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Changing tide

R. R.
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Book Subhashini Dinesh’s novel talks about a young woman’s struggle to find her own place in a rapidly changing India of the 90s

Maya Srinivasan is a gutsy journalist working to carve a niche for herself in the world of journalism while struggling to cope with a tyrannical father and family pressure to ‘settle down’. Set in Kolkata and Chennai, Maya Srinivasan is a reflection of her creator Subhashini Dinesh. The journalist-turned-author’s debut novel My Iron Wings talks about a young woman’s struggle to find space in the world at a time when it was changing rapidly.

Based on Subhashini’s own experiences and memories of the Kolkata she grew up in, the book is a fictionalised account of life in the 90s.

Through her book, Subhashini relives her days as a journalist before she switched to teaching. “Based in Calcutta and Madras, it’s a story of confusion, struggle and rebellion… and of the two cities that are close to my heart,” she says.

When asked about how similar Subhashini is to Maya, she says, “While I will not completely de-link myself from the character, I must admit that a lot of the story is from my imagination. I worked with The Telegraph in the late 90s and that was a time when there was a lot of confusion. The economy was opening up in a big way and we were looking for more than just jobs… we wanted careers. So there is a little bit of me in the character.”

The book also explores changes in the field of journalism, she adds. In the meantime, Subhashini is planning a second book. “I have some ideas for another book. I’m yet to begin crystallising them, but I’d definitely want to write more,” she smiles.

R. R.

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