Local author encourages women to follow their dreams

21 Aug 2020 11:00 am

Many of us set out to make a difference, leaving school with dreams and hopes for our future. But family responsibilities and the rat race of life cause us to take a different path, shelve some of our dreams or put them on the back burner.

This was true for local Durban writer, Anira Pather until her friend encouraged her to take a leap of faith and put pen to paper. With her first book, Trials by Fire in print, Anira is using this Women’s Month to encourage others to do the same. “Follow your dreams.  You, and only you, are the architect of your destiny. Up, up and away, or as Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story would say, “To infinity…and beyond!”

Asked about her passions Anira, who grew up in Stanger said, “I’ve always immersed myself in reading and writing.  I loved writing at school and my dream was always to write a book. For me, reading and “seeing” characters come to life in my head was a joy unto itself.” But a person can have more than one passion, Anira says. “I studied a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and I love my day job as a finance professional at LexisNexis South Africa, as well as my writing.  Whether it is spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, or blog posts and novel extracts, it’s like a new world opens up inside of me as I work with it.”

Trials by Fire is a book of fiction that explores the journey of three women, how their lives intertwine and the challenges they face. Anira says that while none of the characters are based on anyone in real life, there are elements within the plotline that struck a chord with her, such as female empowerment, gender-based violence and survival.

“LexisNexis is known for its commitment to advancing social issues and the Rule of Law and justice for all. Working there has reinforced my belief in being able to make a difference in the world, she says. Anira feels that women should support each other and be there for those who are experiencing gender-based violence. “Never turn a blind eye to gender-based violence,” she says. “You could possibly be instrumental in saving someone’s life.  Also, never judge someone who is going through it.  Very often, people find it easier to judge than to help. Don’t! You can make a difference, even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on or lending a sympathetic ear.”

Anira shared the following extract from her book, Trials by Fire“Dadi I’m not like my mother, am I?” asked Rhea, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. “Of course not, my darling child,” said Dadi emphatically.  “You are Rhea, a young woman, in her own right, who is on the threshold of the best years of her life. Embrace your individuality my dear and take the world by storm!  Lineage and ancestry do not determine what you are.  You determine who and what you become!”

Rhea looked at her Grandmother and for the first time saw her as a woman, and not just Dadi.  A woman who had been humbled in the face of adversity; a woman who had, like the phoenix, risen from the ashes.

The print version of Trials by Fire is available through Micromega Publications via their official website https://madeinchatsworth.co.za/ and the ebook is available on Amazon.