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“I Think No Issues Are Women’s Issues, These Are All Human Issues”: Pooja Priyamvada, Author Of The Month, June 2018

Posted: June 29, 2018

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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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