The finer points of crime

Detailed Talk
Last Updated : 18 June 2012, 13:01 IST
Last Updated : 18 June 2012, 13:01 IST

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The number of crimes in a country reveals much about the country itself,” says Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, a writer, novelist and popular blogger.

During a talk on how crime fiction can be a mirror to society — held at the Bangalore International Centre — Manreet discussed in detail the development of the crime genre in the country and informed the audience about her latest book, ‘The Taj Conspiracy’.

Moderated by Munira Sen, director of ‘Common Purpose’, the discussion touched various threads of Manreet’s writing as well as how a writer should develop a book that is impossible to put down.

Citing examples of different crime fiction authors, Manreet explained how a crime story is woven. The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, is a place of crime in her latest thriller.

“We all have visited Taj at some point or the other. And I believe that journey has been a disappointing one. The guides there do not inform you properly. Somehow, I feel that the Taj looks forlorn and dismayed,” she said.

This is how she thought of making the Taj Mahal a place of crime. A racy thriller, ‘The Taj Conspiracy’ is the story of Mehrunissa Khosa, a Mughal scholar who stumbles upon a conspiracy to destroy the Taj Mahal when she discovers the murder of the Taj
supervisor at the tomb of Mumtaz.

The novel also deals a lot with a woman’s status in India. “The book is about how gender discrimination is still prevalent in the country,” informed Manreet. The novel is backed with strong facts and the amount of research that went into it is evident.

Reading out the names of the novels by Manreet, Munira observed that the writer did not limit herself to one genre but rather, wrote on different topics.

“It is not about being versatile. It’s hard work. I like to challenge myself,” said Manreet. The audience actively participated in an interactive session with the writer. To a question asked by audience — does a crime writer need to have criminal mind? — Manreet quickly said, “Yes. If I’m writing about something, I need to have in-depth knowledge about how a person thinks.”

Manreet also said the a writer should not write for an audience. “As a writer, my fundamental responsibility is how honestly I can put forth my thoughts, rather than thinking that I have to write for the readers,” she said.

The talk was indeed an informative one, as the audience got some valuable advice regarding the genre of crime writing.

Published 18 June 2012, 13:00 IST

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