Although for many writers, their love for writing is a natural outcome of their love for reading but there are a few who only feel the need to pen down their feelings after experiencing something life-changing or heart-wrenching in order to seek peace or solace of some kind, and this is often the case for poets.
22-year-old Mongshai Khiamniungan from Nagaland also started writing after a tragic incident. ‘I started writing when I was 14, and the inspiration I got for writing poetry came as a result of the tragic experience of losing my father. I resorted to writing as a deliverance from my sorrow.’ While many youngsters in her position would have been overwhelmed with emotions, she learnt to process the pain by writing about how she felt. ‘It was a bitter inspiration but it helped me find myself and experience the beauty of everything around me.’
Hailing from Tuensang District and based in Dimapur, Mongshai graduated from St Joseph’s College, Jakhama and is currently pursuing her master’s from St Joseph’s University, Dimapur.
Book of Emotions
She recently released Book of Emotions: Unstained, a collection of poems. ‘ The poems were written by me under different circumstances. Some of them are also inspired by experiences of people around me. I like to call my book, ‘a mixed-bag of emotions’. The surface of the book may be directed to young people but it also has an underlying message to older people to help them see and understand what young minds of today are all about.’
Mongshai may be a young writer but she is very mature in her thought process. ‘My strengths are my determination and dedication towards my goals. I like to take things steady because I believe that haste brings chaos. I am also a strong admirer of self-made people, no matter how small or big their achievements are.’
Since she was first inspired to write after the death of her father, her first poem titled ‘The Fear’ was about him. ‘It spoke about my fears as a girl having to live without my father and how my life would change without him.’ She likes to write about nature, love, self-determination, hope, etc. As of now, she has not really decided whether she wants to be a full-time writer in the future. ‘I still haven’t given it much thought. I just know that I am enjoying writing and will always continue to do so.’ Some of her favourite poets from Nagaland are Monalisa Changkija, Easterine Kire and Tialila Kikon.
The Road Ahead
Of course, this is just the beginning for the young and talented Mongshai. For her next book, she wants to try something other than poetry. ‘If God so wills, I would like my next book to be a collection of folktales or folklore from my homeland. There are so many beautiful tales yet to be put down on paper and I would truly love to capture those tales so that they can be read by people outside my homeland as well. In the meantime, I want to inspire as many youngsters as I can, to always persevere, believe in their abilities and learn from their hardships.’
You can buy her book here
You can follow the writer on Instagram @book_of_emotion_unstained
By Meeta Borah