Author Interview: Chatting with Balroop Singh

Interview with author Balroop Singh

Author Balroop Singh. Photo courtesy of Balroop Singh.

Welcome to the land of Poetic Parfait, and today’s visitor is author Balroop Singh. I have followed her blog Emotional Shadows for a while now, and it is nice to have the opportunity to chat in depth with her about writing, her poetry book Sublime Shadows of Life, and more. I put out a platter of assorted cheeses and crackers for us as we talk. You are welcome to help yourself to some too! Let’s get started with the interview, shall we?

Welcome, Balroop! Let’s start with an open-ended question. Please tell us a little about yourself and your writing background.

When I was young, quite young, I had no idea that books contained so much of knowledge that could be beyond our comprehension. I was happy with whatever reading material I could find and felt that I had all the information of the world.

When I gained some awareness about the vastness of this globe, I hardly had any time to read, didn’t have any guidance about the choice of books but I was highly imaginative or so I thought! I loved to read and during my flights of fantasy, I could see myself writing. I would consciously tell myself – ‘one day I would write my own book.’

But I had no time! Early, traditional marriage made my life extremely busy and hectic. I forgot all about reading… writing was a far cry!

I gave up my first and a very secure job at the age of 23 to start my family but I couldn’t stay away from the company of students, my most cherished companions who kept my creativity alive.

I chose a busy life to be with the youngsters who were my perennial source of inspiration. As I moved on, balancing various duties of a wife, mother, homemaker and teacher, I started recording my fleeting thoughts on whatever piece of paper or notepad I could find.

It was so easy to write! I didn’t have to struggle with the haphazard placement of syllables on a keyboard, trying to locate them. All my thoughts could flow so spontaneously from my pen!

My students continued to inspire me and many of the poems, which have been compiled in ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’, were written when I conducted creative workshops to motivate them to write poetry. Those challenging hours and the competitive spirit brought the best out of me.

If you had to choose your favorite poets, whom would you choose?

The classic poets, who have inspired me for varied reasons, have always carried me away:

William Wordsworth for his Nature poems

Robert Frost for his realism and imagery

Rudyard Kipling for his poem “If”

William Blake for his sensitivity and “Songs of Innocence”

I will now read a bit of Blake… No, best to stay on track here (note to self to read more later). Balroop, let’s talk about your book. Who do you think would enjoy reading Sublime Shadows of Life?

All age groups could like Sublime Shadows of Life, as it is a comment on life, its turbulent curves and relationships. It envisions people through the prism of poetry. I, you, he, we and they are universal symbols, which highlight the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh

Book cover of Sublime Shadows of Life

What inspired you to write this book?

This book is an anthology of poems, which were written at those emotional moments, those ups and downs of life when we say:

Drowning in the sea of solitude
I looked around shocked
Even tears could mock…

and

…You remain rooted to earth
But I hold the sky to rise…
Both the journeys
Come with a price!

The spontaneity of those moments is its own reward, if we are able to capture them. I organized them later when I discovered they could make a book.

How beautifully you describe moments of inspiration! I am wondering, Balroop, what feedback have you received from readers so far for Sublime Shadows of Life?

I am humbled by the following feedback, which has been received from my friends and students:

“I would like to congratulate one of my best English teachers – Balroop madam for her sheer will and effort to come up with this poetry book… I could relate the journey of my life to these poems…I would recommend everyone to read this book as one will surely discover some deeper part of oneself in these poems that display myriad of emotions…” – Sumreet posted on Amazon

“For me, this book is a true treasure, which I keep exploring as every emotion expressed in the poems, touch me deeply. I can relate to many sentiments… ‘Parental Bonding’ transports me in time; I can almost feel the touch of those tender hands, which have grown to touch their own horizons….” – Baldeep in Foreword, print addition.

“I marvel at her realism, the imagery, the alliteration and her lucid style of depicting the deepest thoughts. I always knew that she lives through her heart but I congratulate her for expressing the feelings of many hearts, for pouring the anguish into her style and winning our hearts.”- Upjit posted on Facebook.

“Thanks a lot for the excellent collection of poems. Every single expression is so personal yet so universal. I don’t know how many times I am going to read them to understand a new dimension of life.”- Bharati posted on Facebook.

That is amazing feedback. Congratulations! Can you tell us a bit about your writing schedule? How often do you write and do you have a structure to your day?

I only write on weekends and that too if inspiration hits me as I am a busy grandmother, trying to nurture the formative years of my grandchildren with the love and care, that they might feel is lacking at those hours when their parents are at work.

