India Today The Arts

India Today issue dt December 13, 1999
Dec 13, 1999


Maitreyi Pushpa, 55


What's she doing here? Give her a break, the housewife started late. In the past nine years, Maitreyi Pushpa has become the urgent voice of blood, sweat and tears fiction about Bundelkhand and its people -- especially the trodden but strong-willed women -- breaking convention, setting rules, packing five novels and three collections of short stories. Idannamum and Chaak are novels of note.

Pushpa pushes the boundaries stubbornly studying up to Class X in a region rife with child marriages and female subjugation. She freely accepts that she was influenced by noted writer Renu but insists she's an original, drawing from the Bundelkhandis. While critic Sudhish Pachauri agrees, he says her writings so far have been "limited to the realm of experiences, the power of ideology has been lacking." He says the literature of the next century "will not be guided only by personal experiences and relations -- woman writers will have to define womanhood." Pushpa knows it. She's working on it.

-Ashok Kumar




Living Media India Ltd