‘I realised I don’t have to become that cancer just because I have it’

Anita Kumar 48, artist-Author

Were you inclined towards writing since an early age?
As a child I had an inclination for words and I often admired writers. Funnily enough, sometimes when my daughters pushed their homework towards me, they’d end up scoring an A grade on the synopsis and essays that I had written for them. It gave me a confidence in my writing. During the three years between my separation and divorce, I experienced a flurry of emotions. I poured them into articles to let women know that every ending has a new beginning. This led to my first book, Turning the Page.
From personal accounts of spirituality to writing Delhi: Anything Goes, a fiction, what marked the transition?
After the first two books were published, my friends joked about the change they saw in my demeanour. I don’t think of myself as someone who is serious all the time, so I was a bit offended and began looking for something that brings out the humour in me. Writing a novel about Delhi’s elite crowd helped me strike a balance between the spiritual and the social. Versatility, I believe, is good and therefore I don’t like to be categorised in one particular genre.
Any personal instances which helped you write the book?
I could write about the Page 3 crowd because I have been a part of it. I understand their activities and psychology. It is not a judgmental account but merely a nudge, telling people that maybe awakening isn’t a bad idea. You see people running away from themselves, harbouring a deep sense of insecurity and their thoughts are occupied with the next best party. The book is merely an attempt to say that’s there’s more to life than this.
All your works have a recurrent theme of detachment. What does it mean to you?
Detachment is a journey. You become a spectator and learn from your experiences without getting emotionally involved in them. This way you enter the room of forgiveness and there’s no scope for regret. It requires you to take a step back and view things from an objective perspective. My battle with breast cancer taught me that I don’t have to become that cancer just because I have it. It helps you look at life in a light hearted manner and not wallow in self-pity.