I started writing rather late in life; I was nearly thirty when I began. Until then, though I had read voraciously since chilldhood, and had been obsessed by - no, let me not be pompous and say literature - the written word, I had written nothing, nothing at all. One day I began. And then, as if the floodgates had been opened, J wrote and wrote and wrote. It was a deluge, as if what had been pent up in me for years was flooding out. I wrote short stories initially. All about women, as my very few readers as well as family and friends never failed to inform me. I had a serious sense of doing something not exactly wrong, but something rather shaming. Surely writing about women was not serious writing? Serious literature was written by men, about men. But there was nothing I could do about it. Sometimes I cheated. I wrote in the persona of a man. A male narrator. But the stories turned out to be about women after all.
Deshpande, Shashi, Why I Write, Kunapipi, 6(1), 1984.