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Knit India Through Literature Volume 3 - The West (Knit India Through Literature Volume 3 - The West)

About Knit India Through Literature Volume 3 - The West :

It was my intention to publish this third volume of the ‘Knit India through Literature' project, compiling works from Konkani, Marathi, Gujarati and Sindhi languages which are spoken in Western India, in the year 2002. There are three primary reasons why this did not happen. The first reason was that I was actively involved in serialising my novels on Madras Doordarshan and Sun TV, which were received very well by the public and even won the Best Serial awards.

With a view to adding to the glory of the Tamil language, I went about the task of compiling the best short stories of sixty senior Tamil writers, the unique feature of which was that the short stories were selected as their best by the respective writers themselves, and publishing them in two volumes. This is the second reason. There is yet another reason, which I shall come to later.

Although both the earlier mentioned tasks were accomplished in a most satisfactory manner, I was really unhappy because my attention was diverted and that resulted in the progress of the ‘Knit India through Literature’ project being delayed. Anyway, the last two years events have proved to me that my decision not to write fiction, which would certainly divert and occupy my time, for the past ten years, ever since I started work on the 'Knit India through Literature’ project, is indeed right. However, at this juncture when this volume compiling the Western languages is ready for release, it heartens me that I have already finished my interviews with the Punjabi writers and begun preliminary work on the Kashmiri language as well. This gives me hope that my volume on the North Indian languages will be released as per schedule.

As I sit down to write the preface for this volume, my thoughts go back to the pain of a loss - the sad and sudden demise of Sri. G.K. Moopanar - that I suffered two years ago. It was the Late G.K. Moopanar who was a great source of encouragement to me and proclaimed at the launch of the 'Knit India through Literature’ project, that my victory was his own. His support was not merely verbal and in fact he supported the publishing of the first volume of ‘Knit India through Literature’ financially and also bought three hundred copies of the volume and distributed them to school libraries at free of cost. I wish to acknowledge his contribution at this stage and also pray that his blessings will help me bring out the fourth volume successfully too.

I have already elaborated in the prefaces to the earlier volumes, the difficulties encountered in going and meeting the different language writers in their own homes, interviewing them and then transcribing the tapes. Differences in pronunciation and other problems caused a few factual errors to creep in when the volume on the eastern languages was published and this was pointed out by the concerned writers.

In order to avoid this. I made it a point to send the compiled interviews to the concerned writers requesting them to check for factual errors. Most of the writers were gracious enough to respond to the request immediately and sent back the corrected interviews at the earliest. This is the most important third reason for the delay in this volume being published.

Of the writers whom I met in Western India, the affection and care displayed by the Konkani and the Gujarati writers is truly unique. Having realised that it was quite expensive to have to travel to each state atleast thrice or four times, the Konkani writers invited me to attend a literary meet organised at Goa and address the gathering.

Senior Oriya writer ‘Manoj Das' information filled foreword lends to the quality of this volume. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to him and all others who have supported me and extended their co-operation in the publication of this volume.

- Sivasankari
CHENNAI
August 2003

About Sivasankari :

Sivasankari (born October 14, 1942) is a renowned Tamil writer and activist. She has carved a niche for herself in the Tamil literary world during the last four decades with her works that reflect an awareness on social issues, a special sensitivity to social problems, and a commitment to set people thinking. She has many novels, novellas, short stories, travelogues, articles and biographies to her credit. Her works have been translated into several Indian languages, English, Japanese and Ukrainian. Eight of her novels have been made into films, having directed by renowned directors like K. Balachander, SP Muthuraman and Mahendran. Her novel 'Kutti' on girl child labour, filmed by the director Janaki Viswanathan, won the President's Award. Sivasankari's novels have also been made as teleserials, and have won the national as well as regional 'Best Mega Serial' awards. As a multi-faceted personality, she has won many prestigious awards including Kasturi Srinivasan Award, Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiyar Award, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, 'Woman of the year 1999-2000' by the International Women's Association, and so on. 'Knit India Through Literature' is her mega-project involving intense sourcing, research and translations of literature from 18 Indian languages, with a mission to introduce Indians to other Indians through culture and literature.

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