So, did you see Padmaavat? No? Did you read the open letter written by Swara Bhaskar to the director? No? Do you watch news? No? That explains it. The movie has been in the news since the shooting started, piquing our interest and sustaining it for so many months. That is rather unusual for any of the recent movies. The unprecedented coverage given by the news channels to this movie which was all of course, free of cost, has definitely had the people flocking to the theaters in hordes. Frankly, there is not much in the movie. It is just that the Queen Padmavati commits suicide because her husband has died and she does not want to be captured by the victors. Continue reading
As a working from home mother (a.k.a a working housewife for the womenfolk), sometimes, I tend to get too cut off from the rest of the world. I spend hours working on the laptop just getting up for survival activities like eating, bathing, etc. And the only company I have got are the children who keep coming in and going out of the house as per their school, tuition, play schedules. Isolation hits you like a brick.
So, it was a good change when I had to trek in the 4 hour to and fro commute to my office. And the four hours is on a good day. Let me tell you, when one gets into a Mumbai local, you are entering a different city or country with its own rules and laws. It is the big serpent that dashes through the city throughout the day, north to south, south to north.
I start my journey from the extreme north of the city to the south and then, when the twains meet, I change to a train to take me to the north again. Someone finally thought of changing the north to south pattern and added some horizontal lines with a metro or subway or tube or whatever which finally made the twains meet at a more practical location. Continue reading
A successful architect and a major player in a well reputed architectural firm, Piyush Mauli is sure of his life and what he wants even at a youthful age.A budding architect, Sunaina has a promising career ahead of her. Problem is, she has lost her will to live after suffering from months of abuse.
Piyush appreciates Sunaina’s skill as an architect but has no idea of the pain and trauma she hides under layers of make-up. At work, Piyush is a hard taskmaster and hides his tender and caring side behind his aggression.
Piyush doesn’t hesitate even for a moment to become Sunaina’s savior. But can a relationship formed under such traumatic conditions last the test of time? Can their relationship ever culminate in a love with a promise of togetherness forever?
Reading A Promise, Togetherness Forever will reinstate your belief that love can heal all wounds, those inflicted on the body as well as the soul.
Your novels are based on strong female characters. But, where and how did you find Abhaya and Avishi? How are they similar or different to Wonder Woman or any other super woman of today?
Strong female characters are something I relate to very closely. Perhaps, it was the result of having everyday ‘wonder women’ around me :). My mother, aunts, grandmothers, each of them left their influence on me in the way they handled tough situations. Each of them had their own unique strengths that made me stop and wonder as a child, as an adolescent and as a woman.
My first brush with strong voiced women in our scriptures was when I chanced to read about the true Shakuntala and Savitri from KM Ganguli’s unabridged Mahabharata. The popular narratives in Cinema as well as reinterpretations had made both these women appear much softer than they actually were! That was when I began to explore the unabridged texts and dwelt more on the feminine side of our ancient past cautiously disregarding the medieval and modern interpretations. These were the women who created history and the more I read, the more I realised that the conventional medieval/modern versions, burdened with eighteenth century baggage did very less justice to what they truly stood for.
Abhaya was a creative character that I imagined as one of the 16,100 women believed to be imprisoned by Narakasura. I could not picture any of them as mute dependants of Lord Krishna. As a result, Abhaya developed as a strong personal mirror image of my own curiosity about the times of Mahabharata. Her adventures and love for Krishna aside, she represented an evolving woman of those times whose world view and ideals shaped up as a result of continuous inquiry and discovery instead of static ideals.
Avishi on the other hand was a discovery I made while trying to work on a minor scene of Abhaya that sought to highlight a female warrior to inspire my protagonist. Vishpala, the Rig Vedic female warrior who was the basis of Avishi opened a more intriguing world of gender parity in my journey. She belonged to an age where gender biases were unheard of and presence of women was pervasive in all spheres of life from combative sciences to contemplative philosophy.
If I were to see the common strengths in both my protagonists as well as in other heroines of our past, their feminine strength was strongly coupled with their larger role. Both believe in going beyond just asking ‘tough questions’ and finding the solution (and thereby starting a new journey of discovery altogether). This rooted inclusivity in their thought process sets them apart from the conventional modern heroines.