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BCC Shines A Light on: Sreelekha Chatterjee

BCC Shines a Light On:

Sreelekha Chatterjee


Name of the piece published by BCC:


When/where was it originally published:

Indian Short Fiction, 2015


What is the background of the piece? What led you to write it? What’s your process?

There have been several terrorist attacks all over the world which time and again have pointed toward

the conception of an absurd necessity—among the destroyers of peace—to fulfill some ideological,

political, or religious goals pursued through vehement aggression leading to violence that is deliberately

perpetrated on innocent people.

I wished to delve into the feelings and emotions that lead to the acts of terrorism, to offer an

insight into the deeds of extremism that evolve from wrong perceptions, social disadvantages, and how

it influences and activates the implicit ideologies born out of the insatiable needs, concentrating on the

scarcity rather than the abundance that exists.

It has been observed that many a times the terrorists themselves aren’t fully aware of the root

causes that compel them to choose the path of violence. In most cases, they have been fed with

prejudices, notions that breed from a pessimistic approach toward life. The story is purely fictional.

Through the eyes of a suicide bomber—being dominated by her husband—I desired to search for the

reasons (both psychological and sociological) which direct toward the ghastly acts of installing fear

among the civilians.


How did you feel when it was first published and how have your thoughts or feelings on the piece

changed from then to now?

The first time when the piece was published in the Indian Short Fiction, I felt that I could communicate

through it the necessity to show a greater understanding toward those who are unfortunately driven

toward the acts of terrorism by sheer pressure from their family, friends, or associates, wrongly

channelizing their efforts to bring about a desired change through upheaval, turmoil, unleashing havoc

on the innocent victims.

It was a privilege to have my piece published by Bulb Culture Collective for the second time, as

its original home had ceased publication. I felt the urge to bring forth the pain and sufferings of a

terrorist who has been pushed toward the fatal act through her own family. The story has been

accepted by the readers with compassion and sympathy, as they could comprehend the pain, the

dilemma of a woman suicide bomber forced to undertake the disastrous activity, compelling her to

sacrifice her own life.


Is there a specific message you'd like readers to take away from reading this piece?

A little more sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and empathy toward those around us, who perhaps need to be

heard, deserve a helping hand, could make a major difference and cease the birth of a terrorist. A

terrorist isn’t someone alien; the person with such a detrimental ideology resides in our society, in our

neighborhood, perhaps in our own house. At times, narcissism and self-absorption inhabit our own mind

leading to drastic steps that harm another individual. An act of kindness toward the person in distress

may help to bring back the forgotten values, the strength to endure life’s hardships with the support of

one another.


Where can readers find more of your work? (Website/social media, etc)

You can connect with me on Facebook at facebook.com/sreelekha.chatterjee.1/, on Twitter

@sreelekha001, and Instagram @sreelekha2023, where my works have been listed.

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