her soul was too
deep to explore
by those who
always swam in
the shallow end.
How many people have you met or heard about who had turned their passion into a profession.
Don’t know about you but I’ve recently met such a person. Earning a degree in medicine and still keeping her soul was inked. Indeed a poet she is. Today our passionate author is Dr. Priya Dolma Tamang.
Her first debut book ‘Ivory Gleam’ has already won many hearts. It is a compilation of poetry and prose. It holds the essence of longing and learning, also learning through self-reflective insights.
Priya hails from Himalayan terrain of Sikkim. Spirituality is what she admires a lot. One of the most talented writer I’ve got the chance to interview.
………………………. Coffee shots and Candid talks…………………….
1) You hail from the Himalayan state of Sikkim. I’m sure you are very close to Nature. Did it help to ignite the spark of a writer in you?
I’ve spent a major chunk of my early adulthood outside Sikkim, and since I am homebound for a while now, I’ve inevitably come to appreciate the natural gifts we often tend to take for granted. Nature inspires me, both literally and metaphorically. It is the purity and peace that I breathe in every morning which awakens a sense of Zen. Clarity of thought is quintessential for mindful creation.
2) Priya, being a writer you aim to embed practical spirituality in the pieces you write. What, according to you, is Spirituality?
Spirituality, to me, is acknowledgement, awareness and acceptance of the fact that we are much more than these bodies we conduct. We are Souls, interconnected at energetic levels of love, compassion and universal oneness.
We are different in our similarities, yet similar in our differences. Once we realize this bigger picture and the grand scheme of things and begin to recognize ourselves as vibrations from a single cosmic source, there will be no room for hatred, competition, discrimination, judgment and any negativity that segregates our human race.
We are all in this together, we sink or swim as a whole. Shallow, material needs will cease to satisfy, but spiritual growth and a rich inner world is what we can truly pass on from one life to the next, and onto informed generations. To quote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” I concur.
3) Professionally you are a Doctor. How did Dr Priya turn into Poet Priya?
My qualification is that of a Medical Practitioner, which is undoubtedly, a very noble profession. But with all due respect, my artistic side has taken over and dominated my personality. We are all serving humanity, in whatever capacity we can, and whichever role we choose to play.
Words have a tremendous healing effect, and sometimes, kindness can do what allopathy cannot. Drugs modulate the physiology and alter chemical reactions. Words can modulate the psyche, and alter emotional reactions. And for better living, there ought to be a perfect balance in the trinity of Body, Mind and Spirit.
4) What’s the story behind the title ‘Ivory Gleam’, and what’s the book about?
The title ‘Ivory Gleam’ has intrigued many readers. I happened to compile this assemblage of poetry and prose in the midst of floating clouds over the Sikkimese hills. The pristine whiteness resonated with my thoughts, and I’d stare for hours into the nimbus – purging my musings, purifying intentions and reflecting them into verses
‘Ivory’ is the colour which best describes the ‘gleaming’ clouds that have helped me to rediscover myself. With this book, and the three chapters of learning, longing and loving, which have all been dealt with differently, thematically and figuratively, I’ve made an attempt to offer three decades of my respective experience and observations.
5) Which is the one writer you admire a lot, and why is it so?
I admire Dr Brian Weiss. I’ve read his books over and over again, at various phases of my life. They have answered many of the queries that I nurtured regarding life and life after death.
Whenever I seek the meaning of existence, the fatality of loss and the longing for love, his books are the ones that I turn to. His theories seem pretty plausible to me.
6) Priya what does literary success look like to you?
Success is a highly subjective term. In relation to what I perceive as ‘success’, if my actions are aimed not to harm but to heal, not to degrade but to motivate, not to spread hatred but awareness, I’d be happy with myself.
Contrary to commercial success, literary success would mean improving on your craft with each work produced, and being able to influence a loyal readership with what you have to offer. Name, fame or fortune have never been my priority. Respect, love and genuine connections, definitely are.
7) Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Being an HSP (highly sensitive person), I thrive on emotions and have always sought emotional security in interpersonal relationships, and all the things that I do. As far as writing is concerned, there are various genres which do not mandatorily require emotionality or sensitive scrutiny.
by Priya Dolma Tamang
Any literate person can write. Now how far those writings are able to elicit the intended response from the readers, is what distinguishes the skill of one writer from the other. I believe that true art is undiluted honesty, and anything done with an honourable drive is worth adulation (with or without an emotional aspect to it).
8) What kind of a research do you do, and how long do you spend on research before beginning a book?
There is no research involved when I compose poetry, apart from an in-depth journey into my own cognition, and sentiments alike. I write spontaneously without any bias of force contrived methods.
I rarely edit or redo what has free-flown from my mind. However, if my write-ups include fact-based or an analytical backdrop, I do take adequate time to educate myself before voicing an opinion. As far as form poetry is concerned, I read several examples to learn the technicalities of their structure. But with free verse, the artistic license is liberating, creatively satisfying and less time-consuming.
9) Do you Google yourself?
Of course, I do. I Google my name, my book reviews and everything else under the sun.
by Priya Dolma Tamang
Google and I are inseparable. I’d not be here if it was not for Google.
10) Any message that you would want to give to our aspiring writers?
I’d be lying if I say, I have the ultimate words of wisdom to provide. And it would be an understatement to assure that the life of any creative entity is easy.
It is not going to be easy, especially if you want to carve a niche of your own in this societal relay of rat races. What matters is your passion and how far you are willing to invest in terms of time and energy, to master your art and improvise every day.
I am in this for no reason other than my love for it. If your artistic pursuit is one of your loves and not just an avenue for some vain agenda, you will be recognized for your sheer hard work, adored for your zeal and praised for your talent.
PS – I’ve read somewhere ‘She’s a mess of gorgeous chaos,and you can see it in her eyes’.
I love how her passion dominated over her profession. Priya has rightly stated that words have the power to heal the world. Hope this will be an inspiring story to all the people whose passion is somewhere got blurred under their profession vision.
I hope all her upcoming books would be loved by readers as ‘Ivory Gleam’. You can find her on instagram by the name –‘poetryandprosebyk’. It was an amazing candid talk with this beautiful writer.