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“Gifted Fairness Cream When I Was 8”: Kirthi Jayakumar, Author Of The Month, December 2017

Posted: December 29, 2017

Kirthi Jayakumar is one of the most versatile writers we know – besides donning other hats as entrepreneur and activist. Her work on feminizing spaces truly resonates with readers.

Every month, we identify three among our community of 2000+ contributors, as the featured authors of the month. For Dec 2017, stellar author Kirthi Jayakumar is one of our featured authors at Women’s Web. You can read her writing here at Women’s Web

Authors are often asked this question, but everyone has their own reasons, very personal to them. So, why do you write?

I write because without writing, I’m not me. I love words, and I love expressing myself with them when I reduce them into writing.

What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?

I enjoy reading human interest fiction and select biographies. It certainly helps me write because I write about emotion or at least, about emotion-evoking thoughts and ideas. To be able to understand human emotions and to be able to express them starts with reading, for me.

When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?

Everything! When I write on/ for/about women, I find that I write about feminizing spaces, thoughts and ideologies. That qualifies as pretty much everything, right?

Could you narrate an issue or incident in your life which you think was gender related, and you handled it in a way that has made you proud.

I must have been eight or nine years old, when my grandfather brought home a tube of a fairness cream and gave it to me. He told me that I had to be fair because I was a girl. I couldn’t understand it, because he was a couple of shades darker than I was, and was policing my complexion – it was all so weird. Besides, I couldn’t understand what being a girl had (and I still can’t understand it) to do with being “white.” So I took the tube and went to the backyard of the house, and happily squished all the cream out of it, doodling on the ground in generous loops and hoops. Then I proceeded to walk all over the cream and leave footprints all over the rest of the backyard. I did get a sound yelling from my grandmum, my mum and my aunt, but when I explained what I did, my mum sat down and laughed so hard. It was my first act of resistance and I can’t tell you how awesome it felt.

Name 3 other writers on Women’s Web whose writing you enjoy reading.

Three! That’s TOO little a number! My top picks are Aparna Vedapuri Singh, Sandhya Renukamba, Anupama Jain, Anupama Dalmia, Anju Jayaram, Deepti Menon, and Rajashree.

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