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SHE - Episode 3

Discussion in 'SHE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, May 11, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    A Good Question, Vandhana!

    Dear Vandhana,

    A very good question. Why should I kill Shalini's mom? I love happy stories myself. That was a reason I have not seen Paruthi Veeran though Indhu has seen it twice.

    She even charged me, 'When you write tear-jerkers, why don't you see one?'

    Even now I want to change the course of this story and write a very happy story or atleast a conventionally tragic story, like the one on which the serial Kolangal is based.
    But I have a very bold mission here. To tell the story of a woman who went out in search of her identity. That is life's greatest pilgrimage which we do probably once in a hundred births.

    So long as we are cocooned in the comforts of parental love or happy marriage we may not have any incentive to rock the boat. Or jump from a smooth sailing boat.

    Events like her mother's death make her move in the direction she had chosen for her.

    But in the process of finding her identity she might be losing something else. We can know about that only later.

    That's why I issued a warning that we should not look up to Shalini for answers to our life's problems. Because her solution is on a different level, often not acceptable by us.

    SHE-2 provoked a very embarrassing question from my 20 year old niece. I had to seek time from her to answer the question. I am not sure whether I convinced her. But that question cleared some cobwebs in my mind.
    More about this provocation, if there's somebody interested in.

    regards,
    sridhar
     
  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Ofcourse would love to read about the Provocation from She part 2. If there are enough takers, then do post it here.

    Vandhana
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri Varalotti,

    I join Sudha and Vandhana and decry the death of the loving mother especially at a time when throngs world over are celebrating Mother's Day! But from your answers earlier, you are hapless as it was written ahead. Well, maybe everything has a hidden reason, maybe reading it made us all more aware as to how important a mother in Everyone's life is.
    And that brings me back to this compelling girl, Shalini. A hot and stubborn girl with a mind of her own. Maybe losing her mother the way she has will shape her future and some of her decisions. I shall wait and follow her escapades along with all your other fans. That she is going to lead an adventurous life is very obvious from the many warnings you have given us.
    It was a shame to read that her mother gives up on life just at the thought of her daughter's misery. I should be saying how sweet and loving she is. But for some reason, it only vexes me. Of course, life and death is not in anyone's hands, but she sure comes across as a very weak mom. The character could have been different. My first criticism, please take it kindly:) Being a dedicated mom, I could not identify with her.
    Shiva, on the other hand, is a welcome father figure. I sincerely hope that Shiva is not too blinded by his love and realizes that unbridled freedom can lead children to many blunders.
    Your writing style for SHE is markedly different Sridhar. You simply glide from one sentence to the other and the language is both simple and sleek. It is a pleasure to read.

    L, Kamla
     
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,

    (You may please revert to the usual form of address: "Dear Sridhar" I have gone through a full circle from sridhar, varalotti, junior, sri, sri varalotti and have come to the original, sridhar. Like the lady who rejects the saree that is first presented to her in the shop and then after ransacking the entire shop settles for the first saree. Sri Varalotti creates a distance which I hate. So please call me sridhar)

    Killing her mother on the eve of mother's day of course was not my game plan. I am happy that you have accepted that part of the explanation.

    Why should the mother be killed? You have by your keen observation answered that question also. "Maybe losing her mother the way she has will shape her future and some of her decisions" is a profound statement made on the storyline.

    The third point is your refusing to identify with Shalini's mother.

    Here first it is my duty to digress from the point and salute the mother in you. As your friend I know what you have gone through. That realisation makes my salutation even more meaningful and humble. On this mother's day, let me have the privilege of wishing the mother-grand and the grand-mother in you, Happy Mother's day.

    Now coming to Lakshmi. She is the polar opposite of Shalini. She is all love and does not even attempt to bother about questions like identity or independence. For her Shiva and Shalini constitute the entire known universe. I have made it clear that she is not worried about Shalini's failure in the CA exam. She is afraid that the failure might provoke Shalini, to even kill herself. It is that fear that overwhelms her heart and finally breaks it. Because she has heard confirmed news from Shalini's boss, that Shalini has failed, she is certain about Shalini's reaction.

    I was the victim of such wrong information regarding CA results. In November 79 I wrote my CA inter. My father's friend who worked for Indian Express had promised to inform the results earlier. It was 3 in the afternoon. My Dad was working for TVS at that time. I was in another unit of TVS, in the outskirts of Madurai, doing my work. (CA Apprenticeship). My father called me on the office phone (no cell phones at that time; even landline connections were few and far between). He started consoling me, "sridhar, I know how hard you studied. Please do not lose heart. If you don't want to study CA any longer, I'll understand. I'll get you a good job. Don't worry."
    I was stunned. "But Dad, why all these?"

    "My friend called me from Indian Express. Your number does not appear in either the First Group or the Second Group."

    I just mumbled something and disconnected. I was furious within. I took the permission of my Senior and rushed to the local office of the Institue where the results were due to arrive.

    There I had a pleasant surprise. They had published the numbers separately : a) those who passed both Groups b) Group 1 pass and c) Group 2 pass. My number was fortunately there in a). The friend had looked into b and c and gave the wrong information.

    But during that 1 hour which I took to travel to the Institute office, anything would have happened to me. Despair, impotent anger and absolute restlessness - I understood the real meaning of these words.

    I reproduced that scene with minor modifications.

    The writing style has improved because now it has been honed by ILites like you. This is my 4th serial and every comment I respond to has an effect on my writing. So I need to thank you and all the ILites for that.
    Thanks for the beautiful response which made me think again on the whole plot.
    Love,
    sridhar
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,
    Will surely post that Question and Answer if there are enough takers.
    sridhar
     
  6. Ushakrishnan64

    Ushakrishnan64 Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,
    Do you have a diary to note down key events in life?? Starting from the preparations for CA exams, all the way upto the results, I could re-live my student days. The office of our CA local chapter unfurled in front of my eyes, with those results sheets deciding our fate! You have set the clock back many years..I felt the same stress level for Shalini as I felt for myself..

