Meet Indhumathi Nagarajan: The Warm Witty Wise Writer of YourQuote

Our writer Sara Jothi interviewed Indhumathi Nagarajan, one of the most profound and subtle writers on YourQuote, and unearthed the purpose of her poetry and passion in a cheerful coffee conversation

Describe yourself in about 250 words — Imagine writing a tiny autobiography.

I’m an Engineer pursuing my post-graduation at Madurai, Tamil Nadu. I come from a traditional and closely knit nuclear family. My dad and I always agree to disagree and hold interesting debates, often intervened and settled by my mom. I have a bubbly younger sister who is my best friend, confidant and archenemy at times!

Right from my school days I was involved in activities like creative writing and debate. I am also a public speaker and was associated for over two years with Toastmasters (a community for improving communication & leadership skills). I learnt a lot about professional etiquettes, met several seasoned speakers and mentored a few beginners there.

I am a voracious reader and my reading preferences have changed over the years. I enjoy conversations about space, history, travel and lifestyle. Anything that’s antique and has a story to tell fascinates me. I love people-watching because there’s usually an ocean of difference between what someone thinks, says and does.

My thoughts and interests are quite whimsical and I like to challenge myself constantly with new projects. I don’t mind being tagged as amateur as long as I’m learning something new. Right now the things I enjoy doing the most include DIY crafts, organic gardening and of course writing at YourQuote. I mostly write about simple inconsequential things because they often tend to go unnoticed.

2. First things first, when did you start writing? Do you remember your first write up?

Yes, it was in my third grade. I was waiting for dad to pick me up after school and decided to make a greeting card for his birthday the next day. I made a cute (almost) pineapple shaped card and wrote some childish birthday message in that. Dad was so touched. Everyone loved it and so more greeting cards followed. In my ninth grade, a poem I wrote for mom got published in the school magazine. I started writing to express my love to the people around me and I hope I never stop doing that.

[Er… wait, let me refresh your bio. So I can probe you better.

Haha. This is going to be the most “professional” interview ever, Sara.]

3. Since I know you are really close with your family, what are the reactions of your family on your growth as a writer?

They are really encouraging and supportive when it comes to me, following my passion. Dad thinks I should write more of the kind that reaches and inspires a common man. Mom is my first and most trusted critic. My little sister thinks poets shouldn’t exist because their works land in school books as memory poems :P

4. Bless her! I feel her. LOL. So speaking of poets, tell us more about the poet(s) who inspire the poetess in you.

I have been too occupied with reading novels and I started reading poetry only much recently. Poets whom I connect with include Robert frost, Ruskin bond, William Wordsworth and Rumi. Some the poems that I read in school days like The solitary reaper, A psalm of life and The stone have always struck with me.

I am not sure if I am a poetess yet. I try though :D

5. You are one! You are getting better by the day, though. Moving on, I’m sure many have this same question for you. Lucky, I got to ask. Why ‘Warm.Witty.Wise’ ?

That’s a very generous compliment. Thank you!

Coming back to your question, about two months after I started writing in YQ, I found that someone else was using my then pen name — Indhu. Being the indignant me, I reached the App’s founder (Harsh Snehanshu) in FB complaining how my pen name has been violated (seems a bit childish now). He explained the practical issues in copyrighting a pen name that is changeable by users anytime. So I wanted a unique pen name for myself. I wanted something that was warm, witty and wise because that’s how I wanted my writings to be. Being the lazy me, I settled for Warm.Witty.Wise.

6. By the way, how you got to know about YQ?

I wish I had an interesting answer to that! The reality is I never believed in serendipity until the day I downloaded a random app from playstore to design my Facebook statuses and ended up downloading YourQuote.

7. Sometimes it’s the random meetings that’ll take us to interesting places. Tell me how seriously do you take your writing? What’s the most fulfilling aspect of writing?

Zero percent. Writing is love and you don’t take love seriously, you take it passionately. There used to be a time when I wanted to be a bestselling author and all that. Sure, I still want the same things, but now I know where I am and what I need to work on. Right now, I want to feel the happiness of writing about mundane everyday things and make them appear extraordinary. I want to be a better writer than I was yesterday and I want to test & explore my limits as a writer.

Answering the second part of your question, it’s most fulfilling when a reader says things like, “I have felt that too” or “I am inspired by your words”. Right there, living that moment is for me the most fulfilling aspect to writing.

8. Interesting take on it! So what’s so important in a story for you?

People say don’t judge a book by its cover. But unfortunately that’s where the attraction begins. The cover, blurb and title are like the entry ticket for a story to make me notice it. Then comes the character sketch, in the first two pages I have to be convinced that he/she/a dog in the story is very much real. Just the right amount of description, a gripping plot and one compelling reason to complete the book is all it takes. The reason can be anything between the love or hatred for a particular character or the suspense factor.

9. You do have an interesting character. Which brings me to my next question, if there’s a novel based on your life. What would it be called?

Err…Whimsical abstractions? Yeah, that would be me. :-P

P.S: About picture of my favorite possession, there’s a reason a book on my life would be named as Whimsical Abstractions. I don’t think it’s possible to contain my favorites inside a frame. :)

Fine, let’s skip that!

10. Haha… quite fond of ‘whimsical’ aren’t we? So for a person so whimsical what hooks you to YQ?

The family. Never have I ever received so much positive reviews and constructive criticisms. I have been writing in YQ for over six months now and the one thing I can say for sure is that I am a better writer than I was before. So why would I not be in a place that makes me feel so?

