Q. You primarily write on gender and feminism. Is your book related to similar subjects?
A. The central protagonist of 31 miles, Mansa, symbolises the desires, aspirations and coming of age of South Asian modern metro woman. In our part of the world we often confuse modernism with aping Western culture such as their sense of dressing, mannerism, fashion, music, brands and so on. To me, freedom means freedom of exercising options, making informed choices, decision-making, awareness of the self etc. irrespective of the locality of a woman. The book raises such questions.
Q. Please tell us about Aambrotsave, the festival of culture curated by you.
A. Aambrotsave is a festival of cultures. All cultures are unique and the most important intangible legacy of mankind. India’s culture is fascinating and unique too. It is our most prominent trademark on the international landscape. We showcase at the festival many dimensions of culture including literature, art, craft, instrumental and performing arts, and cuisines.
Q. You have also founded a non-profit organisation, Aambra, for women empowerment and skill development. What motivates you to work consistently for women’s rights?
A. As of now we are doing a triannual seminar series which highlights the issues faced by contemporary modern South Asian women. Our next edition focuses on the issues faced by working women. It is scheduled for 3 February at Delhi’s India Habitat Centre. This work of mine inspires my writing and vice versa, which further makes me delve closer into issues.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. I am working on the sequel to 31 Miles, and I have just completed a hindi manuscript on a woman-centric theme, titled Bindu Ka Dayraa.