“If writing can do the healing, I choose to be the doctor of hearts to heal the broken,” says Garima Pradhan.
This week, I had a deep conversation with Garima Pradhan, the author of two life-changing books and the winner of Best Author Bhopal 2018, which was organized by 92.7 Big FM. Governor of Madhya Pradesh appreciated her work and contribution towards bringing change in the society.
Her work was nominated internationally for “iWoman Global Awards 2019”, and nationally for “Women on Mission 2019” organized by YourStory.
Read on as Garima Pradhan talks about her latest book, the aim of her work, challenges she faced to find the right publisher, how she helps her readers, and more.
1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of your latest book— Broken is the New Beautiful.
I hail from the beautiful “City of Lakes” Bhopal. Till 3rd STD, I studied at Demonstration School (DMS) where I won the “Best Student Award”.
I completed the rest of my schooling from St.Joseph’s Co-Ed school. As a kid, I once attempted a poem on Mother which was the beginning of my work in the field of literature. I didn’t know how it was, but we had A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir as chief guest in our school event that time. So, I decided to show him my poem as a curious kid. I went towards him when he was going to the principal’s office and showed him the poem I wrote.
I was speechless when he read taking pauses, then put his hand on my head to bless and smiled at me saying- “Beautiful work! You are meant for greatness, don’t give up on yourself”. I didn’t like my poem much, but I had a faceoff with reality when it was published not just in school magazine but was covered in newspapers as a good poem written at a very young age.
And after some time, the writing got silent in me. Having a love for colours made me opt for commerce with Fine Arts in 12th STD. The paintings made by got me crowned with “Best Artist Award” in 12th class. Then I did my B.Com. from Chitransh ADPG College, Bhopal and managed to clear CA-CPT and CA-IPCC (Group-2) with exemption in IT/SM.
Then I did Post Graduation in MBA- Finance and Retail Management from Chakravarti Rajagopalachari Institute of Management, Bhopal. Soon after doing an MBA, I was placed with MNC as a Business Analyst and worked with the IT industry for one year.
Later destiny made me witness some rock bottom that made me hold the pen and find my purpose of birth. So, I inked for the first time and wrote my real-life Debut novel- “A Girl That Had to Be Strong” which was released internationally and was loved by readers worldwide.
Overview: Broken is the New Beautiful-
Broken is the New Beautiful is a story revolving around seven lives and one TRUTH that changed everything. Their experience, struggle, nature and profession will invite turbulence or will it take off? We all are born under one of three personalities BUT aren’t given a chance to choose one.
Is it your fault, if planets conspire your birth? Is it right to judge someone on the basis of superstition?
Will Khushi and Abhi be accepted by society or get Judged for something they can’t change in themselves? Is it right to choose a partner for marriage on grounds of salary, looks, body, the figure, or cooking skill?
Is a family divided because of a girl or there is more to the story you never paid heed to? What differentiates a MAN from a Momma’s Boy? What should you look in a person for marriage? Does not being in a casual relationship really make you boring? And just because you are BROKEN, does it make you any LESS beautiful?
2. Where did you get the idea behind the story of Broken is The New Beautiful? Do the characters come from real-life incidents or from your own imaginations?
You want to read life because that gives you more ideas about what to write.
Yes, my books are based on real-life incidents, and are life-changing with lessons that are here to stay and not let you witness the pain witnessed by someone in real life. Because real-life can mentor you to face life bravely, rather than fictional love stories. It’s because we all have a love story to share but not everyone has the inspiration to share.
So, I choose to deliver inspiration over a love story. My both books- A Girl that had to be STRONG and Broken is the new Beautiful have real stuff to bring about the change in mindsets. And it gives me immense happiness and satisfaction when I hear from readers that their relationship got stronger or they came out of their breakup or depression bravely. I feel proud of them. If writing can do the healing, I choose to be the doctor of hearts that heal the broken, as it’s the biggest trophy for me, to be honest. 🙂
3. What message does your latest book carry?
You are beautiful with your flaws and you don’t need others opinion to validate it. I want readers to join hands and end superstation for both men and women and bring back the humanity to our society, which is dying in the name of superstition and orthodox mentality.
NOW is the time to bring an end to what is not needed, wake up before the world dies living their fear about the future. Because we were born to make the best of this life, not to relive our fear of past or future.
Let’s be the change we wish to see in this world in the near future. If you won’t, who will? And if not now, when? Let’s be responsible for our acts and ensure we have kindness towards all and not.
4. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I would have never written a book until rock-bottom hit me. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before realizing what exactly your life purpose is. We understand life better and learn something new when we are at our lowest phase of life.
