Be vigilant; It can be at work, at home, or among friends and relatives. CDM’s catch you in your low emotional state. As if they smell it. CDM’s are very subtle, and hide behind circumstances, so they are seldom caught. They attack you but without you knowing where the attack came from.
As I am set to quit blogging for sometime and do a little bit of reading, I came across this article of Shikha Gupta on youthkiawaz.com which makes a good list of female indian writers to consider. Happy reading!
In 2011, I made a New Year resolution. I resolved to only read books written by women for the whole year. I managed to read 85 books that year, all written by women. I read fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, poetry. I read across genres, across continents, acting on every good and nasty book recommendation that came my way.
To be clear, I didn’t have a lofty aim or moral end goal in mind when I decided to make this resolution. In fact, my idea was pretty simple. I was just thinking to myself, “As a woman who loves to write, I’d like to read and know more about the work of other women writers.” But, I ended up learning a lot that year, not only about previously unread writers, but about women’s place in India’s literary scene.
I realized that at times the literary world tends to get so heavily dominated by male voices that it is easy to neglect female voices that inhabit it. And while this felt true for the entire world over, the reality cut a little too close for comfort when I thought about female Indian authors.
This neglect still exists today and is worrying, not only because it distorts our sense of India’s critical literary landscape, but also because it deprives us of the rich range of work by women authors that exists out there, impoverishing our literary appetites. It has a real impact on women’s lives too – in the way women’s stories are silenced by a popular culture that prioritizes male narratives. This silencing obviously sends out a message, a message that says women’s stories aren’t as worthwhile. Male stories are the norm. Women’s stories are the other.
This list is an attempt to disrupt this status quo. Here’s an exhaustive list of Indian women writers, in no particular order of preference or genre who have contributed immensely to the country’s literary scene, and who deserve to be recognized for their vision, their fearlessness, their originality, and the barriers they broke in the literary world and beyond.
1. Meena Kandasamy
Ilavenil Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, activist and currently one of India’s boldest and most badass young voices. Most of her works are centered on feminism and the Caste Annihilation Movement of the contemporary Indian milieu. She holds a PhD in sociolinguistics and has published two anthology of poems, “Touch” and “Ms Militancy”, and a novel “The Gypsy Goddess”. Her most recent work -“When I Hit You Or A Portrait Of The Writer As A Young Wife” is a dazzling and provocative novel of an abusive marriage.
2. Nayantara Sehgal
Sahgal is the niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, and a noted novelist and political columnist. Her close association with India’s power center reflects in her work, a lot of which deals with India’s elite and how they responded to political changes around them. Sahgal won the Sahitya Akademi award for “Rich Like Us”, set between 1932 to the mid 1970’s, a time of great political unrest in India.
3. Kamala Das
One of India’s finest confession poets, Kamala Das wrote beautiful prose in Malayalam and English. Her writing reflected her strong feminist ideology, portraying female sensibility with a rare honesty and sensitivity. Her poems, have for long served as an inspiration to women looking to break the shackles of sexual and domestic oppression, and therefore find relevance with women even today.
4. Anita Nair
Anita Nair is a prolific writer in English, who has written everything from crime fiction to short stories, poems, and even children’s stories. She is best known for her novels “The Ladies Coupe” and “The Better Man”. Through works like “Mistress: A Novel”, that highlighted the changing relationship between a woman and her husband, Nair also brought to life the experiences of the everyday Indian woman in fiction.
5. Jhumpa Lahiri
A Pulitzer prize winning novelist, Lahiri is one of the most widely recognized contemporary writers of world literature. An Indian- American by birth, her stories usually discuss sensitive dilemmas faced by Indians, particularly touching upon the diasporic reality of migrant Indians. Sometimes, also hidden in the plot are also stories of women confronting difficult choices in life. Her work in Italian called “In Other Words”, for example, gives a platform to a female voice that has been crushed by the burden of obligations to others.
6. Arundhati Roy
One of India’s most noted authors and human rights activist, Roy was awarded the Man Booker Prize for “The God Of Small Things”, her debut fiction novel. Since she won the Booker, Roy has published a wide range of non-fiction, covering topics from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan to a condemnation of India’s nuclear tests. “The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness” released in June 2017 marked her return to fiction after a 20-year-long hiatus.
7. Kiran Desai
Winner of the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award, Desai’s marries magic realism with socio-political realism beautifully in her work. What makes her work so fascinating is the way she presents the vast canvas of our contemporary society in the broad perspective of globalization, through themes like alienation, cultural clashes, displacement and exile. Her award-winning book “The Inheritance Of Loss” is a testament to this enduring quality of her work.
