I have always seen myself as an outsider. I was raised a Roman Catholic in a predominantly Hindu country, I see myself as a feminist in a culture that is still patriarchal and I am a south Indian settled in the north of India. I was born into a middle-class family where education was much appreciated. My father who was rated as one of the top statisticians in the country was a brilliant man who contributed to the green revolution in the field of agriculture in India. Six years after his death he was awarded a national prize for his contribution to the country. My mother is a textile designer. Being very artistic and creative she opened a world of aesthetics to her children, which included her three daughters and a son. I am the oldest of the girls and second in the line of children after my brother. Each one of us has specialized in a different field. My brother has been involved with trade unions and is practicing law in Delhi. My other two sisters have specialized in History and Sociology and have written several books in these areas. Both are professors as I am.
My own interest lies in women’s studies and literature. I received my Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stonybrook on American Women Dramatists of the sixties. I teach in Delhi University although I have had the experience of teaching in American and European universities as well. I decided settle in India primarily because of my involvement with women’s issues.
My book, Feminist Theory and Modern Drama, explores feminist perspectives on modern drama. My other works on women include Female Empowerment and Women and the Politics of Violence. My latest book is on Postcolonial Theories, which is a subject that I also teach to the graduate and undergraduate students here in Delhi. I am the general editor of an interdisciplinary series on women called Shakti Books. Six books have been published in this series.
My work in the academy on women is linked to my activist engagement outside the academy with and on behalf of women. I find this very empowering because it makes me understand the limitations of studying theory as an abstraction in the classroom. There is still a lot to be done in India for the marginalized but when I meet people around me doing good work I feel encouraged.