It is often said that unleashing one’s creativity works like therapy.
Dr. Vaijayanthi Subramanian’s tryst with authoring books is no different. The medical professional who’s armed with an MD in Psychiatry from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences, penned her book, Love Letters With Spelling Mistakes, in a bid to heal herself. The book essays the lives of Indian women— from different walks of life— facing destruction before they truly blossom. Yet their courage at every stage of development and their resilience to rise to those challenges in different roles.
“Personally, I witnessed and experienced a lot of trauma or destruction as a doctor, psychiatrist and a woman in a country where several centuries co-exist. These stories lived in me for months before I started to write, they stayed in my laptop for years before they saw a print, begins Vaijayanthi, who further adds, “The need to be constructive or creative was an urge to repair or heal myself at first, later I thought it may help or be cathartic for readers.”
Despite how the book narrates myriad tales of different genres and varied complexities, the author believes they are all connected through a common thread: ‘of vulnerability, sensitivity, clarity in the face of destruction.’ While all these stories are based on true events, they aren’t all necessarily a leaf out of Vaijayanthi’s life. “I’d like to believe that imagination was interwoven with reality in an intricate manner while penning this book. But, I relate to all the main characters. Madhu is my inner child, she is the most creative protagonist, who started to weave a web of imagination with her dolls in a disturbed home, I think I did that as an adult with live characters in my stories. I doubt the soul of art can be learned, it is usually raw, innate and already within you. Dhruva was a figment of imagination, he may be the best of what I observed in many men, most girls in the creative writing workshop fell for him, it amused me to no end. In fact, I did fancy him so much, that I actually searched for him in real people,” she quips.
While this is her recent book, Vaijayanthi was bitten by the writing bug early on. “I realised writing helped me to release and accept my strong, vehement emotions easily. I wrote my first poem at the age of 11. And for several years maybe a decade or more, I wrote every day as though my life depended on it— a desperate need to be understood, affirmed and validated. Stories bled from me, it was a very deep and strong need for expression and understanding of self. They helped me bond a few shattered pieces of self. Only then writing is worth the effort or so I feel. I have written 198 poems in one year, which was painful for different reasons. I may publish or I may not, creativity is irrepressible,” she says. A therapist by the day, and a writer whenever time permits, Vaijayanthi is an ardent music lover, who loves to dance and cook in her downtime.