WITH INTERNATIONALWOMEN’S DAY AROUND THE CORNER, SIMPLY PUNJABI DECIPHERS SOME OFTHE REGION’S MOST POWERFUL WOMEN AND THEIR WORK.
SIMPLY PUNJABI deciphers some of the region’s most powerful women and their work.
Sometimes the most important thing about writing is the joy one derives from the sensuous mix of thoughts and words. That holds true for Chandigarh-based author Neel Kamal Puri. “Not to mention, the feel of the language,” she adds. The 57-year-old lecturer at GCG College points out that it’s not only the way things are expressed but how the prose makes a visual is important. Her aim is to make readers see, what is being written about. Puri has to her credit two works of fiction, The Patiala Quartet and Remember to Forget. Deriving her ethos from the Punjabi sensibility, Puri says her stories emerge from what she has grown up with. “I understand the nuances of the Punjabi culture and the psyche, which go a long way in helping me write.” Giving a form to her every day observations, the writer is currently working on a collection of short stories titled Theka Tales, which she says have started out as a collection of short stories, but may turn into a novel. Puri says as a woman, she is bound to be typecast with everyone expecting her to have feminist streak. Of course, the women characters in her works are strong. “But that is because I have always believed that women in general have better coping skills and a greater sense of revival. For me, the most important questions that should be raised are those pertaining to identity and inclusiveness,” she says. Looking back at her journey, Puri admits she never thought she would write a novel that a publishing house would want to take up. Sessions of writing letters from hostel to home can be duly accredited for adding fuel to her passion for writing. Puri finally started writing in the 90's. The writer says that she draws her inspiration from her “whacky” perspective of life. “I am glad that I have the ability to see the funny side of life. This in turn gives my readers a new perspective to things I write about.” However, there are still days when she has to force herself to sit in front of her computer and start typing. She lets us in, “Sometimes words come, sometimes they don’t. But the key is to be disciplined and keep at it.” Typical to someone enjoying the bounties of nature and solace that Chandigarh provides, a jog at the Sukhna Lake provides Puri with the much required boost to refresh her mind and weave a whole new tale. Writing is an art that knows no boundaries, no rules, no exceptions and no paths. “Every work of art has a destiny of its own,” Puri says.