Literaturepress: First of all, many many congratulations Hasina for your book. It was a wonderful read. So tell us a little bit more about you.
Hasina Saiyeda: I am a Computer Science Engineer with a passion of writing. I write since a long time and aim to write more. Currently I am based in Kolkata with my family.
Literaturepress: That’s interesting! So what made you write on such a sensitive topic in your book and what made you weave the character of Ritabhari in the first place?
Hasina Saiyeda: Mental illness is a very serious issue. Apart from treatment, support is very important for them. We should not abandon people or lock them in a room if they are mentally sick. We should support them and we should help them in building up hope. Ritabhari’s character is imaginary but you can see a lot of people around us with this kind of problems who badly need our support.
Literaturepress: Do you believe that we millennial are always in a struggle trying to fit in? If yes than what is the struggle all about and what is it that we are trying to fit in with?
Hasina Saiyeda: Yes, most of us. Adjustment is what we do. We adjust to whatever we get and forget that someday we had some dreams, choices and passion. We badly try to fit in ‘other’s’ world. “What people will say and what people will think”. This is what we should avoid in the first place. We should fit into a normal life that we think ‘normal’ not what other people think ‘normal’.
The struggle is different for different people. Some struggle to get a normal life. Some struggle to run away from a normal life to get settled to other’s normal life.
Literaturepress: One advice you would like to give to the youths of our society today who are going through a rough patch and how they can overcome the obstacles in their lives.
Hasina Saiyeda: Always be positive and believe in yourself. If you are doing something, do it passionately. Be confident.
Literaturepress: Tell me a little bit about your childhood and any memorable experiences you had then?
Hasina Saiyeda: Childhood has been amazing. However, my mother is very strict about studies and she always used to keep track of the grades. So, pressure of study was always there. I did my schooling from Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan, Kolkata, where discipline gets the first priority. So, yes, a strict mom and strict school shaped me in a better way.
However, there are a lot of amazing experiences. Breaking school rules was the best and most memorable ones. One thing I remember, in eleventh standard, we were not allowed to withdraw more than 1 book in a week from the school library and I had successful withdrew 4 story books without the librarian’s notice and finally got caught after a week when she had checked the records.
Her first question was like: ‘How fast do you read?’
Literaturepress: While growing up, who was your biggest inspiration and why?
HasinaSaiyeda: My mirror image. I see myself and say that I can be a better version of you. I set my own milestones and deadlines. Whether it career or writing. It’s the same.
Literaturepress: What was the role of your parents in your upbringing and shaping your overall personality?
Hasina Saiyeda: I told you already, my mother is very strict. I didn’t have tutors before higher standards. She taught me herself and shaped me in her way. However, she never forced anything on me regarding the choices I made later.
My father always encouraged me to write. Whether it’s my career or other things, he also never pushed hard on me.
Literaturepress: So did you always want to become an author or it happened by accident?
Hasina Saiyeda: I always wanted to be an author. I write since childhood for various events. From writing for magazines to writing my friend’s love letters to books, I actually have a long journey of writing.
Literaturepress: Given a chance what other profession would you like to be in other than writing and why would you chose that particular profession Hasina?
Hasina Saiyeda: I always wanted to study engineering. I did it. And I am into a career as well.
I wanted to be an engineer because my belief was that engineering teaches us to solve problems even in the worst situation. We, engineers, have a way out to everything. Engineering teaches us strategy.
Literaturepress: Coming back to your book, wasn’t it difficult to portray such a complex yet strong character in your book. What were some of the points you had to keep in mind while you were writing on an issue like mental disorder or mental traumas?
Hasina Saiyeda: Initially it was difficult but as I proceeded it wasn’t anymore. I always want to write in simple language so that everybody, even with a little knowledge of English can read and understand my writings. I wanted everybody to read the book because the topic was important. Also, I tried to keep the writing light. I didn’t use any complex medical terms related to mental illness so that people can understand and relate.
Literaturepress: How was the overall writing experience and who all supported you mainly during the whole writing process of this book?
Hasina Saiyeda: The overall writing experience is amazing. My sister really supports me a lot in everything I write like reviewing the contents and listening to the concept and giving honest reviews. That actually helps a lot.
Literaturepress: So are there any upcoming books on the pipeline? If yes, what is it about and when can we expect it?
Hasina Saiyeda: Yes, there’s a book coming by the end of 2019. It is a young adult fiction based on some issues in teenagers. You will get to know more about it in the coming days.
Literaturepress: It was such a lovely conversation Hasina. We are so glad to have come across and read your book. Any last message you would like to give to us and your readers before signing off?
Hasina Saiyeda: First of all, thank you so much. Secondly, I want to tell my readers to read books when you feel like. Don’t force yourself to read a book because everybody is reading it. And always stay positive. Positivity brings confidence.