March 22, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

“Women have an innate sensitivity, that gets reflected in their writing.”- Rubina Sushil (Indian Author)

4 min read

Team Kitaab is in conversation with Indian author Rubina Sushil as a part of the South Asian Women Writers Feature.

For the whole of March, we will be featuring South Asian Women Writers on Kitaab for the whole of March. You can read the editor’s note to know more about this.

Today, we are featuring Indian author Rubina Sushil. Rubina is from Kashmir and so holds all things Kashmiri close to her heart. Growing up in a close-knit society where every member, young as well as old, has a role to play, is enriching she admits. The warm association is extended far beyond families, and this is what makes Kashmiris unique. Her understanding of these special bonds between the people who live in this special universe of their own is expressed profoundly through her writing.

Rubina has worn many hats throughout her three-decade old career. She has been associated with leading national newspapers, TV shows and magazines. As an entrepreneur she successfully launched her own ventures – a pre-school and day care and a travel agency.

She has authored a coffee table book ‘Under My Blue Sky’ which gives us a glimpse of Kashmir never seen before. First of the series ‘Chinar Tales’ has been launched recently. It consists of six endearing short stories that gives a glimpse of the Kashmiri society. Each story is unique, intricate and written right from the heart.

Team Kitaab: How did writing happen to you?

Rubina Sushil: I have been a voracious reader from childhood. Books were my friends, my refuge, because I was a little introvert, with very few close friends. My imagination would run riot when I had to write a story, or article in school. I discovered that writing came naturally for me.

After completing my master’s in journalism and mass communication, I chose to work with the print media where I could get easy access to the written word. I loved my jobs at various newspapers, magazines, online portals. More than anything I loved writing features, short stories and poem.

My first book ‘Under My Blue Sky’ is a coffee table book on Kashmir, it’s culture and traditions. My recent book ‘Chinar Tales’ has six endearing short stories with the backdrop of Kashmir, it’s people and multi-layered society as never seen before. The stories and simply and beautifully written and touch the soul of readers.

There are very few publishers who would trust your work and help you in your journey to make it a success story. 

rubina sushil

Team Kitaab: If you had to introduce someone to your work/s, which books of yours would you ask them to start with?

Rubina Sushil:

Under My Blue Sky- a coffee table book on Kashmir

Chinar Tales-6 endearing stories from Kashmir

The Libran- a short story published in the Wedding Affair magazine.

Team Kitaab: Share five reads you would recommend from your region/ country.

Rubina Sushil:

“Mistress: A Novel” Anita Nair (English, India)

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness- Arundhati Roy (English, India)

The Inheritance of Loss- Kiran Desai (English, India)

Lihaaf by Ismat Chugtai (Urdu, India)

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (English, India)

Team Kitaab: Your thoughts on Women Writing as a genre.

Rubina Sushil: Women have an innate sensitivity, that gets reflected in their writing. They immediately connect with readers, as their core of emotions is touched where they are most vulnerable. I feel, women have this greatest advantage, that of making the readers ‘feel’ more. This appeal is not just with women readers, but with men too. 

Team Kitaab: Please talk a bit about your publishing journey. The challenges you faced and the hurdles.

Rubina Sushil: Finding a publisher who understands your needs and supports you, is a very difficult task in India. Unfortunately, the trend these days is that the writer has to pay to get their work published and then buy their own books and sell them. I have faced the same problems. There are very few publishers who would trust your work and help you in your journey to make it a success story. 

All along my writing journey, I have asked my father for suggestions. I find that he has a deep understanding of the subjects I am often researching about. He gets very excited when I take up a new challenge, and pushes me on, till we achieve perfection.

Team Kitaab: How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Rubina Sushil: I deal with Writer’s Block with the same attitude I deal with other problems- I just ignore them. I don’t believe them. I only visualize I am writing, publishing my latest book, and keep working towards it. 

Disclaimer: All pictures are copyright of the author/s unless otherwise.