Discovering a new edge of writing in Anita Krishan

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It is sad but true. What it makes sad is that many good new Indian authors writing in English remain undiscovered, as if imprisoned them in a closet. Anita Krishan is one among them. Jyaneswar Laishram from All About Book Publishing discovers this threebook- old author from Shimla, now residing in Delhi-NCR, whose work is tantamount to classic literary pieces, deeply touching, sensitive, hilarious and unpretentious. Of the three books of Anita Krishan published by Finger Print is Fluffy and Me, the latest and a memoir, revolving around a period of the author’s life when she was growing up from a little girl to a young woman, all along with a selfless canine companion named Fluffy. It was Fluffy that animated the laid back life of Betu, nickname of Anita at home, whose house was located on the Observatory Hill, near The Mall in Shimla. “I have two sisters and a brother, all of them elder to me; I was often asked to buzz off whenever I tried to join their gossips they had at home with their visiting friends,” remembers Anita. This was a sheer reason why she desperately needed for a friend of her kind. Betu was contended in her solitary exploration of pine forests, deodars on the lofty mountains, but felt the lack of a close companion. Things took a big turn one dull evening when she received an unexpected phone call from a friend of his father, who agreed to give her a Lhasa Apso pup that was on the way and thus began the true story of the undying friendship between a girl and a selfless doggie. With loads of adventures, nasty tricks and walks in wilderness, bond between Betu and Fluffy grew deeper than imagined as they gradually glided from innocence to maturity. This heart-warming true story takes readers down to the journey full of laughter, fun, fear, and finally tears.

Anita KrishanDogs live short lives! It is pretty sure for readers, in the middle of Fluffy and Me, to worry about Fluffy to be gone leaving Betu behind. Contrary to it, sadness in the story cropped up when Betu got engaged, her marriage date fixed and she finally had to leave Fluffy behind. On a mid-winter morning, Betu’s last day at her home, clouds gathered strength and afternoon became dark, soon snowflakes showered. She knew she would miss Fluffy terribly. She unsuccessfully tried her best effort to swallow the painful lump in her throat. After all, she had no choice but to leave her childhood companion to where he belonged, Shimla, when she got married to a gentleman from Chandigarh.

“Months after marriage I visited my Shimla home often; Fluffy greeted me with the same enthusiasm, but my mother said that he had not been the same ever since I had left home,” said Anita, adding that Fluffy had lost much interest in things, sat listlessly most of the time. Fluffy died one fine morning, in Betu’s absence. Her brother drove down to Chandigarh, to deliver Anita the news of Fluffy’s demise. “When my friend was gone, uncontrolled tears swelled in my eyes, which I swallowed… I was not supposed to cry over a noble and fearless friend,” Anita says. One day Betu took her two babies up the hill where located the resting place of Fluffy. She watched the dying radiance of crimson aura in the sundown horizon in thought of the departed friend.

Sweet narration

Anita’s love of nature is vividly portrayed in Fluffy and Me. Her narration is simple, sweet and moving in a flowing literary style. She has unique storytelling perspective. Born in Shimla in 1955 and brought up reading Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Rand, among others, Anita worked as an educator for twenty-five years, introducing English literature to young learners, before she settled to devote fulltime to writing, her ultimate passion. Such journey of her on the literary lane led her to write and direct plays, pen down poems, stories and novels.

In the year 2007, after her years of romance with literature, Anita was fully triggered to write her first book Running Up The Hills, followed by Tears of Jhelum in 2014 and Fluffy and Me in 2015. Apart from writing, being an original native of tranquil nature of the Himalayan suburb, she is exceedingly cognizant about environment; she has spearheaded a number of initiatives/workshops that condition children to care and nurture for their future. Her love of nature, mankind and animals is reflected in her writing, whether it could be Fluffy and Me or the others.

A sequel soon

Though it will not be a part continued from where it ended, a sequel of her second book Tears of Jhelum is now in the production process. Tears of Jhelum revolves around the story of the years of social and political turmoil in Kashmir and Wali Mohammad Khan has been a silent spectator to it. Every bit of terrorism unleashed in the valley was as senseless as the people who propagated it with manic intensity, but Wali managed a seemingly normal life for himself and his family, naively believing the terror would never touch him or the ones he loved.

Tears of Jhelum is written in a sensitively poignant narrative, about victims of terrorism whose heartbreaking stories are lost forever behind the smokescreen of apathy and indifference. “All these conflicts, hostility are created only by some chauvinists for their personal and political gains. Otherwise people all over the world love peace,” conveys Anita, who travelled extensively across the globe with her husband, attending conferences and meeting people of diverse nationalities.

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