Girija Gopalakrishnan


Girija Gopalakrishnan is a teacher by profession, a poet and writer at heart, and an environmentalist by commitment. She was born into a traditional South Indian family, but was brought up and educated in Dehradun and Rishikesh. The best part of her life as an adult was spent in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya: the abode of clouds. She feels that she owes a lot to the environment that was instrumental in making her what she is today.
As a teacher of Biology and Environment Studies for over thirty five years in various schools located all over India, she has been and is still working towards developing awareness about the importance of keeping the Earth free from wounds inflicted by mankind. In her heart, there is a deep sense of sadness, regret, anger and helplessness because she feels that the grown-ups are not leaving the planet safe and livable for their children.
She has been actively expressing her angst through travelogues, blogs and social media, and is also in constant conversation with young adults over the issues that are screaming for attention. At present she is helping some NGOs with environment awareness campaigns.

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How did you achieve balance between taking care of a the readers' demand and keeping the originality of your story alive?

Creating readers’ grip is one of the most important factors that one must keep in mind while writing a book. It is imperative for a reader to be able to read effortlessly without any breach in the flow. These elements from a reader’s point of view are, of course, important, however, I did not really care about other factors, like to impress the readers. I never intended to shine out for I was not creating a bollywood blockbuster and my sole motive was to instead pen down my creativity and share something unique to me.

What do you think makes a good story?

The narrative of a story defines the quality of it. A good story, according to me, must have a beginning that triggers the interest of the readers. It must also be free from too many ramblings that may drift the readers away from the main story line. In the end, finally, a writer must conclude in a way that lets the readers presume or not conclude at all. This provides the readers with a vast space for imagination.

Did you read your book reviews? How did you deal with bad or good ones?

So far I have been fortunate enough to receive some good reviews. One’s family is believed to be its worst critic. I, hence, never relied on their reviews nor did I suggest them to read my book. It was out of a personal curiosity that they chose to read my book and came to me with positive reviews. However, I am sincerely waiting for some critical feedback with a brutally honest revelation that all allows me a massive scope for improvement.

What do you think are the common traps for aspiring writers?

I believe that a writer is obliged to remain very observant of his environment. However, the young writers of today generally overlook this quality and hasten their writing process. For they are in a hurry to get their work published. My piece of advice to the aspiring writers is to, thus, allow themselves have plenty of time after completing their work to be able to muse on it. Moreover, they must also focus on retaining a good memory.

What according to you is the primary key of attending these Literature festivals?

I would pronounce these Literature festivals as a party where people come to socialize at a literary level. These festivals, moreover, present us with an occasion to celebrate our lingual diversity. I am hoping for the Valley of Words to be an interactive festival with special workshops on storytelling and book writing and it is, certainly, going to be exciting to have yourself surrounded by some amazing people.

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