A 14-year-old author would possibly sum up Vishika Tripathi’s success at such an age. Having written her own book ‘Ink on paper’, she portrays the bright future of Indian youth. Born in Kanpur, Vishika also has performed at various open-mic stages. Having been featured on EdX, Vishika is steps ahead of her age.
Read more to know about the talented teen, as she opens up in a candid chat with Team Storiyaan.
Questions and answers
Talk to us about the first time you fell in love with poetry. Do you remember any of your first scribblings?
I had moved to Mumbai from Dubai. The afternoons seemed to last forever. I began to write poetry to make better use of my free time. I’ve always been an avid reader and enjoyed literature as a whole. The first poems that I wrote were appreciated, considering that I was 12 at that time. My parents were proud of the poem, and they were interested in it. It was nearly impossible to lay my finger on the time that I wrote my first poem. My uncompiled journal recorded works have been around since the age of 10. The first poem that I recorded, present in my book is titled ‘Snow Globe’. It’s based on the snow globe that my father bought.
What was the impact of your migration from Dubai to India? Did moving to India give you a new perspective?
I moved back to Mumbai from Dubai, leaving all my friends and school behind. It was devastating for a pre-teen. I miss the culture and people of Dubai more than anything. But, it helped me get out of myself. The change of environment and people had a significant influence on me and my writing. Connecting with my roots has been a liberating experience.
Your parents have been tremendously supportive throughout your journey. What was your reaction when your father got your poems printed?
To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I realised it was the beginning of something beautiful and extremely big. I was ready for it. My parents have been eminently supportive, and they were always there to give me that much needed extra push. I was utterly speechless when I held the book in my hand. To see something that you have worked very hard for coming into your life, it is a dumbfounding experience. So, it was incredible.
Can you describe the moment when you were on the stage reciting your first poem to an audience?
For taking poetry seriously, we joined open mics. It was not the first time that I was behind a mike on the stage as I had done several speeches before. But the moment I was standing in front of the audience that night, I forgot everything. It took me a moment to gather myself, but I eventually got there. The audience realised that I was merely a 12-year-old. They were encouraging and supportive. The rest of my performance was extremely smooth. It was wonderful. I did many open mics, and all of them were better than the last. It is a great way to test our content, writing. So, I will never stop doing open mics, and that was the first one. I adore it.
How did Instagram help you evolve your writing and connect to more people? Can you share tips for budding writers?
Instagram is a great platform filled with amazing people. When you start with your readers, you get a direct response. It is important to me. So I write on the experiences that they tell me. That is how I make sure the poems that I write are relatable. For example, I had put up a story asking for topic suggestions. It is a common practice on my page. One of the replies that were for writing a poem on missing someone caught my eye. I had a conversation with that lady who had lost her daughter to leukaemia. I was so heartbroken. A tip would be to connect with your readers, followers. When you follow this, you understand what people like to read. This way, your poems are bound to be a success.
Which is the one emotion you think you best encapsulate with your words?
Since the moment I realised that heartbreaking melancholy in poetry is something that people prefer to read, I have been practising to capture it. My followers currently love that, and hopefully, the new readers will love it too.
Talk to us about your association with Aarine foundation.
Philanthropy is something I’ve always wanted to do. Recently, an email read that service to humanity is the price we pay to live on this planet. Initially, we had decided to donate a part of my book earnings to any given organisation, but, once, I found about the noble deeds of Aarine foundation, I wanted to become a part of it. We are currently focusing on trying to raise money for over 2000 kids to get stationary. These are the underprivileged kids of Mumbai. The least we can do is to make sure that children do not face hindrance in their education. We have already helped 500 kids and raised Rs. 50000.
You met Sudha Murthy during the Delhi Book Fair. Could you share that experience?
Sudha Murty is an idol for me, to everyone. She’s such a great person and philanthropist. Every book of her is perfect and astounding. I was in Delhi when a particular book fair displayed my book. Someone told Sudha Murthy was going to be there. I left everything and ran. I sat for quite some time at the venue to see her live. It was incredible. The way she interacted with the audience and took questions was marvellous. It was surreal. After the live session, my introduction went first. It was brief, but it is something that I will treasure forever.
International Book of records titled you as 'one in a million super talented kid'. Do you feel you have to live up to the title when you write?
So first things first, I’m honoured that the International Book of records has titled me and I’m humbled. To be honest, no, I do not feel any pressure from the title specifically. These acknowledgements have always encouraged me to do better. The same is with this title as well since it is motivating me to do better every single time.
What inspired you to put together your first body of work, 'Ink On Paper'? How have you reacted to the audience reception?
So my father got those 20 poems of mine printed. I had a taste of what it feels like to be an author so I couldn’t hold myself back. I wanted more of it, and I wouldn’t stop until I became a published author. That’s what happened.
What are your visions for your future?
Getting into philanthropy because that is something I hold very close to my heart. Entrepreneurship has always interested me if there is a way that I could combine all these interests while including writing that would be amazing.
1. Favourite book of poetry: Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav
2. Favourite poet: Erin Hanson and Lang Leav
3. Favourite quote: “Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading.”
4. Paperback or Ebook: Paperback
5. Read all the best books in the world or let all the people in the world read yours: Read all the best books in the world.