Inspired by realityUsha Sherchan is a poet, lyricist and fiction writer who has published three poem collections, Najanmeka Asthaharu, Akchhyarharuka Shibirma and Sarbakaalin Peedara Jagritiko Sankhaghosh, one short story collection, Tesro Rang, and five albums containing her lyrics.
Usha Sherchan is a poet, lyricist and fiction writer who has published three poem collections, Najanmeka Asthaharu, Akchhyarharuka Shibirma and Sarbakaalin Peedara Jagritiko Sankhaghosh, one short story collection, Tesro Rang, and five albums containing her lyrics. Sherchan is a celebrated literary personality who is known for her writings on women and LGBTIQ issues. She has won 28 awards for her contributions to the field of Nepali literature. Her dedication to literature can also be seen in her involvement in various literary organisations such as the Narayan Gopal Sangeet Kosh, Pen Nepal chapter, and Gunjan to name a few. She was also appointed a member of the respected Nepal Academy, a national institution for promotion of the languages, literature, culture, philosophy and social sciences in 2010. In this interview with the Post, Sherchan shares her favourite reads and the inspiration behind her writings. Excerpts:
How did you first come to love books?
While we were growing up, we didn’t have a lot of books. But when I look back, I feel like learning to read and write is a milestone for any human being. So I would say that being literate and educated was an opportunity for me to venture into more extensive reading. I think I started to love reading since the time I was able to read simple sentences.
What was the last book you read and did you like it?
Poet and book critique Chabbiram Silwal published his book Greenwich ko Sanjh, a travelogue after only a week’s visit in the UK. I was pleasantly surprised by his quick but comprehensive and beautiful writing. I found Silwal’s book to be very interesting and stimulating read. I knew him only as a poet but now, I have been inspired by his writing and how he has pulled off a different genre in such a short period of time.
What are the FIVE books you read that you would recommend as a must read?
There are many classic and contemporary books that are on my list of must-reads. It is very difficult for me to pick and choose. But balancing both of my interest in writers from the past and present, I would pick Madhavi by Madan Mani Dixit, Ghumne Mech Mathi Andho Maanche by Bhupi Sherchan, Euta Jiudo Janga Bahadur by Banira Giri, Nathiya by Saraswati Pratikshya and Yogmaya by Neelam Karki Niharika.
What books are currently in your wish-list?
I have heard a lot of good reviews on former Chief Justice Sushila Karki’s memoir Nyaya. This is currently on my wish-list.
Why do you think reading and writing is important?
For me, literature is how I expand my knowledge and intellect as well as entertain myself. It stimulates my brain and it provides my heart with certain warmth as well. Being a writer myself, reading and writing is an integral part of my life, it defines my life’s purpose.
Which book has influenced you the most and why?
Each and every book I’ve read since my youth has influenced me in some way or the other. I cannot point at one particular book that has influenced me the most but rather I would like to think that all the books I have read has collectively left a mark in me. But I can say that books have a special place in my life and it has influenced my perception of the world.
How do you draw inspiration for writing?
Most of my writings are based on the things that I observe and experience around me. I think that the reality of our lives is the biggest inspiration for any writer.