Thursday, January 21, 2010

Never to forget...

Like Keshav in the story, I've spent many an hour as a child sitting rolled up inside a mat, inventing bizarre stories for my own entertainment. When I started writing The Snow-King’s Daughter, I had a specific tale to tell. I went to college with two Tibetan girls — Lobsang and Tsomo — who were very proud of their history and culture. The story of their struggle to make it in a new country despite all odds was moving and inspiring. Of all the things that I learned from them, their belief in making new beginnings without forgetting the past is one that I value the most. Their laughter and love for Tamil kuthu songs helped me set the tone for the story I had in mind — a narrative that would allow the characters respite from pity without wiping the issue off the table.

The friendship between Keshav and Lobsang (of the story) is like any other between children. They play, they talk, they make things up...and just like that, they grow up together. The discoveries that they make about each other and the world around them come in moments, not events. It never strikes Keshav until he's told that Lobsang is Tibetan; the differences don't really matter, but they are fun to figure out. Just as Lobsang has her way of coping with her loss, Keshav finds his way of acknowledging it. In the world they create for themselves inside the mat, snow-kings and princesses are real and valuable.

This is a story I've hugely enjoyed writing and I hope Lobsang will find the Snow-King.

- Sowmya Rajendran, Author