Writing my story was traumatic, says Peter-Indrani Mukerjea's daughter Vidhie Mukerjea on 'Devil's Daughter'
Vidhie Mukerjea, the daughter of INX Media co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, suffered an immense emotional turbulence back in 2015 when her parents were arrested in connection with the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. Vidhie, now in her 20s, came out describing her experience in a book, titled 'Devil's Daughter'. As the book was published, IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh interacts with Vidhie, who was at Starmark Kolkata recently, on the book, her experience and more
You have said that you wrote the book in your third attempt. Was writing this book a cathartic experience?
It definitely and undeniably was a cathartic experience for me as I was relieving so many memories and finally making peace with them. It was quite tough to go through each memory, sometimes each day, but as I began writing, I felt empowered through my own story. The feeling was almost indescribable. I’m grateful to all the people who pushed me to write this book, which includes myself.
What made you write this book?
Honestly, when I first started writing I was sure it was going to be for my eyes only and no one else. I began writing right in the midst of the time when COVID-19 hit and it started out more as a hobby and release. Later, I was quite anxious about all the news I was hearing and the times we were living in. Everything seemed to be going wrong for everyone.
I thought about how many other people were in this situation and feeling anxious and depressed. How many people must feel like this? Yes, we all have greatly different problems on the surface, but beneath that we are all the same. We all go through anxiety and, therefore, we all could benefit with similar healing. I told myself that, no matter what, I must have the courage to write this as it could be helpful to someone else.
Writing helps ease out tension? Did you experience it?
Oh absolutely… It was quite traumatic for me at many points and whilst writing it I would have to stop, take a break, wipe away the tears and confront some really tough things. But because I was older and slightly more evolved than the irrational 18-year-old me, I was able to process it much better, which really helped me greatly.
Vidhie Mukerjea at Starmark Kolkata
If you are comfortable, can you tell us how you have managed to deal with the difficult days about which you have written in the book?
Honestly I really almost couldn’t deal with it. I dealt with a lot of it mentally years later. Physically I just shut off and pretended none of it was happening to me. I was almost like a robot. I would feel something and the moment it was really tough for me I would shut off. I’m still learning and feeling many things from the past. Still many areas yet to heal and confront.
What was your relationship with your mother Indrani Mukerjea?
Like any parent–child relationship. We were best friends at times and at other times we just didn’t understand each other. Our relationship is quite complex and both of us are working on it.
Did you consult your parents before writing the book?
Not really, actually. Earlier, my father would always push me to write about this experience, but years later, when I did, I never consulted either of them. Only after my manuscript was 80 percent complete, did either of them know I was writing a book and vaguely know the contents of it. They never interfered as it was my journey. They never asked once what I was writing about. I respect that immensely.
Has the attitude of the media and common people towards you changed after the publication of the book?
Oh absolutely, and it’s really wonderful to see that. People have been really understanding and respectful to my side of the story, which I am grateful for and really touched by.
Of late, we have seen media trials taking the centre stage in various cases. Since you have been a victim of that, do you think stricter laws should be framed to combat this trend?
I cannot comment on this at this point for obvious reasons although I believe the media needs to adopt higher standards overall in areas such as bias, accuracy and in-depth analysis.