A ‘Eunuch’ Prince! That was a bold choice. Is the book trying to send out a wider message?
Yes, its true, I am trying to send out a wider message to the society, through my book, and through a character of Eunuch Prince, because gender equality is not only a woman’s issue, it is a humanitarian issue and it affects the whole world. I strongly believe that this universe belongs equally to everyone, Eunuchs are also a part of it. I believe in humanity and the equal rights of all human beings.
What are the factors one needs to be careful about while writing historical fiction?
When one wants to write historical fiction, the writer must know and understand the important elements of the particular era or time- like socio-political circumstances, peoples mentality and behaviour etc.
The book has also been published in Hindi. Do you feel that more contemporary authors need to write in Hindi to make the language relevant for the youth of today?
No, I don’t feel so. What to write and in which language to write, is the author’s prerogative completely. I fully understand that todays youth is more comfortable with reading, writing or speaking in English, rather than Hindi. However, being an author is primarily something you do for yourself and to give your thoughts a platform and its the message behind the thoughts of the author that counts.
Originally, I’ve written my book The Divine Throne of Maharani Meeramani in Hindi by the name of Maharani Meeramani Ka Brahm Sinhaasan because I personally feel that I can express my thoughts and emotions more conveniently in my mother tongue. But when the time came to publish it, I felt that the social message about womens empowerment and Eunuchs’ rights in the society has to be spread across the world, so I had it translated into English. Now it can reach out to many more readers, and in future, if I write any book which is meant to spread a social message, then I shall be publishing it in both languages and maybe more languages.
How does “The Divine Throne of Maharani Meeramani” provide solutions for the deep- rooted bias for the third gender in our society?
In my book The Divine Throne of Maharani Meeramani, I have tried to suggest the solution. I think people should know and understand that deformity can happen to anyone in any form. Most importantly, if eunuchs can’t have sex or procreate, it is their private matter. Who are we to determine what they should do? A Eunuch child is still a child to their parents and is totally their responsibility like any other children of theirs. They don’t have the right to throw away that child because he/ she cant procreate. In my personal opinion, if a child gets a good upbringing in a safe family environment and gets a good education, then a child can do anything and become anybody, even if the child is a eunuch…To separate a child from the parents is a shame on humanity as well as on our society. I have attempted to evoke this very concept of human rights through my book.
What are your favourite novels? Some recommendations for our readers please.
Some of my favourite novels are The Krishna Key (English) & Chanakya’s Chant (English) by Ashwin Sanghi; The twentieth wife (English) by Indu Sundarsen; The Last Mughal (English) by William Dalrymple; Sita ke Jaane ke Baad Ram (Hindi) by Dr. Ashok Sharma; Pinzar (Hindi) by Amrita Pritam;
Chokher Bali (Hindi) by Rabindranath Tagore…. there is a long list of my favourite authors and their novels as I love reading but its difficult for me to mention every name.
About the Interviewee: Meenakshi was born on December 27, 1972, in New Delhi. She now lives in Gurgaon, Haryana, with her husband and a daughter. Graduated from Jesus and Mary College (Delhi University) in 1994, she got married in 1997. Despite being an Interior designer, she preferred to be a house wife, and invests her lone time in reading (literature, history, spiritual) and writing ( poetry and novels). She is a supporter of Indian culture and has great faith in God and Karma. She is very religious but not superstitious and strongly believe in Humanity.
The Divine Throne of Maharani Meeramani is the first fictional social novel of Meenakshi Verma, in which she has raised the question of respect and rights of the third gender, along with equal rights for all human beings. She has not only raised the questions, but also tried to suggest a solution to the society.