Bringing you the exclusive interview of poetess and author Anjutha Rangnathan, who made an excellent debut with “An Unquenchable Excess of Love” poetry. Not only poetry lovers, but also people who don’t find poetry tasty, are liking the book.
Her book has been nominated for many awards and was featured in Times of India. Apart from her debut book, Anjutha Rangnathan has contributed poems and short stories to many anthologies. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in English Literature.
Read on as author Anjutha Rangnathan talks about her debut poetry, life as a writer, favorite authors, inspirations, next projects, and much more.
1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of your debut book— An Unquenchable Excess Of Love.
Hi, I’m Anjutha Ranganathan, a cosmopolitan and a writer-poet-author. I’m currently pursuing my Doctorate in English Literature. I’ve a huge fascination for words. I love writing. Nothing can heal a soul like writing something that I innately believe in. It is my passion, an unyielding calling and my rescue.
I started writing about 5–6 years back. “An Unquenchable Excess of Love” is my debut poetry book and a dream come true. For which, I have been nominated for many awards as well.
I have contributed several poems and short stories in many anthologies too. Currently, I’m compiling an anthology titled “Dark is Illuminating: Quarantined Tales 2020.”
Recently, I won a writing contest conducted by NotionPress, and the short story I penned called “The Lil Brat” is one of the 25 stories, which got selected amongst some 3000 entries or so. It is featured in an anthology “Pause-Volume 1: An Anthology of Short Stories from a Country in Lockdown.” by Notion press.
I’m a music enthusiast who breathes music. Apart from writing, I love singing, sketching and travelling. I’m an empathetic, diligent person, an unapologetic dreamer, a workaholic who craves solitude. An avid poetry lover, I think poetry and words can mend almost any heart.
Additionally, I love exploring new things, and want to pursue everything in life. I love motivating people. In the future, sometimes I want to be a full time motivator too, because I believe, so many people in this world can do wonders just if they have some belief in themselves.
Being a staunch believer of cosmopolitanism, I feel this world of chaos can be conquered only through kindness and Love.
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An Unquenchable Excess Of Love
This book contains an excess of love, loss and rejuvenation. As the title suggests, it is about love, but it is as much about self-love. How even if we can’t be together with someone, those feelings never change, and it’s etched forever. Not just it, about life in general & the myriad of feelings and emotions we collectively face as humans.
The solace & comfort you need during turbulent times. You can expect themes like love, loss, rejuvenation, motivation, about celestial bodies, etc. This book is for anyone who is in and out of love. Also for someone who needs sheer motivation in life as it contains an exclusive chapter for motivation.
It is divided into 3 parts: ‘The Falling,’ – it’s about the forever sweet little moments of love. ‘The Breaking,’ – it deals with the heartbreaks, cause without some breaking, there is no going in life, and the ‘The Healing.’ – it offers sheer motivation & some remarkable life lessons, everything we need to get going in life.
This book is a blend of emotions weaved honesty from the heart. It will make you smile, cry and heal you all at the same time.
2. From where do you find inspiration behind your poems and write-ups?
From life itself. The emotions of – happiness, turmoil of agony, sadness which I undergo from time to time in my everyday life. Sometimes, the inspiration comes from a person too.
3. Tell us about the journey after the manuscript was ready on your laptop.
I can’t begin to explain the feeling when the manuscript was finally ready on my laptop. I felt a sigh of relief, glad & happy all at the same time. Throughout the process, there was no one to help me out. I had no experience in this before. It was only me, my laptop, those weary dark nights, and my anxiety.
The compilation phase of the book was such a strenuous, long yet a beautiful journey. It was the time I went through some huge crises in my personal life too. With the approach of the deadline of the submission of the manuscript, all these together made me so sick. My breath was heavy. Somehow, I managed to pull out from those hard times by giving in all my efforts, even if it meant sacrificing sleep.
I remember, I used to be awake all night compiling & typing the manuscript, and get ready for college the next morning without an ounce of sleep. It all feels worth it now.
Honestly, I’ve spent more time with this book than with myself after editing, re-editing and all the labour which went into this process. I felt like giving up many times. But I didn’t, I kept going. When the manuscript was finally done, I felt a sigh of relief.
Everything happened only from my firm determination. It all feels worth it and to think of it all makes the journey so beautiful and memorable down the lane.
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4. What sort of reviews are you receiving from the readers?
Mostly, positive ones. Very rarely some constructive criticism too. I’m learning to take them all at the same pace.
People tell me that it’s been really a long time that they read something this beautiful & heart touching as this book. Someone who doesn’t love poetry says it makes them read poetry. My book is an epitome of modern poetry.
They are loving this book so much, that they read it slowly to grasp the content & it still lingers in their mind.
All these comments feel surreal, more like a dream come true. I feel so overwhelmed, motivated & satisfied. This feels enough.
There are also some negative comments, which is subjective, I feel people should not hesitate to pick up the book. It’s because different people would connect differently based on their experiences.
I also feel that poetry is raw emotions to be felt. Not much importance should be given to the composition but rather to the feelings it evokes, and how it makes you feel.
