Storytelling is key to the many strands of Sindhu Rajasekaran’s career, including writing short stories, producing films and crafting corporate communications.
MSc Creative Writing
|Year of graduation||2011|
Your time at the University
The University of Edinburgh has the world’s oldest department of English Literature, while Edinburgh is a UNESCO City of Literature. As a creative writer and student of English Lit, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to kickstart my career in writing. My tutors were excellent. They inspired me to open up my mind and taught me to view writing as a craft that can be improved – they pointedly made suggestions that helped me hone my craft. My classmates came from around the world and when we workshopped our stories every week, the feedback was diverse and multidimensional. In this safe space I experimented with all my crazy ideas and quirky characters, surreal plotlines. Another wonderful facet of the program was how it also taught me to write well thought-out academic papers (since I had an undergrad degree in Engineering, this was very important to me). That said, outside the classroom, the city was filled with inspiration of all sorts for aspiring writers. From festivals to cubby-hole bookshops and philosophy in every nook and cranny – Edinburgh is a writer’s delight. Some of my classmates and I staged our own play, 'The Tiara Gynaelogues' at the Mini Fringe Festival – which we wrote and acted in! When I graduated from the university, I not only got a master’s degree, but also left with great friends from varied cultures.
Edinburgh also holds a special place in my heart because I met my partner there. Sushant Desai and I were both students at the university. We’re now married and have a daughter together.
Your experiences since leaving the University
An author, filmmaker and communications strategist, I’ve had a multifarious career so far.
I’ve published two books. My first novel 'Kaleidoscopic Reflections' was nominated for the Crossword Book Award. Recently, my collection of short stories, 'So I Let It Be', was released in the UK and India. I started writing 'So I Let It Be' while studying at the University of Edinburgh. Many of the stories in this book have been workshopped by my student peers and tutors while I was at Edinburgh. My fiction and non-fiction work have been published in the Asia Literary Review, Kitaab, Bella Caledonia, Muse India and Elsewhere Lit. Some of my poetry has been anthologized in the 'Dance of the Peacock' and 'Suvarnarekha'. Currently, I’ve been commissioned to write my third book, a non-fiction work about contemporary feminism in India, by Aleph Book Company, a reputed Indian publisher. The book is expected to be published in 2020.
I started writing 'So I Let It Be' while studying at the University of Edinburgh. Many of the stories in this book have been workshopped by my student peers and tutors while I was at Edinburgh.
Apart from writing, I also nurture a deep love for film. Along with my partner Sushant, I produced an award-winning Indo-British biopic 'Ramanujan' (aka The Genius) in 2014. In this project I involved my talented creative writing peers from the University of Edinburgh (Roxane de Rouen edited the film’s script, while Elizabeth Bourne acted in the film). Since, I’ve been writing and developing other screenplays for production.
Another unexpected business venture I found myself embarking on is corporate communications. My degree in creative writing has helped me to a great extent in this endeavour too – because it has taught me to use language with brevity and clarity. Using my skills as a storyteller and given my interest in business, I helped various Indian start-ups create engaging content across platforms. I also held the position of Consultant – Content & Design, for Reliance Industries for two years.
Trust your own journey. The ultimate race is with yourself. So it’s crucial that you spend time working out what is best for you. Because our career path and journey to success can never be the same as someone else’s.
Also, take a moment and find your Ikigai. It’s a Japanese concept which translates to “a reason for being.” There are things we do in life for passion, for money, for ideology. It’s crucial to find a balance.
So Let It Be by Sindhu Rajasekaran, Pegasus Publishers (external link)
The MSc graduate taking on the silver screen - University of Edinburgh Business School feature on Sushant Desai