I am not a fiction writer. I write what I see. I write what I feel. I write what I experience, at times I also write my opinion. It is also a tool for me to vent out when I don’t want to create a scene, I write 🙂 When I don’t want to kill people, I write. When I am angry, I write. When I am happy, I write. And, I don’t post everything that I write 🙂 😛 😀
Gmail, told me that I am using almost 15 GB of the free space already, and I must buy more space to continue my account. I thought to free up some space by deleting and moving mails. What I also found in few thousands of mails were few hundred drafts. Full of notes, poems and my opinions and experiences. Before deleting, I started reading it so that I can discard the useless. Only to find many write-ups on different issues of women around me. Things I wanted to probably convey to those friends and colleagues. Notes that wanted them to follow their heart or break free perhaps, those kept waiting as drafts, never to be mailed to anyone concern. As I don’t like to interfere in lives; till I am asked for it (Close friends are exceptions, they don’t need to ask for it, I make their lives hell with my opinions anyway :P)
Those drafts became a story scene by scene, they were overlapping and interconnected in many ways. Let me share a crux of those drafts with two examples.
I was working in Lucknow with a leading daily when I first met a Victim of dowry case. I wrote it in that newspaper. I have written and produced many reports on different social issues, in my very little stint in active journalism. I saw victims been harassed by police. I saw victims die. I saw false complaints and misuse of the law in the name of dowry.
It was during my News Channel days that I was sitting in women commission office, and I met a woman from Orrisa in a terrible condition. She looked like a beggar. After speaking to her for a while, I got to know, she was a national level athlete, married to an Engineer. For not being able to offer right amount in dowry, she was locked for 6 years inside her house after the birth of her first child, a boy. They did not let her see and meet the child all these years, calling her mentally unstable. The day her marriage was older than 7 years, her husband threw her on the road. She was left with no case against, as the timeline in the law to register dowry case was only 7 years. She was a story. A good news story… that kept haunting me for years. Stories were run across channels, she did not get justice.
I met many such cases, real/ false/ good/ bad.. all complicated. Then one day; I met a young journalist who was going through a physical and mental torture by her journalist husband. She would get up at 4 am, Do the mopping and dusting, cook 2 meals and breakfast in the morning, prepare the tiffins and then go on her job. She would return to home to cook fresh dinner. She would get beaten up for things like receiving a message on phone, Looking beautiful on screen, and even if she was seen talking to a male colleague. A firebrand young journalist, who was fighting for the rights of other women on screen was humiliated at home by husband and in-laws. It was disheartening. Every time, I tried to motivate her; she faced the wrath of her then-husband for having friends like me. Outspoken and bad influence.
My Novel, Siya in Exile is not total fiction. All the women will relate to this character of Siya, at some point in time during her journey. Those who have not suffered anything that she experienced, can still relate to what their friends, families and acquaintances had gone through.
While reading Siya, you may feel that you know the characters, you may think that they are like someone you already know; it is because; I am not a fiction writer. I am an amateur Author, who has always written and narrated facts. Right now, I don’t imagine plots, my characters have been taken from the people around me. From the looks to the attributes and even their approach is inspired by the real people around, as I don’t know how to write imaginary 🙂
Siya isn’t just a story, its a journey. It took me 10 years to realise that I must introduce Siya to the world. For 2 years, I am sitting with the story to be accepted as a book. Hope you also find someone’s life in Siya’s journey, and if you find your presence in the strong characters of the story; that means you are that catalyst this society needs ❤
It is not an ordinary love story, it is about finding your own voice and soul ❤