About the author: Himangini Puri, popularly known as Himi, is a writer and choreographer. She dances about the things she can’t write and writes about the things she can’t dance. Born and raised in New Delhi, Himi has been engaged in several Indian classical forms of the performing arts. She pursued her higher education in dance globally; in Singapore, England, Malta, and Spain. Himi’s poems, or as she lovingly calls them ‘iterations’ or ‘happenings’, often come into creation in moments of heightened emotional resolve. Blending the Indian and Western worlds with a vivid imagination, Himi’s ‘happenings’ span diverse topics from love, sex, intimacy, and life to the more abstruse such as outer space and horror.
Summary of the book: And if you cannot find the light, I urge you to look within the corners of your heart; for the holes that were punctured left not only wounds, but windows to let the light sink in.
1. Can you tell us a little about your book?
My book is a collection of my poems from different phases of my life. In reality, these poems were never meant to leave the pages I wrote them on, but here we are. It’s an amalgamation of my feelings about many impactful experiences. I’m the over-thinker/hardlover kind of writer, which also means I describe details in my poetry that are nuanced and add multiple layers for readers to dive into. The poems are divided into 5 sections- love poems, dark poetry, musings, self-love and worldly thoughts.
2. Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out of the blue idea?
A series of multiple events inspired this book. It’s been written over a span of eight years and for me, it was never about finding a way to an audience, it simply became what it was meant to be overtime.
3. What got you writing in the first place?
Oh, I started writing quotes and song lyrics when I was probably as young as age 7, that’s an age I’ll never forget. I learned a lot about myself that year, and somehow I remember it all. I’m also a choreographer and so, when I can’t find ways to describe my feelings via movement, I succumb to my pen.
4. What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?
I couldn’t believe that I have written so much. And these are only half my poems, I had to delete some out because the book was becoming too long! I also thought that I cannot exactly remember how strongly I felt while writing some of them, as though by the time the poem was being finished, so were my feelings.
5. Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?
Well, since this is not a story and is a poetry book, all of the poems connect with me. These poems are like windows into my life and its happenings. They were all in me at some point and now are on the pages of Unrooting.
6. What makes your book the one to read?
Well, I can’t be so sure if this book is for everyone but for those who seek poetry that takes them into another world; makes them feel like they’re on a cathartic journey and provokes them to think, this is the one to read.
7. What was the best advice you got while writing?
To not worry about the outcome. It’s the hardest yet the best habit one can develop as a writer, or even as an artist. I didn’t know I would ever create Unrooting. The poems happened, and thus came Unrooting.
8. Who’s your all-time favourite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them?
It’s odd, I don’t read fiction at all. I read physics and poetry books. So my favourite author is Stephen Hawking and my favourite poet is Akhil Katyal. Though his articles are gripping, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Brief Answers to Big Questions by Hawking and I fell in love with Akhil Katyal’s work in The Penguin Book of Indian Poets.
9. What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?
Write about what makes you move, swell, dip, rise, burn, burst, grow, alive—but most of all, write about what makes you live.
10. What was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest poems to write were ‘A dance for the dead’ and ‘Fallen’. The first one is a poem about the second wave of COVID in India and it captures the tense climate and the grave side effects of elitism. ‘Fallen’ was hard to write as it was difficult for me to accept that I in fact, had fallen at some point in life. It demonstrates my then hurt and defeated state of mind.
11. Do you have another plot brewing?
Oh yes, a few actually- a couple of books, a dance production and a film, too. I have a lot to say, in different ways and I don’t think I’ll be done for a while.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/dp/9357764453?ref=myi_title_dp