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Describing herself as a ‘late rebel’, Nayantara Mallya is inspired to write precisely because of the status quo and our unthinking acceptance of it!
Every month, we recognise 3 among 2500+ contributors, as featured Author of the Month – for their writing that keeps readers engrossed and makes us all think afresh. This month, Nayantara Mallya is one of our 3 featured authors. A writer whose defining feature is Clarity, Nayantara is able to sift the incidentals from what truly matters, and bring it to readers from a fresh perspective. You can view her writing on Women’s Web here.
Authors are often asked this question, but everyone has their own reasons, very personal to them. So, why do you write?
I write to think over things, to articulate my thoughts to myself. I am a very objective person and can often see an issue from everyone’s perspectives, which can be a problem to figure out where exactly I stand, so I write to get it sorted in my head. I write because the written word is my world; there’s nothing as powerful, and once a thought is down in black and white, the greys fade away.
What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?
I don’t get to read much these days, but recent books I have read are Sapiens, The Story of the World in 100 Species, and Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think. It indirectly does help my writing, because I need to understand the world through its history and biology, and also stay positive and hopeful for change.
When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?
I did not rebel nor did I question as a teen; I’m doing that relatively late in life. I get charged to write when I see women accepting the status quo of their relationships, societal norms and burdens thrust on them, and abuse and exploitation.
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.
Exactly a year back, there was an issue of discrimination in my apartment complex and the tenant family being discriminated against had everything going against them. They were from a minority religion, the mother of the house was single mothering as her husband worked abroad, the owner of the apartment was also a single woman, and the subject of the discrimination was a young man struggling with mental health issues. It was horrifying to me to watch my neighbours try to force (through intimidation) this home-owner to evict her tenants, claiming that the young man was a danger to the neighbours. A young boy in the family was studying for his high school exams, the eldest brother of the siblings had quit his job to come and help his mother. I, with 3 other women, took a stand and fought for their right to stay, and for the home owner to take her own decision to allow them to complete their lease. This was definitely about gender, but also about religion and mental health. There is nothing that gets my blood boiling more than discrimination this blatant, and I’m proud that I was part of the group that pushed right back.
Name 3 other writers or bloggers on Women’s Web whose writing you enjoy reading.
I enjoy Sandhya Renukamba’s and Aparna’s posts. I also like the bold flavour of Akshata Ram’s writing.
Women's Web is a vibrant community for Indian women, an authentic space for us
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