Interview with Nikhlesh Mathur, author of 'The Storm in the Silence'Interview with Nikhlesh Mathur, author of 'The Storm in the Silence'
on Dec 15, 2021
Alumnus of NIT Rourkela and a Chemical Engineer by profession, Nikhlesh Mathur is currently positioned as Unit Head in a Sorbitol Manufacturing Company of global repute and has concurrently established himself as a published author in the fields of academic and creative writing.
His debut book-length publication titled Learning Chemical Engineering for Process Industries reconciles his decades of industry experience with the objectives of academic writing. In his free time, Nikhlesh likes to read, mind map his ideas into writing, and practice scientific astrology. He is currently residing in a small tehsil named Badnawar in district Dhar of Madhya Pradesh.
With The Storm in the Silence, he ventured into fictional modes of representation.
Check out his full interview:
Frontlist: The Storm in Silence is sort of a book that will teach you how to go
on with life valiantly. What inspired you to write this book?
Nikhlesh: A number of factors have consciously and unconsciously gone into the shaping of the narrative. It is a story of a young married woman, ambitious for a career and wrestling with unfavorable power structures in both domestic and professional space. The idea of writing a novel had been with me for a long time. I draw inspiration from observing people, analyzing social situations and their impressions on me. This book had a distinct storyline. I have observed such acts in real life, for example, the behavior of some people who feel challenged by you, creating hurdles for newcomers, snide comments to de-motivate. Everyone knows about the medical entrance exam scam which occurred some time ago, drug dealing cases, etc. All this is included in the story, but of course, a bit dramatized in the interest of the fiction.
Frontlist: Why did you decide to publish with Blue Rose Publishers?
Nikhlesh: Blue Rose Publishers is one of the fastest-growing self-publishing avenues in India today. Their industry experience and professionalism is the main reason why I have decided to go with them.
Frontlist: You chose a very strong woman character - Aarti to write this story.
What was your ideation behind this character?
Nikhlesh: The narrative is woven around Aarti and her struggles in both private and public spheres of life, how she successfully engages with systems of power that are inherently unfavorable to women. The ideation or the creative process was to make an inspirational woman as the protagonist of the narrative. Aarti not only challenges the social constraints that are placed upon her, she also takes charge of her own narrative. She has the will to alter and reshape the narrative of her life. I firmly believe that there are many Aarti’s in our country who are fighting similar battles and winning them.
Frontlist: You are a Chemical engineer, an author, and also fond of Scientific
Astrology. How do you manage to take out the time from your busy
schedule to write?
Nikhlesh: I feel the whole act of writing has evolved over time. The writing was initially a hobby, then a vehicle to articulate my ideas. At times it was an outlet to my opinions, sentiments, and impressions upon me. The craft of writing is an ever-evolving process. At the same time, it is tied up with everything else that I do. So, I don’t see writing as an activity that is separate from my everyday activities. This approach has led me to blend writing seamlessly into my routine. And believe it or not, the writings are also helping me in improving in other spheres of life including my professional activities.
Frontlist: What have you learned thus far in your writing career?
Nikhlesh: Writing is an enjoyable process of self-discovery. I think one learns a lot about oneself during the process of writing. Sometimes, the generic conventions dictate narrative choices. But, I feel writing is a liberating experience. The best part is that you gradually evolve as you write. The flow of ideas makes the scenario more interesting. I think I have improved my thinking prowess because of writing and also my communicative abilities. Since I always read my own writings from a reader’s point of view I am able to relate more to the different kinds of readers. Then the most interesting aspect is the characters in your story if you are writing fiction. For effective writing, you need to be inside those characters and that provides you to view things from varying perspectives. That certainly helped me in understanding people, their views, their strategies, and at times even a peek into their thoughts. This is stimulating.
Frontlist: What approach do you use to get out of a writing slump?
Nikhlesh: Writer’s block is a common phenomenon. I just take it as a healthy reminder to take a break, step back from my writing. When I return, I unconsciously bring in new perspectives and that takes the writing process forward. In other words, the writing slump works as a reset mode that ultimately enriches both the process and the product. During the days when I am unable to pen down anything either due to lack of ideas or being busy in my office work or may be due to paucity of time, I make it a practice to note down whatever comes in my mind without caring for the words, spelling, grammar or even the correctness of the sentence. Note pad of my mobile phone provides me with that platform. I believe that while in a writing slump you continue to get ideas, which of course must be recorded without fail, otherwise they vanish quickly. So in a way a writing slump is a beneficial period also for writers.