Friday, May 15, 2015

Chef Ranveer Brar on My Clingy Girlfriend

Chef Ranveer Brar said "Madhuri you've a written an awesome book ... read in one go ..
Just tweeted about it :)"

His Tweet was, "Spent a whole day #MyClingyGirlfriend awesomely written by a fellow lucknowite @madhuribanerjee." 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kindle Mag talks about My Clingy Girlfriend and other best selling novels

Madhuri Banerjee was irked at being labelled a chick-lit author, until she realised that it was what sold. Devjani Bodepudi tries to get her to spill the beans on how to make it big.

There is no real recipe for success, no magic formula which will guarantee that a book will sell millions and millions of copies and turn its author into a household name. We’ve been told this countless times and yet, there are a few writers out there in our literary cosmos who seem to have stumbled upon the fabled fairy dust, which made their books float up into the hallowed ether of a bestsellers list.
I had the very real honour of interviewing one such writer a few days ago. Madhuri Banerjee writes books we all want to read. I mean they’re funny, insightful and most importantly full of useful titbits about that elusive thing called love.
My Clingy Girlfriend, her latest bestseller, is a very clever take on love and relationships from a man’s POV. The word which immediately popped into my little head, upon realising that the protagonist was Obrokanti and not Oindrila, was ‘genius’.

