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Richa Mukherjee uses humour to write about serious issues to get through to her reader better, “as it lowers their defences,” she feels.
Every month, the Women’s Web team identifies three contributors whose work has really resonated with readers, who have brought something new and impactful to our community. This April 2018, Richa Mukherjee is one of our featured Authors of the Month.
Richa often looks at people and situations in a unique way, and she hopes her observations continue to inspire her in her writing. She also feels that becoming a mother has had a huge influence on her thoughts, that she tries to put down, often to articulate what she feels. You can find Richa Mukherjee 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 it is an immensely cathartic experience. In happy times or sad, when you want to vent or share, a human ear might tire but words are the faithful friends you can always rely on. It helps me articulate nameless feelings, grounds me and gives me hope.
What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?
‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one…’ And I chose to live forever. Reading is not just an escape, it teaches you so much. I’m forever applying the lessons I’ve subconsciously absorbed from the many books I’ve read. To learn not just about writing styles but about people from all over the world, their lives, their reflections, perspectives. I never restrict myself to genres. Thrillers, romances, drama, literary fiction, non-fiction, humour, historical fiction, fantasy, young adult books, even books for children with my daughter! Something to learn from every book.
When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?
The questions which plague and incense me the most are the ones women have to face in their daily lives. Big issues have loud voices and important support. It’s the oft swept aside issues like equality in marriage, the workplace, in society, living, traveling, saying what you want and doing what makes you happy without fear or stigma is what is important to speak about.
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 was about 17/18 when I visited a Hanuman temple with my father. I hail from a family of very devout people and we worship wholeheartedly without the trappings of rituals. On that occasion as I moved towards the idol, my way was blocked by a few men who shouted loudly about only bramhacharis and no women being allowed to touch the idol. Without getting angry I quietly told them that he was as much my god as any man’s and that if my father, also a man, had raised me with equality, no stranger could tell me otherwise. Then I also mentioned that I would call the police for harassment if he didn’t step away. Whether it was my actions or the threat of the police, I’m unsure, but I walked out of there with a proud father and a puja thali in my hands.
What are the things you would like to write about in the future for Women’s Web?
I tend to write about serious issues humorously at times, because I believe it is a lens that helps draw attention to important issues while reaching larger audiences without offending. Also helps lower mental defences. I would like to write about a mix of relatable daily topics, to the ones which needs voices to speak up about them.
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