Karan Puri's new book documents MeToo survivors in urban and rural settings
Ten years after his bestseller debut fiction novel Shit Happens — Desi Boy in America, author and columnist Karan Puri drops his new read #MeToo. Triggered by the revolutionary movement of the same name that gave voice to many an otherwise apprehensive woman, the book delves deeper into the darkest crevices of the many scarred women, men and transgender individuals in rural as well as urban settings. The Delhi-based author takes us through the experiences that led to the book. Excerpts:
While it’s evident that the #MeToo movement triggered the idea of the book, why did it take so long for the book to release given that the movement is almost a couple of years old now?
I believe that this issue will stay relevant and we need to dig deeper into the reasons why it is happening. I decided to write a book and penetrate the core of the dark stories of men and women and even transgender individuals in both rural and urban landscapes. A lot of research went into the book. Each of these stories is incredibly different and unique, written without any prejudices (that perceive only women as more vulnerable, men as more callous, and vice versa).
#MeToo was majorly about women but your book goes beyond them and talks about everyone who has been a victim...
Yes, a lot of research went into choosing the stories as I wanted to include women from different sections of society, from young to old, corporate to homemakers, struggling actors, and uneducated women. I have always been intrigued by the issues faced by women and transgender individuals in our society. I started interviewing a few people who had gone through such issues and it took a while to concretise the whole narrative. Writing short stories is not an easy task and I take pride in the fact that I was able to reflect on a matter of significance.
How challenging was it to draft the experiences of people?
It took me a while to write and research. My interviewees were apprehensive at first; they got comfortable sharing their feelings once I met them. I call them survivors because they dealt with their inner fears and yet, stood tall while they revealed their trauma loud and clear.
Your first book was released in 2012, what led to the delay in writing another one?
Well, a lot. I decided to take a break and this helped me in eventually s t a r t i n g m y s e c o n d innings becoming an investor and a partner of a community platform. I was also a part of a youth platform. Along with this, I was able to continue my passion for writing as I was creating new content for a digital website too. Shit Happens — Desi Boy in America became a bestseller. Did that put pressure on you? No; since it was my first book, I was happy that it got published. And getting it in India Today’s top 20 books list was a dream come true. I always take relevant topics that need to be addressed.
What’s next after #MeToo?
My next one will be a coffee table book on my life as a lifestyle blogger as I want to help upcoming bloggers understand the nuances of blogging.
#MeToo by Invincible Publisher is priced at `199.