Written by: Anima Jain
Edited by: Vipul Murarka
During an author interaction organized by Kalam on 18 October 2016, we got the opportunity to meet the acclaimed author Anuja Chauhan. She has authored some great books such as, ‘The Zoya Factor’, ‘Those Pricy Thakur Girls, ‘The Battle for Bittora’. A witty and charming author, her works are a portrayal of her charm. After working in the advertising industry for 17 years, she finally sat down to write her very first novel that was a huge hit instantly. Since then she has never looked back. Her new novel ‘Baaz’ is soon to be published and there is great hype among her fans for this book. When asked she said this is one book she loves the most.
As we entered hotel Marriott, the emotions in the air were palatable. While everyone was excited to meet her I was a bit anxious with a million thoughts running in my mind. This was going to be my first interaction with an author and to say I was excited will not do justice to what I was feeling. Among the many thoughts in mind, one of the most prominent ones was what if she is not like I thought she would be. As the evening progressed my worries vanished. When she entered the room a buzz filled the air. She was everything and more than what I had hoped for. She was graceful and polite, witty and charming and simply mesmerizing.
During her interview many things were discussed like her journey from advertising and media to the literary world. We got to know that many things in her novel were inspired from her mother-in-law Margaret Alva’s political campaign. The characters have a touch of what she has seen and heard. She enjoys listening and thinks that one gets many amazing and great ideas from listening. Everyone has something interesting to say and she sometimes uses the ideas she gets in her books. The language used in her books is the everyday language you hear. Some Hindi words, some English and some Hinglish. Some deliberately mispronounced so as to get the desi rural touch of India.
The session was lively and engaging, everyone listened to her with rapt attention. She charmed the audience with her words, ideas and the little anecdotes that she shared. As the session progressed we got to know a little about her new book which is based on Indian air force in the 70’s. Once the session progressed to the discussion with the audience, we got to know a little bit more about her. When asked how she still manages to look so young she gave all the credit to her good genes. She signed copies of the Hindi translation of the Battle of Bittora and the evening ended with high tea, few selfies and some words exchanged with the author.
This evening will forever be etched in my memory as the day I met Anuja Chauhan.
A book lover and an aspiring writer. She someday hopes to see her own name on the cover of a book.