Author’s Background: Author Ridhima Joshi, uses the pronouns She/They. They are a Poet from Mumbai, India, and wrote their first poem at age of thirteen, from start until now – as of 2022, they have been writing for seven years. In its inception, they would write on the global writers’ app Wattpad that served as their poetry portfolio, wherein thousands of readers have read it globally before making its way out here!
TLT: Firstly, Congratulations on your book, “Whirlpool!” What responses are you getting from this book of yours? Please share your experience about this book.
Ridhima Joshi: Hello, thank you for your wishes and for doing this Author Interview with me. Whirlpool 1st Edition – my book, has been out for nearly 2 months now and as of present, it has been very well received by readers. Word of it is spreading faster than I anticipated and I’m getting positive reviews and literary requests through it. People are appreciating my poetic work and as I wanted- it’s resonating with them, it’s been a pleasant experience thus far.
TLT: Your book isa wonderful collection of “Emotional & Inspirational Poems” so what inspired you to write these poems?
Ridhima Joshi: These poems, Whirlpool as a compilation have been a work written over years. The poems have been written between 2016 – 2022, from my 1st poem ‘A Child’s Mind’ at age 13 to my recent most ‘The Pen is mightier than the Sword’ at 19. As a Poet, I seek inspiration through observation – I write about my environment- what surrounds me, on sociological topics deemed unconventional, metaphysics; anything that catches my eye and makes me ponder or contemplate. Some of the emotional poems in Whirlpool, the darker undertones, or heavier reads were written towards the end of 2020, those were influenced by the passing of my father – the biggest loss I’ve witnessed till date. While writing, my poems get shaped by how I’m feeling at that point, my mind influences my writings.
TLT: You’ve given a very interesting title to your book, which is very catchy too so, what made you go for this title for your book?
Ridhima Joshi: The title ‘Whirlpool’ was decided long back before I even started thinking about creating a book and before I sent any sample manuscripts to a publishing house. It was decided in Nov 2021 and I chose it intuitively. For me, as a Poet, in process of authoring wanted to use a title that represents the content inside, which is a blend of different topics ranging from light to dark – grey, and white, it’s a mix of different categories coexisting In one book. I wanted the title to encapsulate that and act as a representative of work within, hence Whirlpool because it’s a Whirlpool of all that I’ve written inside.
TLT: What was your mind-set, while working on this book? What was the impetus behind this work of yours?
Ridhima Joshi: The impetus behind this work of mine was that I wanted to talk openly about topics that are looked upon in a taboo manner or unaccepting, such as Mental Health and the Lgbtqia+ community, these are the 2 key elements of my book, which I hold close to my heart. Everyone knows about these but rarely do we see people talking about it openly or with acceptance. The GenZ is taking the Initiative but other than them, how many? I wanted to get the conversation started and in my own way normalize- it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to ask for help or support, it’s okay to reach out – there’s strength in vulnerability. As for the poems on the Lgbtqia+ community, I took the Initiative of writing those as I myself am a part of the community, my pronouns are she/they. As a member of the rainbow community, I’ve personally observed that acceptance doesn’t come easy- within the walls of home or outside, it takes strength to come out or be yourself, it takes strength to exist, especially in India. Through my writings, I wanted to let the readers of the community know that they’re valid, that I’m proud of them and I admire their strength to be themselves, I resonate though I come from a place of privilege than my counterparts, my experience has been positive and accepting but that’s not a reality for every individual. I wanted to write to let them know they matter and are loved, you got this.
TLT: Apart from this book, you’ve also served as the Co-Author to several other books! So, what keeps you fuelled to carry on your writing journey?
Ridhima Joshi: Yes I’ve featured as a Co-Author for 4 Poetry Anthologies by The Write Order Publication House in 2021-22, technically by that logic, Whirlpool is my 5th book but my 1st solo book as an Author. I won’t say fuelled but I’m driven or inspired to continue writing by how a poem makes me feel at end of the day. As a Poet – I write for myself, as an Author – I write for others. I believe that words have the power to influence, impact or change a perception or life. What keeps me fuelled to carry on writing is progress – to see and reflect upon how far I’ve come in my journey and the refinement that comes with it, it makes me excited to try out different genres and writing styles, I like experimenting.
TLT: While reading your book, I found that your poems had some really strong emotions and stories inside them, which had greatly impressed me and thus I would like you to explain the overall theme of your book!
Ridhima Joshi: There’s no overall theme for Whirlpool. It’s a mix of poems on topics that deeply resonate with Me (a few poems on Mental Health & Lgbtqia+ community), poems that I’ve written by observation, observing other people, on other people, my surroundings, my contemplations on philosophies such as metaphysics. Some are romantic, talk of love, and a chunk of it is gray in tone, its dark – written by my own personal experiences of grief, struggle, and turmoil. The poems in Whirlpool, most were written during the ages of 14, 16, 18, and 19½. I started writing poetry as a teenager at 13, it is my second expression, nature. Writing poetry for me isn’t calculated or fixed, I write whenever I get an urge – I pick up the pen, and my diary and start writing, words flow automatically and I always title the poem at the end, it’s automatic. There’s no thought process behind it, it’s all action. I write first, feel later.
TLT: Your writing seemed to be impeccable and you were bold with your poems in your book, which I really appreciate. Therefore, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you and whom you follow!
Ridhima Joshi: Inspiration for me comes from within. But to answer your question- Authors I personally admire a lot, whose work you’ll find me constantly reading are Oscar Wilde, John Keats, Alfred Lord Tennyson, the plays of William Shakespeare, short stories by Rabindranath Tagore and Authors/Poets I deeply resonate with are Emily Dickinson and Sarojini Naidu, especially her poetic work ‘The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring’. Moreover, in modern literature, I deeply enjoy the work of Cassandra Clare. I’m a sucker for her Shadowhunter Chronicles, I’ve read the majority of her books and I’m eagerly awaiting her 3rd book for ‘The Last Hours series right now. My personal favourite out of all her series is The Infernal Devices.
TLT: Is there any message which you would like to convey to your readers? Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!
Ridhima Joshi: A piece of advice I’d give to readers out there is that everything that you think of creating or dreaming of attaining- whatever it maybe is attainable. You’re never too young or old to do anything, believe me when I say this- I published Whirlpool at age of 19 and outside this too I’ve worked and am working for organizations I thought I’d enter at age of 24-25. If you’re a young person reading this, keep on doing what you’re doing, don’t leave the path even if it gets hazy or challenging, and believe in yourself. Believe in yourself- self-confidence, self-security, and determination will take you a long way forward.
TLT: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.
Ridhima Joshi: Certainly, as an Author, I’ve just begun this solo book writing journey with Whirlpool as my first. The order of books isn’t concretely set in stone yet but you’ll definitely see more of my work In poetry and plays as well in the future. Infact, I’m working on a thematic book at present, a very specific poetry genre for my next book in 2023. I do have concepts brewing in my mind.
TLT: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very best to you for future and your book too!
Ridhima Joshi: Thanks again for having me and thanks to everyone out there, who is reading either this or my book, means a lot. Have a lovely day ahead!
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