There are ruminations about three generations of women, and how they inhibit the space around them in Three Women in a Single-Room House, the titular poem of K Srilata’s collection of poetry published by Sahitya Akademi.
“I grew up in a household with no patriarchal figure, and I was used to this world. It is not a conscious choice, but I dip into this world over and over in my writing. I look at what the joys are in being a part of this world and the challenges that arise,” she said. At the launch of her poetry book hosted by Prakriti Foundation, Srilata was in conversation with Vaishna Roy, Editor, Frontline, where they delved into the themes that her newest book encompasses.
“There is a sort of tension and shock when you are received differently, when you go out into the world and find out that it isn’t like the space you grew up in. A lot of my work perhaps, comes from this tension,” Srilata said, speaking about her collection of poetry.
Inter-generational stories of trauma, survival, and resilience all find a place in Srilata’s writing, which is intimate and draws from her myriad experiences. When asked by Vaishna about how the concept of memories features in the writing, Srilata described how there is an attempt to process and understand things that have happened many years ago. “Sometimes, in this reshaping, you reimagine these memories and there is an emotional truth but not necessarily a factual truth,” Srilata said.
Three Women in a Single-Room House is Srilata’s sixth collection of published poetry, and one that is described as ‘intimate and heart-warming, luminous manuals for living’. Vaishna brings up another recurrent theme in Srilata’s poetry – absence, and the idea of missing things.
“My poems are trying to grasp at an ‘almost nothingness’ that I am trying to arrive at. There are so many experiences that I struggle to find words for, which is ironic given that I am a writer,” she laughs. “This is why I write, as I try to deal with the absence of words with words.”
Three Women in a Single-Room House is priced at ₹100 and available on amazon.in