‘Balika Vadhu’ co-writer pens first novel

Mumbai, April 10 (Calcutta Tube) TV script-writer Gajra Kottary, who has written screenplays of popular serials like ‘Astitva’, ‘Balika Vadhu’ and ‘Jyoti’, has now come out with her maiden English novel titled ‘Broken Melodies’, about the life of an adolescent girl and the struggles of living in a dysfunctional family.

‘I had already done short stories and I had done stories and screenplays for my serials, so novel writing was something that I wanted to do to challenge myself as a writer. I was very sure that I wouldn’t embark on writing one until I was really passionate about a particular story.

‘For this novel, the entire story crystallised for me around three years ago and that’s when I decided to do something and get into the pattern and the discipline of writing a novel,’ Kottary told IANS.

Kottary, who has written two short story collections in the past, took around two-and-a-half years to finish ‘Broken Melodies’, which was launched by actor Anupam Kher at the Landmark bookstore here.

‘The story is about this young girl who is growing up in the Delhi of the 1970s and 80s. She has a dysfunctional family, a family where everything is well provided for but there is so much discord between the parents that it affects both the children – she and her elder sister. What the family goes through and what impact it has on this growing child, the story is about that,’ she explained.

Kottary, who has been writing scripts for more than a decade now, has mainly dealt with women issues in her shows. So was it a conscious decision to have a women-oriented story for her novel as well?

‘It’s definitely not conscious, but I can say that perhaps I am more sensitised towards women issues and women relationships than I am to men. But it does not mean that I do not attempt to understand men, because at the end of the day, its relationships with the men or with the family which is of interest to me as a writer.

‘In television, we are a little more inclined towards women, just like in cinema, it is more about men. So having written for television a lot, I guess my connection with women issues or relationships is much stronger than with men. But having said that, since I write about relationships, I have tried to be very fair and unbiased in terms of my interpretation of men in this story,’ she added.

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