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Interview Sujata Parashar
23-04-2011, 06:52 PM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2011 09:47 PM by avi.)
Post: #1
Sujata Parashar
Sujata Parashar is an executive board member of Empowering Minds, an NGO headquartered in New Delhi that works for the development of marginalised children, youth and women in the areas of health and education. She has done her Masters in Human Rights and is also a post graduate in Travel and Tourism Management. Her debut novel, In Pursuit of Infidelity has been a national bestseller.

avi : First of all I'd like to congratulate you for being national bestselling author. How do you feel now?
Sujata - Thank you Avinash! There are several superlatives that come to mind to describe my feelings but the best that would answer you in brief is – “Extremely Happy”!

Each and every character portrayed in your novels are very close to life, infact very close to reality. Quite a difficult task. How did you manage to do that?
Yes, the characters portrayed in both my novels could be people whom we might know and interact with in our daily lives. But contrary to the belief that it is a difficult task to portray reality, I feel it makes the task of a writer much easier. A writer generally is a keen observer of life. She has the potential to observe, feel and many a time experience things that might go unnoticed or are ignored by the normal eye. Her fertile imagination then uses these rich sources of knowledge as cues to guide her when she is creating her characters and in fact the entire idea of her story.

Your second novel revolves around teenage life, drugs and about delicate line of relationships between children and parent. What inspired you to write it?
Three factors that propelled me to select the topic of modern day youth and the root cause that is responsible for many of them getting attracted to and indulging in immoral practices and criminal activities -

1. I work with an NGO that focuses on education and health related issues of marginalized children and youth. Thus, I have the good fortune of knowing, interacting and observing the youth at close quarters.
2. I admire our ex President – Dr. APJ Kalam who has quoted - “A nation’s wealth is the young generation of the country”. Unquote. This simple yet profound thought expressed by one of the most dynamic leaders of our times triggered the idea of writing a fiction related to modern youth and their dreams and aspirations.
3. The Outlook article that I have also referred to in the ‘Author’s note’ clearly indicates that about 41.3 per cent of those arrested in India belong to 18 – 30 age group. (As per the report of NCRB, updated in 2007)

Either of your works, by any chance, based on real incidents?
As you have pointed out in your earlier questions - Both have a flavour of reality in them. So both have been inspired by incidents, people and my own understandings about life. But of course to make the stories more colourful and an engrossing read, I used my fertile imagination.

What do you like to say about the current scenario, about youngsters, their teenage life and relationships with family?
I am glad that you asked me this question. I hope my response is received positively -

The Indian youth is the pride of the nation. Most of them are aware of their immense potential, confident, questioning, logical and are also proactive. They also have a strong desire to contribute in building a strong and happy nation. Yet, despite possessing the above qualities many are not channelizing their energies into the right direction. Or are disturbed due to different reasons and thus forget their prime goals. A huge responsibility lies with the parents to compassionately understand their children and nurture them in the best way possible for them.

To encourage my young readers I would like just like to say -

Believe in yourself. Have a goal in life. Communicate. Strive. Win. Never give up till you are a victor. Endure your sufferings. Lie low for a while if the going is tough. But bounce back; you have that power within you, so use it.

Last, but not the least - Be human. Respect and be kind to other fellow beings even if you feel they have caused you immense pain. In fact, those who give you pain help you become much stronger and capable in life. So be thankful to them. Never be arrogant. You will lose all that you have won. Have a heart. Reach out. Spread happiness and peace as far as possible.

Why your second novel's title is in tone of first’s? For a moment, one can think it as a sequel. Why is that so ? Do you plan to name your future works in similar manner?
Yes. Well this was a conscious decision. I wanted 3 novels that would explore three most important forms of human relationships. I have brought out two. The third one will complete the trilogy of the title and the genre.

What about your next project?
I have already started writing it. I am hoping for it to come out by the end of 2012. I have an inkling that it will be my best work amongst the three. It will trace a woman’s uneasy relationship with her social environment and the difficult journey she will embark upon to claim her basic right to dignity!

You are an executive board member of Empowering Minds, an NGO that works for the development of marginalised children, youth and women. How do you manage writing in spite of your busy works?
My working for EM is an added strength to me. Moreover, since I am not an employee of the NGO but on the board, I have the liberty of saying ‘NO’ when I am working on my novels. Also, I work on project basis. So I am mostly careful to take projects only when I am not occupied too much with my writings.

Your favourite authors?
There are so many. Over the years I have read and loved the works of many authors. The prominent ones I can remember now are – Barbara Cart land, Jane Austen, Danielle Steel, Dan Brown, Vikram Seth, Khalid Mohammed, Steig Larsson, Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi….and ofcourse me!

Your favourite books?
Again many. But Vikram Seth’s ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘Two lives’ and Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ are my all time favourite. My current favourite however is Ashwin Sanghi’s – ‘Chanakya’s chant’!

About your personal life
Well, I was born in an Army family. Married. Currently residing in N.Delhi. Have a seven year old son. Love my country. Am happy to be around people, celebrate occasions, be out of the kitchen, shop, eat out, watch movies and travel besides of course read many books and write some. So basically, I have all the traits befitting a Woman.

avi : Thank you for the interview. RE wishes you all the succeess Smile

Sujata Parashar is also at RE ! she can be found at sujata parashar

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16-07-2011, 08:08 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2011 08:18 AM by manisha.)
Post: #2
RE: Sujata Parashar
really nice if we have people like her at RE.........
now this forum is going to be national forum bcoz of such great people.
Good Luck 'sujata' for your future n thanx for this gr8 interview.
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