In Search of Heer
In collaboration with the JCB Prize for Literature
Fireside Chat Session 2 : In Search of Heer
In conversation with author Manjul Bajaj
Venue : Writers Savoy Bar
Moderator : Mita Kapur
Date: 21st November, 2020
People say that reading takes you places but, I think reading doesn't only take you to various
places but it also gives a reader the liberty to accept and see the world through a variety of
perceptions, ideologies and understand the thinking process of various individuals while
remaining under the weight of their own body. In this session, a conversation between Mita
Kapur and Manjul Bajaj related to her literary award winning novel "In search of Heer"
stirred some really interesting questions on the idea of love and on the idea of losing oneself
to find their 'heer'.
As Ms. Manjul likes to put it "my writing style might seem a bit cliche but I write for
myself". On being asked about her way of weaving words together, she highlighted the
importance of the time taken by a person during writing a novel. She also emphasized the fact
that a person needs to lose oneself to find the right set of questions, to the right set of answers
while writing a book or a novel and so taking sufficient time is important.
Starting with prevalent issues like patriarchy, men and women relationships, and the constant
search of elusive love, she aimed at breaking the conventional norms or the stereotypic
structure in which these stories were framed, through her novel.
Unlike the conventional Heer Ranjha story, this novel by Ms. Manjul has a more independent
Heer and an even more rational Ranjha which makes this story give a new perspective to the
readers. While writing the story, she had to deal with a lot of voices in her head but since she
resonated with the ideas with which she had framed the characters and being a twenty first-
generation women could relate to their thought process, it became a bit easy for her to weave
or to bring up an updated version of the classic Heer-Ranjha story with a tinge of modernism.
Coupled with the ideas of feminism and patriarchy, the beautiful retelling of the classic"Heer
Ranjha" story by Ms. Manjul Bajaj can be considered as one of the best rendition of an age-
old novel and is a must read for all those readers who like to spend their winter mornings
with love stories and tragic romances.