Sheela’s book on National Movement and the marriage that shook India

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By Nirupama Dutt

Sheela Reddy, a journalist of many seasons, who is in Chandigarh for a face-to-face with book lovers on the invitation of the Punjab Arts Council, has come out with a book after she was done with the business of editing, reporting, writing, critiquing and so on. And it is a book of an engaging theme and meticulous research that has created ripples as it takes us to the times of the National Movement and the marriage that shook India, for it was a strange union of the brilliant and reserved Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who was to be the architect of Pakistan and the pretty Parsi teenager Ruttie Petit, who was 24 years younger than her husband.

Sheela and I have had a long journey and friendship, precisely four decades, when we started as sub-editors. I have also had the pleasure of working with her when she was the founder editor, South Asia of the Women’s Feature Service. I have also learned much from her, both valuable and mischievous, including the whiff of nicotine. Besides many things, we would time and again talk about the book we would write one day. She had Hyderabad stories in mind and I the sagas of Chandigarh. “This book wrote itself out. I was working on a screenplay on the Jinnah-Ruttie story for a friend when I came across the personal letters of Ruttie to her friends that set me on to approach this book independently.” And she did a thorough job building a thick volume around these letters of love and longing. Read more

Source: Hindustan Times

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