tête-à-tête with authors

Interview With Richa Lakhera 

Born in Dehradun. Richa did her Masters in Chemistry from Miranda House, before she studied Journalism. Special Correspondent and TV Anchor Richa is currently Associate Editor, entertainment in a prominent news channel, NDTV. 

We caught up with Richa Lakhera over the weekend to learn more about her debut book ‘Garbage Beat published by Harper Collins.
Here’s an excerpt of the conversation that ensued-

Farhan: What induced you to title your novel with the name ‘Garbage Beat‘?

Richa: Entertainment is like garbage food. Pizza. Burgers. Coke. Which are tasty and spicy and fizzy but provide no real nutrients. At least that’s how entertainment is sort of seen in the news ecosystem, whether we like it or not.

Farhan: What do you do when you are not anchoring or writing?
Richa: I am an artist. I have been painting for more years than I have been writing and reporting.

Farhan: Was there a time when writing the book you had the dearth of time and you thought of completion of the book would endlessly remain a dream?  How did you manage all other things when writing the book?

Richa: No I did not. I knew I will finish it. Its easy for me. I am not exactly a party animal. Only time I go near a party is when my report location is a party.

Farhan: Do you think news has become too filmy?
Richa: Someone  famous once said news is like show business. But I think it’s more like a high school. We have reports cards as in TRPs, we have the superstars ..the star anchors, the censor is like the monitor with a danda if you cross the line, then there are teachers you want to butter up for better grades, like that star you want a special interview with and just like in school everyone wants to say that they watch only good English films and sleep at 10 pm !

Farhan: A news journalist became an item girl. How can that happen?
Richa: Yes. Everyone is allowed to be young and stupid and reckless. News and Bollywood may have more in common than we know. We both have our superstars, villains, loose cannons, comedians and our items too!

Farhan: Do we know who she is ?
Richa: That’s for me to know and you to figure out ;)

DAB: Are most of the characters in your novel (EMTV employees, and celebrities)  based on real people?
Richa: My lips are sealed. You gotta figure that one out:)

Farhan: Did you get into any sort of trouble for writing such a scandalous book?
Richa: Lets say the cat is out of the bag and she is hissing !!

Farhan: At Home or at Studio?
Richa: Home anytime. home home home alone.

Farhan: Delhi or Mumbai?
Richa: Mumbai

Farhan: Solitude or Company?
Richa: Solitude please.

Farhan: Bollywood or Hollywood?
Richa: I love sadda Bollywood. Bollywood for me is Salman Khan and Anurag Kashyap.

Farhan: Richa the Anchor or Richa the Author?
Richa: Richa. The Artist.

Here’s an exclusive Extract from the book.Click here to read it


Interview With Partha Basu

Farhan: How and when did the idea for writing this book occur to you?
Partha: Idea came from an interesting book store visit.
Some years back, when we were expecting our first baby, we were utterly confused. Away from parents, we realised that it will be start of a new phase of our life which is quite unknown to us. We knew that we will be going through a transition. Living away from our parents, we had no one to guide us. One day, we thought of exploring the book shop for a guide and to our surprise we found a book which told us almost all about how to get prepared for the transition and the first few years. That day I thought if I had similar book when I entered my professional life, which could have guided me during my transition from the campus to corporate and then the first few years, my journey could have been smoother. And over time that very thought convinced me to write Make it or Break it
Transition phases are sensitive and complex. It requires us to open up our mind, accept changes & learn new things. Campus to the professional world is thus no different. As we step into the professional world we need to remember that it is quite unknown to us. It can be unnerving even for the brightest professional fresh out of campus unless we step in with our open eyes and a careful mind. We all prepare ourselves for our 10th / 12th Board Exams, and then for the graduation, for our MBA / post-graduation entrance etc. And then comes a time when we move ahead and join the professional world. But frankly how many us actually sit down and prepare for it carefully?
That’s the reason why Make it or Break it was created to guide the young professionals in their journey.
Farhan: Any particular reason to divide this book into four sections ?
Partha: Make it or Break it ….is about the transition from campus to corporate and the first few years. I divided the book into four sections since during this time we all go through 4 phases …..…Phase 1 is about getting ready for the transition, Phase 2 is when we explore the new world, Phase 3 is when we learn to survive in the new world , and Phase 4 is when we prepare ourselves to emerge as a winner.
Farhan: Which is your most favourite story in the book ? And What do you like best about it?
Partha: It is about asking a parent who is your favourite child…..I have no particular favourite story. All of them are important, are close to my heart, has a particular role to play in the book. They are all drawn from the practical world and are near real life stories. I love them all.

