Dr. Kusum Ansal studied master in Psychology from Aligarh University and earned Doctorate in Hindi Literature from Punjabi University, Chandigarh in 1987.
She has about twenty five books to her credit including short stories, poetry collections, novels, travelogue and autobiography, some of her books have been translated into Urdu. Greak, Russian and Punjabi languages.
She also wrote dialogues and screenplay for the film 'Panchvati' which was based on theis nove. The film was directed by Late Shri Basu Bhattacharya and the actors were Dipti Naval, Suresh Oberoi and Akbar Khan, 'Panchavati' was selected for Film Festival in 1990 and was exhibited in film festival held at Tokyo, Toronto and Tashkent.
Her latest novel' The Widow of Vrindavan' is a Very highly acclaimed book and deals about life of those widow who are chased away from Bengal and are forced to live in the gritty ashrams of Vrindavan, where they are mistreated, tortured, starved and sold.
She is recipient of prestigious awards like 'Panjabi' Academy Award (1987), 'Hindi Sansthan Namit Puruskar of Uttar Pradesh, (2004) and 'Hindi Academy Sahityakar Sammaan (2005). 'Sahitya Bhushan' (2006-2007)'
The first edition of my novel "Panchvati" was published in 10977 under the title of "Uski Panchvati" and the second in 1985 as "Ik Aur Panchvati" in Hindi. In 1999 "Panchvati" the movie was shown in the Panorama section of film festivals in several countries. The actors who acted in "Panchvati" were Deepti Naval, Suresh Oberoi and Akbar Khan. Late Basu Bhattacharya had directed the movie which was produced by Ms. Shobha Doctor.
When I had started writing, I couldn't even imagine that writing will become the central concern of my life. The pen that I had picked up almost without thinking had given me a meaningful existence. I had begun to feel that my meaningless, mundane existence had found a direction which led me to what I have become - a modest fiction writer. As the script and dialogue writer for "Panchvati" the movie, when I shared the stage with the whole cast and director Basu Bhattacharya, I felt as if I was entering a new existence of my being.
In 1985, I had written in the prologue to "Ek Aur Panchvati", Through "Panchvati" I could bring a special flavour to our society and that was the thought process which enables and individual to present himself/herself exactly as he/she is. Conventional bonds and societal norms are of no value when one embraces that reality. My Sadhvi could refuse to accept worldly norms and stand courageously to uphold her own ideals. The sculptures at Khajuraho are an exact depiction of human mentality, aren't they? They are so honest,' so courageous with no trace of artificiality in them. Whenever, I go to a certain corner of the lawn, I feel the sweet-sour fragrance of mango blossoms around me and the reality of Khajuraho blends' spontaneously in it at that time". I had imagined the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho which are steeped in the voluptuous- ness of passionate love, to be symbolic of my theme. I did not know that when "Panchvati" would be made into a film it would reflect innumerable status the consciousness of a real Sadhvi rather than remain a Premika in order to live for herself and savour her existence to the fullest.
I don't know what kind of days were they when my creativity was finding expression in writing serials like "Titliyan", "Is Bahane" and "Indradhanush". Around that time I happened to meet Basu Bhattacharya and Deepti Naval with Shobha Doctor. A few of my books were lying on the table in front of me. Deepti picked up "Ek Aur Panchvati" and asked, "Have you written this novel?"
"Yes", I said with a tremor in my voice. That led to the beginning of the movie. Basu Da liked the story of "Panchvati" "and so the project shaped up. The novel went through one change after another.
Standing between the book and the movie I realized that a book is a closed door. You turn" a page and several scenes are "revealed where flowers bloom, sun rises, the moon hangs on the firmament but a movie has no such scenes to offer beyond the door. A film presents all it has to right in front of your eyes. Everything happens before you.
A movie based on a novel is somewhat like lifting a rock from the top of a spring which then gushes out like a waterfall. Or a door which provides, a complete inner and outer landscape to the view successfully. In todays context cinema is the only medium through which you can address all classes of society. It is a different matter that everybody interprets it according to his understanding. Just as a scientists enters the core of matter while carrying out an experiment, the findings reveal that at the centre of the matter there is not anything ordinary but it is the atom, so the viewers, understanding tells him that the world is not what it appears. It is illusion. It is deception. All experiences are atoms of ego, of "I". "Ek Aur Panchvati" is a novel with the same mentality which not only questions conventions sanctioned by society such as marriage, but also compels us to ponder over them.
"Panchvati", the novel came alive as a movie. It flowed along parallel to life. The plot of the novel had no reference to Nepal but Shobha had to make a movie with Nepal. In-me beginning I found it odd to commit my story to an alien soil but I had to compromise. I am too week to say "no" and I have not learnt to refuse anything. A prisoner to my own temperament, I remained behind as the characters from "Panchvati" began to walk the ground in Nepal. When I saw them, I thought that characters are merely constructs - imaginary woman and imaginary man. Even God's form is not real. That too appears according to imagination based on our wishes. At that time our faith in God lured us in the form of Pashupatinath. Vikram and Sadhvi too had stepped out of imagination to become real on that terrain. Nepal was giving them a new meaning. Association with Nepal added a whole lot of new properties to the plot - temples, Buddhist monks, numerous statues of Buddha and the amazing painter Karmasiddhi who treated his art like worship and offered his paintings like mantras and sacred flowers to God. The plot enwrapped in such piety began to take a special direction towards a sacred faith. Natural beauty of Nepal lent it a strong backdrop where nature became a living presence in the story.
On the first day of shooting, I took Shobha and Basu Da to Pashupatinat temple. Basu Da was seeking a location and I Gods benediction. I bought a PUJA KI THAALI at the threshold. As I entered with fruit and flowers in my hands and holy mantras on my lips, a huge monkey pounced upon me, grabbed and snatched away the offerings on my THALI and walked away. Alarmed and bewildered, I saw that my vessel was empty and immaterial.
I have not merely written "Panchvati" but also lived and suffered it. I was no longer just a writer. I would talk to Suresh Oberoi about his character, provide Deepti Naval with my clothes and jewellery or organize the party to celebrate Akbar's wedding. More than half of the movie was shot at our farm so I had to take care of a whole lot of things. I would arrange and rearrange furniture, unroll carpets, make "Ikebana" flower arrangements and collect bonsai through whose dwarfed existence my heroine's suffocation could be symbolized. Spun into each scene of the movie, I too was achieving an existence.
Or may be I was not in my proper senses because in those days I couldn't see anything beyond "Panchvati". The reason for such a state could be that the experience of seeing your characters rise from the pages of the novel and assume living forms is truly electrifying. No wonder my whole existence used to keep tingling with an extraordinary sensation in those days. There is a very narrow margin between dreams and desires. The plot of "Panchvati" had crossed that margin to raise a number of questions such as whether anyone can experience a moment of complete and unparalleled happiness in his/her life? If yes, Is it possible to spend a whole life time on the basis of it ? Is the moment of complete and unparalleled happiness really so great? does a "Panchvati" like that exist on this earth?
Item Code: NAJ708 Author: Kusum Ansal Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2007 Publisher: Star Publications Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9788176500876 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 130 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 160 gms