Meet Ranjeeta Nath Ghai, A Writer Full of Life
Our fellow writer Prerna Satija caught up with Ranjeeta Nath Ghai, one of the fine writers on our platform, and uncovered her life story. Read on the interview to find what inspires her to write.
Before we start, could you give us a short bio in about 250 words? Consider it as a mini-autobiography.
Born to a Gujarati mother, Assamese father in MH Agra Cantt, Uttar Pradesh, brought up in New Delhi and married to a Punjabi… I have a rich cultural background. “Mann Ki आरज़ू” is my debut attempt at publishing a few of my poems which I have been writing since 1985 to date. Being an army BRAT(Born Raised And Transferred) and Army Officer’s wife I have had the golden opportunity denied to many(and mine by birth)… to have covered the length and breadth of India, and seeing it in its splendor.Hardly have I ever lived in any state for more than a period of 2 years. Giving up my promising career as a graphic designer I build a parallel career as an educationist, to spend more time with my expanding family.
My life has been enriched by my seven furry buddies who with their unconditional love have always been a de-stressing factor of my life teaching me to value and love all HIS creations unconditionally. Other than my own pets the doors of my house is open to all stray animals who need food and medical treatment.
From being a daughter to being a mother, from a caregiver to being loved back in return, being a graphic designer to a mentor to a published author and being a friend and having friends worth dying for, life has come a full circle. “Life has treated me good and God has been kind to me. Looking back today I feel no regret as I have lived and celebrated each moment of my life with passion, on my own terms and conditions.”
You can follow me on my blog site: https://atrangizindagieksafar.com/
1) Amazing! That sounds like the biography of a very positive and happy person. I really enjoyed reading it mam. You must be an inspiration to many. But who has been a source of inspiration for you?
-> Talking about inspiration I can only give the credit to my teacher Ms Zutshi who had taught me in XIth and XIIth and whatever I perceive life as. I basically write about what life throws at me and my experiences. Most of my poems are a biopic in themselves.
2) You mentioned that you are half Gujarati. I really like authentic Gujarati food. What is your favorite Gujarati food?
-> I just love Guajarati food. No wonder I gain weight when I go to my nani’s house. But the best and my favorite is — undhiya, khatu, gaur papdi, daal dhokli and kadi.
3) Wow! I need to find a good Gujarati restaurant here in California soon. So my next question is, since you have lived in so many places, if you had to write a book about your life, which place would have the biggest chapter?
-> That’s a very tricky question for me. I have lived in so many places, been all over India with my husband being a military wife that pin pointing any place is tricky. But one place that I absolutely adored is a sleepy hamlet called Dinjan, in Upper Assam at the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh.
4) What is the most fulfilling thing about writing? How seriously do you take your writing?
-> The most fulfilling thing about writing is that I can say whatever I want to say without punching anyone’s face or getting into a verbal spat. It is a way to purge and cleanse my soul. Sometimes I fear that I’m addicted to it. If I don’t write then I can’t sleep.
5) What’s the story behind your pen/blog name?
-> Ah, that… you see I love life and all that is has offered and will offer. I have always celebrated being alive and have celebrated life’s ups and with the same passion that I have celebrated my downs. Life has different shades and is extraordinary… hence
atrangi+zindagi+ek+safar= atrangizindagieksafar. Incidentally this is also the name of my blog.
6) Beautiful name mam. I could right away relate it to you. So tell us what hooks you to YourQuote?
-> What I like at YQ is the prompts. They prevent my brain from rusting and the fact that my writings get copyrighted and are googleable. Also it caters to my cravings for quality reading.
7) If there is a novel based on your life, what would it be called?
Atrangi Zindagi Ka Ek Safar
8)I don’t get any points for guessing that one, do I? So where do you get your story ideas from?
-> My stories are either biopics or mostly the dreams that I dream.
My poetry is what I see, feel and experience in day to day life.
9) How did you come to know about YourQuote?
-> I came across YQ through my friend Ranjeeta Ashesh who is also my namesake.
10) Another wonderful writer, I follow her writings religiously. If there’s one thing that you would want to change about your writing, what would it be?
-> Sometimes people (including my mother and daughter) tell me that they can’t
understand my poems because the vocabulary I have used is too tough. They need a dictionary. So I consciously try to keep it easy. I wish I could write as well as in Hindi as I do in English. And Urdu writing is a dream for me.
11) How has your career/study impacted your writing style?
-> I have done BEd, MA(Eng) and A Graphic Designer. Being a designer I know about the color and designing aspects and being a language teacher I have had the benefits of being exposed to writing styles and works of great poets. Also knowing of poetic devices has only been an Ace up my sleeve.
12) Who are your favorite writers on YourQuote?
-> I love to read the work of Umar Farook, Monika Swain, Ranjeeta Ashesh, Meghna Jaswal Bhakt, Aara Sharma, Debashish Sarmah, Abhinav Satpathi, Perpetual Writer and The Writing Ghost.
13) What has been the greatest personal discovery for you?
-> That I could publish my book has been the greatest of my achievements and that I’m very stubborn to go ahead with another book is a discovery. Tomorrow when I die, I’ll leave behind my words and sentiments for my husband and children to remember me with.
14) What is your favorite possession? Share a picture and add 3–4 lines.
-> My favorites are my dogs and cats and all the strays that find refuge in my house.
They are my lifeline. I have had soooooo many and have buried 6 that it’s difficult to share a pic of one… still here’s a pic of the surviving ones in one pic.
15) Such an adorable pic. Can you also share 5 of your favorite quotes from YQ?
Prerna: It was an honor to interview you mam. Lastly I want to salute you for the sacrifices you and your family have made in service of our country! Hope we continue to get inspired from you through your beautiful write-ups.