January 22, 2012

The new author on the block

I have the good fortune of having interacted with Kiran Manral, over her blog and Twitter. I have just bee completely fascinated by her style, humour and usage of phrases. I have not missed a single blog post of hers since she was at 'Thirty seven and counding'. And, when I came to know that she is soon to publish a novel, it was just too thrilling. The book was sure to just be a riot knowing her writing style. I was also awed with someone I knew writing a full fledged novel. This would be the second author who I would know, maybe not too well, but at least I do know! 

I got the book the week it was out, but just finished it, with travelling, packing and such. Totally enjoyed the book and in fact when I was at the last chapter, I was reading it way more slowly than what I usually do. I just did not want it to end!  I would be writing a review too which you can come back for maybe next week, but for now here is the short question answer session which I could squeeze out of the new author on the block!

To know more about the book, head to Book BlogFlipkartInfibeam, or Youtube

I am so proud to introduce to you the author, blogger, tweeter, social worker and much more


Tell us a little about yourself

I started out my career as a copywriter in a small advertising agency, moved on to journalism, quit full time work to have a baby, and continued freelancing. I write freelance features. I also blog and work on social issues. 

When did you first dream/wish to become an author?

Never actually. I’m too intimidated by the thought of becoming an author. I’d always looked on to authors with awe and reverence. 

When was your first work published? What was it?

Hmm. First work in print? Probably the school and college magazines. Some earnest attempt at poetry or fiction. 

Prior to becoming an author, you were…

A freelance features writer.

What is the plot for The Reluctant Detective?

It is about a housewife who has a person from her society found murdered on the road, and comes across yet another murder. And her curiousity and lack of anything better to do perhaps leads her to start snooping around asking questions...for the rest of it, you have to read the book.

How did you come upon the plot for The Reluctant Detective?

Honestly. I just wrote it out. I’m awful with plotting and planning. So I just wrote out a story as I thought it would flow. 

What kind of research went into writing The Reluctant Detective?

No research actually. It is not a very serious book. Its more a kind of life I am familiar with, being a suburban housewife myself. 

What profile of readers do you think would enjoy this book?

Anyone who enjoys a funny, quick read would enjoy this book. 

What are your three all time favourite books and why?

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Anything by P G Wodehouse 
The Lord of The Rings Trilogy
Why. I love to laugh and to be fascinated with things. 

What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

Right now I’m re-reading some old Wodehouse books. I tend to keep dipping into them back and again between heavy reads. I just finished Stephen King’s 11.22.63 on the Kennedy assassination and time travel. Authors as influencers are so many--P G Wodehouse, Dave Barry, Jerome K Jerome in the humour genre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in magic realism, Milan Kundera, J RR Tolkein, Terry Pratchett, Charlotte Bronte, Ernest Hemingway, Daphne Du Maurier and yes, Enid Blyton. I find I love the comfort of simple writing and an easy tale. 

How does it feel to be a published author? 

It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest. 

Who has been the best critic of your work?

I would find that out now I guess. 

What is your definition of a great book?

A book you can go back to anytime and feel compelled to read it all over again. 

On another front, what are your favourite recreational activities?

I love to watch movies. I am a complete horror movie buff. Apart from that, no real recreational activities, except maybe, eating. 

Are you a music buff? What are your fav genres?

Not really, as one gets long in the tooth, one tends to stick with familiar music one has grown up with. So soft rock and pop I guess. And I enjoy the occasional ghazal and thumri. 

January 12, 2012


Recently I have been trying to figure out what really works for post-partum weight loss. Since, I have stopped breastfeeding Tee, I have seen that there is a gradual increase in the waistline which seems to be working on, and the sooner I get to work on it, the better.

Firstly, I started to analyse what is the main difference in the food habits, and I realized that something which has been happening is that I seem to be having a heavier dinner than before pregnancy, and this is something which may not required. And, as I thought about it, I realized that regular heavy meals have been the norm when I was pregnant, and that is still being continued, even though I do not seem to need it. A heavy breakfast, and decent lunch should suffice. Keeping dinner light and early is something which I like to do. A reason for having the heavy dinner also might be attributed to the late dinner which has been happening off late. B works late, which means dinner also shifts to a later time. I snack in between and end up not having my meal on time, and also filling myself with unwanted ( but tasty) stuff.

As a new year deal with myself, I have decided I shall allow myself only 200 gms of any tasty tit bits in any form through an entire month. I do not think I would survive a complete deletion of these said items from my diet forever, but I would certainly want to cut down on these things. And once I have cut down to this level, I can have whatever I please in the limit set. I do not need to look out for the low fat and substitutes. Its been almost half a month and things do seem to be doing well for me till now. I have not given in to my cravings and I am saving my allowance for the latter half of the month. This reminds me of my pocket money during school days, and how I used to save it for the last week of the month, where I would have a lavish snack in school knowing that come next month, I would have some money to spare again.

Another bit which I gathered while reading up on post-partum weight loss was that there is a clear loss in muscle quality which needs to be built up, and that can happen only with exercise and strength building exercise to be specific. Saying this, I am not a very big gym fan, so I do not keep to my routine and I also do not end up giving in my full at the gym, hence, it takes a fair bit of time for the effects of a good gym workout to show on me. I did find another alternative, Pilates and Yoga classes. Good toning and weight loss as an added benefit, but foremost fitness! But, they are a tad too expensive I would say though I really badly need the workout. I have been just vegetating in front of the laptop and having my meals. If you count in looking after Tee, that would still not require so much energy, at least not the good stretches which I am looking forward to. So many things I want to do and I have no clue how I would be getting things into action. I keep telling myself and everyone around I do not have the time. Frankly speaking, I mean to say that I do not know if I can spend any time away from Tee. I do worry a bit too much and I wonder whether it would actually matter so much. Anyhow I need to start doing this as that is the only way I would get back to work also in a few weeks, albeit part-time.