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One of the finest Indian writers in English, Anita Desai's novels blend insight with craft. Get started with the writing cue based on her work!
One of the finest Indian writers in English, Anita Desai’s novels that blend insight and craft have much to teach any aspiring writer. Get started with the writing cue: The 5 best entries get published here.
Each month, we ask our readers to get inspired by an iconic woman writer and get their own thinking caps on. We hope that this inspires you to read more of these writers, and also get your own writing hat on.
Step 1. Read the writing cue (mentioned down below) and get inspired.
Step 2. Write your own story/narrative/piece based on the cue. You could use it as the opening line, the closing sentence, or somewhere in between! You could even choose not to use it anywhere in your story – just write a story using the cue as a prompt. (And ‘story’ can be fictional – or not – as you wish).
Step 3. Send your work to us. Please email it to [email protected] with ‘Muse of the month – July’ in the subject line, and your story as a word/txt attachment. Do include the name we should use if we publish it, and a brief introduction to yourself (2-3 lines) in the mail.
Please note: Given the number of entries received, we won’t be able to respond to each, but every single entry is being read through very carefully and is much appreciated.
We’ll be adding on here the shortlisted entries each day, as we publish them. Here they are!
Mrs. Bagchi, by Debopriya Ghosh: Call it karma or the wheel of time, it doesn’t make an exception for anyone, says this story of a matriarch.
Ferris Wheel, by Rutvika Charegaonkar: The wheel stops for no one – at least, no one who is still living. You just have to scramble along as best as you can.
Agony And Ecstasy, by Sowmya Sundaram: Sometimes, the wheel can only come full circle if we let it – if we are honest with ourselves and can face up to the truth of our own lives.
The Perfect Husband, by Prasanna Rao: The wheel of this woman’s life seems to have come to a standstill; an unusual event gets it moving again.
Then And Now, by Ujwala Shenoy Karmarkar: Not only does the wheel keep turning, you can never really go back to where it was before – only look at it from where you are now.
Please send in your stories by July 25th 2014, Friday, 5 p.m IST. The 5 best stories will be published on Women’s Web the next week on, i.e. one each from July 27th to 31st.
Keep it between 250 and 800 words. (Please keep this in mind; in past editions, we have had to disqualify some good entries purely due to word count issues).
Please avoid typing the story as inline text. Send it as an attachment only.
The 5 best entries will each win a Flipkart voucher worth Rs. 250.
Anita Desai was among the first crop of Indian writers in English to be recognised globally. In works such as Village By The Sea, Fasting Feasting, In custody and Baumgartner’s Bombay, she created some very memorable characters and stories – ostensibly ‘simply’ narrated, her novels have a wealth of humour and insight into characters and the societies that make them who they are.
Rarely judgmental, they reveal instead compassion for people trapped in lives often out of their control, yet trying to make the best of it that they can.
“The wheel turns and turns and turns: it never stops and stands still.” – this is writing cue for July, from Anita Desai’s A Village By The Sea. Make sure to get your entry in on or before July 25th 2014, Friday, 5 p.m IST
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My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum (SISP) is an ode to all of the lost women, who could have been sports stars, singers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, just... happy, if they hadn't been enslaved in matrimony, and then forgotten all about.
One of the cool things about my mother was that she was an ace athlete and a champion sculler as a young woman in the 1950s and 60s. I only found out about this side of her a few years ago. I imagine her in a paavaadai dhaavani, taking on the mighty Kaveri river so many decades ago.
I recently watched a Tamil film anthology on SonyLiv that she would have liked to watch – Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, (SISP) that has 3 stories of 3 different women – Saraswathi, Devaki, and Shivaranjini.
Like all the heroines in the anthology, my mother’s talents were sacrificed at the altar of matrimony. She pawned her gold medals and silver cups one by one to pay for expensive textbooks for us or a gift for a niece on her wedding, money for which she didn’t dare ask my father, because it was her niece… I remember how she caressed the cups and how her face hardened as she shoved them into her bag to take to the jewellers.
For the June writing theme, we have inspiration from writer Maya Angelou, who was a shining light to so many. The 5 best entries get published here.
For the June writing theme, we have inspiration from writer and memoirist Maya Angelou, the ‘phenomenal woman’ who was a shining light to so many. Get started with the writing cue: The 5 best entries get published here.
Each month, we ask our readers to get inspired by an iconic woman writer and get their own thinking caps on. We hope that this inspires you to read more of these writers, and also write more yourself!
Step 1. Read the writing cue (scroll down below) and get inspired.
In April, our muse of the month is the poet-writer Kamala Das (later known as Kamala Surayya). Get started with the writing cue: The 5 best entries get published here.
In April, our muse of the month is the poet-writer Kamala Das (later known as Kamala Surayya), who challenged notions of female sexuality as passive and submissive. Get started with the writing cue: The 5 best entries get published here.
Each month, we ask our readers to get inspired by an iconic woman writer and get their own thinking caps on. The idea is to explore the works of these writers, and get some good writing done yourself!
Step 1. Read the writing cue (scroll down below) and get inspired.