Some say that every secret of a writer’s soul is written large in their works. Some say it’s all fiction and a figment of their imagination. Today’s writer from Manipur has a little bit of both in her first ever book to be published “The Sea and I.” A teacher by profession, 26-year-old Chirmi Shimray is a new mom to her 3-month-old son and has always been passionate about writing. The themes of her writings usually revolves around Death, Survival and Freedom, and she says of her book “The Sea and I”, ” It’s mostly fictional except for a chapter called ‘Paradise’ which is based on my real life. I want my readers to dive into the book and just let the book take them over with its mesmerizing vulnerabilities, and also its coldness.”Let’s find out more about Chirmi and her book!
A chat with Chirmi Shimray – a passionate writer, full-time teacher, new mom and a published author from Manipur. She talks about her debut book, “The Sea and I” the whole process that went into her book, her writing themes, and so much more.
Hi Chirmi, good to have you here! Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I am Chirmi Shimray, brought up in Ukhrul, Manipur but currently based in Imphal. I am 26 years old, and I am a full-time teacher, writer, and mum to my 3-month-old son Leo.I’ve been exploring places and experimenting with new things and new jobs all my life right after I finished my Masters in Mumbai University.
Apart from painting and literature, Writing has always been my first love and it all started when I was in my college in Patkai Christian College, Nagaland. I love traveling and I believe that I am the daughter of the endless blue skies and the deep blue Sea and a global citizen born to chase the winds and explore the things unknown because there is nothing better than the feeling of experiencing new places, new food, meeting new people and making new friends and experiencing new culture.
Tell us more about your book “The Sea and I.”
‘The Sea and I’ holds a very special place in my heart. I started writing the first 6 chapters back in my college and I didn’t get the time to complete it. I had forgotten all about it and when I checked my old files I decided to finish it which I finally did in my last stage of pregnancy, which was actually a hard time for me. During that phase, I found solace in writing this book, which became my happy place. The story is completely fictional except for the chapter ‘Paradise’ which is loosely based on the agonies that I went through in my own life. The characters in the book – Afi, Jay, Lucy, and Mimi are all fictional and have their own unique personalities.
The book, “The Sea and I” by Chirmi A Shimray
So tell us what inspired you to write this book?
I grew up reading the newspaper every day, filled with a world of bloodshed and violence and the fact that this world is so full of chaos made me want to dream for a life with less drama which influenced me to create my own little world through my writing.
“This book was created out of my imagination and I aim to take my readers to a different World out of the war-zone into the calmness of the deep blue Sea. I hope that it implants some kind of tranquility to my readers.”
What initially sparked your interest in writing?
When I was in high school, my Principal Alex Khayi knew something in me and he always told me to make good use of my writing skills, he made me enter Essay competetions, Spelling Bs, story writings, etc which I always won. He boosted my confidence and implanted that feeling of trust in me which made me realize my potentiality in writing and I have been writing ever since. If he’s reading this, then I would like to say Thank you to him.
Chirmi all smiles with her friends in traditional (tangkhul-tribe) attire
How has your upbringing influenced your work or working style?
My mom is a homemaker and an artist, and my dad is a social worker. Their individual lifestyles inspired my thoughts and helped bring out both my creativity and have the ability to read people’s minds, socialize and adapt wherever life planted me.
“Born and raised in Manipur and one fourth of my life in Nagaland, then a part of my heart left in Mumbai and Thailand – all these places and my upbringing have influenced my life with their unique and diverse cultures.”
What do you hope people take away from your writings?
I usually write on Death, Survival, and freedom so I want my readers to dive into the ‘The Sea and I’ without fear and just let the book take you over with its mesmerizing vulnerabilities and also it’s coldness.
“The world can be harsh sometimes like the fierce sea but it has its good times too; the Sun will shine again, the Sea will be calm again and the darkness of the Sea will not be long. Enjoy reading with an open heart.”