Register now for our upcoming Design Bootcamp!

Shalini P Sawkar: Making Her Pen the Sword Against Societal Stereotypes

12 August, 2021 | Rachita Sharma

Shalini P Sawkar, the writer of the book ‘The Murder of Jay Shekhar’, shares how she evolved as a writer.

My love for writing comes as naturally to me as breathing! Ever since I turned ten, I wanted to write and not stop. I grew up not just with my family in Bangalore, but the characters of novels like Huckleberry Finn, the Little Princess, the Hardy Boys, and Black Beauty, whom I made my companions while growing up. My childhood was filled with streams of stories and my fascination with them. 

That fascination made my first introduction to writing possible. I grew up with a notion that I could pull off anything and everything with my ink. When I was thirteen, I penned two books and had the opportunity to be interviewed at the local radio station, Radio City 91.1 FM. 

My days in school passed by as I pursued writing as my passion. However, I took up engineering because my parents knew that I had always shown a pretty decent performance in my academics. Thus, I operated in the software field.

Just as it is said, “When love is real, it finds a way,” the dream of authoring never left me. I took a leap of faith. In order to discern people’s true reactions, I started sharing my write-ups with random people. I jumped with joy knowing that people liked them. Throughout the process, my desire to write was so constant that it continually found a stream of opportunity to come out. As a result, I decided to pursue writing full-time.

Shalini P Sawkar with her Family

Initially, my parents and others grew a bit anxious as I was moving poles apart from the mainstream. With a firm self-belief, I decided to let my work speak for itself. Never for a moment did I let societal expectations deter me. That would be my message to the youth. Do not let anyone intimidate you. No matter what, I believe in making the right decision at the right time. Embrace your distinctiveness and brace yourself as you chase your curiosity.

That is how I became a wordsmith of crime thrillers and romantic comedies entitled Confessions of an IT Employee, The Murder of Jay Shekhar, and When I Find You. I compose words about creativity, lifestyle, pop culture, and literature. Being a columnist at The Post India and SheThePeople has helped me to explore my creativity to the fullest. As a part of my journey of self-growth, I was invited to speak at TED Circles Kolkata in 2020. 

My unbounded life has been woven in a way that has given me the opportunity to work with the exceptional filmmaker Mr. Saad Khan at First Action Studio. 

Shalini P Sawkar with her Book

Realistic fiction is my genre! It is what gives me a sigh of relief. My protagonists are commoners with a tinge of naivety, full of aplomb, and unending determination. I write my books in a manner that they mirror the society we live in. My crime thrillers deal with wicked brutalities against women such as trafficking as well as modern-day relationships, mental health, infidelity, passion, and peer pressure.

My work has always been a faithful source of pride to me. I received accolades as one of the Top 100 Debut Authors of India 2018-2019 for The Murder of Jay Shekhar. In 2020, I was awarded the Coimbatore Literary Award for the category Most Promising in General Fiction.

Award-winning Author Shalini P Sawkar

Adding one more feather to my cap, I’ve also been blessed with the Global Women Inspiration Awards 2021. 

I believe that love multiplies when it is shared with others. To make an effort to teach others, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct numerous creative writing workshops such as the Writing Skills Workshop for students of NPS Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.

From working with a celebrated filmmaker, being a former software engineer, being a globetrotter who has visited more than 11 countries to being an avid reader, and now a writer, I can say that I’ve lived my life on my own terms!