Wanted to Explore What ‘Choice’ Means for a Woman: Aditya Iyengar

The book explores the life of Sita sans Ram.

Published04 Oct 2019, 10:48 AM IST
Books
2 min read

With the release of Aditya Iyengar’s latest book Bhumika: A Story of Sita, The Quint spoke to the Indian author about his tryst with mythology and what his latest book means to him. Aditya Iyengar’s previous works, The Thirteenth Day and A Broken Sun, are also inspired from Hindu mythology.

Watch the video to listen to what the author has to say:

How would you describe the book briefly?

Well, it’s a retelling of the Ramayana from the perspective of Sita, and the story is set in a reality where Sita never meets Ram. So, what happens and what could potentially happen in such a situation?

Sometimes, men writing female perspectives is considered to be robbing women of that opportunity.  What do you think about that?

If one were to say that, you know, only women can write about women characters, it would kind of reduce the spectrum of literature written. I mean, we need all kinds of literature, good literature, bad literature. If nothing else, the bad literature serves the function of informing us what the good literature is.

How and why did you choose to take up the female perspective?

I think when a man writes a female perspective, it can only be informed by the people around him. In my reading, while there are a number of really strong women characters, there is a lack of introspection in these works for me to get a sufficient insight into what they’re feeling.

For a long time, I was afraid of being able to tackle a female perspective, because I didn’t know if I had adequate insight. I mean, I read Volga’s Liberation of Sita. Something just unlocked. Bhumika is a lot more personal because in some ways, it’s actually a tribute to my mom. At the same time, I wanted to be able to explore the idea of what constitutes choice for a woman.

Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Camera: Sanjoy Deb

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