8. Manju Kapur
A novelist and professor, Kapur’s first novel “Difficult Daughters” won the 1999 Commonwealth Prize for First Novels (Eurasia Section). In 2011, her name was shortlisted for DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and many television sitcoms have been inspired by her writing. She currently teaches at Delhi University.
9. Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
A blogger and a writer, Madhavan writes under the pseudonym eM on her blog which is called the The Compulsive Confessor. Her first book was a semi-autobiographical piece of work titled “You Are Here”. She is the daughter of N S Madhavan, the famous Malayalam writer. Madhavan is also a regular columnist at Youth Ki Awaaz as Aunty Feminist.
10. Kamla Bhasin
Kamla Bhasin is a well known developmental feminist activist, poet, author and social scientist. Bhasin’s work spans 35 years and focuses on issues like gender, education, human development and the media.She is best known for her work on the NGO Sangat, a South Asian network of feminists, and for her poem Kyunki main ladki hoon, mujhe padhna hai.
Movies, even more precisely, a thought or an idea often has a lasting impact on us. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin used to be my favorite movie during my college days. I found this piece from a blog and couldn’t help sharing it. To read full text please click the link: http://movie0-0.blogspot.in/2017/03/captain-corellis-mandolin-2001.html
“It must be very difficult for you to have to put up with us.
It must be very difficult for you to have to live with yourself.
You lie in the sun and swim in the sea…
… and flirt with your prostitutes.
And there are people I know, people I grew up with…
… who are fighting for their lives and dying for what they believe in.
And all you do is sing!
What’s there to sing about?
We are in the middle of a war, not an opera house.
And here you think you are so cultured with your pasta…
… and your panettone and your puffed-up opera.
Why don’t you take your holiday on somebody else’s island?
What is there to sing about?”
“There is singing when babies are baptized…
… when you celebrate a marriage.
Men sing as they work.
Soldiers sing as they march into battle.
And there is singing when people die.
I’ve always found something in life worth singing about.
And for that, I cannot apologize.
For the fact that I’ve caused you pain, I cannot apologize enough.
I have not been able to imagine until now…… the offense I have given.”
They say “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas”. If you don’t want fleas, don’t lie down with dogs. If you don’t want negativity in your life, don’t hang around negative people. If you want more than average, stop hanging around average people. If success is important to you, don’t hang around with people who have no ambition. If kindness is important to you, don’t spend time with unkind people. Your friends and peer group are a great reflection of you, because YOU choose them. Choose wisely.
Jim Rohn once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Now, many people will deny this fact, but research shows we are much more affected by our environment, and those around us, then we would like to believe.
The people around you MATTER..
If we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, what if those 5 people we spend the most time with have no ambition? What if they are dragging us down? How can you get around this statistic?
Find a coach or Mentor. Find many coaches and many mentors. See, this also applies to the people you spend time with in LEARNING. If you listen to audio tapes or read books from great teachers on a daily basis, you are effectively spending time with them and they are influencing your life as well.
You must always surround yourself with those that are better than you in someway. Those who you can learn from in some way. That, is how you get better. Just like great competition brings out the best in great athletes, great people bring out the best in you.
Surround yourself with winners!
Surroundyourself with people that have things you want. With people that will force you to raise your own game. With people that will help push you forward. Not because they will give you hand outs, but because seeing them live life at that higher level will force you to get there yourself. Not because they will only ever be positive with you, but because they will always be straight with you. Winners don’t like hanging around with losers. You have to be on top of your game to play at the top.
They say if you surround yourself with 9 losers you’ll soon be the tenth. Getting comfortable is the worst thing you can do if you want to achieve anything of significance in life.
The comfort zone is great… if you are happy to settle for less than you can be. It’s not great if you want to reach your true potential in life. Get around those who are HUNGRY. Get around those who want to leave their mark in this world! Those who want to make a difference in this world.
They say misery loves company, well so does success! Success loves successful company, there’s just less to choose from.
There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of winners and WINNING!
If someone has the fitness, health and body you want… get around that person or more people like that. Soon their standards will become yours. If someone has the wealth, business, happiness or life you want – get around those people. Get around the people that are living at a higher level than you.
If you are only hanging around people who drag you down. Those people who can always find a reason why it CAN’T be done… that will also become your reality…You will never see a successful person hanging around a DREAM KILLER. If you want SUCCESS hang around with DREAM CHASERS. Find someone that is doing what YOU want to do. Follow them, consume their material, read their books, listen and LEARN.
The more you learn from these people the more you will become like these people. You might have to cut some negativity out of your life and it won’t be easy. But what do you want from your life?
