In a world that accuses the youth of being too full of themselves, of being emotionally distant or even an impulsive lot, it is refreshing to meet a 23-year-old who is keen to know others’ life-stories, is sensitive to people around and weighs her words and actions because “what you truly believe in and say, happens”.
That is Savi Sharma, a young author from Surat, who self-published her book, Everyone Has A Story, and sold over 5,000 copies online after which publishing houses like Westland and Penguin approached to publish and launch her book. Westland eventually published it and today, she is living “one of her dreams”. And there are much more. “Yes, I write down my wishes and dreams, about a little over a hundred. And I imagine and believe they are coming true. This book launch is one of them,” she says, the twinkle in her eye proof of her belief in the philosophy ‘what you truly wish for comes true’.
Pursuing her CA for four long years but deciding to quit that to be a storyteller isn’t something many may think of or even be encouraged to do. “It was not one of the regular decisions; it was challenging to convince my parents. Many close people suggested I consult my professors and seniors who could guide me on my choice. But I was determined and wasn’t saying it in thin air. I knew I would write and I didn’t think of details. I was sure my story had the power to touch people,” says Savi, who got 1,000 copies printed, to begin with before they got sold and the next few thousands were ready to go. And, the thought and feeling then? “I felt great that it was Number 1 on Amazon in Indian Writing and Romance,” she says, contained yet cheerful.
First books are often understood to have strong autobiographical content… “Oh yes, at least 80 per cent of emotions in my book are all felt, a lot in there is close to reality while much is how I’d like my life to be. The character Vivaan wants to travel, I am like that too; Meera has long beautiful hair, that’s something I always wished for; Kabir wants his own cafe and business, I too dream of a cafe with a little bookstore within; Nisha is a genuine and innocent friend who always supports her friends, I am quite like that; Vivaan has an elderly friend who guides and listens to him, in my life I have always wanted to be friends with someone well beyond my age,” says the soft-spoken author, baring her heart and a bit of the characters.
While Savi Sharma has a couple of plots in mind, she is researching and crystalising her thoughts before another book takes form. Romance and love, like in this book, will find a place in subsequent books because “love is an important factor in life and we all need it”. The young author likes to observe people and life around, enjoys reading books, loves to go to cafes and malls and explore new places. Savi Sharma also prefers to watch films, but more as another’s artwork than a product that must be shredded and criticised if not in line with one’s own sensibilities. That, perhaps, gives the young author a maturity that is well beyond her years. She won’t do things just because they appear cool, be it pouting for selfies or wearing something just because it is a current rage. But there’s one thing she likes most of all: telling stories. “I want to be remembered as a storyteller,” she says, recalling a precious and recent episode. “It was when an 18-year-old emailed me saying ‘your book is the reason for me to not die’. There’s no joy that equals this.”
Photographs : Ravi Panchal
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