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A poet, editor and translator, Pooja Priyamvada writes with precision, both on the world around us, and the inner life of a woman grappling with that world. Her words, dripping with defiance, encourage readers to speak up for a better world.
Women’s Web is powered by an incredible community of (now) 3000 contributors, who bring their experiences, views and knowledge to share with others in the community. Every month, we recognise three of them as the Authors of the Month. This June 2018, Pooja Priyamvada is one of our three Featured Authors of the Month. You can read Pooja’s work on Women’s Web here and at her own blog, Second Thoughts First.
Authors are often asked this question, but everyone has their own reasons, very personal to them. So, why do you write?
I grew up as a loner and single child in the quiet, idyllic Shimla of the 80s and 90s. I was a reader/writer always and before the internet revolution happened I kept journals, edited and wrote for school/college magazines and took other creative assignments like translations too.
“I choose to write because it’s perfect for me. It’s an escape, a place I can go to hide. It’s a friend, when I feel outcast from everyone else. It’s a journal, when the only story I can tell is my own. It’s a book, when I need to be somewhere else. It’s control, when I feel so out of control. It’s healing, when everything seems pretty messed up. And it’s fun, when life is just flat-out boring.” ― Alysha Speer
What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?
I can read anything from a label to a menu, a billboard to classics, poetry, non-fiction and for the last decade or so, blogs and lots of online content too.
Of course, reading widens not just the technical aspects of a writer as far as language and usage/imageries is concerned, it broadens how we perceive concepts, cultures and life in general.
When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?
I think no issues are women’s issues, these are all human issues. Still, I never mince my words speaking about issues relating specifically to girls and women as well known as menstruation taboos, street harassment, marital rape and other lesser known issues like property rights, daughter’s right to perform last rites of parents, undue glorification of motherhood and reproductive rights.
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 the first daughter in my small town to perform all the last rites for my deceased father. Saying that me and my father believed in equality of gender would be one thing but not practicing what we preached would have been sheer hypocrisy.
Daughters and sons are now increasingly being treated as equal in homes and families but this is one aspect from which women/girls are still isolated and even women never claim this equality at the last bastion of patriarchy.
What are the things you would like to write about in the future for Women’s Web?
I have had a long fruitful association with Women’s Web and I would like to write about social issues, parenting and relevant blogs for the website in the future too.
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Bollywood (and the Indian society, at large) needs to understand that women's sexuality is real, and lesbians don’t just hold hands and hug each other. They have sex too.
First, I have a few questions.
When does Gayatri (Rani Mukerji) find out that her husband is gay in Bombay Talkies (2013)? When her gay male colleague tells her that her husband kissed him.
It’s sickening to watch habitual offenders like Sajid Khan crying on national television for being out of work for 4 years. Really, now Sajid’s playing the victim card?
Big Boss 16’s notorious host, Salman Khan and the Colors Channel has welcomed with open arms filmmaker and comedian Sajid Khan, who’s accused of sexual abuse by not one, two or three, but nine women to date, on the show.
Make no mistake, Sajid Khan’s participation is the digital equivalent of flashing his dick to the world, especially to his victims.
Saloni Chopra, film journalist, recalls her horrific hiring interview with Sajid, and much more, in this piece. Here’s a sample of completely unrelated questions that Sajid asked her.