Tushar Kiran Moodgal, a rising star in the world of poetry – a writer whose latest book is set to explore themes of sorrow, tragedy, and grief in a unique way. He discovered his passion for poetry at a young age and is now on the brink of releasing their first solo compilation of poetry that delves into the deep ocean of sorrow.
Through his writing, he hopes to help readers who have experienced difficult life events, like estrangement, betrayal, and loss, and inspire them to keep moving forward.
In this exclusive interview with Pooja S for The Hindustan Saga, we dive deep into Tushar Kiran Moodgal’s creative process, his literary influences, and how he handles writer’s block, all while exploring the story behind their latest book.
Read more to discover what sets his writing apart from others in the genre
1) What inspired you to become a writer?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: I have always had a passion for writing, and it began at a young age when I started expressing my emotions through poetry. Writing has been my escape from life’s challenges, and I found it to be therapeutic. As a teenager, I imagined seeing my name on the cover of a book. However, it was only recently that I decided to share my work with the world. A few good friends inspired me to take the leap of faith on a cold, foggy December night last year. We exchanged stories and recited some of my Edgar Allan Poe inspired poetry. It was then that I realized that my work deserved to be shared. I began by posting my poetry on Instagram, which I had created in 2017 for this purpose, but it had been lying dormant due to my procrastination and academic commitments. Since then, I have been part of over 25 poetry anthologies, and my first book is scheduled to be released this month. I am currently working on two other books, and writing has become an integral part of my life. Therefore, I can say that I have always known that I would be a writer someday; it was just a matter of time.
2) Can you share with us the story behind your latest book or project?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: My latest book, “Lamentations,” is a solo poetry compilation that explores themes of sorrow, tragedy, and grief, all of which are pieces from different chapters of my life presented through the art of poetry. The book takes a deep dive into the ocean of sorrow, including elements of fantasy and mythology, but also shows how to come out of it as a better, more mature, and stronger version of oneself. The messege of the book is not to surrender to abysmal grief but to accept and endure suffering, learn from it and be rewarded by it.
The poetry in the book is designed to help readers who have experienced difficult life events, such as getting estranged, facing betrayal, losing loved ones for instance during the recent Covid outbreak where so many of us lost people very dear to us. The poetry aims to overcome the pain and move forward with purpose. It explores the forest of grief through poetry but also provides verses that show readers how to best manage their grief, overcome their sorrow, and live a meaningful life with purposeful strides. The book is intended to inspire readers to keep going, to keep striving, and to find hope in even the darkest moments of their lives. I am excited to share this work with the world and hope it will help others who are struggling with similar challenges.
3) How do you approach the creative process of writing? What do you think sets your writing apart from others in your genre?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: As a writer, my creative process of writing has evolved over time. Initially, my works were heavily influenced by my personal experiences, especially heartache and grief, and I approached writing with a very nihilistic mindset. However, as I grew as a writer and reader, my works have become more philosophical in nature. I draw inspiration from the Geeta and the Stoic philosophers, whose teachings have influenced my worldview and writing style.
My creative process of writing begins with reading and research. When I come across a concept or idea that resonates with me, I explore it further, delving into different aspects of the topic. I try to understand the concept fully and find ways to incorporate it into my poetic works. Once I have a good understanding of the topic, I begin to draft my work, and it’s at this stage that my creativity comes into play.
I try to approach my writing with an open mind and allow my thoughts to flow freely. I aim to convey the essence of the concept or idea that I am exploring while still maintaining the lyrical and poetic quality of my work. I often experiment with different forms and styles of writing, and I try to find the right balance between form and content to convey my ideas effectively.
Ultimately, my creative process of writing is a continuous journey of exploration and discovery. It involves reading, research, introspection, and experimentation. Each new work is an opportunity for me to learn, grow, and express my thoughts and ideas in a way that connects with my readers.
4) How do you handle writer’s block or creative dry spells?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: As a writer, I often encounter writer’s block or creative dry spells, and it can be frustrating when the words just don’t seem to come. When this happens, I have found that going into the loving arms of mother nature helps me to rekindle my creativity.
I have always had a deep connection with nature, particularly forests, streams, and mountains. Perhaps this is because I spent my childhood amidst the lush and verdant scenery of Tsimalakha in Bhutan. When I am in nature’s company, something just clicks, and I am inspired to pick up my pen and paper again.