What are your goals in the future in regards to writing?

I have always approached life as it comes. I believe in living in the present moment and so my goals unfold themselves slowly.

It was never on my mind that I would write a blog one day or I had so many moods, emotions and words to express my feelings. A person of few words, I always found poetry a more suitable genre of expression.

Some of the days just pass by me, I keep wondering what to write but some times the divine inspiration is hard to shrug off and I am able to write a poem just within half an hour.

I am working on my next book ‘I Want To Grow Up Again’ but its progress is quite slow. Writing is my lifeline; it fills my leisure hours with positivity. So I want to keep writing, as it is highly cathartic for me.

Indeed, writing is like a form of therapy for many people with whom I have spoken. Okay, one last question for you. What tips would you give to someone who is an aspiring poet?

Aspirations don’t make poets, perseverance does. Flow with the emotions, let your imagination soar, find what ignites the fire within and let it go wild. Sky ceases to be the limit when we start the flight of fantasy.

My conviction is that it is our zeal, our passion for work, which makes us noticeable. Whether you are a homemaker, trying to make your home more comfortable and loving or a struggling writer, dedication and sincerity gleams through your work.

Thank you Balroop for your wonderful answers here! Feel free to stay a little while longer and we can talk some more about poetry. 

You can find out more about the book Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh at Amazon.

Also, feel free to connect with author Balroop at her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

To all who join us for this interview, thank you for your support of poetry, writing, and Poetic Parfait

~Love Christy

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72 thoughts on “Author Interview: Chatting with Balroop Singh

  1. balroop2013

    Hi Christy,

    At the outset, I must express my profound gratitude for spending quality time with me. I really relished those crackers on the platter and yes cheese too! Chatting with you is my greatest pleasure, you are so creative and I love that smile you always wear!

    I always click well with poets and I knew you would provide me further inspiration. Yes you did and my brand new poem was written just a few days ago when you reminded us about the World Poetry Day. Here is the link:
    https://balroop2013.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/why-i-walked-away/

    Thank you dear friend for all the love and support you have been providing. Stay blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      I am so glad you came to visit, Balroop. It is my pleasure to have you here. Continue to check back on the post for new comments from readers. I delight in your new poetry and future posts! Sending love!

      Like

      Reply
  2. jensimon523

    Wonderful interview and love how Balroop gets inspired and especially love that she only writes on the weekends as she is a grandmother. Totally made me smile to read that.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. georgeforfun

        My pleasure indeed ));<)))))
        Yes, Christy has wonderful friends. She's let me follow ever since Be Kind To Dumb Animals day last year. ))))
        jk, my inner PeterPan&RobinWilliams sometimes can't be controlled)))))))))))))))))))))))
        ask anyone));<)))

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. melouisef

          I am not good at writing reviews. Just an interesting story with some questions for nook clubs. I have never gone to a book club but I suppose ii would make for interesting discussions here. Another book is Hausfrau and I read it is written by a poet. That you can see, her writing is superb but I guess the story is not for prudish people. Would love to see your review

          Like

  3. Debbie

    Christy, thank you for introducing us to Balroop — I’m still open-mouthed at imagining her as a grandmother! She’s taken very good care of herself (or maybe it’s being a poet?!?) Lovely interview, and I so enjoyed the cheese and crackers. Hugs to you for your generosity!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. rollyachabotbooks

    Thank you Balroop Singh for allowing us to have a peek into your world and the talent you have. You have a gift and use it well from what I have read.
    Thank you Christy for your dedication of meeting people wit a warm and gracious spirit. You are an insertion to many writers.

    Hugs from Alberta

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. irinadim

    Great interview, Christy and Balroop. I like the poets you mention, too. I’m working on my husband’s computer because I’ve run out of my internet allocations. I’ll get your book as soon as I get the connection after April 1. Cheers 🙂 Irina

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Dave Small

    This was an outstanding interview: reading, writing, perseverance, priorities, and staying centered.

    “Aspirations don’t make poets, perseverance does.”

    “I am a busy grandmother, trying to nurture the formative years of my grandchildren with the love and care, that they might feel is lacking at those hours when their parents are at work.”

    “I believe in living in the present moment and so my goals unfold themselves slowly.”

