In the latest feature of our She Writers series, we spotlight the incredible Nivedita Chitnis, a writer with a knack for blending words and weaving stories. As we delve into Nivedita’s story, it feels like catching up with an old friend over a cup of tea. There’s something truly special about her journey, where she seamlessly blends her skills as a wordsmith with her expertise in human resources, making her an invaluable part of our SheSights writers’ community.
Nivedita, can you take us back to your college days and share a vivid memory of when you first discovered your love for writing?
Back in college, my younger brother’s love for animals sparked my writing journey. His passion, especially for dogs, led to our family adopting a German Spitz. The emotional connection between us and our furry friend became the heart of my first story, published in the Times of India. It was a simple, heartfelt tale that marked the beginning of my writing adventure.
Post-college, you entered the corporate world with roles at IBM India, Behr India, and Thermax Ltd. How did your HR stint shape your writing journey?
In my HR days, connecting with people from diverse backgrounds was key. Those interactions fuelled my curiosity about human emotions and mindsets, offering me a wealth of material for my writing. Celebrating people’s joys and aspirations naturally integrated into my storytelling. It’s amazing how these experiences enriched my perspective and added depth to my narratives.
How did taking a break, for motherhood change your outlook on work, and how did you stay connected to your professional interests during that time?
I felt lucky not to struggle financially during my break, enabling me to prioritize my children’s upbringing. Being a hands-on mother brought challenges, but I cherished those moments. Staying in touch with colleagues and taking up flexible, work-from-home projects allowed me to balance my personal and professional life effectively.
What inspired your collaborative project, “Socio-Economic Dynamics of Indian Society,” and how did delving into Indian history impact you?
I’ve always been fascinated by India’s social structure, going beyond the commonly known facets of yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation. The project delving into our ancient history, particularly the caste system, was enlightening. It strengthened my connection to our roots and sparked a deeper love for Indian history. It’s incredible how these lesser-known aspects contribute to our rich heritage.
In your recent book, “CARe,” capturing COVID assistance stories, is there a specific case that deeply impacted you?
Our volunteers were like unsung heroes, donning PPE suits in the scorching heat, and conducting mass screenings during the pandemic’s peak. It was a risky business, but they did it to protect others.
Then, there was this beautiful initiative to counsel isolated senior citizens. Just a simple call to check on them and chat. Those calls turned out to be a lifeline, pulling them out of the abyss of loneliness. It’s incredible how such simple acts can make a world of difference.
Among your various writing projects, is there a specific piece that holds a special place in your heart?
You know, there’s this story I wrote for SheSight on Father’s Day. It’s special because I had recently lost my father and writing about him felt like a way to remember and honor him. I poured my heart into capturing the invaluable life lessons he imparted. It resonated with readers, and the responses were overwhelming. It’s a piece that holds a special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful memory, cherishing the bond we shared, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to honor him through my words.
Given your HR background, how important is good communication during tough times like COVID-19? Any tips for professionals facing similar challenges?
Communication, for me, is like magic. Weaving words has this incredible power to create a positive impact. I truly believe that genuine conversations, even with strangers, can uplift spirits and alleviate depression during challenging times. It’s a reminder of how simple words can have a profound effect on our well-being.
What future writing projects or topics are you excited about, and do you have any dreams or goals in mind?
I’ve grown fond of delving into ancient Indian History and Mathematics, and I’m excited about projects that blend these interests. I’m also considering a book filled with engaging short stories. Exploring the uncharted aspects of our heritage is thrilling, and I can’t wait to share these narratives, weaving together history and imagination for readers to enjoy.
As our insightful conversation with Nivedita Chitnis comes to an end, we’re left inspired by her journey, resilience, and passion for storytelling. Her words weave through diverse experiences, connecting with readers on a profound level. Nivedita, we express our heartfelt gratitude for sharing your experiences with us. We’re eagerly looking forward to your future projects, expecting more enriching narratives that touch the soul. Stay tuned as we keep exploring the empowering stories of incredible women in our She Writers series.