“Love is real. It is not what our expectations have built it up to be. If we calm down about it, we can make it work,” says filmmaker and author Natasha Badhwar in a free-wheeling conversation with SheThePeople.TV. She recently came out with her new book ‘Immortal for a Moment: Small Answers to Big Questions About Life, Love and Letting Go’. This book, as it says in the title, encompasses love, affection and the longing it leaves us with and is second in line of Badhwar documenting experiences from her own life after her first book—‘My Daughter’s Mum’.
In ‘Immortal for a Moment’, Badhwar lets the reader in on the realities and the experiences of her life knowing the judgments it might incur and yet, she writes freely about it. Talking about the fears she faces while writing about her own life, Badhwar says, “Writing for me starts with being all wound up because I really convince myself that I can open up doors to my own personal life and going on to examine things with honesty and it will not make me look like either an imposter or self-indulgent. So basically I need to convince myself to pass that threshold of self-criticism and it is from there that the writing really begins.”
Since she writes from personal perspective about incidents from her own life, that also involves her close relations, she wants to ensure she is fair to everyone she is writing about. “I tend to overthink on it a lot and sometimes I will think of a story but I won’t write it for a year or two or more than that because I feel that I need to do a lot of work in my own response to others to be able to give myself the right to write about people close to me like my husband, children or parents,” explained Badhwar about the way she approaches her stories.
Badhwar, who has an inter-faith marriage with a Muslim, also wrote about the dynamics of her relationship and how it is normal to have differences and yet be loving in the book. She feels that the political climate today requires people who are not just activists but even artistes who can speak up on such issues of inter-faith relationships.
“The levels of absurdity around religion is so high that things that we never thought we would be standing up and saying publicly on platforms have become necessary to say.”
“Writing for me starts with being all wound up because I really convince myself that I can open doors to my own personal life and go on examine things with honesty and that it will not make me look like either an imposter or self-indulgent”
There is a chapter in her book that summarizes her relationship with her husband in ‘Married to a Muslim—He fasts, she feasts’. Talking about the need to show people how natural it is, she says, “I thought let me just show it to you that it is so every day and basically a bunch of people getting by with each other.”
“We are also different and we do things differently but it is not such a big deal. We can be perfectly loving towards each other without feeling any pressure to become like the other. In many ways, having these visible difference between us have made it easier for us to navigate them,” she says.
Through her book, Badhwar wants readers to feel that however ordinary you may have been made to feel, each one of us is extraordinary in ways in which we can love, we can be and in the way we can connect to each other and transform lives. Finally on asking what her 2019 looks like, she exclaims, “I want to write another book.”