Meet Monika Arora Narang: The Experienced Storyteller Of YourQuote
Our writer Sourabh Acharya caught up with the fascinating Monika Arora Narang and what followed was a super interesting conversation about coins, words and songs. Read on and get to know about one of our finest writers.
1. Why don’t we start with knowing Monika a bit more better?! Write about yourself in about 1200 characters (250 words) — Imagine yourself as a writer of your own biography.
Already spent 20 short but amazing and 10 long but experienced years, A big time day dreamer I am. Living With an idea that “words are living thing”.
I’m working with the department of posts, for the last 8 years and a full time mother from last one year.
I can say that I’m a passionate lover and a romantic person to the core.
Gone through all the ups and downs in a very young age, I think life couldn’t have given me any other gift but to write . As a kid I always read my father’s sher-o-shayris and they fascinated me a lot. As a teen I learnt that my sister too writes . I wrote my first poem in class 2, though. But realized it very late that writing is in my blood. I was destined to write.
A day dreamer who is also a big time star gazer, I just love the sky full of those milky speckles. Love to Gaze them for hours. I remember how I use to spend my evenings on terrace and do nothing but looking at the stars with those dreamy eyes. And sometimes fell asleep on the ground underneath the prettiest roof. Wondering who’s who ?
I’m also into numismatics or collection of coins, is a simpler way to explain. That is one of my hobbies, beside sketching and cooking.
Listening to music is another big addiction. A hard core fan of Atiff Aslam And sometimes plan to write lyrics too. My favourite song being “ruk jana nahi “ and “words”. It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away.
2. Some great experience, speaking there. Wow! So being into numismatics and then being a family woman, when did you realise that writing was in your blood?
Writing letters has always been my favourite habit since childhood. And Even today, when emails and Whatsapp have made it so easy to convey the messages, I prefer letters over Email , etc. but walking down the memory lane, all I remember is I wrote my first poem in class 2, it was for my best friend, back then. So , I can say writing has been my doze of happiness, and now, a necessity . Meanwhile , my dad and Di , they both write too, so I can say thats its also in my blood. While their writings are confined to their diaries, I gave my words a world to explore . And Started submitting my poems online and Offline. AAGMAN-The Arrival gave me a debut and finally YourQuote happened.
3. Too early a start, and as great as it can be. As you mentioned, a full time mother. What changes do you think has parenthood brought in your life?
Parenthood has brought not just any change but has changed my entire life. From the time my son, Hridhaan was born , I hear people say that “she is a working mother” and trust me working mother is a weighted word. A feeling weighted with immeasurable love and guilt too. You’re never leaving your baby, even when he is not with you. So in this one year I had many decisions to take that would leave me questioning whether I had done a right thing or not. Be it decisions like — Nurse or bottle feed. Or rejoining my office when he turned 7 months old. When you become a parent, you get a responsibility, that you can’t escape. You need to take decisions and not just decisions but the right one.
4. Wow! A responsible mother and an efficient working women. Take a bow! What all have influenced you in your life and writing in some or the other way?
My deep thinking, my thoughts. Ah! As I say shabdo me jaan hoti hai likewise har jaan me kuch zazbat chupe hote hai. Only reason I write. To explore. To live. Ok here I would love to share my work HER, HER isn’t on YourQuote, it’s a very personal possession. Something that describes me cent percent.
Her brain has a heart,
and heart has a brain
Together they both think,
what no one else can
Yes ,they remember all ..
Her friends and strangers
They play her mad and
sometimes put her in danger
They help her write a story,
on whosoever she meets
a long one on few people
and on others just a brief
While some play the main part,
Thousands leave only footprints
While you try to find your chapter
Ever thought why does she do this?
Why to write about people,
she once knew and now gone
Because there’s a belief in her heart
That she too will be written upon
5. Damn! That was one great piece (applauds). Beautiful. So, what do you think is the most fulfilling thing about spreading emotions in the form of words (writing)? To what extent you’re serious towards your writing?
Penning your thoughts, giving them a story sanes an insane soul. And my case is no different. I am a person who is insanely in love with her spouse, and also have a first hand experience of pain, death, poverty, love and Life. Sowriting all these experiences mends the broken pieces of my Peace. It completes me. It helps me to discover a new person everytime a new aspect that I don’t even know exists in me. At last writing converts a daydreamer into a ferocious doer.
How seriously do I take my writings? Well ! I feel writing is an emotion. An emotion that is never stagnant, Sometimes it flows with speed, sometimes slower but never stops. I am a deep thinker and I would become a psycho if I dont write. So this is how serious I am about my writings. This is healing me.
