I would say there were several inspirations accumulated over the years that inspired “Wet Silence.” I have always been observant and curious so from the time I was a young girl, I wondered about the lives of Hindu widows. The permissions, the restrictions, the barrenness, and the lack of voice inflicted upon them. The heavy hand of patriarchy defining a woman’s existence after her husband died. I guess, what I saw stayed with me and led to “Wet Silence.”
Hindu widows whom I knew personally and interacted with; Hindu widows whose stories were shared with me by their friends and family; and, the fear that only one/limited story was being shared about Hindu widows.
Q2. There’s lot of emotions in every word written, have you ever come across a Hindu widow, or know one closely? Tell us the story behind the book.
I write the stories that need to be told (from my humble point of view) and often times the stories pick me. There is an urge and need to pour out words. The ill treatment of many Hindu widows and their place in society has bothered me for as long as I can remember. And, though a lot has been written about Hindu widows in India, I haven’t seen much about the path I have chosen for this book.
My Dadi, paternal grandmother, became a widow when I was a little girl. While she led a comfortable and cozy life, there were no restrictions or rules, but she had no companion. That reality haunted me until the day she died.
Q3. You are a prolific writer, how do you manage your projects?
I have a corporate background and a Type A personality ;-) These two things help me stay focused and conscious of my time.
Q4. Who comes up with new ideas for your books?
100% me. I only tell the stories that I need to tell: this maddening urge and compulsion to turn thoughts and research into a book...that’s what keeps me going. Often times, I write to make sense of the world around me. And, authenticity is extremely important to me. How can anyone else see the world the way I do? It’s my own unique experience.
Q5. How does it feel to be featured as “One of the most influential Asians of our time”?
It’s flattering but surreal. I mean, it doesn’t change me at all as an individual. But, it’s heart-warming and encouraging to find out that my writing has made a difference in people’s lives. It makes me feel a bit more responsible for what I put out there.
Q6. For all writer fans of yours please give some tips.
All I can say is write from a place of authenticity and tell the story that you want to tell. Not what sells or doesn’t sell. Not everyone will like or relate to your work and that’s okay. But there is nothing more comforting that knowing you wrote what you wanted to write as opposed to what others expected you to write.
Don’t be shy of hard work and definitely don’t let rejections stop you from writing. When you show up with devotion, your words will too.
Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com), featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, five times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 10 books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist. Sweta, also a certified yoga teacher, wellness entrepreneur, and a student of Ayurveda, teaches the power of yoga & mindful living to trauma survivors. A graduate of Columbia University, when Sweta is not doing yoga, cooking, traveling, writing books, or posts for magazines, teaching creative writing, or giving talks on gender equality, she works as a digital and content marketing consultant. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband and can be found on Twitter [@swetavikram], Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta], and Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/swetavikram]