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Jul 02, 2020, 02:47 PM IST

Kritika Pandey of Ranchi, Jharkhand has been awarded the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020 for the Asia Region. Kritika, 29, was given the honor under an online ceremony.

For this, Chief Minister Hemant Soren tweeted and congratulated him. We talked to Kritika and got to know the things related to her life which many girls in our society face everyday:

Since childhood, I wanted to know everything that is often denied in homes. When my mother would wear the veil as soon as Papa’s elder brother came, the question would come to my mind again and again as to why she does this. Why do I have to say yes to everything from the people of the house? Why can’t I refuse them?

Why can’t I touch that sweeper, so every week comes to clean the toilet of the house. There has hardly been a day when my parents have told me not to do this and do not do this or not.

I belong to a joint family where it is forbidden to talk to boys and wear sweatless clothes. Among all these, one of my best friends since childhood was the books of literature. There was absolutely no atmosphere in our house to play cricket or go for a walk. In such a situation, I became friends with books.

I lived in a joint family since childhood. I studied engineering while living here. It was during the study that the pressure of marriage came from the family. At the age of 22, my father wanted me to get married and settle down. But I continued to insist on going abroad and did the same.

Anyway, it is expected from girls of small towns in our country that they become engineers or doctors. After that make money and get married.

After engineering, when I talked about making a career in literature at home, my father explained that literature can be a hobby. But one can never make a career in this field. But I proved my father’s thinking wrong by winning the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

I graduated in Fine Arts for Poets and Writers from the University of Massachusetts this year. After completing my studies, I am currently waiting for the lockdown to open so that I can return to my country.

I want to come to teaching here. Also these days I am busy writing my new novel.

I learned the nuances of writing from Professor Ocean Wong. They taught me to polish the language. I believe that no writer knows how to write because he always writes the way he wants to.

I think that writing is the most difficult work in the world that I will always do.

You can reduce your stress by writing during the corona period. This is one way that will help you relax.

Those who are patient corona positive and currently hospitalized can also keep themselves busy by writing. You can bring your experiences to the whole world through this art.

As far as the matter of small town girls is concerned, I want to tell these girls that the whole world wants to know your story. Develop your writing skills and start writing.

Like me, other Indian girls may also become the next contenders for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Literature is a medium which can change the thinking of people at home and society. Girls who live in conservative families can find a new way for themselves and other children of the family by creating an atmosphere of reading and writing at home.

I think reading is a discovery. By walking on this path, you can learn to take risks in life and fulfill your dreams.

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