Listen to the audio of this episode here: https://wisenotwithered.podbean.com/e/independent-nurse-%e2%80%93-kaya-ray/
Welcome to Week 22 of the Wise Not Withered Character Showcase! Today I’m excited to present Kaya Ray, our 50-year-old Independent Nurse! Kaya Ray is actually one of just three characters in the Wise Not Withered project whose concept I did not originally come up with myself—two others are amalgamations of the writer’s and my ideas (Tsalo-Sesha from Week 7, and the Singing Therapist, who is yet to come), but Kaya Ray’s concept and story is not mine to claim.
The writer and creator of this character and story is Deepa, from India, with illustrations by Rachel, from Kazakhstan. The format of this story is quite interesting, switching between journal entries of Kaya Ray the protagonist, and Maya, her daughter. Here’s Deepa’s description of the characters: Kaya Ray is a workaholic nurse in a well-reputed hospital of the city. To some extent she is possessive about her daughter and has some secrets in life. Maya is a chirpy, active, and extroverted girl studying in high school.
This charming, mother-daughter diary story explores themes such as love, grief, confusion, trust, betrayal, and what it means to be a family. Since Deepa is also a poet, she included lots of short poems at the beginning of Kaya Ray’s journal entries. It was intriguing to watch the story unfold with two different characters’ unique perspectives on the same events. Since my own mother’s passing last year, I have been reading through her journals, while continuing to write in my own, and observing ways in which our writing styles are similar as well as polar opposite.
Since Deepa came up with the concept and story for Kaya Ray, I’ll hand it over to her now!
“I’m Deepa, a painter by passion, a writer by obsession, a singer by emotion, a fighter by compulsion and a teacher by profession. I hail from India.
A couple of years ago I started composing poems and writing short stories. I’m inspired by life itself.
I’ve always believed in the identity of a person beyond social relationships. To portray that I created Kaya Ray, a mother incarnate. Through parturition a woman becomes a mother physically but it’s her psychological bonding and her sense of responsibility towards her kid that makes her a mother in true sense.
While raising my son singlehandedly I experienced various emotions between us and realised that, it’s not just the blood that matters but it is the mutual trust and the unique interdependence. According to me Kaya is an ideal mother who could teach her daughter the essence of relationship and thereby she motivates the readers in building future families where mutual respect and acceptance are the chief qualities.
Well, I joined this project to rediscover the meaning of life, where aging is not synonymous to fading and moving into oblivion. Through this project I wanted to reach the mothers across the globe conveying the fact that neither the loneliness nor the hurdles can intercept the undaunted strides of a mother if she chooses to move on.
To me this phrase ‘wise not withered’ means a radical revolt, an open challenge to the so-called modern world who doesn’t know that though aging physically is compulsory but aging in mind is optional. Years of experience have endowed us with wisdoms without snatching our vitality, capability, and dreams.
Through Kaya Ray I’ve portrayed a mother who knows the art of raising her daughter. Mother – child relationship not only ensures a close-knit bond but also offers a freehand to the next generation who becomes enable to handle a sensitive situation and thus judges correctly. The message that I wish to convey through this story is that — a child who truly understands her mother can never go wrong in making decision. We all need similar kind of broadminded amiable children for a happy future. Thank you.”
And now here is Kaya Ray’s illustrator, Rachel, introducing herself, talking about her background in 3D modeling, her own inspirations, and why she joined Wise Not Withered.
“Hello, everyone! My name is Ryskul. I am from Kazakhstan, Aktau city.
I started making 3d characters from 2017. I was looking for a way to demonstrate 3D models
of furniture and interior decor online in real-time, and, fortunately, I found Sketchfab.com.
A little later I received an invitation to participate in the “Medieval Fantasy” contest.
It was something new for me and I accepted this challenge. I created a stage of a medieval circus with low-poly characters.
Since then, character modeling has taken me and I began to study ZBrush.
I really love both low-poly and hi-poly modeling.
At the moment my characters are more realistic. I have learnt how to make realistic hair, brows and eyelashes, skin textures and etc.
Also I have learnt how to make game ready models, converting its from hi-poly to low-poly.
I inspired by people I meet every day. Now I inspired to create female characters, there is so many beautiful women.
But I would like to create male characters as well. I think I will start from embodiment of my son.
Until recently, fashion and cinema required women to be identical dolls, with parameters 60-90-60.
Every day we saw in the media images of women who, by their appearance, say – meet the standards of beauty – be young, be slim, with attractive shapes.
But our world is diverse in the aspects of beauty, we cannot measure beauty by standards. It can be simply seen and felt in people, in their characters, their background, their attitude towards other people, regardless of appearance and age, nationality and faith.
So I joined the Wise Not Withered project because their goals seemed to me very important – expanding media representation of middle-aged and elderly women.
‘Wise not withered’ means to me that people can be active, health, attractive despite their age. Thank you for your attention.”
To end the episode, I will read an excerpt from Deepa’s story, titled, “Mother!!!”
“March 20, 2016
After burning for really long
The wick gives a bright glow
After losing speech or song
The heart speaks very low……
Today a couple came with their child for its blood transfusion. It was a complicated case. The board of doctors was not hopeful. I’m blessed that Maya is hale and hearty. God keep off my daughter from all evil eyes!!!
Her exams are over. Now I must take her out for a day. We will go to the hills for Maya loves nature just like I do.
After a hectic day in hospital I find relief in my little garden. I personally believe the best friends of a lonely girl are the trees. Today when I was planting the rose sapling a horrific idea haunted me….. What will happen if Maya ever opens the velvet box! Oh God! I can’t think anymore……
March 20, 2016
I’m really disturbed today. It’s sometimes difficult to cope up with things in my first year of high school, like today’s Literature test. While writing about Oliver Twist, I forgot the name of the person who was his half-brother. After submitting the paper I chatted with my friend Flora and remembered the name – Monks. Actually it is not the only reason for my worries. Today I saw a weird thing. I returned a bit early from school and straightway went towards mom’s room. From the doorway I saw her lost in thoughts clasping a small red velvet box. I stood for a while mesmerized as I saw her tucking it safely in her walnut chest of drawers. I never saw that strange box before. It’s a piece of art I must say.
Perhaps she hadn’t realized my presence at that time as she jumped at the sound of my voice when I tried enquiring about it. Usually she answers all of my questions and listens to me with unique patience. But this time she retorted me telling I should never ask about it again, but I can’t come up with any logical reason behind such demeanor of her. Was I wrong to ask her about it? What is in that box????”
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Wise Not Withered Character showcase! Stay tuned for the last three episodes!!