INTERVIEWS

Published on July 15th, 2008 | by drkkr

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Invincible Ms Shobha De

shoba
MY Interaction with Shobha De

There are people who go gaga over her books, just as there are other protest and indignation over

her themes and characters. A trail blazer all her life, she is unperturbed when it comes to

speaking her mind on controversial issues regarding life and love. She has been a model,

an advertising copywriter, a founder editor of popular magazines, a national columnist,

a television script writer, and the author of dozen books. She is Articulate, well informed

and an affectionate mother. I am fortunate to host Ms.Shoba De the cynosure of all eyes for

a face 2 face.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means choice. If you are in a position to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to what you want and if you

are in control of your life and time. To me, success is to have control over your mind, body

and soul.

Can you compare the writings of Indian and foreign authors?

Why should we compare? We should have the confidence to write the way we want to, without

thinking about the foreign authors. There’s far too much need for recognition. It’s as if, we don’t

get a part on the back from some critic in New York, we are not good enough. We must write

because of what we say and not because of what we want. Does the medium discriminate

between male and female writers? Discrimination will not be the right word. There is a certain

predictable response that the media has towards male and female writers. There is a stereo

typing which one cannot get away from. I have tried for 30 years. I am always referred to

as a female writer whereas Khuswant Singh is just a writer.

Do you think your books have brought any changes in the social outlook of

the society?

I can’t answer that because I didn’t set out to start a revolution. I started out to tell a story

and have done that to the best of my ability. That the books have been studied in various

universities is something that I find interesting. As a novelist I’ve achieved what I set out for.

As a novelist of non-fictional books, I’ve brought out a lot of issues.

shobbha de

Your best novel so far?

My first novel- ‘Socialite Evils’. Its not because it’s the best but because it was the first.

It was a challenging, exciting and a new experience. It’s like a first born, you make a lot

of mistakes. It’s a flawed novel in terms of craft and pace. I like it because its straight

from the heart.

Could you tell one instance when you revolted being a woman?

I love being a woman far too much. I feel it’s a position of privilege given to me. I feel

sorry for the men because they are at a serious disadvantage.

Your opinion on competition and healthy competition?

We live in a very competitive world. There’s nothing wrong with competition Unhealthy

competition is when you want the other person to loose. Healthy competition is when you

want to give your best when you want to reach the top.

What should the youth do to make the society more progressive?

I feel extremely wrong about thinking in narrow confines of caste, community and

religion. The minute those barriers are broken you will see a far more equal and progressive

society. Students usually respond saying what do we do if our parents feel that way.

You have to be able to convince your parents about the decision you take- what ever

that might be, it is a decision they should respect because they respect your mind,

your integrity, they respect your feelings.

View on women as the weaker sex in India?

It’s a definition that I find revolting, discouraging and negative.It’s an outdated definition

for women. We are in an era where traditional warfare is a thing of the past. There are

no more hand-to-hand combats only wars of the mind. I believe that if decision-making

were given to the women, we would have some great strategists and a peaceful atmosphere.

The world has lost because the women were not given the opportunities.

Women are caught in the trap of sexual harassment, aids, prostitution etc.

Do you think

they must be humiliated or consoled?

Women are not victims. They must not call themselves as victims, if so, they will be treated

like one. There’s no reason for one to play the role as a victim.

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