'Women can't speak about their physical desires freely, anywhere'

Sita’s Curse, written by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, has been making waves in the country for its controversial and erotic content. The book was recently launched in the city. In a candid chat with the guide, the author opens up about her inspiration for this subject and the basis of this tale of love, longing, and sexuality

Q. What prompted you to write this book?
A. While working in Mumbai, I used to spot a lady in a balcony every day on my way to work. I was fascinated by her appearance and personality. I used to talk about her physicality and sensuousness with my colleagues. This woman inspired me to write this novel. My protagonist is a middle-aged Gujarati housewife Meera Patel, who’s fearless in seeking the fulfillment of her desires — both emotional and physical. I have touched upon factors like marital rape, sex and physical desires through this story, which are still taboo topics in India. The story is much deeper; erotica is just the language to express and carry the story forward.

Sreemoyee Kundu, the author of Sita’s Curse

Q. Given the Indian society, talking about Indian women’s desires must have been a little tough?
A. Up to an extent, yes. But I think it’s not limited to Indian women only. The journey of women all around the world is the same. No matter whether she is an Indian, African or American, employed, or a housewife; she has to face some kind of struggle in her life. Women can’t speak about their physical desires freely, anywhere. In India, too, our conditioning is such that we hide our desires and I think, that is the root cause of several problems. Women should stand up for what they feel.

Sita’s Curse, Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, Hachette India, Rs 350. Available at all bookstores.

Q. How easy or difficult is it to write an erotic novel as a female author?
A. I have mainly gathered positive responses but there was one negative experience related to this book. Long ago while writing the book, I had posted a paragraph from this book on my Facebook wall. I had expressed how a woman has equal rights to express her physical desires, etc. After reading that, a well known publication’s editor from Delhi, got very angry and wrote a mail to me asking how could I talk about a woman like this. For me, it was shocking to know that a liberated man thinks like that. This is actually a reflection of repression and male chauvinism. But I take such criticism in my stride. It’s not easy for men either to write this sort of a book. Men are equally suppressed as women in this matter.

Q. What’s next after this book?
A. I am planning to edit an anthology of erotic series. Then my fifth novel, Rahula, will come out, which is a political thriller. Many think that it is inspired by the journey of Rahul Gandhi, but it is actually inspired by Gautam Buddha’s son, Rahula. Set in the contemporary era, the novel will surely be loved by readers.

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