Monday, March 6, 2017

Words from a budding writer - Harsha Mohan

She was in love with Hindi and music once upon a time. Seated in a corner in her classroom, little Harsha Mohan Sajin waited for an opportunity to hum the Hindi poems in books to the tune of latest Bollywood numbers. Even her classmates at the convent school could not help lending their ears to it.

Never did she miss any light music competitions or any other singing contest. Her mellifluous voice bore the stamp of a singer in the making. Years flew by. But much to the surprise of many, her craze for music was short-lived, for her interest turned to writing.

Soon she came out with ‘Oru Manjukala Kavarcha’. Acknowledgments poured in from all quarters and her joy knew no bounds when the work was selected for the Basheer Memorial Award 2013 for the best short story by a new comer.

Before the joy of recognition could sink in Harsha won the US Malayali International short story award 2014 for her short story ‘UAEyile Aanjanmangal’. Surprisingly, Harsha never wrote a single word till the day she went to Doha to join her engineer husband four years ago. “It would not be wrong to say that hectic life in Doha spurred her to write.

Though she started writing late, the seeds were sown much earlier. “Life in Doha was of course a driving force. But I think I was attracted to words even when I was a little girl. But I didn’t know it then. My love for words grew under the  tutelage of my Malayalam teacher - Bhanumati.   I would not have become a writer, had it not been for her,” Harsha says. Perhaps, this must be the reason why she dedicated her blog to her late teacher.

 Ask her if she does any research for her work, and she says, “Definitely. I don’t have much experience to develop ideas into a story, so I do a lot of research on the subject. But one of my works, ‘Muyalcheviyanmar’ is purely based on emotion.”

Harsha’s ‘Agnes Dimitriyude Thiruseshippukal’ for which she bagged the second prize under Qatar Samskrithi Cheru Katha Puraskaram 2013 was applauded by the judges for its new style of narration. “I had to do a little bit of research to get the geography of Italy, right.” The work is about the relationship between Agnes Dmitri Monero an Italian writer and Draupathi Dutta, an Indian writer.

The story ends with the death of Agnes, a strong personality and a known feminist, who wanted her unpublished stories on love, passion and emotions to be published in Draupadi’s name so that, her feminist image would be intact. Harsha says that the story did not develop from the thread but from the  name-Agnes. “I came across the name accidentally and I wanted to give the name a character. I started thinking about it. What she should be doing and of her personality which eventually gave way to a story,” she says.

Her blog  ‘Mazhakkadukal’ (Rainforest) is replete with almost all of her works.

published in The New Indian Express


  1. Pity the stories are all in Malayalam that I am not conversant with.It was admirable on her part to acknowledge the great influence of her Malayalam teacher in her journey towards being a good writer.

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  2. Parthasarathi sir, her Malayalam teacher was mine too. We were classmates in school... 😊