Interview with Tushar Sharan
Author of The ripe age of 20
Hi! My name is Tushar. I'm a med student and I live in Mumbai.
My heart truly lies with the arts, especially writing. Read my poetry book--'The ripe age of 20.'
Buy this book
How would you describe 'The ripe age of 20' to a new reader?
- This book has been my personal diary from the ages of 17 to 20. I've shared every little detail of what happened to me in these pages. It has it's share of joy, sadness, heartbreak and all the other feelings that make up the mind of a young adult.
It was never a plan to publish it into a book but eventually it started taking form and I did it. I hope readers find this book relatable more than anything else.
What was the inspiration behind 'The ripe age of 20' ?
- My life is my inspiration. Just like everybody's life inspires them in someway or form. I do believe that we each have a separate journey planned ahead of us that is incomparable from anyone else's.
Everything that I have experienced in life uptill now has ended up in these pages. Nothing more, nothing less.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- I'm deeply moved by the other poets who've revolutionised the field of poetry. One such poet that comes to mind is Rupi Kaur whose themes of trauma and mental health issues have helped her to deal with them but also worked to bring about awareness on these important issues.
Taylor Swift is my biggest inspiration. Her constant efforts to encourage writing one's own lyrics/poems is what gave me the courage to tell my own story and nobody else's.
I do believe that poetry can be a conversation starter.
Can you tell us a little about the poems in your book?
- There are some which are about heartbreak. This one called 'I tried' was about losing a close friendship. Another one titled 'Traffic' is about my anxiety to meet new people.
'Unloved' was about a lost love and 'Dear moth' about growing up and not being comfortable with change.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- The same advice I found from others-- Keep writing no matter what and always try to write your own stuff. Find the voice within you.
What's your writing process?
- I usually never sit down to write. I never take a pen in my hand and sit gazing at the window thinking of what to write. Haha.
It just comes to me--it could be a line or an object. Eventually as my mind catches its attention it takes form and eventually it becomes something in my mind and I note it on the 'notes' app on my iPhone.
This is pretty much my writing process.
Which is your favourite poem?
- 'I tried'. It was the hardest to write.
Another favourite has to be 'Orange' written about someone I was jealous of.
Is there anything about the book you regret?
- The only thing I come close to regretting is that I had to edit a few poems to make them suitable for a young reader. I did cut out some gruesome descriptions from the poems.
It was probably for the best but I wish I could have been more free with what I wanted to say. Other than this minor regret--nothing.
How have readers responded to 'The ripe age of 20'?
- The reception has been pretty good. I've started conversations on uncomfortable topics through these poems. Many people have reached out and told me that a certain poem described exactly what they were going through.
This is the greatest gift of all--that someone else finds it relatable and it makes them feel understood.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- For now, I'm focusing on my studies. Med-school is really keeping me busy for anything else. I am working on some music, however and hope to share it soon.
This book is a testimony to how I've grown up. These poems are open letters to childhood bullies, old teachers and friends; people I'm not sure if I'll ever meet again, about the things that I never said to them.
This is me secretly wondering if I've grown up the right way.
This is the ripe age of 20.