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"Neela Scarf" can easily be called an interesting mix of stories-some very urban and some with a very strong rural flavour. Her characters are diverse-from a retired Air Force Officer in 'Mukti' to a teacher in 'Kuch Yun hona Uska', from a Dalit woman whose job is to serve high and might in "Bisesar Bo ki Premika" to an aimless housewife in "Marj Zindagi Ilaaj Zindagi", they take the readers to worlds and spaces that are completely different from one-another. From a doctor's clinic to a flat in South Delhi to a village in Siwan to an editing suite in Lokhandwala (Mumbai), her stories explore several worlds and several characters.
Anu's writing style is lucid and conversational and therefore dialogues become an integral part of the story. Her writing dwells between popular and literary writing and carves a niche for itself purely because it is contemporary and yet not impure. Sometimes she becomes whimsical and poetic (as in "Cigarette Ka Aakhiri Kash" and "Bisesar Bo Ki Premika") and sometimes she chooses to standby the characters to let them narrate his or her stories (as in "Neela Scarf", "Roommate" and "Mukti"). With "Bisesar Bo" she goes on to prove her talent at creating nuanced characters of her own. Whether it is the story of roommates living in a Paying Guest accommodation in Mumbai or about an indifferent and arrogant man who lands up in a compartment with an old and talkative man and a woman who wouldn't get up from her berth, Anu's prose feels simple and yet rich and complete.
About the Author
Anu Singh Choudhary is a Journalist by training and Writer - Editor - Translator - Filmmaker - Communication Consultant by choice. When motherhood compelled her to take a break from a flourishing career at a leading TV News channel, she resorted to writing and blogging to keep her sane. What began as an online diary to jot down pleasures and challenges of raising twins in a multi-city setup, turned out to be a platform to vent, interact and express in the months to come. A proud mother of seven year old twins, she now juggles her professional and personal life seamlessly and has become a champion of bringing women back to work after a long hiatus of motherhood. She writes extensively on women issues and youth empowerment and her columns and opinions have been published in almost all the leading Hindi Newspapers and Magazines. She has made four independent documentaries so far and has written several others. Some of the documentaries that she was associated with were telecast on channels like NDTV, CNN - IBN and National Geographic. She has written a series of short films for Doordarshan which were produced by TERI.
"Neela Scarf" is Anu's first collection of short stories. Some of the stories compiled here were published in leading Hindi literary magazines like "Parikatha", "Vaagarth", "Kathadesh", "Jansatta" and "Vartaman Saahitya". Her stories "Mukti" and "Roommate" received rave reviews in annual editions of Dainik Bhasker and Jansatta and were termed as one of the freshest writings of the year by an upcoming writer. Anu has also received Bharat Bhushan Agarwal Award and Hindi Academy Prize in 1999 as one of the young and upcoming writers, while she was still in college. She was the recipient of Rukmini Devi Award for Academic Excellence in the year 2000.