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