BOOK Gynaecologist Eva Bell, from Mangalore, writes fictionalised stories of real-life incidents she’s seen through her life and career
Eva Bell always wanted to write but, “My father didn’t allow it. He said I must have a profession.” She went on to do medicine and became a leading gynaecologist but her dream to write never died and she continued to write. “I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. It was difficult but I even wrote in medical college. In fact my novels are all set in the places I worked in and are based on the people I met. And now that I’ve retired, I am writing all the time. My children have been my the biggest support system. They encouraged me to retire and pursue my passion, full time.”
Children’s books too
Her latest novel, Runaway Widow which tells the tale of Tara, a child widow who flees from the narrow confines of her village to Bombay also has an autobiographical element to it.
“I am from Mangalore and spent the last years of my professional life there. Though it has been fictionalised, the book is actually based on my own family. The widow is actually my cousin and much of the content in the book, including child marriage and demon worship, actually happens.”
In addition to this one, she has also written three other books, two children’s books, two e-books and two non-fiction, in addition to several short-stories and articles that have appeared in various publications. Although she bases her books on a variety of settings, including a war-front, hospital ward, villages, and big cities, what remains common is the sort of protagonist she creates. “I always write in the voice of a woman and the women I create are always strong. I find it easier to write in that voice because my whole professional life has been with women and I think that inherently we are all bound together,” she says. “I am not a rabid feminist but I do believe that women should get a better deal. Economics is often the reason why women are so badly off; they are overtly dependent of their husbands and have no say in the management of the house. Earning power makes a lot of difference.”
On her future plans she says, “My next book is the story of children who have been adopted from India by Germans. When they grow up they want to go back to the country of their origin and meet their biological parents. But it is very difficult to find the parents — there is a secrecy clause and no one wants to get involved.”
She confirms that this newest story is also based on actual facts, “These are stories taken from my own hospital where 30 children were adopted by Germans. My daughter lives in Germany so I go there from time to time and I get to meet these children.”