Book Review Blog

Interview with author Ekta Saigal Pandit

I recently interviewed Ekta Saigal Pandit, author of the book Let go of Me. The book is about two lives engulfed in different situations looking for true love and they find it in each other but that doesn't last for long. You can read the complete review of the book by clicking on Book Review : Let go of Me - Ekta Saigal Pandit.

-- Interview with author Ekta Saigal Pandit --

Q: “Let go of Me” is published, how does it feel?
A: As of now, I feel as if my work has just begun. Unlike the expected feeling of excitement and anticipation after getting one's work published, this publication has left me very calm and centered. It tells me that I have finally embarked on my mission. Let Go of Me has to reach the people that it is meant to, so a lot needs to be done on that front.

Q: Did you always want to be a writer? What inspired you to take it up?
A: I have always enjoyed writing since it completes my thought flow and brings out much more than I feel I have inside of me. It is, sometimes, like a tool that I use to delve into my inner most self and at other times, it is a way of bringing peace to my distraught mind. When I found myself laying hands on the most elusive feeling that we term as "peace of mind" through my writing, I felt the need to share it with others at a similar wavelength. Sharing the joy that I derive out of writing is my inspiration to write.

Q: How and when did you think of writing “Let go of me”?
A: There are very cluttered times of directionless struggle in everyone's lives. For any of us, the mind is one space which is almost impossible to silence and it is where we fight the battles between what has been and what is to be. The now is happening inside of us at any given point of time. Each of us is vulnerable and searching for something and more often than not, we try to camouflage our real selves. This book has attempted to unveil those corners of the mind which we prefer to hide in order to seem righteous and correct. When negotiating such twists and turns, some of us begin to ask those metaphysical questions like-Who am I? What am I doing here? and What will bring me happiness? One then either tends to get busy with life as usual so as to avoid an unknown path or one starts to get clues and forges ahead on this journey. It was at such a juncture, when I found answers which were so nourishing to me that I had this compelling urge to share what I had received. That sharing has begun with the penning down of Let Go of Me... and will, hopefully go on with a lot more.

Q: After “Let go of me”, what can we expect from you in the future?
A: After my book, "Let Go of Me...", I am writing a story on reincarnations. In this, the protagonist  travels to remote off beat destinations and realizes that she is encountering her past lives, one after another, as she journeys close to the heart of where it all happened once upon a time. Transported back in time, she unearths many truths about the wheel that she has set spinning and finds herself caught in the midst of cross currents of actions and reactions. This journey promises to answer the question all of us ask when we find ourselves in the most trying circumstances-"Why me? Why?". I would also love to do a sequel to Let Go of Me but it will take a while to come. Although I refuse to either plan or predict, I have a hunch that my work is always going to have a spiritual angle to it since that is where I am headed.




Q: Is the story inspired from real life or is it completely fictional?
A: This story is an emotional struggle where the battle field is the mind space of the characters. The characters are inspired from everyday life and so is the story.  Some of the incidents are fictional and some actual. Some of the conflicts are very intensely etched in my mind as they were shared through tear drops. However, it is not the story of one or two people as it draws from a wide range of minds, numerous tug of wars that are negotiated daily. In real life though, these wars are denied their due because ostensibly they seem too trite and mundane to attribute to them so much importance. The spirituality contained therein is also an essence of what has been understood and received and not a mere text.

Q: Do you read as much as you write? Which are your favorite books?
A: I read a lot of Paulo Coelho's work and I loved his book, The Alchemist and more recently, Manuscripts Of Accra. Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have also been an inspiration. Every time I have reread her books, they have given me something new. It's almost like the books are growing old with you. I also enjoy reading history and historical fiction. I enjoyed Amish's Meluha Series, Alex Rutherford's Mughal Empire series, Ashwin Sanghi's Chanakya's Chant, Chitra Divakaruni's Palace of Illusions, Rabindra Nath Tagore's and Saratchandra's work. For quite a while now, I have been reading Indian Authors and I love the flavour since it is something close to my heart, real and it has a certain resonance with me as a person.

Q: Which other writers inspire you?
A: Ayn Rand, J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananada). These are two authors whose work evolves as I evolve. Each time I re read their work, I take away something new from it. That is the kind of writing I would like to do.
Interview with Ekta Saigal Pandit author of Let Go Of Me
Interview with Ekta Saigal Pandit author of Let Go Of Me
Q: Other than writing, what else do you do?
A: I love simplicity and focus, so that is what most of the activities that I indulge in reflect. My day starts with internalizing the morning silence, followed by an hour at the gym or a long outdoor run and ends with a long meditation session. Between this, as is for every woman, it is filled with work, family, home, conversations, introspections and of course tea and coffee! Thankfully, my fields of work i.e. planning and designing of real estate development projects and now writing, have channelized  my creativity and have allowed me give a tangible expression to my thoughts, concretizing them in front of my eyes. Writing is a non-negotiable part of the day as that brings me closer to who I want to become.

Q: If your book, Let go of me, is made into a Bollywood film, which actors/actresses would you want to be a part of it?
A: The characters would require substantial and intense actors. Maybe Kajol and Farhan Akhtar as the main protagonists.

Q: You prefer reading e-books or you love the traditional paper/hard back books?
A: I am not yet a convert and I do love the feel of a real book in my hand. I relish the smell of new books and the way the paper feels between my fingers. Infact, I have spent many idyllic hours perched on little yellow stools in book shops browsing through books.

Q: During the course of writing this book, did you ever face a writer's Block? How long did it take for you to complete the book?
A: Let Go of Me is a book that has simply flowed through me. The clarity that the process of writing this book brought to my mind is amazing and delightful at the same time. I had penned down many thoughts and reflections over the last couple of years but weaving it all into fiction took something like six months. I have sometimes written as many as ten thousand words in 4-5 days and sometimes nothing for a week. For me, It is a question of how receptive I am at any given point in time.

Q: The story has a spiritual/twin soul angle to it, how much do you personally believe in it? Have you ever experienced yourself?
A: In it's very essence, my work is spiritual in nature. Every human is either looking for happiness or is wanting to avoid suffering. When society's confined viewpoints, intellect and wisdom of man and the logic of science fall short of delivering the joy that man yearns for, answers are sought from a realm that is boundless. I have a strong belief in the bigger reality and have experienced the benign force that strengthens and calms me. What needs to be perceived here is that the key lies not in fighting against circumstances but in flowing through them.



Q: Two things that you like and dislike about Love?
A: Love encompasses everything and objectifies nothing. Love has to nourish and enhance a person so as to evolve him towards his calling. If love tries to diminish or block the growth of a person then it is not love. It is simply an ego play. I do not like or dislike anything about love. I now try to make it a way of life.

Q: One message that you would want to convey to our readers?
A: Explore, experiment and evolve. Cherish the experiences that come your way, for in each is an invaluable lesson that you need to learn. Pain that we feel when we are unfulfilled is a teacher but the happiness that we feel when our desires are fulfilled is an even bigger teacher.

Q: How can our readers connect with you?
A: I am reachable on Facebook, through my website and over e-mail. There is a Let Go of Me facebook page as well where the readers can connect with me.

-- End of interview with author Ekta Saigal Pandit --

4 comments:

  1. It is always interesting to read an author's interview and know a little bit more about their writing regime and views.

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    1. Hi Jyoti, I am glad that you found the interview interesting. Thank you :)

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  2. Thankyou :) This interview was a very nourishing experience for me, Kaushal.

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    1. You are welcome ma'am, looking forward to your new book.

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