This quote sums up all:
“We are like books, most people only see our cover, and the minority read only the introduction, many people believe the critics. Few will know our content.”
5. When did you realize that you were meant to be a poet?
I’ve been writing since my UG days, but I wrote mostly for my love for writing and to purge my emotions out. Never intended to publish a book back then. I usually shared my writings on social media handles, where slowly people started to like and support my work.
It motivated me to write more. I’m an avid poetry lover, I love reading the works of modern contemporary poets like Rupi Kaur, JM Storm, Atticus etc.
JM storm is my personal favorite of them all. Reading their work, and (also the people who liked my work kept asking me to write a book), I wished to write a book someday.
So, I have been planning to write a book for the past one year. I had a crazy fantasy that I should publish a book before I turn 25. And so everything happened.
Publishing a book was always at the corner of my mind, but I didn’t take any step forward. It was only a dream. Only in 2019, exactly in September, I gave wings to my dream.
But I never knew compiling a book would be this dreadfully tedious process yet a beautiful journey. It took almost a year.
Before publishing this book, I never called myself a poet. Probably, I didn’t have that courage. But right after publishing this book and receiving great comments, people started calling me poetess Anjutha. That’s when I realized that somehow, I always meant to be a poet.
6. What do you do to improve your writing and become a better writer?
I pen down my thoughts whenever possible, no matter how raw it is, no matter if it’s not in good language. I note down my thoughts, then I try to improve it. “To keep writing” is the only way anyone can improve their writing and so do I.
Also I read things, not mostly fiction, anything, any good words. It can be a chap book or a daily quote. It will help in gaining a good grasp of the language & will help in improving the writing. I keep writing no matter what. I search for good vocabulary, improve it by just writing more & more.
7. Tell us about the awards for which your book has been nominated or won? How do these motivate you?
I’ve been featured in a blog called “Best of Poetry: Women in Poetry” by Notionpress 2020, got featured in “The Times of India” Sept 12, 2020 edition of Bangalore.
I’ve been nominated by NE8x Literature Fest as the Author of the Year 2020, and have been nominated & short listed for my book, under “Best Poetry” category by Coimbatore Literary Awards 2020, which is sponsored by Markfly Publishers in association with Twell Magazine & Odyssey Book store.
So excited to hear the results on Nov 15, 2020. These little recognitions really means a lot. As a debutant, it truly motivates me to write more.
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8. ‘An Unquenchable Excess Of Love’ book paints an honest & beautiful image of what it means to be in love. As the writer of this book, what are your thoughts and feelings on what is love and what it means to be in love?
This world revolves around love. Love is something which we can’t define. We can learn about it throughout our life & beyond.
Love is a very divine feeling, which does not happen everyday. It hits you once in a lifetime & when it does, you will not be the same person again.
To be in love is to have patience, to understand & to be understood. Love is embracing the light as well as the dark. Love is helping each other, growing old together even if it means nothing & everything.
9. Would you mind sharing three of your favorite poems from the book with our readers?
Evidence for life
for if I die tomorrow
i’d die with the conglomeration of thoughts
that once i had,
this magical feelings in my bones,
precisely called love.
it was my evidence for being alive.
so, if I die tomorrow,
i’d die in peace
that i lived for once.– Anjutha Rangnathan
even when i hate you
i can’t deny the fact that i still love you
and that hate in itself comes from
an unquenchable excess of love.– Anjutha Rangnathan
and now that i know you, i’m never going to forget the ‘you’,
when I first met,
the reasons why,
and the ‘you’ I know now after resemblances.
your identity when i first met you,
doesn’t disclose even after acquaintance.
cause i will always remember you only for the ‘you’ i first
for it will always stay deep inside,
no matter the passing years of familiarity.– Anjutha Rangnathan
10. A quick-fire round:
– Books that have influenced your life?
Poetry book by JM storm, “In My Head” Vol 1”. This book literally made me cry. It was a great inspiration for me to write my own book.
– What are your other passions in life?
I’m an ardent music lover, I breathe music. I’m a melomaniac, any other adjectives related to music would suit me. I love singing, sketching, editing, traveling, etc.
– What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
My dream goal in life is to become a singer. When I die, I want to be remembered as a singer.
– A line said by your closed one that you never forget?
“Your eyes, lips and the way you talk, no one can love you the way I do.”
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11. What’s next in the roadmap for Anjutha Rangnathan?
I’m the girl who wants to pursue everything in life. So I’m taking it step by step. Currently, I’m doing my PhD. I want to complete it first and become an Assistant prof. of English for a daily earning.
I try to pursue my other passions in life – of becoming a singer, pursuing IAS, which is another of my major dreams, and of course, write more & more.
I’m planning to publish a self-help book solely based on motivation, and more of poetry books in future. Someday, I truly want to become a motivator, start a charity, help the needy — heal millions of souls.
IAS would be a great pathway for that. With so much negative around, too many people delve into this abyss called ‘self doubt’, albeit having great talents. If only people believe in themselves a little more, the world will be theirs.
Have you read the poetry book by Anjutha Rangnathan? Share your review through the comments below.
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