Farhan: Please shed light on your journey of becoming an author.
Partha: The corporate world has given me enough. Few years back I decided that it was now my turn to return the favour to the corporate world. On a deep thought I realised that the best way to do that is if I can share my experience with fellow professionals / the corporate aspirants and make them benefitted from it. And that is how my writing started with a simple aim that even if my book benefits few persons on this earth, I think I have done my duty through an honest effort.
Farhan: Did the process of writing books, make you more wise? What did you learn?
Partha: Absolutely. I learnt a lot through my writing. It made me observant, taught me to look for meaning at things happening around me. It helped me to learn from almost every interaction in life. Writing also helped me to get into reading habit once again.
Farhan: How do you manage to find time to write despite the requirements of your job and family?
Partha: Like others, I too have a busy schedule. To take out time from a busy schedule is an art.Hence I write whenever I get time. No pre-fixed schedule, or need for silence all around. Writing is easy, putting thoughts together is difficult. More time is spent on the later part.
I travel, hence many a times I write in a flight, at airports, at hotels. At home, my family is very supportive, and thus I write whenever I get free time as well.
To manage both worlds, the most important trait is to manage time. It help in two ways, one – you finish your job on time that makes you more efficient, leaves little scope for procrastination, two you direct your energy to do what you love to do.
Farhan: A 140 character pitch about your book? Why should anyone read ‘Make it or Break it’?
Partha: Many years of learning put across through stories for the professionals to learn and relate to the practical world,equipping them to excel
Farhan: Corporate and creative …are they two different worlds?
Partha: Actually not. In both lives we deal with the real staff….emotion, ambition, competition, politics, love, betrayal, failure, success……. An author just watches them closely, feel them and the stories emerge.
I do not believe that the person who is into a regular corporate world has lost his touch with creation. The only difference is that an author takes the pain to put them together and share. It is the passion within them that makes them create new stories.
Farhan: How do you choose your characters?
Partha: Most of the characters we read or write are around us. An author just watches them closely, feel them and the stories emerge. My characters are no different. They are one among us, or should I say a mix and match of many around us.
Farhan: What’s the secret of getting such nice pre-publishing reviews? :)
Partha: I always wanted some se


Interview With Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, is a 17 year old lass from Palampur, a ravishing small town of Himachal Pradesh. Presently, Supriya is in the final year of her school. She is a medical student of XII standard.She has authored an anthology which is a collection of poems which she wrote in her childhood and early teenage. She has achieved a great success at a very tender age, which is far beyond than anyone can anticipate. Her debut anthology is called “The Myriad” and it contains 39 poems
We had some tête-à-tête with her about her love for poetry; we’re delighted to share it with you.

