Monideepa Sahu is a banker turned into an author. She was addressing the audience in the Bangalore Literature festival on a session titled ‘Rain, A Princess without a nose and Death on the roads’.
Monideepa Sahu’s journey to storytelling is nothing short of inspiring. When she was writing for Deccan Herald, she was given the assignment to explore Avenue Road. Those of us who are familiar with the road knows how magical the place is. Once I was even reduced to tears when I was asked to pay just RS 50 for 6 books by the bookseller. For a nanosecond, he seemed like a knight in shining armour. Now, let’s not digress and get back to Sahu’s Journey.
Avenue road opened up to her an old Bangalore that was so rich in tradition; not only of the native Kannadiga’s but also the Tamilians and Rajasthani’s who stayed embedded in the repository of culture. Sahu also discovered a 100-year-old shop that sold only dried herbs. Her curiosity as to how it survived led to a lengthy discussion with the owner. This didn’t go in her Deccan Herald article, but this small shop became the inspiration for a book that she crafted later on.
Why can only Harry Potter have an adventure? Why can’t our Indian children have an adventure, maybe in this same avenue road? Monideepa asked a question that resonated with the audience. She explained then why this happens. According to her, children see the idea of an adventure as a western concept that only a Harry or Sally can have.
The latter part of the session saw Monideepa Sahu talking about her book ‘A Princess without a nose’. The title itself is self-explanatory. To those who didn’t get it still, it’s about Shurpanakha who was disfigured by Laxman in Mahabharatha. Sahu sees in her women wronged. Like Karve, Sahu gives an opportunity to Shurpanakha to unmute herself.
Sahu ended the session by telling about the launch of her book, Best Asian Short Stories, which is going to take place in Singapore Literature Festival. The book is now available on Amazon.
About the Author: Vibhuthi Viswanathan is a Potterhead and chocoholic.Curling up with the ‘Balabhumi’ and spinning out tales from its illustrations to her little brother was her first interactions with a book. Although she has moved on from good old BalaBhumi, she still hasn’t stopped twirling words and pauses. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.