Deepika Manju Singh is an inspirational writer of the novel “God Needs Us-An Atheist’s Experience’’, a spirituality practitioner and life motivator. Plant Biotechnologist by profession, she has completed her Master’s in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Delhi and has worked in many prestigious scientific research institutions like the Indian Agriculture Research Institute and National Institute of Plant Genome Research under Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is pursuing her PhD in UNESCO-Regional Centre of Biotechnology, Faridabad and is also a student of theology, exploring collaborative religious studies. Compassionate for the plight of Indian farmers, she started her awareness initiative in 2018 and contributes royalty of the book to underprivileged Farmers. Currently, she is writing about Inter-Faith Unity, associated with many different religious organisations. She believes in unity and kindness among all beings and serves humanity.
We had a wonderful conversation with Deepika.
Tell us about your first book ‘God Needs Us’. How do you think it is different from other spiritual books?
First of all, my book is not a very hardcore spiritual book. It is mainly based on humanity and our duties towards mankind. I’m inspired by Sufism, where Loving God is Loving Humanity. It has a very simple message to help each other and understand each other’s problems and trials. Our Creator, our God also wants this. That’s why He needs us to empower and strengthen human values in this world.
The main character of my book, Amar, was earlier an atheist on Earth and describes his journey after death. He met several people in hell and was honoured with all learning from their lifetimes on Earth. A farmer who represented God’s pride in his hard work and optimism. A pious man who showed that God’s biggest teaching is to have patience. A prostitute made him realise the courage and respect God gives to all. A scientist’s contentment made him learn to accept the most significant reward from God only. A patriot showed him how much his love and devotion towards his country are appreciated by God. A 3rd gender made him realise God’s non-discriminating nature towards all beings. And a mother caused an ultimate transformation in Amar by teaching him God’s presence in the unconditional love of motherhood.
What inspired you to write this book?
It was a very restless and depressing time for me when I felt defeated from all over the world and wished I could somehow end this life. My soul and body were not in my control, and dying seemed easier than living in this cruel world. But at that same time, I met Amar, a stranger who felt to be someone very close to me. due to his empathetic nature, I was able to share my anxieties and my suicidal intentions late at night in the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya, New Delhi. He understood everything with a single sentence from me and read my sorrow. He shared the story of, his after-death experience, which changed me, and proved that God needs us.
What are the challenges you faced while writing this book?
The life of a PhD student completely revolves around her experiments, writing a book simultaneously was a very difficult task, it took 3 years to write and then 1 year to publish.
Your book has a collection of poems too? Why do you mix up the poems with the story?
Poetry is a beautiful way to express one’s feelings, which cannot be conveyed effectively just with prose. For example, in my book when a farmer Gangaram complains about his misery through a poem, and then God motivates and reassures him through his poem. These are Sufi poems.
What are the common misunderstandings about your book?
Many people think that I am personifying God in my book, but He speaks to the characters as an inner voice. He does not appear before them.
Being a Scientist, do you face any difficulty in your faith in God?
This is a misconception that being in science, you won’t believe in God. Many scientists are firm believers in God. People don’t know that the scientist who gave an immense contribution to the field of genetics was a priest, his name was Gregor Mendel, and he is known as the Father of Genetics. We, scientists, are known to make a change in society, we are deep thinkers. In my book, a whole chapter is dedicated to a scientist, Dr Ram, whose life was very much influenced by the teachings of God. Understanding God requires a higher level of intelligence, and the scientific community is well suited for this.
Recently you are awarded the title “Woman Writer of The Year” by Ukiyoto Publishing. How you are feeling?
I am grateful. This award has elevated my confidence. I never worked for any award though, my aim is just to spread the message of this book to everyone.
What are your upcoming books and other projects?
In my second, I am planning to narrate a journey of a person in science through various cultures of the world including India. This work will reveal the reality, politics, emotions and trials of scientists and how they relate to God. Other projects are of Interfaith unity. I’m thinking to write a love story too.
You are a student of comparative religion, why are you interested in it?
Our country and the whole world have diverse people of different faiths. To make them united, we need to understand them. Learning about their faith is an essential step toward it. And believe me, there is one very essential aspect every religion talks about and that is HUMANITY.
At last, what is your message for debut writers?
Believe in yourself, whatever you write will have an impact, doesn’t matter how much it will be appreciated. Your writing is the real words that come out of your soul.