6. Some mutual thoughts we share here. Great it was. So you write to explore! What kind of explorations have you done since you’ve started writing anything and everything? Any special mentions?
When you can’t afford to explore the globe by flying. You try to explore it through books. I opted this option too. I became a keen reader. I loved to explore love, hatred, and what not through reading and then write my daily journal. And one day I realized I don’t need to explore the world. I need to explore myself. I made a page 2 years back that laid dead until Oct 2016. I started blogging again. But like always it didn’t work. I did not want to quit this time, so I started submitting my work . Exploring the literary World I came across so many people and websites. Now I have 5 anthologies, that are coming soon, that I have contributed to. If you read my posts from day 1 till now on YQ itself you’ll notice the growth in my writings. YQ is a big helping hand in exploring self and other fellow writers and writings.
7. Would love to read your work other than YQ! Some mentions there about YourQuote. So, how and when did you come to know about YourQuote?
Through FB . Saw someone’s post on FB, with the YourQuote.in logo. Loved the background, and explored Playstore. Till that time I didn’t even know it is a writing app or something that would become so essential part of my life. I downloaded it for the wallpapers to use as background, but unexpectedly landed into the land of writers, discovered a family. And so many friends. I m blessed to have known YQ. I mean it!
8. Quite a relatable story and utter love for YQ there! Okay, what keeps you hooked up to YourQuote and the YQ family?
Alladin ka Chirag ke bare me suna hai. That’s what YQ is to me. And YQBaba is the jinnie. I scribble on the lamp and jinnie is fulfilling my dreams. A place where I write and bring my words to life and not just life but immortality. As HARSH, once said what happens on YQ stays on Google forever so, history is in making and glad to be a part of it.
9. Haha! Everyone here loves YQ to the core. This Chirag is magical, I must say. So, for your pen name, “Mia’s Ink”. What’s the story behind it?
MONIKA ISHPUNIYANI ARORA, thats my maiden name . The Source of origin of ~Mias ink~ :P
As simple as that. No story, though. I made a page on Facebook two years back with this name . A page that does not have much followers. A page that Failed .
A dream to be fulfilled. Sigh!
10. Wait for the followers to spam your notification bar after they read this. I’d be the first one though (wacky smile). Some talks about numismatics now. How did this idea of collecting coins strike you and when did you start it?
Children love to flaunt and I was no different. Not very financially strong , I had no toys or expensive things ever to flaunt in my circle. But a few coins that my nanu gave me, gave me a chance to be a centre of attraction. So, once I took them to school, and while my teacher was taking the class, she caught me distracting my bench mate with them. She took them away from me. After the class got over, she inquired me about them and it was then I learnt from here something like numismatics exist. And that was the beginning of a new hobby . The oldest coin that I have, has Queen Victoria’s image on it, and it belongs back to the time when India just got freedom.
11. Wow! I must envy you for this collection. They’re precious. So, any amazing stories or any memorable incident to share with us?
My life is a compilation of so many stories itself. You are talking to a girl who had a short time memory loss back in 2004. A girl who escaped death in a major Accident that took place at Meerut’s Victoria Park in 2006. A girl who witnessed her Best Friend hanging herself to Death in 2009. A girl who coped up from severe depression in following years . A girl who still managed to live and eventually fall in love with a guy whom she could have never even thought of marrying in her wildest dreams. Every story good or bad has been an inspiration and every inspiration is amazing, you know.
12. That answer put me through chills. You’ve been through many a things, staying strong, and coming out stronger. Kudos! How has your career and studies impacted your writing style and the life you life?
I was never a very bright or studious kinda girl. But had a sense of belonging to literature since the beginning . I remember I failed in every subject in class 9th but English and Hindi. After that I bagged a Bronze medal from Vice President of India in a state level competition. That was not the end. I again got a strong feeling about my love for literature when I topped my district with 97% in English in 12th Std. I thus, decided to graduate in BA (English) HONS and also my Masters in English. This gave me a strong root to grow and spread my branches into literary world.
13. Following your dream! Very less could do that in the present scenario of things. Moving on with something emotional, you mentioned about your first hand experiences with things. Can you share any incident related to this with us?
