Meet Vinita Kinra, Author Pavitra in Paris
VK: I can easily say that my life has come a full circle. I was born in Canada and raised in India; I taught in France, and now I’ve been back in Canada for over a decade. The influences of Asian, European and North American cultures in my life have designed my craft of writing to a large extent. I have an innate love for languages and excelled at English, Hindi and French not only at school level, but also at university, as a result of which the French government awarded me a scholarship to teach English at their renowned high school, Lycée Internationale Stendhal in Grenoble, immediately after I completed my Master’s degree in French from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I went on to teach English at French universities of Grenoble and Orléans. Although I grew up with the tag of “bookworm,” and enjoyed writing for contests and newsletters, fiction writing came to my rescue when I wanted to escape some hard realities I was confronted with during a particularly low phase of my life in 2008. The emotional upheaval I was experiencing at the time laid the groundwork for my debut collection of short stories, Pavitra in Paris.
VK: My first book, Pavitra in Paris, is a collection of eleven fictional short stories based primarily on Indian women settled in India and abroad. The plots are a realistic sketch of contemporary India in a state of flux where new generation is challenging age-old dogmas of ritualism and dowry; vices like rape and domestic violence; and fads like online dating and love marriage. It also delves into the conflicts faced by Indians when they immigrate overseas to Europe or North America, portraying their struggles in navigating the rough seas of emotions and cultural chasms.
My next book is IMAGINE: Selected Quotations by Vinita Kinra, which is slated for release in the fall of 2015. This book is the painstaking process of wisdom I gained in my four-decade-long life so far, and I am offering this fruit of knowledge to humans in the form of life-altering quotes on truth, love, success, life, wisdom, dreams, Kama (sex), and much more. My quotes have been acclaimed worldwide, and many have been adopted by global organizations, business schools and fashion institutes for their powerful motivational messages. I have been humbled to find my quotes shared alongside world legends like Buddha, Gandhi, Einstein, Jimmy Carter and H.G. Wells, and praised by Nobel laureate and common man alike. I would like to share one of my well-loved quotes: “Who would teach us better than flowers how to do our karma? They blossom briefly, yet give us fragrance, nectar and beauty to cherish before they perish.” — Vinita Kinra
VK: In my opinion, a true writer is a traveler and observer. You have to take in the sights, sounds and smells; the tangible and the abstract; the loathsome and the magnificent. Only then can you effectively portray your characters and write convincingly. Having lived in three continents of the world, I draw from people and places, and revive childhood memories and current experiences to weave stories everybody can relate to and remember all their lives. India has shaped my writing extensively, as I grew up in an environment where snake charmers, camel traders, astrologers and matchmakers eked out a living alongside teachers, bankers, executives and scientists. Many of my stories talk about marriage and relationships in a way that may be inconceivable to the western audience, as women hardly had a say in choosing their life partners when I was growing up, and divorce or remarriage of an acquaintance would fuel tea-time gossip for months. Sex was taboo and rape was rampant, something that lead me to write my story “Kamini,” which is a part of Pavitra in Paris, and tackles the slippery subject of a married woman’s love for her high school student neighbor.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
VK: Currently, I’m putting some finishing touches on my next book, IMAGINE: Selected Quotations by Vinita Kinra, as its launch date is fast approaching this fall.
In addition, I’m also working on my novel, Live and Let us Live, which is a groundbreaking work of fiction, set in the breathtaking environs of Himalayan valleys in India and Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
VK: I love to connect with my readers, and they are welcome to like me on my Facebook author page to receive updates, leave comments, or send their pictures with my book, Pavitra in Paris.
I encourage everyone to connect with me on Twitter @VinitaKinra and check out my website vinitakinra.com.
Pavitra in Paris is available through Amazon.com , Barnes & Noble and Chapters.