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Asking Questions To The Moon

Rebecca D’Souza was born in Kuwait in 1997 to a Mauritian mother and a Goan father. Her primary schooling was mostly in Kuwait at Kuwait English School and Kuwait American School. In 2009, when she moved to Mauritius. She attended Le Bocage International School for the remainder of her secondary education, after which she moved to Vadodara in Gujarat where she obtained her Bachelor of Visual Arts in Art History and Aesthetics from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She recently released her book ’89 Questions To The Moon’.

As a child, Rebecca imagined herself growing up to become a veterinarian. Her ambition since childhood was to help and treat animals. Although that did not turn up as she imagined, she still has a deep affection for animals till this day.

Rebecca during her childhood

Rebecca’s blog named Zwazo lib which translates to “free bird” was started in July 2019. It contains all the content that she has created over the past three years. It contains posts, short stories, and poetry which she prefers to call free verse. The story behind Zwazo lib is an interesting one. Back in 2019, when she was coming back to Vadodara from Mauritius and was waiting at Mumbai airport for her flight, she gave thought to an idea she was having for a couple of days. She named it “Little Ideas That Grow” and wanted to post photos and write about the flowers that she had taken and received. She started posting on Sundays on Facebook and called it “Post-post Sunday”. During one such weekend, she imagined a little boy looking up at the moon. “That image turned into a series of short stories I posted with an illustration and at times with videos”, says Rebecca. She enjoyed sharing those short stories and her audience loved them and provided her with good feedback. That series of a boy looking at the moon unexpectedly turned into a book titled “89 Questions to the Moon”. The book was published through Kindle Direct Publishing in June 2022 and it is an account of 89 questions, the protagonist, a young kid asks the Moon. 

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“My main imagination was inspiration and curiosity”, says Rebecca. Imagination and curiosity spurred the need to emphasize its role in our lives, particularly in the role it plays in children’s lives. She was a ‘Curious George’ since her childhood and wanted to honor that through the answers and through the book’s characters which are mostly bodies in nature like the Sun and the Ocean.

Initially, those stories were intended for children, but on compiling the book, she realized that an adult audience would better understand the nuances that the questions and their answers are made of, which is why she chose to publish the first version of the book without any illustrations. In short, the story follows the path of a boy who is in search of answers to his worldly questions while in dialogue with the Moon. The title got its name simply because it was the first number that came to her mind while thinking about how many questions she wanted the young boy to ask. “Honestly, staying true to ‘89’ helped me write the story; it helped me think of the next story and it was a gratifying process”, says Rebecca.

Rebecca writes full-time but not in the conventional way of an author. “I chose to keep creative writing distinct from my career in communications.” Those are two separate entities for her and do not intermingle or influence each other in any way. It was clear in her mind what she wanted to do after getting her Bachelor’s Degree. “My storytelling mainly consists of storytelling and composing free verse, while my career is news-like and informative.” Her biggest challenge has been translating her creative writing into a source of income. But she believes that she will get there in time.

Rebecca is presently interning in a communications department which she says is a part of her short-term and long-term goals. She was exposed to the creative environment during her theoretical studies in visual arts which is mostly a research-intensive field. She knew then that she enjoyed writing and would later pursue a professional career in corporate communications. Between having graduated from university and now, she has worked at her father’s business as a marketing and media assistant. She also has experience working as a primary school teacher for six months and says that the teaching experience gave her many fond memories. 

Her role models are her parents, Christine and Felizardo D’Souza. They defined her childhood, brought her up with good manners, and taught her to be responsible, kind, and humble. They taught her the principles of life with examples. “They were my first teachers and they continue to be so”, she says.

Little Rebecca with her parents

Rebecca admires Sir David Attenborough, the famous author and would like to meet him someday. She loves his narration and poise which speaks of his knowledge. 

Cover of Rebecca’s book ’89 Questions to the Moon’

Printing physical copies of ‘89 Question to the Moon’ is what she is planning for the future along with writing many more short stories, continuing to create illustrations, and writing a novel.

To our readers, she says, “Care for the flower that grows within” which is quite meaningful and profound. 

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