Siddhartha Gigoo, a Delhi based author of Kashmiri origin has brought India honor by winning The Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015, which has come to an Indian after a gap of three years. The story revolves around a man who lives in a mental asylum and possesses an umbrella. One day he is set free and he sets off for a journey to a world he has never seen, beyond the gates of the asylum.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, the writer himself shares that the story was written under the most bizarre circumstances. “I dreamt of a solitary man who chances upon an umbrella. I wrote about this man and his conversation with his only friend,” he says. The writer shared that he himself had trouble understanding the story, adding, “Strangely, the Umbrella Man has become a real person who I wish to meet and know.”
He also adds that the current Kashmiri writers will be trendsetters. “I come across writings from the youngsters and marvel at the quality. They are not stuck in clichés and tropes,” he adds.
Gigoo belongs to Kankah-i-Sokhta, Safakadal in Kashmir and after the exodus, has lives in different places. He currently resides in Delhi and says that he has made his peace with Delhi, “Almost everyone is a migrant here”.
Image Courtesy: Kashmir walla