AUTHOR FEATURE: Abhinav Motiwal

Today on DEIRDRE READS is another author feature, this time featuring poet and all-round Renaissance man Abhinav Motiwal from New Delhi, India. His book of observational poetry, SONDER: DAILY EPIPHANIES is now available for order on Amazon!

DR: When did you first start writing & why?

AM: I have been writing for a decade now, my first book was published when I was 14. I am a Social Development professional and currently associated with a global consultancy. These pieces, amongst others, are a result of more than a decade of writing whenever I get time.  I am a keen observer of daily happenings and seek stories in every little detail that I see.

It cannot be said that there was one overt trigger to write, since I have always been an avid reader and thus I grew naturally into it as I got older. More so, the urge to express how I feel and put it out there really inspired me to put into words. I love playing with words and their meanings and thus poetry was the obvious choice for me.

DR: What are you inspired by?

AM: I have greatly been influenced by daily happenings and that has always acted as the stimuli to keep me going, at times writing for hours and at times not being able to write a single piece for days. People and their behaviour really intrigue me and I try capturing this in my works as well.

Interestingly, the title of [Sonder: Daily Epiphanies] was supposed to be ‘Yellow Diaries’, something which I had decided when I had begun writing poems when I was 14. However, at the last moment I felt that it would not do justice to the theme of the poems. I have also been intrigued by the concept of ‘Sonder’ and the little details of the world. So, that was how the title of the book of the book came into being.

DR: How did you get published?

AM: These pieces have been written during my school, college and working life. I have been really passionate about it and this book is a consequence of that. While I had pursued getting it published through various publishers, it could never materialise due to time and financial constraints. Nonetheless, I kept the passion alive and eventually came across the concept of self-publishing. Additionally, about this time I began exploring self-publishing with Amazon as well and that is how this book was published- with Kindle. 

DR: Any advice for aspiring writers looking to get started?

AM: It is all is truly worth it. Don’t stop or worry about others. Your writings are your own, people don’t know any better. Utilize the stimuli and ennui both to fuel your creativity and let the world know. 

The book has been reviewed by many book reviewers and has received very encouraging words from them. Amongst the aspects which have been noted are the varied topics of the poems, the catharsis of emotions that have been expressed in few words and the lucid language.

Interestingly, the poems have been variously interpreted by all and none of them are in disagreement with the motif of the poems as well. The response has been that, everyone will feel something new and will have their own version of emotions- emulating the ‘Sonder’ theme of the book.

DR: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

AM: Honestly, with my daily work routine I don’t get time for anything else. However, in my limited free time, I usually go for extended walks and create photographic portraits of people.  Sometimes I write poems based on these photos.

DR: What’s next for you?

AM: I am hoping to reach like-minded people with this book and learn more about them- keep writing in future and hopefully take writing full-time (who knows?). At a higher level, I would want to know more about the people as they cross paths with me and their stories to learn from their experiences to grow as an individual.

Thanks Abhinav! Check out SONDER: DAILY EPIPHANIES below!

The word ‘Sonder’ has its origins in neologism and was coined in 2012 by John Koenig. What does it mean? It is inspired by German “sonder”- special and French “sonder”-to probe. It has a very special meaning of the profound realisation that everyone, including strangers passed in the street have a life as complex as one’s own. They are constantly living in it despite their lack of awareness of it. By extension, a collective existence with individual levels of awareness and a general ignorance.

That brings us to the primary motif of the poems, a fly on the wall commentary on daily life and observations. At times satirical, albeit dwelling on the world around us. The works use colour, emotions or behaviour to reflect the tendencies and idiosyncrasies of people whom we see in our daily lives.

The poems explore contrarian ideas or the flipside of reasoning or simply try making the mundane less so, weaving words in the process. While some poems tell a story, others are much removed and rely on the underlying tone to let the reader fire his imagination. In doing so, it creates a shared experience of putting connotation into the words but letting the reader discover their personal meanings within each poem- a mutual ‘sonder’ creation.


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