Sukrita Paul Kumar

An extract from the introduction by Sukrita Paul Kumar:

sukritaLiterature, I believe, becomes creative only when it makes use of “freedom” to unmask the “reality” of the lie constructed over it. That is, the writer commits to exploring the “truth” of an experience by stripping it of prejudice and pretension. The text then becomes as open to varied interpretations as life-experience itself. The validity of multiple truths of the text is established by the fact that each reader receives the text through his/her own baggage of cultural experience. One bias that cannot be exorcised easily is that of “gender,” something that is constructed through the process of socialization from one’s infanthood. Listening, reading and writing stories is a crucial means of confronting the truth of building these biases as well as shedding them.…

On what basis do women understand men or men understand women? Most of it is based on the perceptions that emerge out of the roles that are supposed to be played out as father-mother, brother-sister, husband-wife, mother-son etc., given the conditioning received through the highly male-centric societies. Relationships are defined and even dictated by patriarchal precepts. But then, we all know that the understanding of the inherent complexity of inter-personal gender relationships cannot be acquired by the reductive notions of stereotypical male-female binaries. It is the sensitive, ironic, and perceptive vision that is capable of making the writer see through the complexity. The writer builds a variety of cues into the text for a more realistic reflection of the same. It is in this context, it is suggested, that the concept of androgyny be examined and the complexity of male and female characters be confronted more squarely. Rather than constantly looking at “heroes” as “codified” heroes in accordance strictly with the male perception, we ought to pay more attention to the consciousness of women writers writing on men and perhaps overturning some precepts totally. The witnessing female consciousness of the writer is bound to see what is not ordinarily accessible to others. This is where the value of a book such as Ms. Aligned has a role to play, not so much in working out a theoretical or ideological treatise but in attempting to point out the “real.”