As a writer, I strive hard to not deviate from the path of presenting discriminations, prejudices and real-life experiences, which often take backseat, especially in today’s assembly-line production system of the publishing industry. Moreover, I strongly believe that a writer owes responsibility towards the society and its people; hence, s/he must use words for bringing forth some of the thought-provoking realities and experiences of the society, which cannot be ruled out and demand immediate attention. Stories, particularly those based on real-life experiences, can assist a society in critically engaging with culture and religion of the present time and can enable its readers in transforming themselves into catalysts of changes.
In South Asian countries, writers, especially native writers, have and are playing a crucial role as pressure groups, who through their writings have drawn attention of readers located worldwide to till now deliberately ignored issues and debates. Hence, as a reader and writer, who grew up in one of the tribal-majority areas, I have been immensely inspired by the writings of our native writers. Simple, yet deeply contemplative, stories of Mahasweta Devi, Sadat Hasan Manto, Amrita Pritam, Mahadevi Verma etc have assisted me in intricately examining our society and its divisive forces. Moreover, writings pertaining to some of the new issues related to ‘identity politics’ have drawn my attention too.
At the same time, I also grew up reading popular pulp fictions and fascinating stories related to ‘magical realism’, as it transported me into an almost unimaginable realm of the Universe. As a child, I earnestly believed in fairies, mermaids, knolls and dwarfs; but as an adult, lost in the ups and downs of a metropolitan life, I yearn for these endearing characters more than ever. Also, I have been immensely inspired by Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Kamala Das, Pablo Neruda, Orhan Pamuk, etc. Like any other writer, I am not just smitten by words but also by theater and cinema. From the direction of cinema, Piero Paolo Passolini and his works have given a new meaning to my works.
Well, the crux is that I love reading and I am literally married to words. Among many things, I love leafing through books and magazines, fragrance of an old novel, big and bold letters of a story, sketching the characters in my mind while reading, books of all sizes and shapes disarranged in a row etc. And, I believe we can never satisfy our ever-dissatisfied souls; therefore, the only right way to control its restlessness is by keep on writing – good, bad, short, long – till the end.