1- What inspired you to write this book?
Answer- Well, to me, “The Myriad” is something that I’d envisaged for my future since the day when I was not even a teenager. I had always wanted by bind my illicit and unripened verses into a slice of surreal treatise. It may sound strange, but there were actually two things that inspired me to write this book. Firstly, it was the sarcastic tone of the society. Though it wasn’t threatening or scathing, but I’d always wanted to upshot the basic convictions of the world around us. Secondly, the nature around me has always fascinated and inspired me beyond any possible levels of anticipation. We were, rather are, always taught at the school that these trees and flowers are categorized as living creatures and they differ us only by the means of communication. So since my early teenage, I have always tried to place myself at their place and speak up a language that perfectly fits up in this universal natural maze.
2- When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Answer- Long after my anthology was able to inspirit and enliven different hearts across different parts of the world, I felt comfortable to consider myself a writer.
3- Did the process of writing books, make you more wise? What did you learn?
Answer- Yes, this field has made me sapient and wiser. My incipient caliber is no longer reflects rawness and that is probably the best gift that the Almighty can bestow on me. Through different means of social networking media, I came across many diligent, skilled and proficient writers, and poets across different parts of the globe. Every time I talk to them, I learn something new. Something that was a subdued subject for be, let it be the acronym of different literary aspects or anything that you need to learn to become a poetic laureate.
4- What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
Answer- I may consider myself too immature to answer this. But yes, I have my own hypothesis on the most important elements that a good writing requires. The piece, whether poetry or prose, should be creatively descriptive. The reader should be able to visualize the entire context. It should be something like even if you’re signalling a sort of aroma in your note, the reader should be able to smell that even! This keeps the reader glued to the real sense of your writing.
5- How did you come up with this title, the Myriad?
Answer- When I was compiling my poems for this book, I’d short-listed many good and bad titles. And out of all of them, I’d chosen “Fab Fusion” as the final title. But when I told this to my best friend and my soul sister Mehak Raina, she rejected it and advised to come up with something better. And then for few hours we kept on discussing and finally came up with “The Myriad” as the final title.
6- . Is there any author who has influenced you the most and how has he influenced you?
Answer- J.K Rowling has probably inspired me more than anyone in the writing world. I don’t remember my exact age, but her Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first fiction book, apart from my regular textbooks that I’d even even ever touched. And I was astonished on the way it kept me anchored till the last book of the series. We all are aware of the fact that, this just did not happen with me. It happened with almost every child/teenager on this earth. Just like her, someday I wish to outshine with my verses in an even more spectacular way.
7- Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Answer- To be precise, the book contains poems based on both, the real life experiences and purely imagination as well. The poems like Ammi, An Ode to the Hills, and I miss you, Grandma are based on real life experiences and on the other hand poems like Avenged Musk of Intrigue are imagination based!

8- Which is your most favorite poem in this compilation ?
Answer- Enduring the heaven.
It deals with the basic realities of birth and death. The two words that I most ponder upon.
9- Quick Fire Round
Supriya, the poet or medical student ?
Reading or writing?
Rigid or Flexible?
Thinker or Doer?
Religious or Atheist ?


Interview With Anne Zaidi, author of Love Stories #1 to #14

“These are stories that draw on real life, real people.” Says the author of Love Stories, Annie Zaidi who has been interviewed by Farhan. Annie’s recent book, Love Stories, an exotic compilation of #14 love stories published by HarperCollins unveils the love and the life of lovers. 

Farhan: Let’s strike up the interview with this question that what was that temptation or inspiration by which this compilation of exuberant love stories came into existence?
Annie: These are stories that draw on real life, real people. I saw people’s lives and heartaches and made them my source of inspiration.
Farhan: In this compilation of fourteen stories, which one you consider the best or say which is your favorite story? Why is it?
Annie: I cannot say which one is best. Each one has a separate motivation and different characters with various kind of appeal. But I had the most fun writing #4, The One that Badly Wanted.
Farhan: Did you peek into the life of lovers when writing this book? Did you need to make any research before writing this book?
Annie: Not ‘research’ really. I did not go looking for lovers and their stories. I observed what was unfolding around me and then played it out different in my own imagination.
Farhan: I think that some of your stories unfold the love of post-modern era when the lovers live utterly dispersed and hectic life as the same is found in the story #5. How much of the book is based on realism of post-modern life and love?
Annie: This is impossible to answer. I personally don’t understand all these terms – ‘post-modern’ etc. What does it mean to be modern or post-modern? I can only speak of the world I was born in, and I treat it as both modern and contemporary.
Farhan: Who is your most beloved author of romance? Why do you like that author?
Annie: I do not read much in the ‘romance’ genre, honestly. But the book I .first liked, which had a love story at the heart of it, was ‘Gone with the Wind’
Farhan: How did you come up with this simple title?
Annie: I think I titled each story numerically because I was figuring out what these stories were actually about in the process of writing them. Since all of them ended up numbered, we thought the title may as well reflect that.
Farhan:- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing short stories?

Annie:Yes. The endings. I always find it hard to work out an end for my stories.

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