    I am still not convinced abt Lakshmi's death:icon_frown: . I am curious to know about the explanations you gave your niece. May be it will answer some of my unasked questions..

    Regards from your professional colleague
    USHA
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Usha,

    When I started my writing career a senior writer counselled me to only write about situations I have lived through or I knew intimately. That's why most of my characters are CAs, like Sethu in The Beauty and The Brain.

    I am very happy that I was able to make a professional colleague relive the memories of her student days. I have described my experience with my CA inter results in an earlier post in this forum. Please read it to go further down the memory lane.

    In those days the marks will arrive about a week later. Rank-announcements will follow suit. After seeing my intermediate results I was asked to go to Trivandrum for audit of the TVS Branch there. Nothing like going on a long camp after you have cleared your Inter.

    Three days into the camp my father (who was working for TVS Madurai) called me at the Trivandrum Branch. He just said, "I'm proud of you" and made me think a thousand things. And finally said that I have been placed third in the country. That was a very happy moment for me.

    Lakshmi's death has so many lessons in it especially for us parents. Too much attachment especially with the children's welfare weakens one's strengths and as it happens too often, even saps one's life in no time. Many parents are like Lakshmi, treating their wards only as babies and not as grown up ladies, with inherent strengths. This ignorance cost her her life.

    Right now I am famished and Indhu is calling me for lunch. Will post the niece episode after lunch.

    Thank you, dear professional colleague,
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  8. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Yes, please, may I know about the niece episode? Thank you. (This about is the nicest I get, so pls post the niece episode.Thalai vedichidum pol irukku).

    Nice going on SHE-3. I enjoy the way you interweave the past and present in Shalini's life. As always, the story moves without thoyvu, the language is pleasing. Bhesh,bhesh.

    One advantage of being a writer is that the powers of the creator and destroyer are co-vested in you. But why vent your fury on poor Lakshmi and put out a supari on her?

    regards
    Vidya
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    The Niece Episode, At last!

    Dear ILites,

    At last the time has come to reveal the niece episode. My niece is a beautiful girl of 20 doing her final year in Economics in Stella Mary's College, Chennai. As a writer and a speaker I have answered questions and have withstood gruelling interviews from a variety of people. But with the 18 year olds and 20 year olds, I am extra-careful and often take time to think to answer them. Their question are fresh, pointed and have a healthy disregard for the established customs.

    So on Wednesday we were relaxing after dinner my niece asked about the story SHE. She was fascinated by the father-character Shiva and asked many questions on him. She asked me what lines about Shiva were liked by the ILites the most. I told about his offering to buy a Benz garbage truck for his little girl, should she decide to choose garbage collection as her vocation.

    Then she looked straight into my eyes and asked me, "Sridhar mama, are you by any chance like Shiva?"
    It took only a few nanoseconds for me to shout a big NO.
    "Will you allow the same kind of freedom for your daughter?"
    Now I took a few seconds to blurt out, "I am afraid, I wont."
    "Will you allow your daughter to be a garbage truck driver, if she wants to?"
    "Honestly, dear, I don't know."
    "I know your description of that Shiva character is too good. The ladies drool over it. But you are not like him at all. I don't charge you with hyocrisy, but, isn't there some kind of conflict in you? Shiva is of course a fictional character. But when you designed that character, tell me honestly, did you compare yourself with him, at least once? I sense a kind of divide in your mind. Can you explain?"
    "A good question." (The standard "saljappu" phrase to buy time; but in this case I bought time openly). Can you give me a few minutes to organise my thoughts?"
    "Sure."
    A few minutes of uncomfortable silence.
    I cleared my throat and started to talk.
    "Vasini, your observation is right. On the surface there's a conflict. But let me hasten to clarify, that though I am not like Shiva, he is my ideal too. Meaning, one day or other, tomorrow, after 5 years or a hundred births, I wish to be like Shiva. A father who loves, who gives, who cares and above all, who has given enough spaces for his daughter.
    Like you, many readers have complained that many of my characters (Sindhu of Promise, Saradha of The Scar) are impractically ideal characters. But they are meant to be like that. A writer has a bounden duty to depict the ideal in his writing. If I had cast Shiva exactly like me then I would be writing a journal and not a story.
    Writers should not confine themselves to facts. For if they do, they will be no better than the journalists. We do not report;we create.

    Kambar talks about the unimpeachable morality of the Kosala Kingdom. (In his famous verse "Aasaalm puri ainthari vaaliyum..."). Not that every one in the Kingdom was that good. But that was the poet's ideal.

    The world is not starved of facts. In fact we have too many of them. The world is actually starved of ideals. A writer's duty is to provide them in his own way.
    Shiva is thus an ideal for every father. Not only I am not like Shiva. I do not know any father who is like that. And I have owned up to my daughter (and who herself knows very well) that I am no way comparable to Shiva."

    Did I see a look of clarity or more confusion in my niece's eyes? I don't know. She said that we could continue the discussion later.

    Now I want to know about what you think of this.

    Regards,
    sridhar
     
  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    A thinking niece of a thinking uncle indeed:)

    Sridhar, as a writer, if you did not have the fantasy to dream and create fathers such as Shiva, the world would be a drab place indeed. If every writer wrote only the reflections of his own life, then why write? I like the way you stood up honestly to your niece instead of painting a false but glamorous uncle for the benefit of her pleasure. Besides, she would have seen through it anyways:)
    But now, you can look up to your own creation and may be the one who will profit out of it will be Preethi!

    L, Kamla
     
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