Writer and activist Sharika Sharma talks about her new book and her efforts to preserve wildlife heritage

Sunday, 5 January 2014 - 8:49am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Sharika Sharma was born into a political family (daughter of Captain Satish Sharma) however she decided to chart her own path which was full of milestones of creativity and efforts to address social causes. The talented lady in an exclusive talk about her new literary creation.

Early interest in writing
Sharika was one of those teenagers who kept a diary.  “After two years and one hundred pages, I burned it. I was afraid it would fall into the wrong hands. That meant everyone or anyone’s hands.  Though I did English Literature at school and minored in English at college, I was not serious in class. Even then, I had an uncanny attraction to writing.  I secretly tried to write stories in my free time,” she recalls.  

On returning from college, for a short while, she became a freelance writer.  She wrote a couple of articles on the latest discoveries in archaeology (one of which was on the largest jar discovered in India!  It belonged to King Akbar.  The jar stored his Ganga water, which was the only kind he drank, and bathed in).    

Television stint
Thereafter, Sharika got into television production, where she met her husband. “Then too, I was writing, scripts. It was all good practice, for the ultimate decision of writing a book, which happened after I gave birth to my two children, Ronin (5), and Ryan (4).  I was searching for some kind of creative outlet that would keep me close to home, and would yet stimulate my creative juices. Already, for long, my husband, my mother, and a close friend had been encouraging me to write a book.  Their belief gave me confidence,” she shares.  

Unravelling the book
Sharika’s creation is the coming-of-age story of three contemporary Indian women.  “It tracks the progression and regression of their lives through an urban Indian landscape and social milieu. The story explores the consequences of the choices each woman makes in the context of her own life, when confronted by similar issues.

Though the women are not related, their lives touch-and-go, converging and diverging as their respective stories move forward. The book comes to an end when each woman reaches her prime, which ultimately represents the sum total of all her decisions taken till then,” she shares. 

“The story is not concerned with the choices we make, but the motivations behind our choices, the pertinent question of choice being the why, rather than the what. It is about how the motivations behind our choices, rather than the choices themselves, create the blueprints of our lives.  And whilst doing so, the book addresses the problem women generally face today in the modern competitive world, of knowing when to shift gears, from career to wedlock, from wedlock to motherhood. It deals, primarily, with that short window of time within which women are expected, or compelled by their own biology, to make the most important decisions of their lives.  The theme, thereby, is universally appealing, and highly relevant,” she adds.

Husband and I
“My husband and I both have creative careers. That gives us a lot to talk about when we do get together. It enriches our relationship. We don’t get sick of each other. Not being around each other all the time makes us value our time together all the more,” she says.

Efforts for wildlife resurrection
“There is one dream project I have started giving much attention to, and that is what I call, The All India Institute for Specialized Veterinary Medicine. It is high time India takes responsibility of its wildlife, like South Africa and other animal-rich regions of the world.

We have tigers, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros, gharials, the Indian black bear, fox, langoors, deer, and the list goes on.  There is so much to be gained from it. Only when we preserve our wildlife heritage, can we preserve ourselves. If its money we care for, India can make millions from eco tourism. But one needs animals for that. I am currently formulating a core team, and conducting research on how other nations are systematically going about preserving their wildlife. The formation of this Institute is my long-term plan.

The writing of books will continue alongside,” she signs off.


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