If you want to see the beauty in the pain and wonders in this universe, find a girl who writes.
You know the kind of feeling which you find difficult to sum up in words well that’s the day for me today.Talking about today’s ‘Poet of the hour’ is none other than Benazir Mungloo. Born in Mauritius on 8 April,1997 this young writer has entered the writing world and taken it by storm.
She tackles social reality in her writing.Her first book published as a short-story writer is ‘Cold Dish’ from the collection ‘The Bitter Taste’ .It is a triggering story with the theme of molestation at the core.
Benazir debut book as a poet ‘Scarred and Healed’ is a book that reflects her state of mind with diverse themes. The themes include life blunders, loss, mistaken love,feminism,trauma,sexual abuse and abusive relationship.
Benazir sees life as a panorama that she likes to paint in poetry,prose and fiction.
Not only she achieved a lot of literary success but also earned a popular fan base all over the world. She also works as a Creative Writing tutor at Success Tutoring.She is recruited as a year 12/ VCE/A level creative writing tutor.
The conversation with the beautifully talented writer,Benazir was no less than candid…
- Benazir your writing depicts raw emotions. What was the first book that made you cry?
To be honest, I developed an emotional attachment with books and characters much later in life. Despite the fact that I have always been a reader and an observer from a young age, the creative attachment that usually every writer will tell you they feel, came to me much later in life. So the first book that got me emotionally attached to it and had me crying was “The God of Small things” by Arundhati Roy.
- What do you consider as your writing Kryptonite?
I struggle with writing romantic contents. I can only write romantic stuffs when I myself feel loved or have had someone around me during the time that I am producing a romantic poem. Otherwise, I struggle with romance. I just think romance is not my ideal genre when it comes to writing. I simply believe writing is my art and my art should reflect reality. And since reality is not always just fun and games or simply romantic dates and roses, I focus mostly on what society needs to hear the most or what my heart itself has been aching to narrate.
- Do you try to be more original or to deliver the readers what they want?
Writing has always been a private affair for me. Hence, when I write I forget about my readers. I only produce what I inherently believe in or have been feeling / observing for the past few days. Once the pain flows, so does the lesson. It is in fact for this reason that I have been able to gather my audience. They find authenticity and the transparency of who I am in my words. I believe every writer delivers very unique contents when they just be themselves. In fact, this is an ethic of writing : Sincerity! Once that is maintained throughout the contents, the writer’s job is done.
Then, it is up to the audience out there to relate to it or not. If they do, they simply pile onto the number of readers who adore that particular writer or they move on to the next writer that they can relate to. It is that simple!
- How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
The publication of my first book has nothing to do with the evolution of my writing. I am a consistent reader and writer. I am majoring in creative writing at Monash university. Other than my own efforts and hard works that I have been doing to improve my writing, my degree itself gives me a tad lot of tips, tricks and exercises to be a better writer everyday.
The more I write and read, the more I improve and become unique as a writer by creating my own writing style which no one will ever be able to steal or reciprocate.
- What’s the book ‘ Scarred and Healed’ about? Is there any story or motivation behind it I would love to know ?
In short, Scarred and healed is the journey of healing from an emotionally abusive relationship. It is the detailing from the wound to the remedy, from the vulnerability to the empowerment of the self.
As for any background story, I really want to emphasise that not everything that a writer writes means that he or she has really undergone it. A lot of the things that I write are from observations. Similarly this book is a perfect mixture of things that I have witnessed and experienced myself. However, the backbone is that when I first came to Australia, I got interested in pursuing a short mental health course. I furthered my interest in mental health by reading a lot of psychology books about it. Later on, I had turned my knowledge into my art which is poetry! There was a time where I was posting a lot of poems about depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and so many more. A lot of my readers were automatically relating to it. Some felt so comfortable with what I was writing that they felt a bridge of trust between them and me.
A lot of them dropped into my DM to tell me why they were relating so much with it. Among all the things that they confided to me, a recurrent issue that I noticed was emotionally abusive relationships that a lot of women found themselves trapped into. From the reluctance to call the man they love an abuser to the denial that any such thing happen to the aggravation of the situation as it turns into domestic violence – I have heard and advised back to anyone who confided in me. After the completion of the short mental health course, I was in a position to at least know the way to talk to someone when depressed or to identify the signs of when I really need to tell them they need to seek professional help. I guess the biggest inspiration came from here.
- Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good as well as bad ones?
I read comments on my Instagram posts or the complimentary DMS and shoutouts. However I do not read reviews on Goodreads or amazon. My job as a writer is to pour my heart out into my work and to make sure that it stands well enough to get published by a publisher. Once that is done and it is shared with the public, my job is done.
After this, the book becomes a public matter and from there, it is the readers’ responsibility / choice / freedom to like or dislike it. Now, I do take constructive criticisms but not from everybody and certainly not from Goodreads reviews. I take constructive criticisms from writers who are professionals in the field and are really there to help me such as my creative writing lecturers or my fellow writers in my poetry support group. Because these people know what they are saying and this is what they do full-time.
- I know it’s difficult to choose best from your writing because all are carrying a different emotion within but which one poem or quote your parents love from your new book?
You said it. It is difficult to choose one. However, I will pick the poem “the act of loving you”. It is the poem that has won every person’s heart who has read it or listened to me reading it. This poem is about the sweet pain of not being able to let go even after acknowledging that your partner is emotionally abusive and through it all, you helplessly love him and love him more. As I mentioned before, the book describes every vulnerable steps / processes that take place within an emotionally abusive relationship and this is one of them.
- Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
My life is an open book and that is reflected in my writings. For this reason, there is no secret that I hide in my book. As I said in one of my poems : “The day I disappear, find me in the books that I write.” Everything is crystal clear and it is for you as a reader to find peace and the sense of reliability in it.
- What does literary success looks like to you?
That is a complex question. Because the look of literary success keeps evolving for me the more I achieve in my field. Had you asked me this question a year ago when I was very new on the market, I would have told you “when my book reaches a wide audience and it appears in the mainstream media”.
However, I have already achieved much more than that. I come on the list of top 50 international Instapoets. I have been featured as an inspirational writer / high achieving student by Monash university for having authored one book and co-authored three others in the span of ten months. My book scarred and healed has received appreciations from the most influential media person and Mauritian writer Mr Issa Asgarally. Plus, I have already appeared on newspaper & magazine covers, TV and radio shows in Mauritius (my home country).
So now that all of that is done and dusted, I think of literary success of when my next book will be published by any one of the best selling and most prestigious publishing houses renowned around the world and when I will tour the world to carry words to more people, just like one of my inspiration, Rupi Kaur does.
I am sure all your dreams will come true.Thank you for giving us your precious times and sharing with us such amazing things.
P.S. – Benazir is one of a kind ,well that you can make out from her answers. I love the people who are confident and know exactly why and what they are doing. She is exactly like that. I am sure in future she’ll set her benchmark.All the best, Benazir and thank you for joining with me.If you haven’t yet read her books, go grab it right now.