Shrea Kukreja is a dynamic individual with a passion for life and emotions. Having gone through a near-death experience and numerous personal conflicts, Shrea Kukreja compiled ‘Soul Spoken’, a book packed with emotional and transformational elements. Through this piece of magnificent work, she aims at helping her readers break through self-imposed barriers and conflicts.
In conversation with Storiyaan, Shrea Kukreja, the 22-year-old published author expresses a candid side to her personality.
Questions and answers
Take us through the journey of your fight with diabetes.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 12. Although there were all symptoms of juvenile diabetes, it was rather mistaken to be puberty. Until there came a day where sly binge eating, resulted in a near death experience. The same night I started to feel breathless, told my parents to rush me to the hospital and prayed for survival. When we checked in; my body went into ketoacidosis, I was almost dead! Just 8 seconds after, God restored hope, and I came back to life. The initial times of coping with this drastic lifestyle change were tough, but I wouldn’t be where I am without my NDE and my condition. It has become a once in a lifetime blessing that originated from a deadly bane.
How did you come up with the idea of personifying emotions and later developing them as different personas through the pages of your book?
By nature, I am extremely empathetic and emotive. To breakdown and analyze conflicts, I separate the self from the mind and heart and use writing as a vent. As I dwelled into the search to find contentment, my conflicting thoughts found peace in words. Once I started to read these excerpts in the second person, I found them quite interesting and wanted to communicate the importance of understanding and to deal with emotions in a way that makes my words come to life. This was exactly when the idea of Soul Spoken was born. Secondly, I can write only when I intrinsically feel my experiences, which also helps me discover the true reason for my actions and reactions. In the complete process of analyzing the hidden needs of the self and discovering the meaning of what I was feeling, the concept of ’emotional personification’ was built naturally in Soul Spoken.
Your form of representing emotions as personalities resembles the ancient morality plays where characters were named after virtues and vices that they represented. Has your style been in anyway inspired by these morality playwrights?
Every experience is truly unique, and so are its elements. I am highly inclined and inquisitive about understanding how emotions affect decision making and create perceptions in an individual. Emotions are brought to life when experiences collide with feelings. Soul Spoken was inspired by the uncut expression of emotions and feelings created by the self, within the conflicting mind, the helpless heart and a lost soul. When you indulge in self-contemplation to break away from a life that seems to be at a standstill, you get surrounded by thoughts. Thoughts that create emotion, emanating from experiences that are not only deeply connected with the self but are also the only aspects you are communicating with at that time, that mind space and emotional state is of utter importance.
Your story ends with the resolution of all conflicts, as is the case in most books. You came to this conclusion through the experiences of your life. Do you think this viewpoint would go through another change in the future?
My experiences, thoughts, emotions, conflicts and the way I dealt with them, drove me to achieve contentment for my Soul finally. I had to overcome those circumstances that had the power to destroy my being; at a time, I was not strong enough to rationalize situations. I worked on them, to transform myself into a person who would not easily be destructed by external or internal conflicts. You can be confident in the self and your decisions, but the possibility of a potential future is highly dependent on external factors that are unwritten. Confidence and assurance are built by acceptance, which makes an individual worthy and able to face uncertain times, without falling prey to reactions based on the patterns of the past. Therefore, such detriment has prepared me to overcome anything that tries to diminish me.
Can you walk us through your business prospects in the pipeline?
There are two things which I am currently driven towards; one is my next book, and the other is a brand I hope to launch, which aims to offer digital solutions for home businesses. Both of these are the brainchild of my passion to become self-sustainable and my desire to live my own life.
You were a part of the promotional song line for the film Neerja. How did you get that break, and how was your experience working for it?
This happened in the first year of Degree College where a group of people came for casting and randomly asked if I was interested in being a part of a promo song for a movie. Filled with excitement and the thrill to bag another certificate, I agreed. Fifty other college students participated, some for the certificate, and others to earn some quick cash. However, the shooting wasn’t as speedy as it seemed at face value. It was a whole 12 hour working day, where we were assigned characters, dressed and dolled up in teenage attire. They began to map placements, and I stood there behind those talented dancers as a mere handicapper individual! It was a day to remember, which also ended successfully, but I realized that this line of work wasn’t for me. I was glad as I came back home with a shining certificate in my hand!
Being an abstract painter, what makes you stand out among the more traditional art forms?
Abstract art is again personified by the representation of the artist’s situational emotions. My art just like my writing is tangential, sentimental and distinctively inferential. One day I will draw living darkness whilst another one will be filled with the colours of love and light. Overall my artwork is symbolic as it visualizes instances of happiness and hurt and illustrates how shapes and colours can convey an idea, opinion or emotion.
What role did your college play in shaping your plan of action and how?
College was a time where I wanted to indulge in eclectic experiences, newer interactions and take up every opportunity. I was also planning a career, while being driven to create something of my own and aspiring wealth, right from the initial days of college. The lessons learnt there have helped me shape my ambition, choose a profession, and build a life that I am truly content with.
There are two poems in Soul Spoken. Can you share with us your journey of writing them?
The two poems in Soul Spoken are the result of ‘in the moment’ emotions that were so deep that they could only have been made lighter, by converting them into melody in my mind. ‘Inevitable Happenings’ is a poem in which I ask myself; how much will I try to control situations?
With the results being opposite to the intended prediction, I eventually accept that everything happens uncontrolled. ‘Glassy eyes’ is one where I speak about a time where life is at a standstill. With my mind continually saying to me that I am not doing anything substantial, I had lost hope and motivation to do everything. I wrote these thoughts in a time when I felt that I had been swayed from my soulful path. Agitated and broken, I often wondered why I was unable to enjoy nothingness.