I know what it feels like, but I choose to come out of it bravely and burn as a whole damn fire. I never imagined my book will hit the international market and make a place in hearts of foreign readers as well, because just like every book it too had flaws. But it still managed to win hearts and heal the broken. That proves writing your story impactfully is more important than being grammatically correct.
5. What were the main challenges that you faced to find the right publisher?
The list is long, but I was determined enough to find my way to my dreams, so I did. J None from the renowned names of authors offered to guide or help me. Maybe they were busy. But it taught me to learn to do everything on own and be a mentor for my own self.
With no one to guide, I became my superwomen and did things on my own. I promised myself no matter how much fame I achieve in the near future, I will always be available to people like me who look up to authors for guidance. And that’s what I do these days on weekends or daily basis.
So, whoever reads or even seek me to help join my reader base automatically and enroll to be a part of family… No cheesy lines, I seriously treat them like family by guiding them or being there when they need me, you can ask my readers for this reason.
6. How much important do you think are the cover and title of the book? Have you ever tried hands on your own book cover?
If the cover is the oxygen, the title is its backbone. So, it needs to be good and should match with the story. Yes, I did not just try my hands, I made one for my second novel. I learned Photoshop especially for designing the covers. And you won’t believe I designed my new book cover released in May 2019 titled – “Broken is the New Beautiful” after 21 failed attempts. But I am glad I did that effort because it came out beautiful and is loved by readers now.
7. I see most of the young writers choosing romance as the core theme for their book. Doesn’t that make the theme ordinary for readers? Please share your views.
Writing a love story is safe to attempt as anyone can write that genre but motivating and instilling courage in someone is the real task that very few authors could do.
8. Whom do you consider your icons when it comes to writing? Any favourite authors?
APJ Abdul Kalam sir is my inspiration and I love Rhonda Byrne (Author of the Book- The Secret).
9. It is often said that writers have their hearts broken at some stage of life. Does that remain true for you as well?
Not necessarily! But this is true writers are deep species. We feel everything deeply and that’s why we take the wounds and not bleed on the world for the hate given to us for being different.
All I would say is that it’s high time readers start giving value to eBooks because trees are sacrificed for paperback so let’s go green and change our preference as well. And understand the fact that every book is written for a different set of the audience so every book is not meant for you.
But just because it doesn’t feed you, be empathetic towards the person who wrote it, because it’s surely written to help someone and I am not talking about love stories here. Rather than being abusive towards the author, practice being empathetic. Understand when you decide to write a story someday you will choose a genre and that’s where you will unknowingly restrain audience as it’s not written for them. Don’t burn bridges with anyone until you decide to share an enemy relationship. Because authors don’t forget who deliberately messed up and wait for their turn to teach you some harsh lessons of life.
10. Nowadays, everyone is becoming a writer (or at least trying to) by sharing random lines on Instagram and other platforms like Your Quote. What are your thoughts about it?
Sharing is okay, writing quotes is awesome, only if it’s original. Else there are many proclaimed critics who think they are the KING of the jungle while they don’t have the skills to fight the battle. Anyone who tries to write original is a WRITER, but not those who copy and call it their creation.
I’ll also add that only a person who has published his work in the field of literature can be called an author.
11. Have you received any awards for your literary work?
Yes. I was crowned “Best Author Bhopal” in 2018 on public voting for my real-life debut novel – A girl that had to be STRONG. I got it at the Big Bhopal Pride Awards organized by 92.7 Big FM and awarded to me by R. J. Anadi. I was also appreciated by honourable Governor of Madhya Pradesh- Anandiben Patel for writing such an inspiring novel and being active about change in society at a very young age.
The struggle and never-give-up attitude made me achieve this milestone. I write thoughts as a daily dose of motivation in English, Hindi and Urdu language. This year my work of debut novel crawled into the international market for the impact it made on the lives of readers. My work was nominated internationally for “iWoman Global Award 2019” and nationally for “Women on Mission 2019” organized by YOURSTORY.
12. What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
I wish to create leaders and heal broken hearts and be remembered even after my death for my influential writing style. I want to rule the hearts of readers and be remembered as Best Healer, not a Bestseller.
Further, I wish to serve society with kindness and love to restore the dying humanity and goodness. And be bold enough to cure the diseases like- being critical about others, nose-poking, spreading hate and jealousy, cheap mentality about girls and free mind from orthodox mind.
I want to train my female readers with Martial Arts just like I learned it for my safety. I believe that it’s time we learn to be our own Superwomen rather than finding a Superman. “Stop yourself from being critical about others because you yourself are an imperfect human being and have the heart to forgive the mistakes of others”.
Virendra is a passionate reader and writer. He is currently working for two leading IT media portals. This blog is where he shares everything, whether it is a book review, technical article, author interviews, things he has learnt (and still learning). He also writes about his take on this world through unique, helpful and odd stories.