Welcome, Hellscape Readers! Yes, Welcome back to MEET THE STAFF! This week I've (This is Rhodes btw) interviewed our lovely, neigh, our threateningly delightful PR director, Jhanvi Ramaiya. Enjoy the interview!
So, who are you anyway?
Role: Creative Director & PR goddess
Name: Jhanvi Ramaiya
Likes: Flirting in the Sims 4, people who like me, crying about politics
Dislikes: Flirting IRL, the horror of being, tripping on even surfaces
Where are you from? My mother’s womb, & where she gave birth to me in Dar Salaam, Tanzania. I grew up there, but it was kind of a third culture kid situation, because my family is originally from India & immigrated there. I grew up in the South Asian community, went to a largely international school, & broadly the culture of Dar Salaam is Swahili coast— so it was difficult for me to marry the three. Home has never really felt like home, but neither has America or India. I think I become easily comfortable & integrated in places. I don’t like being in one place, I get antsy— my whole childhood was kind of antsy.
Where are you now? I’m in a place I like being, but I’m still looking for a place I could go. I haven’t found my stopping place.
How did you get from here to there? Lots of planes. Most of my life has been up in the air— pardon the pun— but it’s mostly been a good deal of long flights, waiting in line, being pulled aside for "random" security checks, & learning to become comfortable in the purgatory of layovers.
What do you do? I force myself to go to the gym & talk about writing, & sometimes I write. I also tweet for hellscape. (you do wayyy more than that)
Do you have any animal companions? Not anymore, although I had two birbs. (go on) So I really wanted a pet & one day my mom & my sister surprised me after school— they came home with two lovebirds, which really was on brand— & a month later, Diwali rolled around & my boy bird had a heart attack because of all the fireworks. & you know they can’t live without one another— we sent the girl bird, the gird, to go live with other lovebirds— it wasn’t a “she went to live on the farm” situation, I witnessed the transaction— but she died anyway without her boyrd. It’s truly the Romeo & Juliet of our time. Tragic.
So tell us about hellscape?
What does hellscape mean to you? I feel like a hellscape is a woman in the throws of depression. It’s the process of creation without feeling, creative— having things being born of a dark place within what appears to be normal & functional.
How does hellscape relate to hellscape press? We publish what comes from the dark & everyday. It’s a stain glass window, & maybe there’s some holes in it, because a person wielding a drill was searching for something more beautiful behind it, but all there is behind it is the weird, unnatural emptiness of existence. That’s what we want. We want those holes. We don’t care for the vampires that might come to look upon those windows, we just want the holes inside it.
What is important about hellscape press to you? I have an obsession with the maudlin— the intersection of the macabre & maudlin.
What are you reading right now? Tempests & Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I’m very excited.
How do you spend your “free time”? I take long showers & think about all the things I have to do & not doing. I also hangout with your cat. She gets a little annoyed sometimes, but that’s okay because I just need mammalian interaction. I miss Possums, I think I’m going to go home.
You have two more questions. What is one thing you can’t live without (that isn’t air or water)? Something that gives your life meaning? My interactions with other humans. I’m a social creature. I think I’d die if I didn’t talk to other people. That’s what makes old people die— lack of interaction.
What are your plans for the future? That’s funny. Being gainfully employed. Please hire me (we did!).