Meet Arsh, aka Scarlet Letter: The Mysterious Writer of YourQuote
Our veteran writer Bharath Nandibhatla caught up with Arsh, one of the best poets of our platform. Through this interview, Bharath captivates us as Arsh unveils the person behind the mysterious profile of hers.
Beginning with the first question, describe yourself in 1200 characters (250 words).
“To define, is to limit.” says Oscar Wilde to which I can’t agree less. Description being a synonym of define and me being a person too hard to decode or understand, I don’t really like the idea of description. But for the sake of this interview, I shall try. Human, I was born as. Arshiya Anjum.R, I was given the name. Scarlet Letter, I created. Humanity, my identity and my passion, right there is me. Adding little details to that I would say, I see world in a very unique way. Occasionally cliché, mostly weird. I’m insanely in love with and highly interested in ruins, mysteries and the existence of anything supernatural. No skyscraper can grab my attention as much as a broken down or abandoned building can. Egypt and Rome are places that intrigue me the most. Pyramid, cities drowned under seas, universe, aliens and anything mysterious, I’m always up for such conversations. Deep stuff digs me. Adventure and thrill are my kind of high. When I said humanity above, I didn’t mean just being born as a mere human. I meant actually having a humane nature. I walk with a dark past and that has taught me to give most importance to respect, kindness, morals and values. Apart from all that, I am a psychology graduate about to start masters in a few days. I like the idea that someone somewhere is made for you forever, a hopeless romantic with lots of hopes (Yes! One of my quotes.) and an optimistic pessimist (also my quote). Didn’t want to sound dramatic, but wouldn’t deny that I love some drama.
Wow! That’s one hell of a bio. Starting off with the usual lot of questions, what inspired you into writing? What/who were your major influences?
Poems. Yes! Poetry itself ignites the inspirational fire into me. I still remember my 3rd grade poems like Daffodils and Solitary Reaper and many more, they used to have such charismatic impact on me that I read and re-read them again and again. When I saw how words could rhyme and sound so beautiful when phrased and weaved with well written meaningful sentences, I started trying out myself.
My Dad was another way of encouragement to me for I used to write letters to him from a very small age. At times when I couldn’t share my feelings to him in person I would pen it all down in a paper and slip the paper inside his wallet. He would read them and come talk to me about it and tell me how amazingly I had written the letter. That made me try and write poetry for him, more like rhymes because I was a 5th grader. That’s when my poetry started.
Apart from this, many poets still inspire me on a daily basis. If I should name some, I would definitely mention William Wordsworth, Shakespeare, William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Robert Frost, Rumi and many more classic writers and poets. Some modern poets like Najwa Zebian, Rune Lazuli, R.M. Drake never fail to galvanize me too.
On a special note, writers like Sydney Sheldon, Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K Rowling have always pushed some mystic writing drive into me. At least, that’s how I feel.
On a very extraordinarily special note, my fam has always been with me through thick and thin and never failed to motivate and encourage me to do what I love most. I would definitely, definitely mention them. I have an awesome family of eleven amazing ladies: Shaheen Khan, Nishita Chauhan, Neha Khamar, Megha Chatlani, Sanjana, Khadija Ali, Subiya Falak, Zahara Hussain, Akifa Mariam, Nufaisa Hasan, Fahima and three incredible men: David Seagal, Wasim Akram and Akmal Abdul Azeem. Yes, I have a huge family.
2. You graduated in psychology, one of my favourites. Do you think that helped you grow as a writer?
I would rather say it helped me grow as a person. Helped me make peace with myself. Helped me deal with life.
3. What is so rewarding about writing? What keeps you going as a writer?
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and thought has found words”, says Robert Frost. The fulfillment that I have worded out my thoughts and the satisfaction that I have reflected them well enough to make myself feel better is what is most rewarding to me.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway. This is exactly what keeps me writing. And trust me, this bleeding is bliss.
I depend on writing for peace of soul and mind. It gives my soul a kind of rise spirituality gives. A relief, a relaxation. It tames the beasts within me, calms the storms in my head. I find myself relieved from the burdens my thoughts carry. I feel wounds heal and scars grow invisible. And that, keeps me going.
4. This has been bothering me for a long while now, why’d you choose Scarlet Letter for a pen name?
Scarlet Letter is my creative identity as a writer and the mystery behind it shall remain a mystery. There is one person other than me in this world who knows the truth behind it and I’m sorry to say, that person alone shall know it forever.
