(From The Hindu) After the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, when the king of Persia sent his […]
1. “Nobody else is here,” the elderly woman said into her phone. “It’s embarrassing!” She was the first one to arrive […]
One of the very first questions I wrestled with as a writer was this: Why write in English, […]
Very early on, my eight-year-old self understood that spoken words were not the same as those written. Spoken words hurt, made noise, sounded ugly, were sometimes false. Written words, when spoken aloud, sounded beautiful; even when improbable, like the antics of the ‘vanar sena’ from Ramcharitmanas recited aloud by my nani, they rang true. What makes words on paper different? Perhaps their ability to be of life, from life, while simultaneously being away from it. Maybe the reflection and thought that goes into it. I can articulate this at forty-seven. But I always knew it.
As I saw it, words, stories, poetry, writing, made up one big stew pot. You chose beautiful, sparkling words. You stirred the pot. You strung them together. They made beauty, made sense, made happiness. All the things that I thought my life lacked: grace and culture, glamour, laughter, excitement, fun, could be picked and savoured from assorted jars of words: books. Reading and writing were ideal pastimes for a lonely small-town girl like me. It let me be at once docile and dutiful; rebellious and willful. My mother and father would peep in to see me furiously scribbling or poring over a book, and feel comforted that I was a good, studious child, even if I was penning mean tirades about them or hiding yet another Agatha Christie inside my physics textbook.
Writing words cleansed me. After I wrote about what people did or said in my diary, it ceased to matter. I could smile serenely and move on.
1. Once a conversation with an Australian friend surprised me; she told me that Haruki Murakami, the world-famous Japanese […]
Look to the whole, the translator asked. The line comes from Helen Lowe-Porter’s correspondence, and can be read as […]
Letters and Things by Shivani Gupta Shivani Gupta works as a Design Researcher at Studio 5B, Mumbai. […]
Last fall, in Toronto, I went to see a play that was written by one of the writers […]
Is your reading list looking a little monochrome? We’ve compiled 15 books to help you broaden your horizons In […]
Short fiction writers Suzanne Kamata, Wan Phing and Monideepa Sahu were joined by author-publisher Zafar Anjum as they […]