Ever wondered how writers choose to develop a woman’s character? Are women thoughtfully written in stories these days? How do you show the world that a woman suffering from depression can be both bold and sincere at the same time? What makes a writer weave magic with her words when writing a strong woman’s journey through mental health problems? Preeti Shenoy was in conversation with Shinie Antony at the Women’s Writers Fest in Mumbai about the women in her writing.

In her new book Wake Up, Life is Calling, bestselling author, Preeti Shenoy conveys a thought-provoking narrative of a woman’s journey towards self-discovery.

Starting the discussion by first narrating the lines from the book, Shenoy talked about the protagonist Ankita, who has fought a mental disorder and survived two suicide attempts. “Everyday we talk about different issues in life but when it comes to mental health problems and how to take charge, everyone seems to become skeptical,” Shenoy said.

“It’s all taboo. It’s all hushed up. There’s still this stigma attached to mental health. It is still not openly talked about, even though it is necessary and highly recommended.”

She further added saying, “Celebrities these days are creating an example and past few years are the proof of open discussion around mental health. Deepika Padukone started the change by talking about her battle with depression but how many of us actually got inspired?”

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“The reason many of us won’t talk about depression is that it puts us in a weak spot. We need help and no one wants to look weak. The fact is that all of us, at some point in our lives, need help, to clear out thoughts, to clear the mind-gaps. We need a respite from our cyclical thoughts since very often these thoughts are what’s defeat us, and Ankita is no different,” she added.

“My book chronicles the journey of a woman who fought bipolar disorder and got back to normal life. Just when she thought her world is changed and she would be okay, more issues came running towards her. She then takes charge of her life. There is a little bit of Ankita in all of us. Many try to suppress the pain by managing to escape the thoughts with maybe alcohol or another form of abuse. They don’t really face their demons. But the problems remain same,” she further adds.

“The women in Preeti’s books are so relevant in the practical world. They all exist in reality,” Shinie Antony told to the audience.

“There’s a thin line between normalcy, abnormalcy and creativity. Each one of us is weird in our own way. We may not have control over what happened to us or how we are raised, we can take charge of what could happen in the future ahead. Stop being so hard on yourself and start loving the life,” Shenoy hails.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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