Soldiers should feel respected, feels author Harinder Cheema
Your first piece of writing—a book, an article or a verse — will always remain special. And so is the case for Delhi-based writer Harinder Cheema’s debut book, The Temple Stop. The book traces the eternal love story of army man Yodha and his love Perneet. Together they plant their seed of love through saplings they call as Veer-Veeran, a symbol of their undying love.
In the book, Harinder lays emphasis on how our soldiers “need to be respected”. Through the book, she touches upon the suffering of the family after Yodha’s martyrdom. And she successfully showcases that it is not just the soldiers who make the supreme sacrifice for the nation but also their families.
The author is herself a wife of an army officer, and that helped her write about the trials and tribulations with authenticity. “I have seen the war of Kargil. We were posted in Srinagar in those days... The words in the book are straight from the heart as I have seen this life very closely. Soldiers need to be respected all the time, and not just during wars or war-like situations.When a soldier becomes a martyr, only a family realises what has happened in their lives. But, the book had to serve the entertainment purpose also... Yet the underlying message is about the much-deserved respect for them,” says the author.
Having grown up in a culturally laden atmosphere, she is also a motivational speaker. Her “love for literature”, dates back to her childhood when she began reading authors Enid Blyton, PG Wodehouse. “My father and I would always talk about literature. There were evening sessions everyday at home. Everyday he’d take up one subject and talk about poets William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and playwright Christopher Marlowe.We used to get so intrigued,” she says.
Apart from writing, one thing that takes most of her time is performing poetry. Now, she plans to come up with her book on English poetry. “I want to speak about social issues [through my poetry]. When you read literature from the past or present, it’s all about conveying messages. We are probably reading them for the sake of entertainment..whether you read The Alchemist or Khushwant Singh’s books. It’s all about the hidden messages, which you have to learn,” she adds.
When she thought of writing, she envisioned an English love story with names like “Peter, Sandra, Roger”. “But, when I started writing poetry, I felt that I am very Indian at heart. I wanted to write about things that touch me all the time. I thought why not talk about our own land, country, people and the issues that matter to us,” she concludes.