Pragya Gogoi is a name that needs no introduction in contemporary Indian poetry. The bestselling author of “Whispers of a Nyctophile” is creating waves in the literary world by hitting the Bestseller list with her maiden book and grabbing multiple awards in a short span of time. Garnering immense praise in National and International platforms for her unique poetry style coupled with strong vocab and efficient play with metaphors, the talented young poet from Assam has been listed several times in leading media like Outlook India, Mid-Day India, The Week, Zee5 etc as one of the most prominent rising stars in contemporary Indian literature. An engineering undergrad cum writer, Pragya has been ranked among 100 Most Inspiring Authors of India 2021, Top 100 Women Icons of India in Literature 2021 and Asia’s Top 100 Influential Women in the literature category 2021. Her debut volume of poetry was listed among 13 most impactful books in Indian literature by Hindustan Times 2021 and also included in Outlook India’s Must-Read Book Recommendations 2021. She has co-authored 11 volumes of poetry and has contributed her work to myriad magazines nationally and internationally. A writer fond of experimenting her skills across various literary genres, Pragya is presently an engineering undergrad with a huge knack for building and designing robots for International and National championships winning significant international rankings and awards for the same.
While the versatile writer awaits the release of her next two books, we caught up with the author for an insight into her upcoming work and lesser-known personal life and real-life romance of the Romantic poet.
So, what are your upcoming two books about?
I am writing 2 books in 2 totally different genres- one is poetry, the other one is thriller. I am a sucker for thrillers and couldn’t wait to write one! As for poetry, it has always been my 1st comfort zone in writing and I guess that’s where I express myself best with words. So, I am bringing forth my 2nd volume of poems that will cover some really important themes and I am really excited because unlike my debut book which I wrote in mere 3 days without planning, this volume is well planned with poems extremely close to my heart that I hope would definitely give love, strength and hope to the readers. The romantic thriller in progress is set in Kolkata and has a dark plot with spine chilling twists, buried secrets and lots more.
You have written some amazing romance poetry that became quite popular and loved on Instagram and even earned you praises internationally across poetry communities in Virginia and Portland Oregon. What’s the inspiration behind your poems?
Well, I take inspiration from a lot of things and incidents around me and to be honest, not all content in my poems are reflections of my personal life. But yes, my partner has been a great source of inspiration in this aspect and I have written most of my favorite romance poetry with him as my muse. Romance is one of the most common themes of poetry and I guess it becomes easier to write poems around this theme when you have experienced a beautiful story yourself. And I have been lucky to experience one with my partner, making my task of imagination and creativity simpler.
We have seen you crediting your partner a lot in most of your interviews. How has he helped you in your writing journey? Tell us about him.
Yes, I would say he has been my biggest support system throughout and honestly, he has a pivotal role to play in whatever little I have achieved today. I grew up in a family of engineers and science background professionals and naturally, I was asked to take that path too. Writing and literature weren’t things my family really supported or were fond of. Hence, I had to write in secrecy since school with no support or encouragement from them to follow my passion. I unwillingly took up science and got into engineering that almost put a full stop to my dream of becoming an author. I could barely squeeze out time to devote to literature with the piles of unceasing assignments, projects, exams, college work and my work as a CAD designer, mechanical technical expert and management executive at my university’s robotics team where I designed and manufactured robots with my team for National and International Competitions. With a heavy heart, I buried my dream and decided to give up writing forever. That was when my partner stood up for my dreams more than his. He was adamant on not letting me give up on my dreams and end something I was born with the potential to become. With unending support, encouragement and motivation from him, I gathered the confidence to make a comeback and pursue my dreams and here I am today with so many published works and awards I never dreamt of getting. He has been my rock throughout and I cannot thank him enough for being my greatest strength and for being my 1st reader and critic always.
He is a working engineering professional- a tech guy who didn’t know much about literature and yet dived into it to make my dreams turn into reality.
What is your favorite poem with your favorite muse?
Umm, now that I think of it, I have actually written quite a number of poems with my favorite muse. So, it’s a bit tricky choosing one. But if I have to pick, I think my favorite one is “A photograph from my camera roll”. It’s a poem very close to my heart that I wrote describing a very beautiful moment captured on camera few years back, during the initial days of our love story.
Do you have any plans of writing a romance novel someday based on your story?
Haven’t really thought about it yet. But I guess it would be really exciting if I can write one. It’s the most beautiful thing to have ever happened in my life and I would be the happiest to immortalize it in a book and gift it to my partner. I’m sure he would cry happy tears.
What has been the best compliment for your writing from your partner?
That’s hard to choose. As I said earlier, he is always my 1st reader and his constructive reviews matter a lot to me. He loves my work and never fails to compliment it in a way that makes me extremely confident about myself. The best part is he connects himself emotionally to my words and helps me analyze my poetry from the perspective and understanding of a reader, which greatly aids me in improving or making necessary changes before I put up that piece in front of my actual readers. If I have to pick up the best compliment from him so far, then I guess it was during his birthday last year. I wrote an e-book about him, covering the best parts of his childhood, boyhood, teenage, youth and weaved our story into it right from the beginning. I sent it as one of my birthday gifts to him and he cried like anything overcome with emotions. The compliments that he gave after reading the book have stayed with me as some of the best compliments, I have received so far for my work being able to touch souls so deeply.
What does an ideal date for an author look like?
Well, I think it varies from author to author. If you’re expecting a bookish answer then I am sorry I don’t have one (laughs) Personally, I am very much of an inside person and I prefer cozy, comfortable home dates over fancy dates elsewhere. Thankfully I have a partner equally comfortable with home dates and we love it this way. An ideal date for me usually involves lots of food cooked by me for both of us (I am a good cook), enjoying a marvel movie or watching a football match together that involves Lionel Messi and lots of quality time together talking about random things. Basic yet the best moments I crave for always.
Speaking of MCU, do you have any plans of writing something in the fantasy or sci-fi genre?
Not yet. I love experimenting with different genres of literature; so maybe someday I might give it a thought
With so many awards and achievements in your kitty already, whom would you credit your success to?
Whatever little I have achieved in my writing career, I fully dedicate them to my partner. In all the years of my life, I don’t think anyone has taken my dreams so seriously and worked so much towards turning them into reality like he did. I believe that having a partner who supports your passion and takes your dreams as seriously as his own is very essential for a healthy relationship and I can say I am extremely blessed.
We wish the lovely couple an infinite period of togetherness!
On the work front, Pragya is currently writing a breathtaking volume of poetry and a nail-biting romantic thriller. They are expected to hit the market worldwide sometime in 2022.