11. Agreed! Who are your favourite writers in YQ?

I don’t have favourite writers; I only have favourite quotes/poems. Many of my favourite quotes have been written by Sara Jothi, Bharath Nandibhatla, Priyanka Srivastava, Prerona Dutta, Ayena Makkar Gridhar, Harsh Snehanshu, Prem Kumar Chanda, Umang Bhandula and Aayushi sonkar.

In Tamil, I admire the works of writers like Uli aka Ayyamperumal, Aadhil basha, Abirami Kumarasami, Kavipriya marky, Nivedha Jagan and Sara Jothi again.

12. Thank you so much! I’m humbled. Now tell us what do you detest in writers?

Writers who tamper the plot to gain commercial success and the kind that makes the protagonist flawless and seemingly God like beings.

13. Alright! it’s getting serious. Let’s revert back. You mentioned you like places with history! I get it, you are born in one. So, were one of us to pack our bags to Madurai tell us any three places you will drag us to and why?

Yes. Madurai and history are like salt and water in the ocean: inseparable. Here are the top three compulsory experiences in Madurai.

1) Meenakshi temple. Not just because it’s a religious shrine or a tourist attraction. It’s like if you want to know Madurai, you have to visit this place. I feel the entire essence of the city gravitates towards this temple.

2) Then I will treat you to Jigarthanda, Madurai’s signature dessert. I call it a swig of heaven brewed with stars.

3) Then the Puthu mandapam, a kind of quaint bazaar just outside Meenakshi temple. Can you imagine getting Tshirts, cotton sarees, books, accessories, brassware, traditional arts and crafts, mobile cases, and head phones all in one place? Well that’s Madurai for you. The modernity that villages lack and the tradition long forgotten by cities.

Tell me when you are visiting Sara, I will have the entire schedule ready. We will visit wholesale book shops :D

14. Ahem, soon-ish. Maybe! #DearestTimmy is one of your best written pieces, at least for me. You seem to be into series: there was this #LandscapingPeople and #Lovelements. Tell us your thoughts on series writing and mention few favourites from our app.

I am so glad you loved #DearestTimmy ☺

Anticipation is what makes reading an absolute pleasure. Before the era of social media writing I remember how I used to carry around a novel in my bag during schools days. Even if there’s a short break in between, I used to open the book and read a few pages. The point is the suspense, thrill and pleasure I had in impatiently waiting to read what happens in my favourite story, that’s what series writing is all about. Quoting a comment from one of my readers, she said “I love reading this story in bits and pieces”. This bits and pieces coming together to weave a tale fascinates me.

Some of my favourite series in YQ includes

#Balconyletters and #Januaryletters by Harsh snehanshu, #RheavsLove by Sara jothi and #Amanssecondlovespeaking by Aishwarya Saha.

15 . If you could change anything in your writing, what would that be?

I am still learning when it comes to writing. I started out by writing general fiction and now I am experimenting with poetry. In near future, I would love to explore other genres like fantasy and historical fictions.

16. Tell us some of your all-time favourite books, since you are an avid reader.

Harry Potter by JKR, A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi, The fault in our stars by John Green, The diary of a young girl by Anne frank, If tomorrow comes by Sidney Sheldon and Deception point by Dan Brown.

I have a list of three books that are not very widely known, but I think they should be:

1) Poo Lorn of the Elephants by Reginald Campbell

2) Sarah’s key by Tatiana De Rosney

3) The little princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This list can go on for a while. So I’m stopping here. Ok, just one more, The famous five series by Enid Blyton because that’s where my reading crusade started.

I have just started reading Tamil books and have taken a liking to Kalki’s rich narrative and detailed description of the Tamil kings and history. I completed Parthiban Kanavu and was quite smitten by it. Right now I’m reading Sivagamiyin sabatham and I plan on completing the entire Ponniyin Selvan series someday.

Quite an interesting list and good luck finishing that huge series! When you are at it do try ‘Thaneer desam’ by Vairamuthu. It’s a decade and half old. ‘I need an entire generation forward’ is how he starts the book and I guess the generation he was talking about has come of age now.

17. You have a good eye for Tamil literature I see. Is there a particular verse that you are fond of?

காண்பதெல்லாம் மறையுமென்றால்

மறைந்ததெல்லாம் காண்பமன்றோ

நானும் ஓர் கனவோ

இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ

- பாரதி

Translation

If all that we see is to eventually fade

Shouldn’t we get to see it reappear in its shade?

Then am I a dream too?

Stuck in a ploy that nature plays, living a lie…

18. I haven’t read anything that slaps the need for humility in appreciating the fragility of life so precisely. Well, it’s Bharathi! You proved me right with that one. Let’s conclude with this. Speaking of life, if given a choice to burn bright and burn out, or to burn mellow and stay longer what would Indhumathi choose?

Answering this question will be like choosing between whom I am and who I should be. For the sake of spreading and experiencing a little more love and happiness I want to burn mellow and burn longer like a wick. But eventually when I burn out I will make sure I leave behind an explosion.

Awesome! On that blast, let’s wrap the most procrastinated interview for this year. No thanks to your project. It was fun!

Haha. As an engineer, I have had to attend several interviews and this one is my most favorite so far. Thank you Sara. I would also like to thank the founders of YourQuote for giving me and my words a purpose. I am glad that a random app I downloaded opened the doors to a whole new wonderland. Lots of love to YourQuote ❤

Here are some of Indhumathi Nagarajan’s best posts on YourQuote.

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