Interview with Arundhati Sahoo, Author of Identity: A mere play of Gender, Status & AestheticsInterview with Arundhati Sahoo, Author of Identity: A mere play of Gender, Status & Aesthetics
on Jul 26, 2021 My writing journey started as scribbling down my thoughts and babbling about them. I haven't been used to talking a lot, as it makes my emotions intensify. There is a slew of things that we don’t talk about much and ignore. Sometimes the gravity of issues gets subdued. Some stories get recognition and others get lost in the middle of it. That’s how it all started in my life. I am a simple person who belongs to a small village of Napuri district in Orissa State. As a writer, I like to see things from different perspectives. After completing my post-graduation from Mumbai, I got a job and since then I have been working. Whenever I get time, I usually write. That’s how my journey has been continuing. Your book describes people’s outlook towards the third gender. So, have you ever come across the same story in real life / How did you get the idea? It isn’t a real story. But most probably you saw this advertisement where the third gender usually doesn’t get to go to school. There was a lady (third gender) who was sitting and said I can’t go to school when the school bell rings. It was the trigger point that moved me a lot that time. After that, I traveled a lot and always saw the issue where people don’t see the third gender with the same empathy as we look at others. For instance, when a beggar comes up then our eyes brim with sympathy and melts us down. But when the third gender came up, we got these strange feelings. People are treating them differently and depriving them of their rights. So, I penned down my thoughts related to this particular issue. From the title, anyone can understand that it’s a thought-provoking story. Do you think that people will be able to relate to social issues of the third gender? This book does not just address the issue of the third gender which they experience intensively. But we, all of us, are a part of this book. Like, the rejection we face, we don’t belong here and we have our little world. We all have our thought process which is often misunderstood by others. My book talks about human emotions deeply. As the title suggests, it’s like looking at someone’s individuality beyond agenda and towards humanity. Yes, it focuses upon the third gender but on an individual as well. How long did it take you to write this novel? Share any challenges that you face while writing? It took me somewhere around 6 months to 1 year. Actually, I hadn't set up any mission of writing something. I wrote in pieces and compiled them together, then made the first draft. Challenges were many while writing. Choices of specific characters weren’t common. There is a eunuch, another is an aged - prostitute, and many more. Those aren’t people that we don’t look upon in our wrong society. Gaining trust over them as a writer is a daunting task as they would think about what kind of story writers are going to write. Opposing nature resides in them because of society's behavior. I used research articles, a lot of documentaries to write. Sometimes I engross myself into characters and try to act like them. So, this becomes a challenge to me while writing. As a writer, you must’ve gone through many problems. Could you please share more experiences with us? Beginners in the writing industry face a lot of problems in publishing and marketing. Like, people don’t usually buy a new book but they do buy a new range of cosmetics and spend extravagantly. It takes a lot of push to buy a new book by those people. Getting recognition is the strongest challenge that is usually faced by new authors. Have you started working on your next book? Yes, I've started working on my new book. It is based on death which revolves around how we give more importance to death rather than giving to life, the value of relationships, and 12 days of ritual happens when people die. Who is your favorite author and which genre you would like to read most of the time? I don’t have a favorite genre. It depends on my mood. I like the works of Mitch Albom and his bestselling book - Tuesdays with Morrie.
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