Author Interview | Usha Kiran ‘Kiran’.

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When life threw at her challenges in their most difficult form, she refused to give up. Every tear she cried, became an expression, a word. And when these were compiled, she left the whole world in awe. We brings you story of Usha Kiran ‘Kiran’.

Born and raised in Katra, Kiran got her artistic genes inherited from her father. She had interest in writing and acting for Radio and Television which has continued till now after it started in 1980. Her passion towards getting educated saw her resuming her studies after she got married. However, a few years into her marriage, an incident changed her life, upside- down.

It was when her husband passed away, leaving behind Kiran and a two-year old son. However, the misery continued long after. In her words, “After my husband’s death, I went numb for a long time. But the worst was still to come, in my in-laws’ humiliation towards me. Initially I used to ignore but then it continued and increased over time. I lost my sleep, I used to find myself drown in tears in late hours of night. Then one night, my father came in my dream, handing me a pen and paper, asking me not to lose hope. It might come up as dramatic to someone, but it was the sole reason I started to write.”

Kiran started writing in 1998 and focused on penning down song lyrics in initial phase. Her first book, a collection of Dogri songs came in 1999, by the title ‘Ghar Aa Mittra’. The book was appreciated by critics and Dogri enthusiastic alike and their feedback came in really handy in motivating Kiran to write more, as she confesses, “When my book was published, I was merely fulfilling the dream. But after a while, started coming letters of appreciation and approval. Many people personally met and praised my work. All this got me really inspired and motivated and started giving writing a serious thought.”

What followed were her emotions wrapped up beautifully in form of words. ‘Ghar Aa Mittra’ was seconded by ‘Hikhiyen Di Bulbul’ followed by ‘Sanjha Intezaar Diyan’, both of which were collections of her songs. She also wrote Dogri poetry, liked even more by readers, than her songs, focusing on subjects like women emancipation and gender equality, along with telling tales of a lover’s pain of losing her beloved. Her poetry collections were ‘Tere Aane Sha Pehle’, ‘Patjhad da Ant’ and ‘Oh Un Abla Nayin’. She feels her words are merely her emotions. “When I went through the difficult phase in my phase, I used to feel miserable. Today, I feel it were those pains I endured that have been coming out as words,” she speaks.

There is a full audio CD of songs she has written, music for which has been composed by famous Sham Sajan. The CD goes by name ‘Tunde Leyi’ and has found many admirers within and out of the state. On her life, four documentaries have also been made by Doordarshan and many local channels. The University of Jammu has also included in its syllabus for Research Scholars of M. Phil, Kiran’s work. Besides her books, she has been regularly writing for many magazines like Shiraza, Nami Chetna, Maru Gulshan Rajasthan, Sahitya Sarovar and many more. Her work has been published in all the major newspapers of the state.

Her talent is appreciated and recognized by every big name in the field of the art. In a collection of the best of female literature of 20th century, published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, by name “Beesvi Sadi de Mahila Lekhan”, 4 of her songs were included. Sahitya Akademi has also included 5 of her songs in a new book of song lyrics published last year. She has been honored with many awards and recognitions from various literary organizations such as Trikuta Sahitya Sangam, Savrang Kala Sangam, Montez Film Division Mumbai, Sahitya Sarovar Sangam Karnataka and many such reputed organizations. Her current organization Food Corporation of India’s central office in New Delhi also honored her as Pride of the organization award.

But there is more to Kiran than this. Being the fierce fighter she has been to all the struggles life has thrown her way, she never gave up and today works at one of the reputed posts in one of the biggest organizations of the country. Presently posted at Manager in Food Corporation of India, she also holds the post of Presiding Officer of Internal Complaint Committee of the organization. We asked her how is it that she manages to balance things, to which she replies, “I have been working since last 31 years and it has been more of a passion than merely a financial-security thing for me. For writing, you need ideas, and I get plenty of them, everywhere and anytime. So once I get the idea, I try to put it into words. It does a little longer owing to my job, but in the end, it works out fine.”

Not only she is a great writer, she is aware of her social responsibilities and has been proactively raising her voice against various evils prevalent in society, from time to time. She has specially written a song, making its video, against the evil of female feticide. Played on local TV channels quite often, the song, whose lyrics are “Jammne Shha Pehle Ohke Ghar Torri Aan, Kuthe Geyin Amma Mere Hisse Diyan Loriyan”, the song hits hard on this evil, urging people to eliminate it altogether from their lives.

So what is it that inspires her to wake up every morning and go out to win the world? We asked the woman herself. “Struggles are the real way of life, I believe. The life of struggle is the successful life in real senses. If one works hard with a pure and right intent, nothing is impossible,” she smiles.

Kiran has a couple of books in store for her readers. “Work for 2 books has been completed and it is only a little polishing that is pending. The next time slot I get, I am surely going to complete these books and then would publish them as soon as possible,” she informs. She adds that another song of her has been included in upcoming Dogri film ‘Doli’.

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