    Inspiring and encouraging!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. macjam47

    Here I am again, a day late in catching up on my favorite blogs. Christy, this was a lovely interview. Sublime Shadows of Life sounds like a collection of beautiful poetry. I have a birthday coming up, so I’ll have to add it to my wish list. 🙂 ❤ ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. DG MARYOGA

    Interesting interview and presentation of a talented and inspirational poet whose work is a real treasure-trove of noble sentiments and rich imagery !
    Thank you Christy Dear!I always rely on your reviews and the well-selected interviews with prominent authors.You seem to have so much in common with them …
    All the best to Balroop & You 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  9. Resa

    I am a recent follower of Balroop. I’ve just read her poem “Why I Walked Away”
    It’s wonderful, Balroop!
    Of course I now want to read the entire book.
    Thank you for this lovely interview, and I hope I left enough crackers for the rest of the guests! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. reocochran

    Ms. Singh, I admire your honesty and how you shared your life with us. You were quite busy with a family, I can relate to this, I too married at age 22 and at age 24 started my family. I found drawing to be my source of comfort and refuse, along with a way to interact, through crafts, with my own children, along with others. I admire how you chose such awesome poets, I enjoy Rudyard Kipling, as being quite a unique ‘voice,’ giving me another part of the world. I did enjoy the other poets you chose also. This was lovely hearing your answers and wishing you the best in your writing.
    Christy, this was a great set of questions. I enjoyed having a snack of cheese and crackers with Ms. Singh. It is always wonderful to find someone else to read and get to know. I respect the two of you, both for different reasons. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. balroop2013

      Hi Robin,

      It is so nice to connect with like-minded persons and I am so glad to meet you here. Thanks to Christy, our lovely and awesome friend.
      Yes, life was so busy but it has been quite kind and fulfilling, the credit for which goes to people around me, my loving and supporting hubby, my children who made my life worth living and my students who taught me the profoundest lessons of life. The poets I have mentioned added a new dimension to my life and now I can look back with pride that I could live up to my ideals that I gathered from reading them.
      Thank you for such a wonderful observation and the best wishes. Stay blessed!

      Like

      Reply
      1. reocochran

        I also wished to compliment your last answer to Christy’s question. i think using positive energy can transform any aspect of our lives and make it sound or appear interesting. By giving this suggestion, Balroop about a homemaker making her home and family happy, making it become “comfortable and loving,” as you described the person welcomes others into their family and lives. This can also be true with books, as you expressed this fine thought. We can use what our passions are to make our stories “come alive!”

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. balroop2013

          Thanks for the compliment Robin, I have always believed that there are two sides to any situation and if we look at the brighter side, like they say…glass being half full, we can accomplish all that we aspire for. However there is a caveat to this fact…people around us too have to understand our positivity. If others keep on spreading negativity, then relationships do get affected, thoughts do take a negative turn and expressing emotions becomes a burden.

          Like

  11. Harkirat Singh

    Dear Ma’am it was my luckiest part
    That i was ur student.

    Great poet
    “William Wordsworth” was one who gave me inspiration to catch the nature in my camera and to freeze its beauty 🙂

    From dat year i am doing photography nd following my passion
    And now ur writings are so refreshing

    Will love to design your book cover 😊

    Like

    Reply
    1. balroop2013

      Hi Harkirat,
      Thanks for taking the time to read this interview and share your view with us. I am so happy to know that you are following your passion. I wish you all the success! Sure, you are most welcome to design the book cover.
      It is my greatest pleasure that students like you still remember me. Thank you so much.

      Like

      Reply
  12. rahul bawa

    Hello mam …

    I am so glad that you are still continuing your love for literature and i must add that you still inspire us like you did in the school times.

    regards
    Rahul Bawa
    your student 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    1. balroop2013

      Hi Rahul,
      I remember you very clearly, you must be one of those who always interacted in class discussions!
      Thank you for the kind words, I am so glad that you remember me as the one who could inspire…it has always been my humble effort.

      Like

      Reply
  13. Ste J

    I love this, Balroop’s discovery of books and the feelings of wonder and power contained in them and to be learning and understanding and seeing life in the presesnt and really living it like so few of us do, fantastic. Also it’s a great reminder to read and really experience poetry, which is timely.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. balroop2013

      Thanks Ste…your words seem like music to my ears. Yes, poetry attracts with its ‘wonder’…we can flow with its rhythm but its real beauty lies in its power to absorb and convey so many thoughts succinctly.

      Like

      Reply
  14. Dalo 2013

    What a great joy it was to find this amazing interview Christy ~
    Have enjoyed her blog for quite some time, and this interview is another gem to add to her attraction. Inspiration from you both ~ not a bad way to start the day. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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