BHUBANESWAR : What is common to Kavita Kane, Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and Satyarth Nayak? They have all been full-time journalists and consumed by their passion for writing, they have all churned out best-sellers.
Kavita found her calling in mythology; Sangeeta demolished the stereotyping of women in Bengali literature by writing about hardcore sexuality while Satyarth, after his history-meets-mystery works, is exploring the canvas of thriller.
When the trio got together on stage at Odisha Literary Festival (OLF)-2014 to discuss 'New Voices of Indian Literature', their share of experience in the literary scenario was bound to be vibrant yet unique.
Sangeeta, whose fictions 'Panty' and 'Hypnosis' dealt with dark and intense desires of women, revealed how her writing is aimed at capturing the individuality of women. "The graphic description was to explore sexual politics - not the performance of sex as is attempted in the past - from a woman's perspective," she said.
If her attempt was to break the barriers of conventional minds, Kavita delved into modernisation of mythological characters which have been largely untold. Her best-selling book 'Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen' was about Uruvi, wife of the Mahabharat's tragic hero Karna. "Her is a modern voice. In today's world, she would have walked off after the disrobing of Draupadi but she does not. The story is told as the moral confrontations of a modern woman. Like in today's life of hate and violence, she is forgiving and the conscience keeper," she said.
Satyarth, whose latest ‘Emperor’s Riddles’ has gone into re-print after being a runaway success, said although not many write whodunits, it is an emerging genre in India and will trend. He, however, felt that young aspiring writers are capable but they are aping the West. "I went to a workshop recently and found good writing but most stories had their setting in the West. We have enough resources in terms of culture and we need not look to the West," he said. Moderating the session, Sujit Mahapatra, who is championing the culture of reading in the State, said the arrival of new voices with newer perspectives have enriched the literary scenario. Like each of past decade since the 1980s has heralded an epoch in Indian writing, he said, this decade may see such a creation.
How has journalism influenced their writing? "There is a journalist in every writer," Sangeeta said. Kavita felt journalistic writing teaches discipline and objectivity, while Satyarth revealed that research for his work comes from his grinding as a TV journalist.