Spending time in nature helps me to clear my mind and gain perspective. The sound of birds singing, the rustle of leaves, and the gurgling of streams all have a calming effect on me. As I immerse myself in the beauty of nature, I find that my mind starts to wander, and I begin to generate new ideas and concepts.
Another way I deal with writer’s block is to take a break from writing altogether. I find that sometimes it’s necessary to step away from my work and give my mind a chance to rest. During this break, I engage in other activities, such as reading, listening to music, or watching a movie. This helps me to relax and recharge, and when I return to my writing, I am usually more focused and energized.
5) Who are your biggest literary influences, and how have they shaped your writing style?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: My writing style has been heavily influenced by the works of John Keats, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Their romantic style of writing has influenced my use of descriptive and sensory language to evoke emotions in my readers. I also draw inspiration from the Gothic style of Edgar Allan Poe, whose dark and mysterious themes have influenced my own work, particularly in my earlier writing.
In addition to these literary giants, the teachings of the Geeta and stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and Epicurus have also played a significant role in shaping my writing style. Their ideas of self-reflection, acceptance of fate, and finding meaning in life have influenced my themes of introspection, personal growth, and acceptance.
The writings of Albert Camus and Friedrich Nietzsche have also influenced my writing style, particularly in my exploration of existential themes and the human condition. Finally, the raw and unapologetic style of Charles Bukowski has also influenced my own writing, particularly in my more recent works where I have explored themes of modern-day life and the struggles of everyday people. Overall, my writing style is a combination of these diverse influences, blending romanticism, gothic elements, philosophical reflections, and a raw, honest approach.
6) Can you walk us through your research process for your writing?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: As a writer, my research process begins with reading and exploration. I look for ideas and concepts that resonate with me and delve deeper into the topic to gain a better understanding. I try to approach the topic from different angles to develop a holistic view of it. Once I have a good grasp of the subject, I begin the drafting process, where my creativity comes into play.
I aim to write with an open mind and allow my thoughts to flow freely. My goal is to convey the essence of the concept or idea I am exploring while still maintaining the lyrical and poetic quality of my work. I experiment with different forms and styles of writing to find the right balance between form and content to effectively convey my ideas.
So basically, my research process involves exploring topics that resonate with me, gaining a deeper understanding, and using my creativity to convey my ideas in a poetic and meaningful way.
7) What has been your biggest challenge as a writer, and how did you overcome it?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: For me personally, the biggest challenge I’ve faced as a writer was getting my work out there and making the decision to actually get my work published. I had always seen myself writing books some day, but deciding when that day would be was a challenge in itself. I procrastinated for a long time, but then one day, with the encouragement of some good friends, I took the big leap forward and started putting my work out there. Once I did, one thing led to another, and I started getting good opportunities. Some of my work even received prestigious awards like the Maharishi Valmiki Bhartiya Gaurav Samman and the Tagore Ratan Samman. I never could have imagined any of it just a year ago, and had someone told me, I would have laughed it off. So, the obstacle I had to overcome was myself, and my tendency to procrastinate. But once I did, I found my way forward and I’m grateful for the success I’ve had so far. As Marcus Aurelius said, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
8) What advice would you give to aspiring writers looking to improve their craft?
Tushar Kiran Moodgal: Its important to be authentic, so be yourself but most importantly train yourself in the literary tradition. Study the works of the masters of poetry or your preferred genre in writing with great zeal, learn from them and see what fits your literary palate. Experiment with different writing styles and techniques to find what works best for you. Also a very basic advice which is often ignored is to constantly work on improving your vocabulary and use of language to create beautiful, standout verses. Yes its extremely important. I know a lot of people in this fast food post modern age frown at the thought but aesthetics in written word is still essential whether someone likes to admit it or not. It makes your verses stand out. Don’t be swayed by trendy but shallow writing that lacks any true poetry or depth. Instead, read and study classic works that have stood the test of time. By immersing yourself in the literary tradition and constantly pushing yourself to grow as a writer, you can refine your craft and become the best writer you can be.
RAPID FIRE WITH TUSHAR KIRAN MOODGAL
1) What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
The Process itself
2) Fiction or non-fiction?
3) Pen and paper or keyboard and screen?
Pen and Paper
4) What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
To become a good writer you must first be a voracious reader.
5) What’s your favorite book of all time?
Pretty much everything J.R.R. Tolkien wrote.