Just to clear a common misconception, some people think the name “Scarlet Letter” is taken from the book “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
No! it isn’t. I found out about the book long after I took up that name. But I would say, after I came to know about the book I loved the story , so much that I picked up lot of things from it. Like the letter “A” picture in red and black which is my current display picture and also a very famous deep line from the book.
“On a field, sable, the letter A, gules”
(“On a field, black, the letter A, red”)
5. You said you walk with a dark past. Would you mind shedding some light on it? Because every writer has a story to write and a story to live. We want to know yours.
If I ever try to write my story I would have to relive all that I let go or bring back to my conscious mind all that I repressed. Doing that would be me walking through a house on fire which has an entrance but no exit. So I choose to not do that to myself.
Right now, my story would be of how I console my traumas, fears and Insecurities. Right now, my story is how I try growing out of the dark ground.
Besides that I would like to leave this quote,
“I locked all my treasures
in these verses I write.
You have the key.
C’mon, be my guest
and loot me!”
6. *Blushing* Thank you for the reference.
If there’s a novel based on your life, what would it be called?
“Your eyes don’t know me yet!”
P. S.: This is probably a novel which would never come out.
7. How did you come to know about YourQuote? What hooks you to it?
This one day when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed I came across a sponsored ad which said,
“Write your quotes on beautiful wallpapers and make them Google searchable”.
The first word “write” was enough and the app was on my phone within the next 10 minutes.
And about what hooked me to YourQuote, was basically everything. The fact that my work was appreciated, the amazing writings I myself was able to read, the community and the most helpful and quick responding team of founders were all very overwhelmingly addictive. YourQuote helps me to stay stable and sane at most terrible times.
8. I second you on that. YQ is my catharsis in crisis too. What do you think is the most important element of prose/poetry?
One can write anything. In my opinion,
thoughts, feelings, emotions, jokes, experiences, observations, fiction or non-fiction, that one important element in anything one writes is the Honesty with which it’s written.
9. If there’s one thing you want to change about your writing, what would it be?
There is nothing I want to change exactly, only thing is that I try my best to reach out to everyone in the most simple way possible with brevity through my writings. So, if I am by any chance failing in doing that, then I would like to work more on it.
10. Ruins intrigue you. That’s a very rare trait. What is it that draws you to them?
The beauty of it is what draws me to them. When something is ruined and still looks proudy magnificent in its state, I see strength and inspiration and a whole history behind it and I find myself enjoying every bit of the legend.
11. Tell us about your obsession with castles. For someone so intrigued by ruins, what about castles lures you to it?
Again, castles have stories to tell and may carry histories behind. What’s more lovely than structures that can whisper stories that can go on forever but never fail to surprise you.
P. S.: History is not my favorite subject. I hate to remember dates. I’m just in an endless relationship with untold stories.
12. Quick question: Scars or Stars?
Quick answer: Both
Scars teach and stars preach.
13. *Claps* I’m not surprised that you love mysteries. You seem one, yourself. Is there a secret you want to share with us?
“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” — Stephen King.
If I tell you the secret, what will be the secret?
14. Who are your favourite writers on YourQuote?
To be honest, it’s not about favorite writers but about the writings. Every writer on YourQuote is amazing in different unique ways. I have favorite quotes from every writer I have come across on YourQuote. Everyone have written masterpieces I love and it is painful to select who is best in it.
Every writer, me included, have written good to great quotes but also written dull to lousy ones. Don’t want to sound like a critic of any sort, I’m just giving my honest opinion.
So I rather go with favorite quotes than favorite writers and in that way I have so many favorite quotes from every single writer I know on YQ that it’s hard to pen down.
15. What’s been your greatest personal discovery?
The love of my life.
It may sound cliché, I don’t mind that, but it has a very deep meaning to it. That indeed is my greatest personal discovery.
16. What is your favourite possession? Share a picture and add 3–4 lines.
They are my fierce passion, my aggression, my best friend and my worst enemies but most of all my inseparable possession.
For the pictures, well my whole YourQuote profile can symbolize my thoughts.
Here are some of Arsh’s best quotes:
Follow her writings on YourQuote. Here’s her profile: http://www.yourquote.in/arsh-ez1/quotes/?sort=top