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Piyusha Vir tries to write every day, no matter what. "It doesn't have to be fiction," she says, "As long as I let the words flow with some coherence, I am happy."
Piyusha Vir tries to write every day, no matter what. “It doesn’t have to be fiction,” she says, “As long as I let the words flow with some coherence, I am happy.”
The Women’s Web team every month identifies three contributors whose work has really resonated with readers, who have brought something new and impactful to our community. This November 2018, Piyusha Vir is one of our featured Authors of the Month.
“The one thing that I feel most strongly about,” says Piyusha, “are the regressive diktats we have for women – don’t talk, don’t go out, don’t drink. The list of rules is never ending, and that irks me no end.. .” You can read Piyusha Vir’s articles 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?
You’re right, writing is extremely personal. I feel that as one writes, sometimes the reasons for writing change.
I am usually very talkative otherwise 😀 If I were to use only the verbal medium, my mouth would hurt from only talking. So half the time I jabber away non-stop, and the other times, I write.
Despite using both mediums of expression, I am still left with things I’d want to say!
But honestly, when I first started writing, it was to express, to share my stories.
Over time, I’ve begun to write to effect some change in society.
So for me, it would be both, I guess-to express, and to bring about some change.
I try to write everyday – it doesn’t have to be fiction always. Even book reviews or personal opinions help me express my thoughts. As long as I let the words flow with some coherence, I am happy.
Platforms like Women’s Web helps immensely in sharing your opinions and connect with readers over shared causes.
What do you enjoy reading? Does any of it help your writing?
Reading is a childhood love. I think I must have inherited the habit from my grandmother – she was a voracious reader.
Mostly, I read fiction – anything except horror. I like the experience of living different lives, overcoming hurdles, and imbibing life lessons through the protagonists. While Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, and Arthur Hailey were my preferred authors in school, I liked more romance when I was in college.
I’ve started reading more widely since I began writing. I’ve discovered a keen interest for Mythology, Sci-fi, Dystopia. I’m still not so keen on Fantasy, though.
But lately, I have been consciously trying to expose myself to other genres too, especially non-fiction.
For me, writing is a natural step forward from reading.
I guess it is my habit of reading for all these years that led to the inclination to write in the first place. And now, as a writer, I’ve begun to consciously read differently. I make it a point to focus on the language, the sentence structure, and other nuances that would help me become a better writer. Each book I read teaches me something more about the craft of writing.
When it comes to writing on/for/about women, what questions and issues drive you the most?
The one thing that I feel most strongly about are the regressive diktats we have for women – don’t talk, don’t go out, don’t drink. The list of rules is never ending, and that irks me no end.
I’ve always been a rebel. So the more you tell me not to do something, the more I want to do it.
Even as a child, I would always question too much. I guess it was that feminist streak waiting to get the right outlet. I just didn’t have the right outlet for expression.
When I first started writing, I had wanted to become a travel writer. Somewhere, down the line I discovered fiction too.
Now, I use my writing to not just express my dissent against societal expectations of women but also personally flout them by having and expressing personal opinions on topical issues. I also care about various causes like acid attack survivors, or spread awareness about women’s issues and women rights or encourage people to give attention to how women are treated in everyday life.
I strongly feel that writing is a powerful tool, and that writers have a responsibility of effecting a positive change in society. It is this belief and the attempt to fulfil that responsibility that forms the basis for what I write-whether it be fiction in the form of short stories or non-fiction in the form of personal revelations.
While we have come a long way, and there is greater awareness about women’s issues, we still keep going back to the dark ages now and then. I sometimes feel the attempts to shut down women’s voices are stronger than ever now that more women are vocal.
It is important to just let everyone express themselves without attacking them for it. My articles, like this one, are a conscious attempt to urge people to allow that space to women.
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.
Earlier, I would keep quiet whenever I was marginalised on account of being a woman. Now, I usually speak up, even at the risk of being told that I am being ‘too feminist’. I cannot recall any such specific incident off-hand, but it did make me extremely proud when my mother told someone how my writing had helped her become more aware. My mother now calls herself a ‘feminist’ and doesn’t shy away anymore from making her voice heard. 😊
What are the things you would like to write about in the future for Women’s Web?
Women’s Web has been an important part of my journey so far, and I truly thank the team for giving me that platform to express and grow.
I’d like to write more articles showcasing women’s achievements. I feel like we don’t celebrate women achievers enough, even now. I’d like to do more interviews of women from different industries to help give them a voice through my writing.
I’d like to go back to travel writing, too, but it seems like a far-fetched dream now. Hopefully, it isn’t a dream that is lost, yet.
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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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Stop pretending that arranged marriage is one big fairy tale. That’s the Sooraj Barjatya school of thought that looks great on celluloid, but not so much in real life.
Dear Sima aunty,
Some shows are ‘so bad, they are so good’. The newest season of Indian Matchmaking falls in this category and is my latest cringe-binge. You must wonder why I feel that way.
Let me start with an example. Our families always encouraged us to score a hundred in academics. No one, not even our most chilled-out relatives, would tell us that scoring a sixty or a seventy was okay. We belong to that tribe of high-achieving women, who do nothing half-heartedly. Why do you go about advising, ‘Everything no one will get. Even sixty-seventy percent is good.’
Gender stereotypes, though a by-product of the patriarchal society that we have always lived in, are now so intricately woven into our conditioning that despite our progressive thinking, we are unable to break free from them.
Repeatedly crossing, while on my morning walk ̶ a sticky, vine-coloured patch on the walkway, painted by jamuns that have fallen from the jamun tree, crushed by the impact of their fall, and perhaps, inadvertently trampled upon by walkers, awakens memories of the mulberry tree that stood in my parents’ house when I was growing up. Right at the entrance of the house, the tree caused a similar red and violet chaos on the floor, which greeted us each time we entered the gate.
Today, as I walked by this red-violet patch, I was reminded of an incident that my mother had narrated to me several times. It had taken place shortly after her marriage and her arrival in this house from her hometown.