We need a literature with fresh values, nothing preachy but practical – Author Anulata Raj Nair
Anulata Raj Nair is a senior writer and the Deputy Creative Head in Content Project Pvt. Ltd/ Slow. She joined the Neelesh Misra Mandali in 2014 and has written over 350 stories for various shows.
Currently, she is the head of the Mandali and mentors’ writers. She is also the mentor of The Slow Master Class for creative writing conducted by Neelesh Misra School of Creativity.
Anulata has produced shows with Neelesh Misra such as ‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box’ on 92.7 Big FM, ‘Yoddha’, and ‘Qisse Lockdown Ke with Neelesh Misra’ on Audible Suno. She has also penned several popular stories for The Neelesh Misra Show, Qisson ka kona, Kahani Express, and Time Machine on popular platforms such as Saavn.
She has published her poetries in the acclaimed collection, ‘Ishq Tumhe Ho Jayega’. Her book includes all forms of Hindi poems including Kavitayen, Nazmen, Ghazal, Kshanikayen (short poems) and is cherished as a treasure by the readers. Moreover, her stories, cover stories and nazm, book reviews are regularly published by leading publications across the country.
Anulata is running a book review show on The Slow App and Audible. She has done M.Sc in Chemistry and lives in Bhopal.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation with acclaimed author and creative head of well-known show, Anulata Raj Nair.
Tell us more about your role at ‘Slow’.
I joined Neelesh Misra’s team as a Mandali writer. I wrote about 300 stories for different shows. Then I became Associate Creative Head and Head of Neeleshs Misra’s Mandali, which is a group of writers from all over the nation and (some are from abroad too) and write for our shows.
Later, I got the opportunity to produce our most loved and very popular show of storytelling on radio, ‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra’. It was a milestone for me as a professional. I would not say that was something like ‘dream come true’, because I never actually expected anything from the company except for the creative fulfilment. I just loved whatever was being assigned to me and did it dedicatedly and passionately.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far, due to being a woman?
Never!! I never faced any problem or challenge just because I am a woman. I work in a content writing company, and we work like a family. Maybe I am blessed, as things turned out so well and destiny took me to a place where I got everything I ever wished for.
There was no hurdle as such or negativity even when I was working as a freelance writer. But here I would add that I have always worked from home, other than occasional visits to my company office, so I never have to deal with office issues, if there are any.
In your opinion, what is the future of women writers in the field of literature?
I am not a person who would answer this best, but according to what I see around my creative circle I feel that if you are really a good writer and you know how to express your thoughts effectively and honestly, then sky is the limit. These days every field requires communication skill, right from advertising agencies, media, and publishing houses to entertainment businesses. To reach the desired destination, the road is smooth, and journey would be enjoyable if you are a good writer. So, I must say that the future is bright!
What is the biggest struggle of an author/writer/novelist today in India?
I feel reaching to a larger audience is the biggest struggle. Nowadays, social media is giving a very good platform to every creative person to show case his/her work and get desirable attention. But to reach out to much larger audience is still a task.
Having said that, I also feel that if you are really talented and working hard towards your dreams, sooner or later people will find you. I would quote Rumi here - “What you seek is seeking you.”
An author should not fear of failure!
Literature plays a huge role in the growth of the country, considering culture, youth, etc. According to you, what kind of literature India needs currently?
Values are changing fast. When we address our youth saying – in our times…, (humare zamane mein…) then we are making a mistake. We need a literature with fresh values, nothing preachy but practical. With time, definitions change and this change should be reflected on what is written and published. Reading a book or novel is a one-sided communication, so the content should be written in such a way that it should not be overly opinionated. It should not be complex but deep.
These days, every other person wants to be an author. Do you think that the increasing chaos in the literature field is affecting the readers? In such circumstances, what should authors do to ensure they reach their right target audience?
Everyone has a story to tell, so I absolutely don’t mind if everyone is writing. It is a free world after all, and we are free to express our feelings and thoughts. Let readers decide what they want to read and what not.
As I mentioned earlier, reaching to target audience is tough but social media is a boon and giving free platform and publicity. One can opt for paid and sponsored reach also.
Moreover, not all writers are lucky to get noticed in their first work but that should not hamper their spirits, and their creativity. We must keep mastering our craft. Here I wish to quote Sylvia Plath from -- The Unabridged Journals, "Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences."
What is your opinion on (gender) equality? How important the issue is in the current times?
God created man and women differently. They cannot be equal. Both genders have their own special qualities and power. So, this issue should never be there, but sadly it is the most discussed and debated one. Accepting and respecting each other as a person, as a human being is of utmost importance. There should not be any podium that is all!
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
Change is already there. Girls are smarter, educated, and independent. But personally, I feel girls should not compete with boys. It is never a boy versus girl or man versus woman world. I wish to see girls wiser, stronger, and soft at heart. Compassion is what we need these days.
Your question here is about girls, but my answer applies for both boys and girls. Younger generation should take things easy and enjoy the journey called life.
Have you ever been through an experience that made you realize that ‘woman’ and ‘powerful’ were two compatible ideas?
Being a woman, I feel we are emotionally more powerful and balanced. But that is debatable. And I never understood this power game. Being vulnerable is okay. We should pay more attention towards educating the girls and that will solve most of the problem. Everyone should be taught to respect each other, have empathy, and then there will be no need of this power game.
What is your opinion about the women being represented in the media, films, and literature?
It would be unfair to comment in a generalized way. But portrayal of women in media, film and literature are often distorted or misinterpreted. There are content creators who are sometimes using women as a commodity, an object and stereotyped as not so intelligent. This should not be approved at any cost.
Why there is a phrase, “Beauty with Brains”? I mean why the intelligence of a good-looking woman is questioned? Why is there a doubt?
Selling emotions and beauty has always been a full proof idea and an old one. In religious books also sexual objectification of women is observed. But these days things are changing and changing for better. Entertainment industry, media and content creators are breaking stereotypes, and setting new rules. Definitions of beauty have been changed. Films with woman as lead role are being made and loved by the mass.
Most importantly when the women themselves are the decision makers, and well placed in all these industries, we can look forward to an unbiased, unprejudiced world of creativity.
Do you think Women’s Day should be celebrated? Why?
Life should be celebrated. So, I have nothing against celebrating any day. What is wrong if there is a dedicated day for woman? We have Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. and people call them gimmick. Maybe they are right, but I saw my parents being so happy when we children wish them on those days, give them flowers, etc and make them feel special.
So, if some celebration makes anyone feel happy and respected, why not! We are becoming busier than before and self-centered with time. We have started living in our cocoons, so these special days might bring some rustle, some ripple or swell in otherwise stagnant lives. No celebration should ever be questioned or condemned.
Apeksha Sandesh congratulates Anulata Raj Nair for her contribution and commitment towards the field of literature. We wish her good luck for the future endeavours!