In our talk with the author Tanushree Podder about writing, reading and living, an essence of positive approach towards life can be captured. She tells us how she chased her dreams to pursue a career of her choice, writing. She has written some critically acclaimed books like 'Nurjehan's Daughter' and 'Dreams'. Here is what she told us in the conversation.
What is the idea that encourages you to write a book especially on such a wide range of topics?
I am a restless person and get bored very easily. My idea is to write on one subject and then move on to a different subject so that I am not bored. I started writing with non-fiction but I didn't had any idea of what publishing is all about. But after writing few books I decided to move on to fiction. My last two books 'Nurjahan's Daughter' and 'Boots, Belts, Berets' were fiction novels.
What subject do you enjoy the most when writing?
Humour always interests me. But I love writing on diverse topics as well. And once I finish writing a particular book, that phase is over. And if in any case I have to write on the same subject again, I will end up writing it very differently.
How many books have you written and which is your favourite?
I have written 18 books; 16 non-fiction and 2 fiction. Another one is at the editing table. But cliched as it sounds, a writer can never choose one favourite among her books.
I was really interested in your book 'Dreams'. Does it talk about dream interpretation in the Fruedian sense?
It does. A part of the book is about dream interpretation and the rest about the history of dreams, cultural references and also about how you can remember dreams.
Do you have faith in dreams?
Yes, I do. But I also have faith that dreams help people achieve what they want in real life.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that strikes you about their work?
I am a voracious reader. I started Enid Blyton and then moved on to Robert Ludlum, O'Henry and Leon Uris. I am fascinated by Second World War literature. And if you ask my all time favourites, then it has to be Ayn Rand and PG Wodehouse.
Indian fiction is going through a phase of boom in Mythological and Historical fiction. You have written historical fiction yourself. What is your take on this development?
When a particular format of writing succeeds then there are always many clones that follows. The same is the case with historical or mythical fiction. But I guess there is space for every kind of fiction in the Indian market and they can all happily co-exist.
Any message for budding writers?
Writing is not a very well paying job. Moreover, it is extremely unpredictable. You never know what would work. It is just like movies; sometimes a good movie flops while some become unexpected hits. So my message to budding Indian authors would be that there is no shortcut to success. If you have a passion for writing then just be ready to pursue it.
Any message to the readers?
My third fiction book, 'Escape From Harem' is releasing in a couple of months. So do pick it up if you like historical fiction. It is about the escape of a Mughal concubine with her lover from the harems.