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OPENING A NEW DOOR IN WRITING: KINSHUK GUPTA
Kinshuk Gupta seems to be the newest signature in English and Hindi creative writing who has pushed open a new door in talking about the almost taboo LGBT domain. The final year student of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Medical College, Kinshuk excels as a student as he does as a writer too. He is an award-winning writer and still in his early twenties, is the Associate Editor at Usawa Literary Review, and poetry editor at Jaggery Lit. His bilingual writing as a poet, translator, fiction writer and freelance journalist has rave and surprising reviews. His published collection of stories titled, Satrangi: Dil Hai Ki Chor Darwaza has widely positive reviews as included in the book. It shows that he is not only noticed but appreciated for his daring and style. The recent launch of the book during the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur elicited many questions from the youth who attended the launch of his book and he answered them with candid verve. The Anchor was no other than the publisher of Vani Prakashan, Aditi Maheshwari. She admits that she chose Kinshuk’s stories for their challenging content and poetic style.
When asked how and why did he choose stories related to gay characters, Kinshuk says that he came to understand this most controversial topic during his student days. He came across very many students and professors who were closet homosexuals. He also noticed that while they lived double lives, they also tried to capitalize on their choice in various furtive ways. As Kinshuk writes in his article in Caravan, ‘In India’s medical colleges where students are given cadavers for dissection, nobody discusses gender and sexuality. What little discussion that does exist has historically been negative.’ The terms used in psychology textbooks describe ‘homosexuality and gender dysphoria as psychosexual disorders. While going through the rigorous regimen of MBBS he got to understand that doctors were mostly homophobic and their approach to the LGBT community was mostly hostile. The sexual duality of men and women is understood in scientific terms in medical science but the twilight zone of homosexuality is never explained even in the medical curriculum. The writer hopes that with the law legitimizing homosexuality, perceptions and inclusion will come about slowly. Kinshuk Gupta agrees with Hoshang Merchant who says – Women and gay people have a common enemy and that is ‘the Macho Man.’
Traversing through the maze of the subject, he began talking to male-female gay students, doctors, writers and other professionals. He got a surprising response to his articles and stories in English newspapers and Hindi magazines. He began sorting out facts from myths and found out that alternate sexuality is being denied at different levels in our society. Even doctors and counsellors refused to deal with the subject objectively and scientifically. This, he found so anomalous and sad too for the subject of controversy are human beings. That is what made him write about the subject not only factually but creatively too.
He admits Hindi does not have words of parlance on the subject of alternate sexuality barring the Sanskrit terms. As a creative writer, Kinshuk feels using English terms is quite homogenous for him. He is keen to see how his book is received in the book world of Hindi literature.