March 24, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

“It’s important to take constructive feedback.”- Richa Tilokani (Indian Author)

4 min read

Team Kitaab is in conversation with Indian author Richa Tilokani as a part of the South Asian Women Writers Feature.

For the whole of March, we will be featuring South Asian Women Writers on Kitaab for the whole of March. You can read the editor’s note to know more about this.

Today, we are featuring Indian author Richa Tilokani. Richa holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from SP Jain Institute of Marketing & Research, Mumbai. A marketing, communication and advertising professional, she enjoys writing books and poems and has contributed to myriad magazines, newspapers, blogs and anthologies. 

Her first book The Teachings of Bhagavad Gita- Timeless Wisdom for the Modern Age was published in 2021 by Hay House India. It was nominated by the Pragati Vichar Literary festival 2022 in the Best Debut Non- fiction category. She was named as one of the ‘Best Indian authors’ at the Criticspace Literary Awards 2021. She was also included on the list of Most Iconic Authors of 2022 by Aesthetics International magazine. 

Team Kitaab: How did writing happen to you?

Richa Tilokani: I always enjoyed writing and reading and was encouraged from a young age to do so by my grandad. It helped me express myself better and gave me great joy, so I kept writing. Later when I started working, I used to stop myself from writing because I suffered from self- doubt. It took me many years to begin and now it’s as if I can’t stop. Probably making up for lost time.

Team Kitaab: If you had to introduce someone to your work/s, which books of yours would you ask them to start with?

Richa Tilokani: My debut book was The Teachings of Bhagavad Gita- Timeless wisdom for the Modern Age. So, readers can pick that up and also browse through the Weekender edition of Outlook magazine which has a couple of my poems.

Team Kitaab: Share five reads you would recommend from your region/ country.

Richa Tilokani: The works of Vibha Batra, Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, Anuja Chauhan, and Arundhati Roy. They all write in English and are Indian.

When the ink dries, use that time to go for a walk, read or get some chores done. And wait for lovely Miss Inspiration to strike.

Richa Tilokani

Team Kitaab: Your thoughts on Women Writing as a genre. 

Richa Tilokani: Women writing as a genre is very important because since a long time our stories have been told by men. Or they have been made a part of men’s stories so the focus on our journeys has been lost. 

Plus, it may lose its rawness and authenticity if someone else writes for us because how can they know about what we are feeling. There is a sore need of women writers to give voice to their experiences, to capture our perspective and to bring in much needed diversity and balance.

Team Kitaab: Please talk a bit about your publishing journey. The challenges you faced and the hurdles.

Richa Tilokani: It was not easy to get published because there were a lot of “whys” and “nos”. But I kept at it because I was sure this is what I wanted. So, we need to be thick-skinned and not give up. I learned to take a break when the going got tough.

At the same time, it’s important to take constructive feedback. It will help you write for your reader. Keep at it, it is not easy but what other choice do we have? It does take time but have faith that it will work out.

Team Kitaab: How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Richa Tilokani: Well, writer’s block deals with us rather than us deal with it. It does crop up from time to time. But there’s nothing we can do except grin and bear it. So, when the ink dries, use that time to go for a walk, read or get some chores done. And wait for lovely Miss Inspiration to strike.

Disclaimer: All pictures are copyright of the author/s unless otherwise.