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Last week, we finished our last LIVE Likhawat panel chat with South-Asian writers, Dur E Aziz Amna, ex-DGP Ashok Kumar, and publisher, Dr. Prabhu Guptara. We also had our student reporter who asked their favorite creative questions from our panelists. South-Asian narratives are diverse, so our conversations moved from creative tips, to books on identity, and on how to tackle stereotypes in writing.

The full panel is on Peerbagh’s YouTube channel now.

Dur e talked about her award-winning novel, American fever and her perspective as an artist is to bring nuance. Stereotypes about South-Asians exist and continue to perpetuate with the media narratives that are often not positive. Former DGP and writer, Ashok Kumar shared how he has tried to break down stereotypes associated with cops through stories. His books Cyber Encounters and Khaaki Mein Insaan provide tons of real-life inspired stories about his years in service.

The panel also spoke about bringing authentic voices in narratives, and the question of representation. Dr. Guptara shared his insights on good writing that compels readers to suspend their disbelief and empathize with characters. Dur e however, also talked about how the power imbalance in narratives or who owns narratives can’t be dismissed.

All our panelists have broken their own stereotypes from being a Pakistani woman, a cop, and a publisher who started in his new industry in his 70s. All of them brought in rich insights and tips for young student reporter.

Likhawat panels aimed to showcase and celebrate South-Asian art and literature. This series was also intended to inspire young creatives and students. We believe this inspires all new writers to share their South-Asian narratives authentically and find their own unique voice. To that end, this session was a fitting end to this series in 2023.

We hope to come back in 2024 with more insights and inspiring artists for our community! If you would like to meet someone, please share your recommendations with us here.