New Delhi: Why are the
stories she writes so sad? That is a question even Ruskin Bond
asked her. Author Mona Verma, who is ready with her second book,
says pain is the most intense emotion and real people are not
afraid of accepting their pain.
"My characters are based on real people, and real people are not
ashamed to accept their pain...Real people accept their mistakes,
correct them, and of course, pain is the most intense emotion,"
Verma, who explores the pain of a little girl in her upcoming book
"God Is A River", told IANS.
Her first self-published book "Bridge To Nowhere", a collection of
short stories, was launched last year by Ruskin Bond and won much
acclaim from critics. The noted author had put the same question
"When I took my first book to Ruskin Bond, I asked him if he liked
my book and told him that I wanted him to launch it...," Verma
"It was a small room with lots of books and his Padma Shri was
there. Then he asked, 'you have such a nice smile, why the stories
are so sad?'," she recalled. She had then replied, "Our lives are
like wet sunshine, sometimes we don't want to reflect".
To Verma's delight, Ruskin Bond agreed to launch her book. "I held
my husband's hand and said let's leave before he changes his
mind," she laughed.
Her new book, being published by Prakash Books, is a novel set in
pre-independence India. The book starts at the turn of the 19th
century, weaving a story that blends history, events and fiction
"There are incidents in the book which retell stories I heard from
my grandparents about partition," said Verma, who is settled in
The story is spun around 'zamindar' patriarch Kulbhushan, his
domestic help and caretaker Naaz bibi, and her daughter Noor.
"Belonging to different religions, their survival under the same
roof when the country was sensitive to the slightest provocation
was rather cumbersome. The mistakes that Kulbhushan makes come
back to him after years," she said.
The name of the book itself reflects the innocence of intention
that lies within.
The pain of little Noor's life is that her mother, a
speech-impaired, cannot speak to her. The innocent child asks a
Sufi saint who god is and from the explanation she gets, she
concludes that god is a river, flowing eternally. Little does she
know that this simple definition will land her in trouble with
rioters who mistake her religious identity.
Born and brought up by her grandparents in the serene and
spiritual Haridwar, Verma says she developed a keen interest in
reading and writing as they did not have television at home.
"My grandfather brought lots of books for me," she said with a
Left in her grandparents' care as her parents settled in Britain,
Verma, however, moved to Delhi to do her graduation from Lady Shri
Ram College. But she decided to go back to Haridwar for her
grandparents. She now stays there with her husband, a teenaged
daughter and son.
"Making them feel proud is the biggest satisfaction for me," she
says. "At the end of the day, you don't have to go laughing your
way to the bank, you must go to sleep with a smile," she added.
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