Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary studied on King’s College London’s Undergraduate Summer School in 2014 and has been extremely busy ever since. On top of studying Law, Kudrat had written for a number of magazines and newspapers and in July her debut novel Laiza: Sometimes the End Is Only a Beginning was released.
You studied International Relations and Criminology and Criminal Justice at King’s College London’s summer school, how did you find your experience?
My experience at the King’s College London’s Summer School was a life changing one and is something that I cherish to date and would continue to do so for all times to come. I thoroughly enjoyed both the courses that I’d undertaken, which were International Relations and Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Studying International Relations with such a demanding module strengthened my intellectual faculties and gave me an expert insight regarding understanding complex International situations to find reasonable and fair solutions. On the other hand the subject matter and teaching of Criminology and Criminal Justice helped me grasp issues that plague our society and how they can be dealt with effectively. Apart from academic learnings, I’d also want to highlight that the sort of holistic and diverse environment that the summer school provided me with to interact with students from all across the globe was definitely an experience of a lifetime.
Overall, after the completion of the summer school I found myself way richer in terms of knowledge and insight; something that I feel has made me evolve and wise in every way.
Apart from writing your novel, what else have you been working on since your time at King’s has ended?
I studied at The King’s College London Summer School in the year 2014 and ever since then two years have passed and these have been the busiest two years of my life.
Apart from comprehensively working on my debut novel, I undertook an Accreditation course in Mediation from the Australian Disputes Centre, Sydney in 2015. The completion of the course made me an accredited International Mediator which also means that currently I happen to be one of the youngest mediators of the world. Owing to this, I was bestowed with an opportunity to intern with Holman Webb Lawyers, Sydney in 2015 which was definitely a brilliant experience and a very augmenting one.
Then I got selected to intern at the Ministry of External Affairs, India in September 2015 wherein all my learnings from the course of International Relations came in handy. Then in March 2016, I interned as a Judicial Clerk at the Punjab and Haryana High Court which too was a very fulfilling experience not only as a Law student but also as human being who believes in social justice.
Your novel Laiza- Sometimes the end is only a beginning, was released in July, can you provide us with a brief summary on what the book is about?
LAIZA- Sometimes the End is only a beginning is a fiction novel based in real time, of about 95,000 words approximately expressing all the emotions and dilemmas on a wide spectrum of feelings. It is deep, engaging and intriguing. Laiza represents the plight of a million women who may fall, get injured, but never back down.
It is a story that would introduce the world to the dark side of disasters; it’s a story that would inspire every reader to fight in life, no matter what. It’s a story that needs to be heard. The main themes of the book are Feminism, hope, human trafficking, Indo-Nepal relations, Nepali culture and self discovery.
Did your travels to London and your study at King’s inspire your writing in any way?
I personally feel that we are all a culmination of the experiences we have and the travels we make! So my travels to London would continue to be a part of my being and personality forever, irrespective of the fact that they’re mentioned in my writings or not.
Moving on to the inspiration I sought from my study at King’s. Issues of Feminism and Human Trafficking along with Indo-Nepal relations which are the main themes of my book are basically figments of International Relations. The book is very intense and hence it runs on a consistent background of Indo-Nepal relations and how they affected my protagonist’s life. Every detail about their ups and downs in the year 2015 has been mentioned in the book and analysis of true events to include them in my story was definitely the pedestal wherein study of International Relations helped.
Apart from this, I personally believe that I am a very positive person and for me the toughest aspect of writing ‘Laiza’ was to characterise antagonists! I believe I could do so along with providing every antagonist a back story as to why they became what they became because of being a Criminology student.
So to be very honest, I haven’t used my study and travels to London in the most direct ways to write the book, but they certainly have helped me at various points to twist, turn and knit the story with no loopholes so left to be plugged in the end.
For those student’s at King’s who are budding novelists what one piece of advice would you like to give them?
If you want to write and that’s what you’ve been wanting to do ever since, then START NOW. As Hemingway says, the first draft of everything is bad, so don’t let that dampen you, instead seek inspiration and go on to liberate not just yourself but also the one whose life would change after he/she experiences your work.
And please, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren’t worth it, Because you certainly are. Most importantly Free yourself from your own limitations before anything else.