Hello Neelam and welcome to Incredible Women Of India, Thank you for being part of our INCREDIBLE WOMEN WRITERS OF INDIA, MONSOON SPECIAL and sharing your journey through this interview.
Let us begin with what are you like? What are your dreams, aspirations? What defines you?
I am so happy to state that I am a confident and independent woman.
I am basically an Electrical Engineer. I graduated from V.N.I.T., Nagpur. I have also done P.G. Diploma in IM & HRD and also Financial Management. I cleared the I.E.S. examination to join Indian Railways as an officer.
Well, that is my professional side. I do love my job, but I have a creative side too. I suffer from an incurable passion of writing. I have been writing since the time I can remember. Around seven years ago, I stepped into the world of getting my works published, and there has been no looking back. I have so far published more than seven hundred stories/poems in various international journals/magazines/anthologies. I have authored twenty-three books so far in various genres. I write in English as well as Hindi. The books include two novels, one novella, five short story collection, ten poetry collections and four collections of children’s stories.
I have been listed by Forbes magazine in 2014 as one of the most popular 78 writers. I am a record- holder with Limca Book of Records.
I love to dream. I don’t stop anywhere. I keep expanding my horizons and growing. Whenever there are reasons for me to retreat, I fly with double the speed.
Tell us something about your childhood and growing up years.
As a child, I was extremely introverted and shy. I rarely voiced my opinions. I was born into a lower middle class family and had to go through a lot of upheavals in my life. These were spots from where energy and enthusiasm entered my being.
Behind the veil of frailty and timidity, there was a strong woman in me waiting to emerge and expand. I had my own opinions and voice which found an outlet once I grew up.
What about your college days?
College days taught me a lot. I had sort of begun finding my space. I began by becoming an extrovert. I learnt to live in the moment and not to worry much about either the past or the future.
First years of working
Oh! They were wonderful! They made me feel empowered. It was almost as if I was a baby bird, flying for the first time!
I worked in Steel Authority of India Ltd at Bhilai for the first few years as a Junior Manager before joining Indian Railways.
During the training period, I was informed that I will be posted in a Data Processing Center. The job there is equally interesting, but at that moment of time, I wished to do field job. I had gone to General Manager (HRD) with one of my other batch-mates to convince him. He informed us that ladies are not given field postings, but he finally relented and we added good experience to our work profile.
Any special achievements? Any memorable moments or incidents?
I was only the fifth lady Electrical Engineer to get through IES and I am happy to say that I got a General Manager’s medal in the very first year of my working.
In the field job, there have been many memorable experiences. I remember the first time when I went on a derailment site. The gangmen and the labour working there were so puzzled seeing a lady on the site that they stopped their work and glared at me. Soon they realized that I was an officer and they have to work with me. After that, the support that I got was amazing indeed.
Any painful happening s which made you stronger as a person?
My father’s death when he was only 52. I suddenly felt that I had grown very big. I had just joined Indian Railways at that time and my brother and sister were in their high school. But my mother, brother, sister and I came together and the days passed off with good results. I emerged stronger.
Any personal ups and downs you would like to share.
Ups and downs are like twins. They always come together. I love both ups and downs in my life. ‘Ups’ make me feel empowered and give me a confidence. ‘Downs’ make me analyse myself and grow.
What are you doing now?
I am enjoying writing. I experience a serenity whenever I complete a good story or a poem. It makes me feel complete.
How do you see yourself in the future?
I don’t worry too much about the future. I live in the present. If I am living present with full satisfaction and doing the right things, my future will definitely be great.
Not that I don’t dream. I dream a lot. But, I would rather strive towards my dreams and then tell people about them.
What Message would you like to give for the readers of our blogazine.
Believe in yourselves.
Please follow the links to know more about this INCREDIBLE WOMAN.
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/NeelamSaxenaChandra?fref=ts
Her Website : http://neelamsaxenachandra.in/
Please note :This interview was conducted online via emails.
Interview Conducted by : Rhiti Bose