Bhairavi Sharma hopes her story will inspire women to overcome their inhibitions, accept themselves, and stay true to who they are.
A cursory glance at the erotic literature available online throws up a bunch of badly written books — with words meant to titillate, these books are generally stitched together with just a semblance of a plot. It is refreshing, then, to meet a writer who takes the genre seriously, someone who writes passionately about sex and relationships and can strike a chord with her readers.
Bhairavi Sharma, author of Mind Cuffed and The Abyssal Secrets, has explored female sexuality and desire through her women protagonists. Bhairavi explains, “Erotic literature is written mostly from the male point of view. Take 50 Shades of Grey — the book might have been pathbreaking for the genre, but it still falls in the classic patriarchal pattern of a dominating male and submissive female.”
Bhairavi’s books have been selling well in the eBook format and as a new author, she is still on the lookout for a fair deal with a reputed publishing house for launching paperback editions.
Bhairavi’s writing is not just for women but also for male readers who want that eternal question — what women want — answered. However, rom-erotica is not the only genre Bhairavi dabbles in. Her upcoming book B.M.S. (Bachelorette, Married, Separated) is the diary of a woman during different phases in her life. Another book on the cards is Just When I Gave Up, which falls in the thriller romance category and is about a girl who loses her father in her childhood and is haunted by his spirit.
28-year-old Bhairavi, the daughter of santoorist Pandit Surendra Sharma, had a happy childhood as the youngest of three sisters. She recalls, “I was a lonely child, though, since my sisters were much older. We are very close now and my family is my strength today.” A divorcée, Bhairavi chose to walk out of a difficult marriage with the man she fell in love with. From quitting her job to giving up on her love for painting, Bhairavi tried to make things work but the marriage did not last.
After moving back in with her parents, Bhairavi got back to her first love — writing. Her own experiences have certainly influenced her as a writer but she is not cynical about love and the happily-ever-after. In fact, she has had several male readers writing to her, applauding her sensitive portrayal of male characters. Bhairavi says, “Just because I am a feminist and take a feministic approach to my writing doesn’t mean I hate men. For me, if two people support each other in every single thing they do, despite the fights and arguments, they have a bond to be proud of. In fact, where there are arguments, you still have a hope for the survival of the relationship. You should be worried when your partner stops arguing with you.”
A brilliant student right from her school days, Bhairavi was a gold medallist in her board exams. A triple-postgraduate, she has completed her MCom as well as MA in English Literature and Sociology. Her parents strongly believed in educating their daughters and that education has stood her in good stead.
When Bhairavi divulged her plans to write erotic fiction, her family was totally supportive. She recalls, “My father has always been a strong support in everything that I have ever done in my entire life. After the bitter experience with my ex-husband, I found it difficult to discuss the genre of my book with my family. When I told them, I remember the exact words that my father said — Bhairavi, you are a mature woman now and not just a girl who needs to take permission before every single thing you do. If you trust yourself and believe in your book, you should go ahead with what you have planned to do.”
Bhairavi went through a stressful period in her teens when, because of epilepsy, her weight ballooned to more than 80 kg. These reasons deepened her naturally introverted personality, and she started closeting herself indoors and had no friends for a long time.
During my weight loss phase, meditation or reaching for my higher self helped me. I had to improve my thoughts before recovering physically. I have been meditating for the last eight years now and it has been a wonderful journey exploring the inner me, bit by bit.
Bhairavi is a believer of the new age philosophy called the law of attraction, which means positive thoughts attract positive experiences and negative thoughts attract negative experiences. She blogs a lot on this topic and believes that those who count their blessings and are grateful for the little joys in their lives will continue to be blessed with more happiness.
I am intrigued by the seeming extremes in Bhairavi’s writing and quiz her further on the incongruence of the topics.
Bhairavi says, “I believe there is a difference between sex and making love. When a woman willingly opens up to the man she loves and when her love is reciprocated, that connection between the two individuals is a pure experience. Sex has been over-hyped, but lovemaking is the purest and rawest form of spiritualism. My books focus on making love, not sex. You would find my women characters making the first move and accepting the fact that they are as human as the man standing or sitting in front of them. I think it is time our gender is not judged anymore for our desires.”
Right now, Bhairavi is living her dream. Like many of us, she took a wrong turn and reached a dead end, but she restarted her journey with courage and is now seeing the fruits of her labour come to life. In five years, Bhairavi hopes to see her paperbacks on the shelves of every popular bookstore. She is already in talks to write the story and script for a movie. She would also love to try her hand at writing lyrics since transforming words into music is a magical experience. Most of all, she hopes her story will inspire women to overcome their inhibitions, accept themselves and stay true to who they are.