Writing needs experience and vision, says US-based Punjabi writer Avtar Singh Billing

Avtar Singh Billing is a recipient of the Dhahan Prize for his novel ‘Khahli Khoohan Di Katha,’ constituted by Canada India Education Society.

punjab Updated: Aug 13, 2018 13:20 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
punjab,punjabi,punjabi writers
Writer Avtar Singh Billing during an event organised by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi in Sector 36, Chandigarh.(HT Photo)

A writer needs experience, imagination and vision to write, says America-based writer Avtar Singh Billing during an event, organised by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, at Convention Centre, Sector 36.

Billing, who has won numerous awards for his novels, says, “Experience could be your own or it could also be borrowed.”

Recipient of the Dhahan Prize for his novel ‘Khahli Khoohan Di Katha,’ constituted by Canada India Education Society, Billing says, “My previous novels were based on borrowed experience. My new novel — Rizak will tell stories of what I am looking at the present.”

About youth and opportunities in India, he says, “Here, we do not have anything to give to the youth. Those who have studied hard are not even able to find jobs, they seek oppurtunities in the foreign land. Life outside India is not easy. It only looks good from the outside.”

About Billing’s new novel, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi secretary Jaspal Singh, “It is the story of the youth as they are migrating to other countries in search of rizak (livelihood). The novel narrates the tragedy of Punjab as youngsters are unable to find employment opportunities here.”

Billing says, “When I was a kid, everyone from the same community lived together. People used to take care of each other. When people are insecure, they live together in harmony. When they start earning well, they have nothing to lose so they start fighting or end up being isolated. This is what has happened over the years.”

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 13:19 IST