Negativity is a virus. You must get it out of your life, otherwise you will be the one that suffers in the end.
- When I write, I don’t allow the fear of consequence to interfere with the writing process. I have, in the past, paid for my commitment to the truth and the way I live my life. I am prepared to pay more, if I have to.
- Nature says women are human beings, men have made religions to deny it. Nature says woman are human beings, men cry out no!
- It is said that peace is the basic tenet of all religions. Yet, it is in the name of religion that there has been so much disturbance, bloodshed, and persecution. It is indeed a pity that even at the twentieth century we’ve had to witness such atrocities because of religion. Flying the flag of religion has always proved the easiest way to crush to nothingness of human beings as well as the spirit of humanity.
- I have been writing poetry since 1975. My first book was published in 1986.
- I believe that if the silent majority were to protest against those who believe in irrational blind faith, who want to go backwards instead of forwards, who are for tradition not innovation, who oppose individualism and plurality of thought – then the world would become a truly civilized world in which to live.
- I don’t agree with those who think that the conflict is simply between two religions, namely Christianity and Islam. To me, the key conflict is between irrational blind faith and rational logical minds.
- If any religion allows the persecution of the people of different faiths, if any religion keeps woman in slavery, if any religion keeps people in ignorance then I can’t accept that religion.
- In traditional societies we have a long legacy of men controlling the body and mind of women. Such societies have valorised motherhood and fabricated concepts like chastity. Woman have been the victims of these notions for thousands of years.
- Religion is now the first obstacle to woman’s advancement. Religion pulls human beings backwards, it goes against science and progressiveness. Religion engulfs people with a fear of supernatural. It bars people from laughing and never allows people to excercise their choice.
- I have lectured at the U.N and travelled widely, giving lectures on human rights and gender inequalities in universities. But this is a life I do not wish to live. I want to be in battlefield where I can stand beside the oppressed and the poor.
- Among all the ‘awards’ that I have hitherto collected, I consider the title of ‘patita’ or ‘fallen woman’ to be the highest. This is an achievement of my long-struggling life as a writer and as a woman. ( This statement had been well received in India and world which only shows how she enjoyed writing against fundamentalists. )
“I’m a lifelong writer, 11-time author, Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher (ERYT-200, YACEP) and professional story guide who teaches the tools of Self-Knowledge to help people live with purpose and lead by example, every day.”
Modern day thought leaders like Dave Ursillo are the ones who not only “live by example with or without followers”, work hard and succeed but also relish a fulfilled and active life. His words are packed with positivity. The story of the young writing teacher and professional story guide is motivating, indeed.
“Once upon a time, I was a political insider on a fast-tracked career path in the world of public service. I dreamed of becoming a presidential speechwriter while writing policy reports at the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 2008 and hustling a state officeholder’s early gubernatorial campaign in Rhode Island in 2009.
But after working in 7 state and federal governmental offices over 8 years, I had fallen completely disillusioned to the world of politics.
Ever since September 11, 2001, when I watched the Twin Towers fall from my high school library’s fuzzy television, all I wanted to do was help a world that so desperately appeared to need it. Channeling a young drive to give, I sought career paths where I might be able to impact peoples’ lives for the better.
In politics, I was told to play the game and wait for my turn — in an increasingly hostile, gridlocked system.
So I quit, intent to live my leadership instead. I chose my love of writing to guide me.”
It tells the story of his suffering and transformation. Those who evolve as true leaders. His view on leadership are thought provoking.
I believe that you are already a leader.
Because not one of us lives in a bubble. Your life already impacts others around you, every single day.
The words, ideas and deeds that we share in our daily lives are the leadership that we sow. That’s how being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself is an act of giving: your wholeness helps support everyone around you.
By cultivating your highest qualities as a human being — and knowing your “shadow” qualities — you become a leader by example, whose everyday influence knows no bounds.
But today, societal measures of “success” like wealth, fame, status and followers have twisted and distorted the true meaning of leadership to revolve around what one has acquired, not what one gives.
This polluted definition of modern leadership — and erosion of genuine leadership across the world — is perpetuating atmospheres of not only partisanship and division, but fear, conflict, and deficit-minded thinking.
Genuine, authentic leadership consists of qualities of the heart and soul, from compassion and empathy to understanding, togetherness and love:
- Leading from the heart, not the wallet, creates an abundant environment for change-making to take root.
Leaders without followers are strong in their malleability, not in rigid ideology.
Leaders without followers embrace openness, intuition, abundance, and pledge themselves toward creating an aspirational, unified vision of the future.