My second serious short story `Programmable Women' appeared in the latest issue of New Quest. It is my first publication as a story writer. I often thought that I was incapable of doing justice to fiction as I considered it very extroverted, social and garrulous literary form which was very much unlike my personality. After this experience, I feel that I was wrong and like poetry, one has to find a way of writing that suits you. The art lies in transforming very private experiences into public ones, very much like any other art. Compared to more constricting economyof poetry, I liked the wider space it provided for the play of imagination, a bigger room for juicy digressions. Probably I will enjoy writing novels even more. Yes, I am planning to write one!
I had posted an earlier draft of this story on a Yahoo Short Story group. The reactions were very interesting. `More showing and less telling' is one common advice that comes to my way. My earlier short story` The Mesh' also received the same comments.One of my friends commented that she got an opportunity to read a good story after a long time and that my story was better than my perverse and morbid poetry. The other reaction was that I said many things too directly and there should have meen more distance, more irony regarding the content. Who knows, I thought it was a very good idea. And I enjoyed writing it very much. I dont know if readers enjoyed it at all.
The contrast between the programmable female androids and the real emanicipated women is a very interesting idea. The best thing about it is that it can be read in more than one ways. You can read it as a feminist text or you can read it as a sad story of human male. I found the germ of this idea in Dilip Chitre's remarks when I was preparing Live Update about women poets in Maharashtra. Another germ of this story lies in Vilas Sarang's short story Interview with Mr. Chacko.
Poetry is very agonizing for me at times and fiction can be fun!