Meet Vasudha Jha, The Artist-Writer, Whose Writings Are Works of Art
Our teammate Harsh Snehanshu caught up with Vasudha Jha, famous with her pen name A Penny For Your Thoughts, whose simple yet profound writings leaves one thinking. In this candid interview, she reveals about her inspirations, favourite writers on YourQuote and her natural talent in art.
Hey Vasudha, glad to have you spare your time for this interview. We’ll begin by asking you to describe yourself, the YourQuote style, in 250 words.
I have lived on this planet for 21 years now, but I dread answering this question because it’s difficult to describe an entire life in one answer. But I’ll try.
I was born and brought up in Kolkata. I am in the final year of my B.Tech with Computer Science at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. Kolkata has had a very beautiful impact on the way perceive things. There’s a reason why they call it the city of joy. There’s a feeling of togetherness here. On Sunday mornings, when people go out for a walk but very soon slip into humorous conversations with each other over chota kachori and jalebi, you can see the city at its liveliest.
I love to read because every time I read something, I feel like I know a little more about the world than I used to. And more than that, I love to write. Writing gives me both a sense of peace and thrill.
As a kid, I’ve always had varied interests, not one. I could never really choose a calling neither do I understand the talk about pursuing your passion. Maybe, because I don’t see it as the highway to success. At most, it can be described as a feeling and like all feelings, it changes. But yes, I do believe in doing what you love the most because that’s where all the happiness lies. Recently, I started my Facebook Page, A Penny For your thoughts, after I discovered YourQuote with its lovely wallpapers and beautiful fonts. With this, I’ve come one step closer to the thrill that I yearn for through writing.
What started you with writing?
I have always been an introvert which is why I have found it really difficult sometimes to tell people how I feel about things. Things that are immensely difficult to voice but really easy to pen down. So, what really started as journal writing as a kid slowly developed into this habit of penning down thoughts, both happy and sad.
Who are your major influences?
There are places that have impacted me a lot. Same is with books. And then there are writing styles. Certain novels keep you hooked till the last minute, like the works of Sidney Sheldon. But there are ones whose beauty lies in their simplicity, and they have a plot that is riveting in a read-everyday and not all-at-once manner, like The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. But what all of them have in common is the magic that they weave, the coherence in thoughts and their depiction. And all these works have influenced me a lot.
What writer do you detest?
I don’t think that I detest any writer. I like it when the emotions that were meant to be depicted are there, but I also like stuff that is open to interpretations, stuff that stimulates thinking. I don’t like philosophy to be served as philosophy on a plate. I like it to be disguised as messages that are an outcome of actions, because I find it more relatable.
What is the most fulfilling thing about writing? How seriously do you take your writing?
I think that the most fulfilling thing about writing is that it lets your emotions out. Writing is like making a potion. You take a cauldron and inside it you pour in all your thoughts with a lot of emotions, be it coherent or contradictory and mix them together till it makes sense.
I don’t know much about making potions, but the witches in Tom and Jerry used to whisk the mixture until it turned into a slimy green color. Then you drink it and if it turns out to be correct, you are still a witch (and not a bat).
I take all things in life very seriously. Writing is not one of them. It makes me calm and happy and if I start taking it seriously then it would be something different, not the same peaceful thing that it is now. Having said that, whenever a thought crosses my mind, I make it a point to write it down, then and there. As it is said, ”The faintest ink is better than the best memory.”
What hooks you to YourQuote?
I think that YourQuote is a really amazing platform for budding writers. There is a wallpaper that goes with every emotion and fonts that can show what’s on your mind. With the proper wallpaper and font I can bring the background and the thought in synergy. At the same time, I can find everything from humorous to flirtatious to sad yet beautiful and relatable stuff in YourQuote. Itmakes me want to write more.
Tell us the most amazing story of your life.
There are many things in life that make you who you are. All of us are constantly changing, so have I. But what I have understood so far is that as long as you are determined towards one thing that you want to achieve, all the unnecessary drama in life goes away. Also, I’ve understood that we can’t please everyone, but we can make ourselves happy and that is what matters in the end.
If there is a novel based on your life, what would it be called?
I don’t know. It needs to be written first.(:p)
Who are your favorite writers on YourQuote?
I really like what Rya Di (Rya Ray) writes. Her pieces give me goosebumps.I like your balcony letters. You depict emotions in them through things that the eye often fails to see. I also love the funny take that Ritwika and Shambhavi have on things, like speaking the truth through light humour.
Would you call yourself an engineer? Do you like engineering? What do you think inspires engineering students into writing?
Yes, technically I am an engineer.
Yes, I like it. Computer Science is a very good stream and there’s no end to the things that you can learn. When I took the stream, I knew nothing about coding. But right now, it feels good to run a code all by yourself, understand the logic behind things and even help people with it. I think above all, it stimulates the brain. So yes, I like engineering.
Writing is a means to express your thoughts. I never thought that I’m an engineering student who writes. I’m a person who writes. There are engineers who sing, dance, paint, click pictures. Writing is a form of expression just like any of these things.
You are also an artist. Tell me about how writing and art affect each other for you? Are you a writer who sketches or an artist who writes?
As I said, both of them are forms of expression. I feel that the art and writing blend with each other. When you write something and choose a background with a proper font for it, you blend art with what you’ve written. Also, a beautiful picture describes things more precisely. They work hand in hand for me
I’m a writer who tries to sketch. Yeah, that’s me.