See I myself have been a safe- victim of Meerut’s biggest mishappening. A big hit trade-fair that turned out to be the darkest page of Meerut history. It caught fire on the last day. I saw people turning into ashes in front of me . And the biggest miracle of my life that I returned home safely without a single scar on my body. But the very thought of what all I saw there haunted me for months. Having not recovered from this trauma, that another big incident of my life happened. Life was throwing lemons after lemons. It was a Mid-May morning, that I heard my best Friend’s mother scream. I ran bare foot to her house, to witness the biggest nightmare of my life. My friend was hanging from the ceiling fan not even a full feet above the ground, though. We somehow managed to untie the duppata around her neck but she was gone, forever. Us din maut ko uski muthi me band dekha tha meine, pata chal raha tha ki ye krte waqt na sahi par jab ye ho raha tha, she wanted to escape from death. I saw pain in her opened eyes. And since that day till now I have never slept peacefully. For years I saw her every single night in my dream. Until one day I decided too pull myself out of this depression and write everything about that day and each following day . this incident has broken me and made me too . I still cant have an eye contact with her mother. I still remember that redness of her eyes . I Still feel that pain. I still write about pain .
A poetry which Monika had written for her friend after the incident.
14. I am speechless, reading that. I pray for her soul to Rest in Peace! Sorry for the question! Let’s light up the mood a little with the next question. Who are some of your favourite writers on YourQuote? Any special mentions?
Everyone. Trust me everyone is my favourite. But Abhishek Tiwari is on the top. I love his poetry. And he leaves me spellbound. Yourquote is a family, aur mana ke pancho ungliya barabar nhi hoti but pyar to sabse hota hai nah. So every family member is my favourite.
15. So much diplomacy and psychology in one answer. I liked it (giggles). I too like his poetries by the way. We’ve seen you writing with spontaneity. So, where do you get your story ideas from?
As I told you earlier I have a first hand experience to so many emotions and circumstances. I am filled with a lot of feelings that I wanna just dump out of me. So I have to write. Sometimes to free myself from a guilt . Sometimes to make my Love immortal. Sometimes to get an escape from the frustration and depression and the negativity.
16. True that! Being writers, we expect words to heal us. We’ve seen you touching some really bold issues in your writings. What do you feel about it?
While you think you’re holding the pen, the pen is actually holding everything inside you, around you .Give it, its freedom to write and it will write nothing but the truth. Your fantasies, which you want to be true. Your pen never lies, and the truth is always bold. And I have, explored this boldness, lately. All thanks to YQ . I started from writing some shit to some very serious things, some harsh realities, some bold and beautiful feelings , you just write . And write boldly.
17. A BOLD reply to the question. “The pen never lies”, great words. What do you wish to portray in a story and find it to be the most important part of a story?
The way it forces you to imagine yourself into that situation and end up by landing into that world, even after the read is over. What it teaches you is another important factor.
18. So true! A quick question. Which book do you wish you had written?
Oh there are so many. But Alchemist definitely. Okay, now don’t kill me for being so ambitious :P
Kaafi lambi faek di.
19. Haha! Alchemist is one great book though. I envy your choices too now. Moving on with my favourite question. If there is a novel on your life, what would you call it?
Well I have a dream project called HER, not a novel though but a sort of anthology.
20. Waiting for your dream to come true really fast. I am curious to read it. So, if you wish for any changes in your writings, what would they be?
I would like to be a storyteller rather than just being a narrator. I just kill stories right now.
My vocabulary! Sometimes it’s like I have a particular thought but I fail to express it in the most attractive way and then I encounter someone presenting the same thought so beautifully that it leaves me dumbstruck . I want to do the same magic to my readers. To leave them with their Eyes-pop and jaws-drop.
21. Great to realise that. We would love to read your stories. What has been the greatest personal discovery for you in your life?
Before YQ, I believed I can write like I dream. Spontaneous. Most of the times it’s still the same. But when YQbaba challenges you and you’re supposed to write on a particular thought, I can do it. I got to know only through this platform.
22. Greatness in this discovery of yours. So, before concluding, can you please share some advices for young nourishing writers out there?
Just one, “Guys never quit YQing, come what may.” Go through my posts and you’ll know why. How is it working for me. I m a proud YQian. It’s my Alma-Mater.
23. Thanks for that advice ma’am. Now, the last question. Share with us the most favourite possession of yours, adding few lines about it.
My collection of coins. That includes coins given to me by my nannu. Who passed away when I was just 7.
Sourabh: Well, that’s beautiful. Thanks a lot Monika ma’am for allowing me to interview you. It was an honour to interview one of the great writers here, on the platform. It was a great experience
Monika: Thank you so much Sourabh. Mutual feelings.
Here are some of Monika’s best quotes on YourQuote: