Conversation: Rupali Saini

Rupali Saini

Author-intro: Rupali Saini is a poet, activist, author and wanderer who prefers to ramble in the world of her imagination. Alone but never lonely, Rupali calls herself God’s favorite. She is fond of tapping her feet with a story in her mind, and a random choreographer. When she is not penning the subtleties of human heart, she is an assistant professor and a passionate teacher who loves to promote learning through questioning. Her work has been featured in various journals and anthologies.

Setu Journal (SJ): How do you describe your foray into short-form prose narrative? How different is the territory from poetry?

Rupali Saini (RS): Flash fiction is the genre, I feel, came to me naturally. When I started writing stories, they happened to be fall in line with this short-form prose narrative. Just like a love child of poetry and short story, my 25 flash fiction stories are a fine fusion of a distilled language of the poetry and a narrative arc of the prose.

SJ: The significance of the title of the book under discussion? How did you decide the title?

RS: In the title- SHOTS: Tell It Slant, the word ‘SHOTS’ hints towards a collection of short shorts and the word ‘shots’ carries numerous meanings in itself, I leave it upon the readers, how they would like to take it. And the subtitle, ‘Tell It Slant’ indicates the contexts presented in this book through the medium of fiction. The themes are alarming but at the same time depict the truth of the society.

SJ: What is the main framework of this collection of shorts? Thematic arch? Broad threads keeping these stories together? The driving idea/s?

RS: The main framework is a shout out for humanity irrespective of gender, region, cult or any demarcation. These stories are inspired from my quest to address the issues which are almost normalized, though the practices going on are the subtle forms of exploitation, disparity and prejudices, but in the humdrum of our hectic lives we tend to let them happen as nothing has happened. At some places, I have also attempted to show the daily happenings to their core reality, which is off course disturbing and unsettling.

SJ: What prompted you to go for this format of storytelling? How effective is it for the new-millennium audiences hooked to gadgets and surrounded by chatter and noise?

RS: As I have mentioned, this form luckily came to me naturally, it’s like, it chose me. Here I would like to quote Mike Resnick, who says, “Brevity is not just the soul of wit; it is damned hard work.” Yes, completing a story with constraints was quite challenging but I enjoyed the process. This genre- Flash Fiction is gaining popularity, people love to read a powerful story completed in a few words. Moreover, this style also requires more sophisticated readers endowed with higher sensibilities, so to peel the profound layers embedded in a piece of flash fiction.  

SJ: The challenges of writing flash fiction for a busy reader, on the go? Your strategies of engagement with a brief and wandering attention span?

RS: I don’t think that this genre has come into existence to cater the needs of a busy reader or to engage people suffering from a brief attention span, for that we have poetry and its multiple variations. Flash fiction is indeed a fresh gusto in the way we experience literature. It’s not that, people love to read or write Flash Fiction because they are in a hurry rather, I assume, it has its own purpose.

SJ: Do you wish to continue writing short form or move to long-form narratives? Which genre is more rewarding?

RS: I write at my calling. Every narrative form has its own beauty, what makes difference is, with which you are in sync naturally. Each genre is rewarding when dealt with a true spirit. And I don’t feel, we should be thinking about reward when it comes to creative process. It happens, doing is very little.

SJ: Rupali Saini, the writer in third person singular, please?

RS: Rupali Saini is a writer who writes when no other option is left than manifesting her ideas in the form of a writing piece. She writes out of necessity to bring the content out on the paper/screen. Ideas push her to type them on the screen and then she is also the one who could go beyond her limits to manifest those ideas in the best way possible.

SJ: Any writing schedule you follow?

RS: Not any in particular. When bubbling up with something to scribble, I strive to snatch some time from my busy schedule.

SJ: Is short story a vibrant and enduring mode of narration? Or, is it the novel that has got more appeal for the market looking for new voices and regions?

RS: Every style has its own kind of fandom. It also depends upon the mood of the reader, they pick up different styles as per their zone they are into at a specific time-period.

SJ: All the best for your debut. Wishing you more power! Thanks for your time.

RS: Thank You so much!



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  1. Rupali Mam and her SHOTS this stories really ask every reader to think a while. One plus point I see in her writing is whenever you reread a story you explore your thinking Canvas. I wish my best wishes for her future writing.


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