 2017, I was left with the trauma of an empty nest. I was clueless on how to put a context to my life and reboot seemed an uphill task.
So I began a blog in 2018 on WordPress, and my first article was on chikankari as a craft.
You are also a voice-over artist. Will you mind sharing a glimpse of the work you did so far as a Voice over artist?
I have written and given my voice for a clothing brand, for a hospitality brand called Java Rain Resorts and on my Instagram Reels and IGTV videos. I also made the Karnataka Election Commission Film 2019, which had my voice and my writing.
You can also find my voice on my podcast show which is on Spotify, Apple and Google as The Mohua Show.
What I can see is that you are a lady full of talents. I am glad to know you are a podcaster too. How do you manage so much in your life?
I am routine based and disciplined about my time. I enjoy my work, so it becomes easy to manage it. Plus, I have an excellent team that I can rely on.
Mohua Show – is your podcast show, and here you interact and interview artists, entrepreneurs, and individuals who are working to make their communities economically and socially stronger. Which one or two, as per you, are the best interviews that you have taken so far?
I enjoy talking to all my guests.
But it was surreal to speak to Sheetal Krantikari. Sheetal is a bar dancer’s daughter and has managed to navigate her life by not being drawn into her past and her mother’s profession. She works in a NGO, living her life with courage and a lot of spunk. Talking to her was inspirational.
The other podcast was with an ex investment banker, who currently is a pole dancer and a professional stripper called Mohsin Syed.
Mohsin spoke with heartfelt honesty about his work. The line that stays in my heart is “among the most unprofessional people, I remain the most professional.”
I remain humbled and in awe of the resilience and grit I found among my guests on the podcast.
Mohua, you are also a blogger. So, what do you cover in your blog, and who the audiences are?
I used to blog on travel, arts and crafts, gender issues and my audiences were mainly women, LGBTQ.+ activists and entrepreneurs working in the crafts sector.
After managing so many things, you are also a full-time professional. You are working in the capacity of Public Relations/ Corporate Communications specialist. How can one manage so many roles under one roof?
I no longer work as a PR or a corporate communications specialist.
Nautanki Saala and Other Stories (OakBridge Publishing) is your recent work. Kindly share a brief about the content of this book. This anthology of real stories of women (and men) encourages you to work closely with tribal women. So, how was the experience for you?
I try to avoid labels being added on people. They are human beings just like you and me.
My protagonists are women who face similar issues irrespective of their caste or the culture they are born into. Our struggles and issues remain the same. I have had the privilege of great friendships with some of my protagonists. They truly are the heartbeat of Nautanki Saala And Other Stories.
Who remained your inspiration behind penning this book?
My first inspiration is my son. He loved listening to the stories I told him when he was a baby. He ignited the fire of writing when he gifted me a pink iPad on my birthday, when he left home for his higher studies.
My inspiration is also my parents. Both are avid readers, and we discuss a lot of literature during our tea time.
My mother is an icon of an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things in her little life. She is a woman of resilience and tremendous courage. She inspires me everyday.
What are your other passions in life?
I enjoy clicking portrait photographs. I enjoy films, I love music, discovering quaint cafés and travelling.
What type of books do you love reading? Who is your favorite author?
Camus, Buwokski, Amitav Ghosh.
Any suggestions for the new authors?
Be consistent and find inspiration in the ordinary.