Naina Sandhir, the jovial next-door girl, is a dreamer who knows to turn her dreams into reality with her agility and determination to strive for what she wants. She is a published author and content creator who turned her passion into her profession. With her Midas touch of imagination and storytelling skills, she subtly engulfs her audience’s attention in her land of tales.
She is your regular bespectacled girl next door, who relates to her namesake ‘Naina Talwar’ in the 2013 flick ‘Ye Jawani Hai Deewani’ at a personal level. The proverbial educated girl tried to crack medical entrance examinations in her teens.
However, she thinks she burned her parents’ hard-earned money at the Akash coaching centre only to become a published author by the end of her twenties! A born dreamer, die-hard romantic, quick to cry, laughs like a hyena let loose, and as flawed as the rest of us, TheMillennialRumi is art in creation.
ICY Tales is in conversation with Naina Sandhir, who shares her journey.
Q. What comes primary in the profession of content creation?
Naina Sandhir: Primarily, you need to have an eye for detail, a keen observation of current trends, the ability to change with the times, and of course, a never-ending repertoire of wit, quirk, and creativity.
Q. Do you think creativity is innate, or can it be developed with time?
Naina Sandhir: In my case, I owe my creativity and sometimes far-fetched imagination dangerously bordering on the verge of crazy to my language teachers, parents, and of course, books. So yes, it is the classic case of nature and nurture. It can be nurtured with the right dose of encouragement and works of erstwhile authors.
Q. How do you connect with your audience?
Naina Sandhir: On a soul level! The art of storytelling helps me in every step to connect with my valued audience. I take them to my world on a magic carpet of words. I treat all their senses to the world I am taking them to. If it’s a jug of hot chocolate fudge that I am savouring on my date with myself, I will ensure that their heart and soul are with me on that date. I will tickle their taste buds whilst teasing their olfactory and visual senses.
Q. What has been the motivating force behind your endeavours?
Naina Sandhir: As a plump child who was no good at athletic endeavours, books and my childhood best friend of twenty-five years came to my rescue. I could make imaginary sand castles and run races with dragons and fairies with equal elan as my classmates ran hundred-meter sprints. As far as I remember, I have been writing and communing with imaginary friends since the tender age of six or seven. Refinement came way later.
Q. How crucial is exploring/travelling to build content? How do you connect the dots?
Naina Sandhir: Well, for starters, let’s say as crucial as refilling your ink pen’s barrel! Jokes apart, the more you travel, the more you explore, the more people you meet, and the more living stories you encounter! I reiterate that every person walking this earth has a story; only some live to tell them. As far as connecting the dots is concerned, that’s maybe just a knack for spotting connections where none exists to the hitherto untrained eye.
This is something that can be developed with time and practice. So, to the young writers out there, even if resources are tight, make that trip to the nearest cafe and talk to as many people as you can without coming off as a creep! I bet my rump, even an old tea seller, will have a few words of wisdom or tales to share.
Q. Would you recommend content creation as a full-time professional engagement? What are the skills that make one the best in the field?
Naina Sandhir: Ok, this one is a tough cookie to crack. If you have a solid income, do not switch without a hefty bank balance and savings to cushion the blow. Instead, treat it as a side hustle, hone your skills and nurture high-ticket clients until you can afford to meet your current lifestyle solely on content creation. Writing is an art, treat it as such, and no one can stop you from becoming the next hotshot! Your pen, journal, laptop, and zero fucks to give attitude to naysayers and empathy for all sentient beings comes in handy.
Q. Could you walk us through the Haute Couture culture and its pros and cons?
Naina Sandhir: Haute couture is the exact opposite of fast fashion that we are used to consuming. The cons are, of course, the ridiculously hefty price tags and the exclusiveness, but the pros are visible and make sense only to the blessed few. As expensive as a down payment on your house, that custom-made Haute-couture dress may not make sense to the sensible, but it keeps the art of the artisans alive and their lives empowered! Everyone has their own opinion on investing in such pieces, but from the eyes of an artist, it is an investment.
Q. What is the best thing you love about your work?
Naina Sandhir: I make money off my passion! Club writing, travel, art, and exquisite beauty, my friend, are life for me until my last breath. Also, the joy of working and meeting with like-minded people is great. What could be better than that?
Q. What advice do you have for anyone deciding on their career choices?
Naina Sandhir: Follow your heart once your wallet is fat enough! (Laughs) You will figure it out; in the end, we all do.
Naina Sandhir, just like her relative fictional character ‘Naina Talwar’, knows to cast a spell through her ideas and content that leads her audience into the land of imaginative genius tingling each sense to leave them awed. She knows what she does and believes in following one’s heart to take the first step towards realising their dreams.