Short story writer and teacher of English literature Hiranmayee Mishra who was awarded Kanhei Katha Puraskar 2018 for her contribution to Odia literature Wednesday was born to novelist Madan Mohan Mishra and Anusaya Mishra. Orissa POSTinteracts with her at her Bhubaneswar residence to know more about her creative pursuits and future plans.
What is the muse behind Hiranmayee?
From my childhood, I was fond of my father’s collection of books. I was very happy with the collection he had and books authored by him really inspired me to be a short story writer.
Your first recognition as an author?
My brush with pen started quite early. But I got recognition as a writer with my maiden story anthology Golap Pain Chithitie’. Nilasaila Organisation in Cuttack selected the work as the ‘Best Story’. Later, I concentrated on writing poems.
How do you get your subjects and themes?
I am a very practical person who believes in modern thoughts though I respect traditional values. My stories are based on modern relationships and its complexities and gender justice among other things. Being a student of gender studies in England, I have witnessed gender inequality even in those so-called western countries. The topic has shaken me so much that I tried to pen down those feelings.
What was your feeling when you received the Kanhei Katha award?
An award makes you more responsible. Readers expect greater commitment. So all I can say that I am happy and excited. If the reader loves your creation, that’s your real award.
How do you balance between your career and literary pursuit?
For me writing is like Oxygen, I can’t survive if I don’t write. It’s a mode of expressing my emotions through characters and situations. Currently, I am working as a director of Centre for Women’s Studies under a UGC project. However, I do find my space and time to write books.
What are the paths one must adopt to be a good writer?
Writers must be conversant with classical literature in order to write better. Besides studying books, I write for journals. It’s the personal experience and pain that helps one to write better with time. I find Bengali literature equally rich like Odia literature.
Your future plans?
I never plan, as I believe in spontaneity. If I find some subject interesting I write about it. However, unconventional and soul-stirring subjects attract me to write.