Balika Vadhu writer Gajra Kottary pens her first novel

Gajra Kottary

Story and screenplay writer Gajra Kottary who has written various shows including the iconic Balika Vadhu has come up with a novel titled Broken Melodies. She has published two short story collections earlier but this is her first novel.

Broken Melodies is story of Niyati, whose world is clouded by parental conflict, the hypocrisy of a philandering musician father, and the impassioned strains of his ragas and the seething silences of her mother. Her only solace is her elder sister Nisha. Nisha remains the only constant in Niyati's life until a revelation sends her beliefs into a spin.

Broken Melodies is as much about a troubled child in a broken household as it is about chasing happiness and restoring beauty to one's life. Talking about it Kottary says, "The story had been with me for a long time and it is based in the Delhi of '70-'80s. It's a story about lost childhood. A child does not need material comfort. They need to be emotionally healthy. I feel the story is as relevant today as it was in the '70s. In fact we need it more now as I am moved by looking at the family lives today. The true happiness of children depends on the bonding between their parents and with issues like parental differences, divorce and taking custody of the child I feel very strongly about it."

It took her quite a while to finish this book as she says, "I had been toying with the idea of writing a novel for long but it was only three years ago that I was sure I wanted to do it. So, I started writing two- and-a-half years ago. But the translation of the book took me another six to eight months as the publication house wanted a Hindi version of it too."

When asked if she'd want to see the novel into a film or a serial maybe and she says, "I would like to see it as a movie but it is not written in a serial format so can't see it going there." She says she will continue writing for TV. "I am greedy." So, what next? "At the moment, I am recovering from the launch of this so it's only after I am through with this will I start something."

She says she has faith in her novel "and I know it will find the right path as I am not looking at breaking records. People should appreciate it, that's my hope." She hasn't read much of contemporary Indian writers but her favourite books are God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur.

Copyright 2011 Indian Television Dot Com Pvt Ltd., distributed by