Anuja Chandramouli

1. When did u find yourself lost in the world of words? 

Pretty early in the day. Ever since my Mom explained how the speech bubbles in comic books worked, I have been madly in love with words, stories and everything in between. Mum is almost sorry she did it because it is easy for me to disappear into the pages of a book (the fatter and juicier the better!) and forget about everything else!

2. Do you believe that self-experience is important to keep your pen flowing? What motivates you to write and just keep writing?

Self – awareness is the key because it gives one a certain clarity that flows into the writing and helps with finding balance in the chaotic, dizzying world of words. As for motivation, I love the fact that writing offers incredible job satisfaction while keeping alive the dream that it will all eventually translate into rich dividends and bring me one step closer to a screaming mob of fans begging for autographs and selfies. It keeps me going even when I am tempted to throw in the towel and take up something that does not make me want to pull out my hair in chunks or stress – eat.

3. For a writer, How important it is to be a good reader? 

Reading is to write what music is to dance, the latter becomes exponentially harder without the former.

4. Do you find any difference between the creations of a female writer and a male writer?

Not really. Mercifully, gender is hardly a factor when it comes to writing, which is usually a Utopian place, where one can just be without getting bogged down by senseless stereotyping, stigma, bias and false expectations about what you can or cannot do depending on whether you sit or stand while taking a leak.

5. What is writing for you? 

Writing means a lot to me. In fact, we are going to grow old together. 

6. What is social media for you? How do you see social media? 

I have a love – hate relationship with social media. On some days, I think of it as an unspeakable evil that signals the beginning of the end. But there are too many days when I simply cannot do without it. Social media is pretty awesome but we need to exercise a degree of caution and limit ourselves to a few small doses a day, lest it becomes a harrowing addiction that reduces us to drooling imbeciles so glued to their smartphones, iPads etc. that real intimacy loses its favour when compared to the high only a facebook like or retweet can provide.

7. What are your views about feminism? 

Society owes a lot to feminists who fought and sacrificed so much for the many privileges that we take for granted today. It is hard to believe that there was a time when women were not educated, allowed to vote or even voice their opinions on anything be it a potential suitor or preferred underwear. Merely a generation or two ago, women were married off in their teens and spent their lives tied to the home and hearth, with little or no encouragement to pursue dreams that did not include changing and washing cloth diapers, sweating it out over a stove and scrubbing clothes on a rock. Thanks to the efforts of visionary men and women who brought about change, it is a wonderful time to be a woman. Needless to say, there is room for improvement and we need to keep those feminist fires burning in order to brighten the future.

8. What would you like to convey to the young literature enthusiasts? 

Be sure to check out my latest book Yama’s Lieutenant and be sure to gift as many copies as you can, so that I can continue taking baby steps towards the great dream that is indecent wealth and insane fame. Why should cricketers and Bollywood stars have all the fun? But all kidding aside, keep reading and nurture your love for literature for it is the only thing preventing books from becoming an endangered species.

[ Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named in a poll conducted by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. She also authored the bestselling novel, Kamadeva: The God of Desire. Her third book, Shakti: The Divine Feminine is the definitive work on the Mother Goddess. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali.Yama’s Lieutenant is her latest offering and this epic fantasy saga has received an overwhelming response.]

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