Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
A glance into the life of Anita Nair
When you look back how do you think you were inspired to write?
• It was not an intentional act, though there was a serious desire to publish. I always enjoyed writing and as the theory goes, you sing because you enjoy singing, you feel the need to do it. No one waits for an appreciation or praise to elevate you; it is like an inner calling. While working for an advertising agency, I just wrote a short story and left it on my desk. My friend who read it appreciated the story beyond my wild imaginations and suggested taking it to an editor of the Times of India. A year later, he suggested publishing an anthology of my short stories and Anita Nair's books started appearing on the stands.
Which was the first published book?
•Without much search, I chose a publisher, ‘Har-Anand Publications’,based in Delhi, who agreed to publish my book without any apprehension. My first published book, a collection of short stories, called “Satire of the Subway” earned me a fellowship from the Virginia Centre for Creative Arts.
Your novels always depict the inner depth of the characters’ feelings. For example, in “Mistress", you feel the pain and the degradation a Kathakali artist feels and that becomes the backdrop of the entire book. How?
• Actually, it is seldom the larger things that inspire us but the smaller mêlées”.
• In all human beings there is always a shriek of melancholy.
Tell us something about your inspirations to write poems.
• “Malabar Mind” rakes through almost all the basic feelings of my characters. The entire collection gives us a picturesque view of the day-to-day incidents and narrations, which gives us a gripping feeling.
You have narrated in your site: "My mother is more embarrassed about my grey hair than my narration of sex. Now, what do you think of the narration of sex in novels? Does that enhance the true sense of feeling or does that give you more confidence to write about the character?
What is your opinion about the current social issues that are going on in Kerala - ‘Gods own country’? Who were respecting women and giving equal status to women? Was it all a façade or a cover all these years for politicians?
• It happens everywhere, not only in Kerala. The political issues and society are so strongly bonded; they almost co-exist. We should think about our existence. The nature of the state being what it is and with the high level of education, we do have opinions of our own. In Bihar or Jharkhand, you would not find this much of impact as the educated crowd is minimal. Most of the others cannot read and write. In Kerala, it is an issue. A few stray comments I made on ‘Asia Enlighten net’ are discussed and debated by all kinds of people. It’s very naïve to say there are no sex scandals. It is everywhere, but it is hush- hush and suppressed.
What do you think of social work and helping the society? Now -a-days it is fashion. Does a true humanitarian need publicity?
• Now-a- days it is all publicity stunt and each and every one needs to give themselves an air.
In gulf, we have heard fantastic reviews about your books and novels and collection of poems. Do you have any message to give to the young generation?
• It worries me a bit that a lot of Indians, including Keralites, do not attach dignity to labour. It does not matter what you do as long as it is honest kind of livelihood. The young generations should be given the feeling that every work has its value and respect. It is a funny thing that people, especially the young generations, are seldom consistent in their approach to it. This is all because we have forgotten the old habit of reading a book, a good poem or a short story. Instead, computer and internet have replaced the old sojourn habits; we should really bring back the habit of reading.
• Once I think of a story line or when an outline sets in my mind, I sit through the book; I progress from scene to scene. When I am done, read through and re-work. As I write, the plot or the main theme of the story progresses. The crux of the story is always there in my mind, but the story is evolved. The first draft is always by hand and then I key it in. My publisher reads it.