Home Dehradun Effort to be free from bondage must come from within: Neelakshi Singh

Effort to be free from bondage must come from within: Neelakshi Singh

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Discussion on award winning book ‘Khela’

By Dr Sushil Upadhyay
Dehradun, 13 Nov: In the award-winning book session at Valley of Words, novelist Neelakshi Singh said that women’s freedom is not possible through someone else’s effort. She herself has to take initiative for her own freedom. The occasion was a discussion on her award winning book, ‘Khela’, written in Hindi. Neelakshi Singh is a bank officer besides being a writer.
In this session chaired by Dr Anjan Ray, Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum, moderator Dr Anjum Sharma discussed with Neelakshi Singh in detail about her creative process, the basis of story selection and presentation method. Her new novel, ‘Khela’ focuses on global politics woven around crude oil, but it is essentially a story of a woman’s internal and external struggles.
In the conversation, novelist Neelakshi Singh said she believed that any woman and man ought not be identified on the basis of their gender, but as a human being. She asserted it was not possible to be liberated on the basis of any external support, but for this she had to take the initiative herself and show courage. While writing this novel, she was clear about the plot. How the characters would expand, she had left to the immediate circumstances of the writing. Even though this novel has been woven around the politics of crude oil, at its core is the identity of the woman, her pain and feeling.
She said that, while writing Khela, there was no specific theoretical idea in his mind. That is why readers had noticed marked realism in many places and magical realism in some places. Singh said that, in her writing, she preferred to give adequate space to things that were happening in parallel in the surrounding world or to the feelings present within herself. The self was present in the Khela novel as well as the content, but it wasn’t an autobiography. Divided into various chapters, the chapter names in this novel had been randomly assigned, but they carried a specific meaning within themselves.
The novel ends with a bird wishing to fly out into the open and symbolically this bird is a woman in bondage and conflict. She refused to believe whether to marry or not to marry out of her choice only meant freedom or emancipation of a woman but the character struggles to keep herself on her own standards. It is liberation, the author specially underlines that in this novel there is such a space for the readers, on the basis of which they can assume more than one meaning and hence this offers certainly a different kind of readers’ feeling.
Several distinguished people including Dr Sanjeev Chopra, senior Hindi story writer Mamta Kalia, editor of Tadbhav magazine, Akhilesh, etc., were present at this session.