I am an Indian woman. I am proud to be an Indian woman, 65 years old, completely involved in my work as journalist, film scholar and author. I have been freelancing for 30 years and though the upward climb has not been easy, I am still here.

My areas of interest are gender issues, media, Indian cinema, television, culture, human rights and child rights. I switched from a full-time career in teaching Economics in school and college to full-time freelance journalism. I am a self-taught scholar in gender and in Indian cinema which I recently capped with a Ph.D. in History (Indian Cinema). I have singly authored 16 published books of which five are on gender, seven are on Indian cinema, three are short story collections and one is on urban history. I have also contributed to edited books on gender, cinema, literature and so on.

I am eagerly looking forward to becoming a journalist contributor to PulseWire. I am triggered off by any new idea that touches cinema and gender and often mix the two to create articles on feminist film studies. I am also motivated by current happenings such as how terrorist attacks affect women as victims of sexual violence and the fact that the media chooses to marginalise these.

On the personal front, I am married for 43 years and have had a relatively stable married life with its usual ups and downs. I have one daughter, 38, who is working, married and has an eight-year-old son, Ishaan, who adds a lot of sound and colour to our routine lives from time to time.

All this sounds very 'successful' and 'smug' but the reality is not so smooth and beautiful. I was married at 21, to a man arranged by the parents of either family, and was just a graduate prepared to settle down to happy domesticity. But things changed because my husband egged me on to complete my studies though there were objections from his family and so, right through my life, I have filled it with educating myself both formally and informally with long breaks every now and then. I love net surfing and have picked a lot of learning about women in other countries and even wrote a book GENDER AND CONFLICT, covering conflict areas and how these conflict affect women in 21 countries across the world.

It was economic necessity that pushed me to take up a paid teaching job and I never knew what turn my life would take. Looking back, I have taken the rough and tumble of life and career, not always with a smile but it has been worth it. I still strive to achieve something higher and more meaningful because, in my philosophy, progress and dreams do not end and should never end. I constantly apply for fellowships, scholarships, contests and prizes and am confident, that if I apply for 20 different fellowships, I will not win 19 but one should definitely come my way.

That, in short, is all about my life and my interests.


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