In a series of posts called ‘The Women Behind Women’s Web’, we present to you the people involved in bringing you this website – some who’ve been there from the very beginning, and some who joined in enthusiastically a little later. Hope you enjoy reading more about the team that contributes to Women’s Web. Presented in a Q&A format, this one is with Freelance Writer Nayantara Mallya, who has several interesting articles on parenting issues to her credit.
Intro: Tell us about yourself in a few lines.
I hesitate to slot myself by saying I’m a mom, a writer or a biotechnologist. I’m still discovering everyday who I really am besides these roles! To use a cliché, I’m a student in the school of Life, taking multiple courses, having frequent exams and assessments, failing some of them miserably, and then acing the supplementary exam. Life does have extra chances, if we can recognise them!
Q1. Why do you blog/write? What attracts you to it?
I have sporadically kept a personal diary, but being the only person to read about you is rather boring! I love writing to record experiences, and my family and friends have often said that my letters and emails paint a vivid entertaining picture. It’s just been about five years since I actually made something of my writing and got published, read and appreciated.
I especially love talking to and writing about how brilliantly people are managing their personal lives! It started when I put together publications and the website for the adoption support group SuDatta. Parents and prospective parents sharing their stories touched and inspired me immensely.
The written word comforts me and helps me express myself much better than I could ever speak out. The main attraction about blogging is the window I get into bloggers’ personal lives and thoughts – it’s hard to find that in ‘real’ life, except with very close friends and family.
Q2. What do you like best about writing for Women’s Web?
I love that I get to write about parenting and like the free rein to brainstorm topics and angles. To be a part of the team, writing about significant topics is an honour. Just like this article says, most women’s print magazines have no depth or relevance to my daily life. Women’s Web goes deeper, takes a principled stand where it matters and respects the intelligence and capability of the female reader.
Q3. What do you think Women’s Web can do better/do differently?
Women’s Web is already doing things differently, and I love it! Doing better will happen naturally, after such a good start, with more to read and more frequent ‘editions’. I appreciate the surveys about what readers would like more of. I’d also like to see more interactive discussions and perhaps India-specific resource sections linking to everything women need, whether for personal, parenting, health or career matters.
Q4. What are the things that trigger you to write, that make you go, “I have to write about this!”?
I think that we vastly underestimate the teaching power of personal experience and look for answers from only the experts and elders. Often, just watching people work their personal relationships effectively and happily gives me an ‘A-ha’ moment that I just have to write about.
I also start writing furiously when I spot unfairness, exploitation, rigidity, and plain old abuse especially when these are maintained by tradition, patriarchy and hierarchy.
Q5. Who are your favourite women bloggers? What do you admire about them/their work?
I appreciate Original GB’s wry humour in her personal jottings and her frankness in posts on feminism.
Under the Banyan Tree Kids, mostly for her posts on parenting, child development and learning and children’s books.
Psych Babbler is an Aussie-Indian blogger writing about psychology and relationships; fascinating to my sneaking interest in the psychology arena.
Q6. What would you like to say to people who are interested in writing/blogging but are hesitant to start?
Your life, skills, perspectives and experiences are way more interesting and inspiring than you could imagine! Interaction and hearing back from readers are really important; otherwise you might as well just write a private journal. Being able to have a meaningful discussion on blogs without offending or getting offended is something I’ve improved on through blogging and writing. Go for it – it will bring in so many positives and really transform your life.
Previous interviews with the Women behind Women’s Web:
Food Columnist, Lavanya Donthamshetty
Gender Issues Enthusiast, Preethi Krishnan
Blogger, R’s Mom
Freelance Writer, Melanie Lobo
Blogger, Hip Grandma
Freelance Writer and Blogger, Kiran Manral
Founder-Editor of Women’s Web, Aparna V. Singh
Women's Web is an alternative magazine covering real issues for real women. This blog
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