An Author’s Word: Sujata
1. If not an author, which other creative field would one find you in and why?
If I were not a writer, I would have been a full-time social worker. I believe that social work is of utmost importance in a country like ours, which suffers from vital issues such as poverty, poor quality education, deficient healthcare systems, gender inequality et al.
Nothing else can bring that ultimate happiness other than striving to make this society a better place to live. I also hold my writings under the arena of my social activities. If my book ‘Noakhali’ contributes even a bit towards reducing the communal tensions, I would believe that my efforts in bringing this book to society have been fulfilled.
2. Your personal favourite five authors in any genre.
Some of my all-time favourite authors are:
- Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
- Amrita Pritam
- Amritlal Nagar
- Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
3. What does the written word mean to you?
Written words! Either these are the blessings of God or the backbreaking efforts of our ancestors. Words have always played a crucial role in conveying our beliefs, emotions and messages. And ‘written words’ have always transcended the spatial and temporal barriers, thereby exponentially increasing the overall power of words. And that is why words are often used interchangeably with ‘Brahma’. Such powerful are these written words that we cannot deny their roles in the evolution of humankind.
4. What is your favourite word, in any language, and how would you describe its meaning?
I will pick up my favourite word from my mother tongue Hindi – ‘Sewa’. The literal meaning of the word is ‘to serve’. For me, ‘sewa’ means service to humanity, service to nature, service to all creatures and in its entirety service to the Almighty God. We believe human beings to be the best creation of God. Even the core of all shastras signifies that there is no religion beyond the religion of serving people. If I have to pour my heart out, I firmly believe that to serve others is actually to serve one’s own self.
5. E-Book or physical book? What do you prefer and why?
Physical Books!! Though we may be in the digital age, no technology can compare to the feeling of a good book in our hands. I have instilled the habit of reading physical books since my childhood. Though norms are hard to break, we should be flexible enough to change these for a better alternative. However, I have always felt a strong affinity for books in their physical forms. I can touch these physical books, can underline or mark my favourite sentences, or can even decorate these books in the almirahs and feel their physical presence.
I can even feel the presence of authors and thinkers in the same room via these physical books. I do not get the same feeling with the e-books.
I feel that the books by Tagore, Dinkar & Premchand lurking from my almirah sometimes compel me to stop by them and, other times, invite me into their world.
These books should be displayed and celebrated, for no other amenities can raise the aura of the surroundings as these books can. These books always keep reminding us to embrace the joy of unwinding with their physical presence