Meet Latha Arunachalam, a multi-faceted and talented personality who is a teacher, poet, and writer. She is in fact publishing her poetry collection later this year. Latha believes that every woman is inherently talented, she just needs to give herself time to understand and realize that herself……
Tell us about your writing journey?
I have always been interested in writing from childhood. I used to write couplets and short stories but didn’t pursue it seriously then. Post marriage I moved places from my hometown in Coimbatore to Mumbai and then later to Nigeria. It is where I started working as a Montessori teacher in a school there. I took a break from work when my daughter began her higher studies and it was then that I started writing in earnest. I used to express myself through poetry, and Facebook was a big help in giving me a platform to voice my thoughts.
An editor of a Tamil magazine after coming across my poetry and musings asked me to start writing for a column. I believe in empowerment and emancipation of women, children- their growth and education and lastly elderly people- their struggle for an identity, their loneliness, also on how they need to perceive the world around them and for others to treat them with love and respect that they deserve. I have also written about Nigeria- my experiences living there, a travelogue of sorts. It is through poetry that I express my inner most feelings and aesthetic expression.
Who is the one person who inspired you to take up writing more seriously?
I am extremely grateful that I get to pursue my passion as a writer now. A dear friend of mine called Loganayaki Ramachandran, editor of a women’s magazine is the one who encouraged me to take up writing full time. She gave me the push and the chance to take up writing as a professional.
What are your best memories of your childhood?
I was a rebel of sorts while growing up. I was raised in a small town so therefore there were a lot of restrictions on us as girls. However, I am thankful to my father for giving my sister and me a sound education, he was very particular about it. I guess the writer in me was born then to question status quo and not accept anything blindly.
What does being a woman mean to you?
A woman should hold her dreams and responsibilities together and both should be dear to her. Sometimes she needs to fight for it, but eventually she will make it happen. Age and time should not hinder her process and progress. I believe every woman should spend quality time with herself. You matter! That’s my mantra.
Can you describe your first saree wearing experience?
I wore a saree for the first time for my high school farewell. I wore my mother’s Kanjivaram pattu saree – a lotus pink with black border and I really enjoyed the experience. It felt simply wonderful.
What does a saree mean to you?
A saree is six yards of sheer beauty and elegance for me.
Describe your most favourite saree?
It was a saree that was given to me by my friend before my daughter was born. She blessed and gave me that saree and had in fact told me take a photograph of me wearing it along with my baby daughter. It’s a Bengal cotton saree that is very special to me.
What fabric do you like in a saree?
I like Tussar, soft silks and I have a special preference for sarees with cut work embroidery.
Check out Latha’s favourite cutwork sarees from The S studio collection.
Your association with The S Studio?
The S Studio is Subha’s dream come true. She has worked very hard and put a lot of time and effort in making it what it is today. Whenever I shop at The S studio, I do it with ease knowing for sure the fabric is of the best quality and the designs classic. The S Studio is the place that one must visit for customized sarees, there is definitely something for everybody. Subha’s special touch is seen in each of her creation.
Latha Arunachalam in conversation with Vidya Vijayragvan