Who is Tanu Shree Singh?
I am yet to discover who I Am. A mother. A woman. A story teller. A writer. The number of roles I play keep increasing with each passing year. But to pin point a single thing is impossible. I am many things, like all of us out there. But there has always been a single thread that ties all my roles together – words. So in a way writing defines me. It keeps me sane, collected. It gives me the freedom to be, to breathe. When I cook up a story for my niece and watch her eyes grow wide with wonder – that defines me. When I get a message from a reader saying my writing helped – that defines me.
Who is Tanu Shree Singh not?
Oh Boy! This can run into pages. I am definitely not the one for discrimination based on gender or anything else for that matter. One thing that gets me all worked up is the deep-rooted patriarchy around us. Recently I was at dinner and a fellow guest constantly kept trying to engage the ‘feminist type’ in me in a futile nonsensical banter. And the sad part was that his wife lovingly gazed at him as he got all worked up at ‘all you feminist sort of women.’ That gets my goat. The man obviously has no idea what women like me and the ones who aren’t fortunate enough to get a decent enough education face everyday.
I do not conform to conventional roles. I do not cook lovingly for my kids everyday. I do not expect the man to open the door for me or escort me anywhere. I do not spoon feed the kids or roll out carpets for them lest they step on stones. I let them nurse their wounds. I do not carve their path out. Hell, I haven’t carved my own path out! I am not negative. Positivity and mindfulness are far too dear to me to make space for any negative emotion except, well, anger at the male driver who gets cocky on seeing a woman behind the wheel. Oh, and the vowel free SMS lingo – that too stirs up some fairly negative emotions.
What does Tanu Shree do?
My first book is about to come out. Keep Calm and Mommy On has been a journey of sorts. It all started with a few stray blog posts. Parenting can be a daunting journey if one was to find set paths, read too much into the competitive world and allow oneself to be judged–by one’s self and others. Someone else’s child excelling at art doesn’t mean that my child lacks something. My child acing his exams in no way implies that he is the best there is. One needs to understand that each child is unique and pushing and prodding him to fit in a mould is futile and counterproductive. Hence the blogs were born.
Then feedback from the parents started coming in and I wrote some more. And then one day, three of my favourite people from Duckbill sat me down and told me, ‘We see a book.’ I stoically nodded. That is how the book came about. When I am not writing, I can be found teaching a bunch of undergrads or telling stories to a group of kids.
Why does Tanu Shree do it?
Words. That’s why. I need them to make sense of this world. Everyone does. But I need them to tumble out of my head, jostle their way through the pen, and fill the paper in front of me – sometimes to make that perfect sentence, and sometimes to get mercilessly murdered for tumbling out a little too soon. If it is not a piece, or a story, it is a note written to the boys. Or them writing to me. That’s us – we need written words to make sense of us. We fumble when these words try to roll off our tongues, for they mostly end up in a messy pile. We like to communicate through words that our fingers can trace, and our eyes can behold forever. So being wordless is unimaginable.
The second thing that is absolutely dear to me is the Reading Raccoons Library that so many people helped me set up at Faridabad. I need to see children take to books; it makes the world a tad bit of a better place. So when a child walks in and finds his/her book, that makes all the madness worth it.
Where does Tanu Shree wish to be in a few years from now?
Behind a desk, typing away on my laptop while gentle breeze sways the branches outside my home in the mountains.
Whom does Tanu Shree look up to?
If I look at all the books out there, and think of all the writers I want to be like, the list would run into an impractically long scroll. However, if I were to pick the two people who have been instrumental in my journey so far, they would have to be Sayoni Basu and Anushka Ravishankar, the principal platypuses at Duckbill. They taught me whatever little I know about writing and continue to help me learn more.
What advice does Tanu Shree have for our readers?
I am not qualified enough to give anyone any advice! But there is one thing that all of us can do – Keep Calm. Deep Breathe. And walk on.
Where can we find Tanu Shree?
Twitter : @tanu75