Stories have the potential to literally change someone’s world. You are only one story away from being a completely different person and storytellers give us a chance to taste life twice; In reality and in our minds.
Yashika Behl is one such storyteller and poet who creates stories that the world loves. She has performed on storytelling platforms like Tape A Tale and has given the world many relatable and heart-touching stories.
Although even a storyteller can’t explain how they create magic with words, team Sociobits connected with Ms. Yashika Behl to know a little more about her life.
Team Sociobits: Being a storyteller, do you come from a literary background?
Yashika Behl: If you want to know whether I come from a family who have learnt literature, then my answer would be no. But my father used to write all the time. It was like, as kids we were woken up from our sleep to go to school with his stories and tales. I think I start picking it up from him and things started to inculcate in my mind. My father still writes shayaris and poems but he doesn’t express a lot of his content and sometimes posts his pieces on social media. But I think that this is where my whole journey started. One can say that I have learned to write stories and poems from my father so, I sort of do come from a literary background.
Team Sociobits: Who is your favorite poet?
Yashika Behl: Without a doubt, my answer would be Sriti Jha. She has always and will always be my favorite poet. The first time I listened to her poem was on Kommune, titled ‘To Like? Or Love’. Then I heard one of her stories, ‘Chaabi Gum Gayi Hai’, a story written about the LGBTQ+ community and that’s it, I fell in love with her. I just love what she writes and speaking of my favorite genre, I don’t think there is a fixed set of stories that I can point out. I watch and read everything be it romance, thriller, comedy, suspense, etc.
Team Sociobits: Would you please share your story as well as your poetry writing process with us?
Yashika Behl: So, when I usually sit and observe things, a topic just fits in my head like, ‘okay, next, I am going to write about this.’ Or when something has happened, like a situation, then I think of writing about it. But I don’t write about it at that time. The thoughts keep building up in my mind, and I continuously think about them. After a lot of thinking, when these thoughts can be formed into a plot, I start to pen them down on paper and start developing my story.
If you are wondering how I keep those thoughts flowing continuously, then I feel that when you have the story in your mind, the flow comes with it. You just choose words that people can relate to and enjoy while keeping the context or moral the same. If you can do this, it will set you apart as a poet or storyteller.
About poetry writing, until now I have never performed any of my poetries. I have written a lot of poetries but I have never performed any of those because I think I still need to improve a lot. And until I am super confident that whatever I have written is perfect nobody except my mom will get to hear it. So, I am trying to develop and create better poetries but I feel that I will share some poetries very soon.
Team Sociobits: Is there anyone that you share your progress with?
Yashika Behl: As I mentioned, Every level and step of my stories and poems are reviewed by mom. I just rush to her and tell her that the piece is ready, you should hear it. I recite it to her exactly like I usually perform and she always likes it. She always says, “Haan yaar bohot badhiya hai!” (I think it’s great). But then I tell her that she always likes my stories and she should sometimes critique them. By running my pieces through my mom, even when I am exploring a new genre, I come to know how the youth or the rest of the world will take it.
“By running my pieces through my mom, even when I am exploring a new genre, I come to know how the youth or the rest of the world will take it.”-Yashika Behl
Team Sociobits: Your piece ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ became quite popular. We would like to know whether that piece comes from a personal space? And what kind of reception did you get from it?
Yashika Behl: ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ was one of my best stories and the best part about it was people could relate to it. I spoke to a lot of people after that piece; many of them texted me and expressed they have been through the same stuff or had been bullied about something. I felt really good about the fact that people could relate to the story, connect with it and also understand the moral behind it. They get that its high time that they live their life the way they want to without thinking about what will people say. This piece is also very close to my heart because I myself was not aware of my trauma and insecurities; I could only understand it when I had to write the story and also wanted a medium to say it out loud.
So, I am glad that this piece came out and I am also thankful to Tape A Tale for it.
Stories and storytellers give life meaning, and this interview with Yashika Behl is surely inspirational. It also gives us some idea about how she moves forward with writing.