Meet the SHEROES - Ishani Malhotra
Ishani is a Commerce graduate from the University of Calcutta and holds a degree in Mass Communication. She has worked as a correspondent with The Hindustan Times newspaper, Kolkata Edition for two long years.
A voracious reader, she love works of Jhumpa Lahiri, Dan Brown and Shobha De. Her debut novel, ‘Until I Met You’ (Harlequin India) is slated to release across the country. She has even penned a few short stories in the past.
Her writing style is casual and reflects conversational tones of the contemporary generation. Her other interests include reading, painting, music and social networking. Born and raised in the city joy, Calcutta, Ishani now resides in Guwahati and is a mother of two boys. SHEROES catches up with Ishani -
Tell us more about yourself.
I am a post graduate in Mass Communication and have worked as a journalist for a leading English daily, Hindustan Times. I am a voracious reader and writing is my passion, it has always been. I also love travelling to new destinations and let myself fall in love with nature. I live by the saying, ‘Love yourself,’ because that gives me the power to love others around me. Born and raised in Calcutta, I’m now settled in Guwahati and a mother of two delightful young boys.
What motivated you to be a writer?
I am a creative person and creativity always intrigues me. I always try to find and plant creativity in everything I do. So since childhood, creative writing had always been my forte. Also as a journalist I used to do more of feature oriented stories like talking about people, places and also food.
But after marriage and the birth of my two kids, I gave up my job to settle in some other city with my hubby. Family life sucked up all my time and the dream of writing took a backseat. When the kids had grown up a little I noticed I was living their lives, fulfilling all their needs and hardly doing anything for myself. It was like a year back and I told myself this was not what I wanted, I had my own dreams that were nowhere close to getting fulfilled. So I got back to doing what I loved doing the most – writing. It was something that I could do sitting back at home. I started with writing short stories and even won a short story contest. My story was published and the readers appreciated my work and style of writing which motivated me to write more.
A few more short stories and I thought time had come to pen a novel now. There was already a plot in my mind and in five months I wrote my first romance novel – Until I Met You. I had pitched my work to Harlequin, India who responded back saying they would like to publish my work. I worked with the Harlequin editor and my book is now set to release soon nationwide.
What is ‘Until I Met You’ about?
‘Until I Met You’ is the title of my debut contemporary romance novel releasing from Harlequin, India. The plot of my book is set in Calcutta. I have tried to keep the plot very simple yet pacy. Though it is a work of fiction, I have talked about the relationship problems that today’s youngster’s face. Falling out of love probably happens faster than falling in love. At times, after falling out of love, the individual realizes the s/he was not at all in love in the first place.
My story explores that how in today’s generation the youth has to go through several hindrances in their love lives like cheatings, break-ups, taking short breaks in their relationships in a very small span of time. But then above all, love has the power to transcend us from every complex situation
that we face in life. And finally we find out that one person who we can love, trust. Who we feel protected with and the one who respects our smallest decision in life.
The story is written in first person and the voice narrating the story is of a 23 year old gorgeous, intelligent airheaded girl who is doing her Masters. She’s in love with the idea of being in love who can get clueless at times. She has her own fixation with relationships and marriages. All I can say is her character is very realistic and almost every girl and even the boys can relate to her. It is easy to like her.
There are other lead characters in the book. The book has some genuinely laugh out loud moments as well as some scenes where the reader cringes in embarrassment right along.
And obviously it has a happy ending. Being a die-hard romantic writer, I can possibly never give my love stories a sad ending.
What are the challenges that you face as a writer?
The first and foremost challenge for a writer is to hitch a great plot. It can take days and even months to get that perfect plot that the readers can relate them with. I am first a reader and then a writer. So when I write, I think from a reader’s point of view. What a reader is looking for. First the story has to appeal. Realistic plots and realistic characters work best. Also the writing style is a big challenge. Today, with the literacy rate going high up, the readers have also increased and when a reader reads a book the least they want is to sit with a dictionary to look for the meaning of difficult words. I just cut out on them and keep my writing style very conversational, like we talk in day to day life.
When I write the story, I work alone and there’s absolutely no one I can talk about the work I’m doing. That’s stressful at times. With the kids always demanding for my attention, it was a big challenge to find my own time and space to write. But then I set myself a routine. I write during the morning hours when the kids are off to school.
A message to all SHEROES out there.
Nobody else is going to be your hero – so be your own hero or SHERO. As I said, my message would be love yourself, keep yourself at your priority list because after a point in life no one will keep you as their priority. You have come alone to this world and leave alone, so fight it out alone. And do not give up your dreams. Try and remember what dreams you’d woven for yourself and see where those dreams stand now. Push yourself till the time and you can. Come out of your comfort zone and a show the world that a woman can be a great daughter, loving wife, caring mother but with give her that magical push, she can be a real tigress!