CHENNAI: Imagine you are on a trek to an unfamiliar place. It is cold and you are trying to find your way back, because you got left behind. You are weak and cannot move a muscle, but you muster the courage to pull yourself up and find your way back to scale the 18,000 feet summit. This is exactly what happened to Rakhi Kapoor, a childbirth educationist, physiotherapist and author. Her painful experience inspired her to write her first book The Girl Who Was Left Behind.
Born in Kolkata and settled in Chennai, Rakhi has had a love for outdoor activities such as trekking and travelling since childhood. “But my parents and some well-meaning people in the society kept telling me to study, earn a living, what will people think etc. So I constantly fought with what I wanted to become and wanted to do. My parents insisted I choose engineering or medicine. And so today, I run DWI Maternity Studio that specialises in antenatal counselling for couples,” Rakhi explains.
Coming from a family where her paternal grandfather was a writer and would translate works from Pali to Bengali, Rakhi was introduced to books and writing from a young age. Rakhi recalls going to the market and travelling by the metro during her summer vacations as a kid and coming back home to write an essay on her experience about it.
“I was a voracious reader even as a child and have read everything from Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie to Paulo Coelho (who is my favourite) and Osho’s Krishna Consciousness, which inspired me a lot. My grandfather would sit me down and ask me to write down these essays on my experience as well, which I didnt quite like at that point of time, but helped me a lot later,” she chuckles.
Rakhi, who had created a character Tamara for her first book, says that she did so because she had to take herself away personally from the book. “I can’t out my baggage into the book. Tamara symbolises me and is a young girl, who is a successful professional. She is looking for love,” she says.
Adding to that she further explains that there are two kinds of love — the love that we give away to others and the love we need to give ourselves. Taking her character to the next life, Rakhi has also written a sequel to her book, which is on the editing table now and plans to publish it this New Year. “I went for another trek to the Bagini Glaciers, and that is what my sequel will comprise of. The book has to come out of my tears, sweat and pain. I need to experience it myself, only then can I take the readers to those places so they can experience it too,” she adds.
Although she was born in Kolkata, Rakhi spent most of her years in Chennai and has lived in other parts of the country such as Assam, Mumbai, Dehradun and Delhi. And that she says is one major reason that inspired her to start exploring and travelling more. Ask her about her Chennai connect and she immediately recalls her first poem that she wrote while in school. “I came to the South, found a new thing for my mouth. It is white and soft to bite, I take it daily, it’s called idly,” she chuckles.