This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
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Friday, February 27, 2015
Author Interview: Kavita Kane, author of 'Sita's Sister'
is back with a bang. Kavita Kane set some standards, the first time I read ‘Karna’sWife’, and now with the sister of a most loved heroine, she raises the bar,
started this book, since the name of the novel caught my attention at first go.
‘Sita’s Sister’ is a remarkable book, it attempts to set the tone for future
you can read up the Review here and Buy the Book here, as well. Read on further
for her own words…
How did ‘Sita’s Sister’ happen? What’s the research that has gone into
Interestingly, when I first
decided to write a novel, it was with the story idea of Sita's Sister, that is,
about Urmila. But I gave it up after not getting
too much information about her to expand into a whole novel.
I wrote ‘Karna's
Wife’ instead. After the surprise success of this debut novel, I was brave
enough to attempt another. The idea of Urmila persisted and I sat down to how I
would develop it. I finally did and it came
out exactly the way I wanted!
Why did you choose Urmila? What is the difference in the opinion of Urmila
before and after the book?
While reading the Ramayana when I was at school there were three characters whom I loved
- Urmila, Lakshman and Sumitra and out of the three Urmila fascinated me the
most. If I were to ever write a novel, it would be on her!
Fortunately or unfortunately, there was just a
scant mention of her in the epic, so I had the freedom to flesh her out on
those flimsy, skeletal facts. She was to have slept through those 14 years when
her husband was away on exile with Ram. It was metaphorical, of course.
Instead, I looked at her beyond being Sita's
younger sister or Lakshman's wife or Janak's true daughter. A scholar, an
artist and a woman, who held the fort at Ayodhya when the three went on their
exile. There is much fiction but placed within the
framework of the facts. I did not want to break her
image - however blurred it was - yet to make her a striking woman, she who,
triumphed tears and tragedy with dignity and strength.
How would you relate the life of Urmila’s life to the lives today? Any similarities?
Emotions and relationships are not
time-limited, they are universal. And in both my books I have dealt with issues
like love and disappointment, one of the main reasons for marital friction.
In ‘Sita's Sister’, it is also about long
distance relationship - such a common phenomenon, today.Then there
is the saas-bahu equation, sibling relationship and the tussle between jealousy
and insecurity, power and arrogance, duty and love... some issues remain the
same down the ages. I explored them through my
characters, chiefly the four sisters and the three queens.
'Ramayana' from Wikipedia
Both your books came out along with a number of
mythological novels. What according to you, was different about them?
Mythology is a huge canvas and each author handles it in his own
inimitable way. Therein lies the
charm of both the author and mythology!
How would you
relate the lives of Urmila and Lakshman to the lives today? Any similarities?
As I said earlier, the basic relationship issues
remain the same, values change. Urmila and Lakshman
suffer physical separation and I think both handled it beautifully. Falling in
love is easy, loving is difficult.
Also, both are ranked second in the
sibling hierarchy which, definitely affects how their personalities are.
How would you
relate the book and its characters, besides the two mentioned earlier, to lives
‘Sita's Sister’ is more about the women in the Ramayana
than about Ram, Sita and Lakshman in exile. These
people left behind within the lonely palace of Ayodhya fought a different
Another element was the difference in
power and status equation amongst siblings is what makes or breaks the sibling
relationship. It is not just
love, it has to be followed by trust and respect. And this goes for any relationship
be it a couple, siblings or parent-child. That comes through every other
character besides the protagonists.
Which is your
favourite character besides Urmila? Why?
Kaikeyi. If not Urmila, I would have liked to
write on her. But, a lot has been said about this remarkable woman. She is
probably the most interesting, versatile villain, very finely nuanced in her
shades of grey.
She is the spirited princess, the favourite queen,
the spunky warrior, the generous mother who suddenly turns evil. Why? She holds the key to the family's happiness and tragedy.
What are the most fulfilling parts, now that you
have managed to release two novels?
writing what makes the effort, so fulfilling is receiving the readers'
feedback. I prize and cherish them. And I strive to
learn from their reactions and responses. It does make you think, analyse and
need be, correct and rectify.
How do you differentiate
them from the usual understanding of some of these characters that we get to
than the black and white, I like the greys in the characters. Besides a strong narrative, fleshing out the characters
is the most exciting part. Especially,
when they are profuse, they should not overlap and confuse the reader.
More than Urmila, I found Lakshman to be more difficult to define. His
identity has been completely sublimated. He has always been seen as the ideal
brother or the devoted younger brother in law. Within this definition, I had to work on him,
adding colour and shades to his uni-dimensional personality.
was with Karna in ‘Karna's Wife’. He is such a larger-than-life figure in
popular imagination, that adding the the right dose of greys and pathos to him
was creatively challenging.
Also, Kunti or Kaikeyi and Kausalya. They are huge personalities and need
to be handled with care. I went a step ahead and coloured them with strong
strokes of grey. But for a few, most
liked these strong women.
What book is
coming from you next?
Best it does the talking when it's out!
Did you think
that they would become as successful as they have become today?
I am overwhelmed at the tremendous response each has
evoked. And am really glad my readers enjoyed them. Surprises are often sweet!