Khimpi Dutta writes nuanced articles on issues that bother her about how women are treated or expected to behave. Her personal experiences give her fodder for her writing.
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 July 2018, Khimpi Dutta is one of our three Featured Authors of the Month. You can view Khimpi Dutta’s writing at 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 have been dreaming of writing since I was a kid. However, I was shy, scared, and had zero self esteem when it came to writing. I had no confidence. My writings were only tucked away in draft section or hidden folder of my computer. One day a kind soul lifted my spirit and asked me to keep writing until I write well. Those words gave me the hope I needed, and I have been writing ever since. I write to pay back for every encouraging words that made me believe that with hard work anything is possible. I write for the little girl in me who dared to dream.
I am grateful to Women’s Web for providing me this platform.
What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?
My reading interest have changed over the years. But, I enjoy reading non fiction, war fiction, historical fiction, self-help, autobiography, memoir, and travelogues. Currently I am reading about feminism.
I also read more contemporary authors, including the ones who write for Women’s Web. I feel, sometimes, perspectives change and it is interesting as a writer as well as someone interested in history to see the changing trends and issues.
I get many interesting writing ideas from books and articles.
When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?
My personal experiences. The things that I see, hear, and experience on a day-to-day basis.
Once my neighbor approached me and confessed that she was not happy in her marriage, and how no one understood her. It surprised me when I learned that her parents were asking her to conceive, assuming that would solve her marital discord.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to address such issues, especially when a loved one is involved. For example, I cannot tell a friend that her fiancé imposing all sort of rules on her is neither normal nor out of love. I cannot tell a fellow colleague that her boyfriend checking her Instagram/Facebook history is an invasion of privacy and not acceptable. These are educated people I am talking about. It is difficult because I don’t know what will be the consequences if I intervene.
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.
As a kid, I faced a lot of gender policing. Don’t jump. Don’t shout or raise your voice. Don’t run around with boys. Girls shouldn’t have high temper. Girls shouldn’t be bossy, and so on. I was too young to realize that this was gender based discrimination. I thought this is how it is.
Last year, when I got an opportunity to write a short film for Panchoi Production, I decided to write a story which addresses this issue. The story was about a girl whose grandmother breaks age old gender based stereotypes and sets an example for others. The name of the film is ‘Endharor Bheta Bhangi (Break the cocoon)’, it has been selected for 12 film festivals, including the 8th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival and Berlin Flash Film Festival 2018.
The fact that I was able to put this message across to a larger audience, makes me happy and proud.
What are the things you would like to write about in the future for Women’s Web?
I plan to write about health and fitness, feminism, relationships, career, and women centric fictional stories. I also have a few books that I want to review.
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