The left wing was over-crowded to find an answer to one big question “Who does the writer write for?” Four authors from diverse background and who write in different genres gave the answer to this big question in their own ways. The panel discussion included Mridula Garg, Shobha Narayan, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Steffen Kopetzky. The conversation was candid, humorous and direct. Each writer gave their own perspective while answering the question.

Steffen Kopetzky told the audience that he writes for his country and writes for people who have an appetite for history. He also said that books can open mind of readers and a whole book has a universe in itself. He writes for his wife and then for his best friend, and if they like it, he takes it to the publisher. He also joked about his fear of writing on social media.

Mridula Garg the seniormost person on the panel answered humorously and with depth. She said that she doesn’t write keeping readers in mind; instead, she writes for her satisfaction. She also answered many questions through reciting her own poem in Hindi, which had a really deep meaning. According to Garg, the moment one experiences the fact, it becomes fiction. Jokingly, she said that there is a thin line between creativity and insanity.

Shobha Narayan said that she writes for a specific target audience as she writes articles for a certain genre. She also has to fulfil deadlines as she writes for weekly magazines and articles for newspapers. She said that, “When writing sings, you write for yourself.”

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi started humorously by telling us that he had no money to buy alcohol in his younger days, and he used to tell stories to his friends so they would buy him some. Having vicious people helps you write a novel, he said. To him, storytelling is like magic, and he loves to write for books as well as social media.

It was an insightful discussion, and one from which the writers in the audience surely took away valuable lessons.

By Mohit Patel