Banerjee had managed to crawl inside a man’s head, rummage around and pick out the most essential bits that all us girls need to know to give us a realistic picture of how a man thinks. For your information, 50 percent of men, according to Banerjee, are riddled with a certain amount of self-doubt, uncontrollable lust and ultimately are completely clueless in the ways of love. As her opening line confirms: “I can honestly say that I, Obrokanti Banerjee, know jack shit about love. Nothing. Nada. Zip.” And yet he has managed to bag himself a beautiful girlfriend, whose only flaw, it seems, is that she’s a little clingy. I mean, stereotypically clingy for full comic effect. Incidentally, Banerjee also told me during her interview that Radha, our hero’s girlfriend is a representation of 50 percent of women. These percentages were then jacked up to a rough 80 percent to suggest that in the world of her newest commercial success, four out of five men and women behave and think exactly like this. It was indeed a riotous read.
I really was in awe of such insight and use of statistics!
Banerjee had managed to crawl inside a man’s head, rummage around and pick out the most essential bits that all us girls need to know to give us a realistic picture of how a man thinks.
I managed to reign in my excitement just long enough to ask her about the very important issue of designing the cover. After all, so many books we see on our shelves today, which belong to the commercial fiction genre are clad in covers which give the reader a very good idea of the contents.
12my-clingy-girlfriend-1
I can happily confirm that Banerjee had a lot of input on her cover. She actually wanted it to look that way! Did her creativity know no bounds, I asked myself.
I contemplated the other books we see on our shelves, the so-called classics and I wonder why they chose the artsy-fartsy route instead of the explicit, in your face, tell-it-like-it-is cover. Perhaps they would sell better if they chose a lipstick smudge superimposed onto a silhouette of an intense looking couple walking in the lamplight under an umbrella.
I then got onto the task of asking Banerjee about the content of her books. Did she feel pressured by her publishers to steer clear of subjects such as abortion? “No,” she replied. They accepted every idea she gave them as long as she didn’t want to do literary fiction. Literary fiction didn’t do well in this market. I mean it’s true. Who wants to read anything of any quality? Sorry, substance? I mean difficult? I mean…never mind!
Gone are the days (or maybe they never existed) where people would read books which commented on society, which reported on the injustices of our time, which highlighted the beauty of the everyday. We simply don’t want books like that anymore. Or is that we don’t want women to write these books anymore? I ask this because the Man Booker Prize had only two women on their shortlist last year. Or is it *gasp* that women will never be good enough to win a literary award, unless of course it’s an award specifically designed for women, such as the controversial Bailey’s Prize for fiction?
One particular chair of judges, Lola Young, commented that the British fiction by women that they were asked to appraise fell into two categories, either “insular and parochial” or “domestic in a piddling kind of way.” What would she make, I wondered, of the Indian scene and Madhuri Banerjee and some of our other worthy writers?
I shook away the idea as soon as it entered my head. We don’t need women writing good books—I mean literary books of any substance. We women need Banerjee’s particular blend of writing to warm our cockles and satisfy our fantasies.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, for example, essentially belonged to the chick lit genre, it could be argued. I’ll skirt over the social commentary that Austen often engages in her books, I’ll side-step her clever use of satire and sarcasm when dealing with her characters, because that’s hardly important. What is important was the sexual tension between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.
I wanted to ask Banerjee about the ‘Chick Lit’ label, to get inside the head of such a wonderful writer who possessed said label would be invaluable. She told me—and I would have to agree—that every woman loves a bit of ‘chick lit’. Romance is great, be it Pretty Woman or Notting Hill. Although she was irked at first at being labelled a chick-lit author, she realised that it was what sold. And she did indeed sell.
And when I thought about it, I was forced to ask, “what really is chick lit?” Isn’t it books, written for women, about women and about women-centric issues? Women make up at least 50 percent of the population, so for there to be a genre dedicated to the things that affect us the most, such as falling in love with a tennis player, or our husbands turning out to be impotent (themes explored by Banerjee), then we should celebrate that. She’s embraced the label now, at a time when we need it most. And she’s selling well, because she’s awesome at it.
What we deem as classic now, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, for example, essentially belonged to the chick lit genre, it could be argued; with her long-frocked protagonists paving the way for Bridget Jones and the likes of Chetan Bhagat’s glorious cast of social caricatures. I’ll skirt over the social commentary that Austen often engages in her books, I’ll side-step her clever use of satire and sarcasm when dealing with her characters, because that’s hardly important. What is important was the sexual tension between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.
We certainly don’t want literature written by women which will allow us to glimpse into family and dilemma and history and social politics. We should leave that to the men.
Moving on, I wanted to explore the idea of feminism and what it was. Commercial fiction seems to lend itself perfectly to be a platform for women to express themselves and talk about their very important needs. In Banerjee’s book Scandalous Housewives, very real, aching issues are explored. Things that women should be talking about and taking control over. Things like wanting kinky sex or having an affair with one’s brother-in-law and saying, “enough is enough…my husband treats me like furniture and I won’t take it anymore!” or the woman who decides her life is about herself and not the men in her life, it’s all really very empowering! And women, especially in this country, are battling these issues every single day. I’ve conveniently forgotten the women who are forced into labouring in the sun for the building of our roads, without proper safety equipment, I’m not going anywhere near female foeticide and I won’t even get started on caste. The real, very important issues are the ones highlighted in Banerjee’s books and books like hers. And we love them!
We love to be immersed in the lives of women and men just like us, or exaggerated versions of us, with dilemmas like crazy clingy girlfriends who only exist everywhere. We certainly don’t want literature written by women which will allow us to glimpse into family and dilemma and history and social politics. We should leave that to the men.
Chick lit, especially Banerjee’s particular brand (because she’s a feminist remember?), challenges patriarchy, according to her. Maybe she’s being satirical by penning a portrait of the most patriarchal fictional figure I have ever come across, in Obrokanti Banerjee, and then making us feel sorry for him because his girlfriend and all subsequent female characters in the story are manipulative, bossy, constantly in need of reassurance and are obsessive about their man. Obrokanti is quite right in being turned on by the suggestion of virginity. Long flowing locks and doe eyes are high on the list for judging quality and worth. Breasts are compared from one woman to the next and of course, we are led to believe this specimen of Bengali manhood is just struggling to get by in a world filled to the brim with crazy women who want to bed him and possess him in every possible way.
Iasked Banerjee again what the secret ingredients were for a bestseller. I was more direct this time; it was infuriating that I did not know yet. Her reply was a tinkling laugh. “I wish I knew,” she said. She gave me the example of one book, Mistakes like Love and Sex, which was all set to become a bestseller, “but since it was about a woman and trying to find her sexuality, and it came out during the whole Nirbhaya incident in Delhi. And everybody, the entire country was talking about rape and here was my book talking about a woman trying to find her sexuality. [She] just clashed with the time it was released, you know what I mean. So if that book was released today I think it would do really well.”
In Banerjee’s book Scandalous Housewives, very real, aching issues are explored. Things that women should be talking about and taking control over. Things like wanting kinky sex or having an affair with one’s brother-in-law, or the woman who decides her life is about herself and not the men in her life, it’s all really very empowering!

OK, so now I knew what not to do. If I wanted a bestseller, I had to make sure that it was released when there were no inconvenient controversies happening, like the Delhi gang rape of 2012, and then I would be halfway there.
But really, there was no secret formula that she could give me. What I gleaned from our little chat is that chasing success, like chasing love, was futile. What mattered was that you did what you did, because you were passionate about it. “[It] is just a changing time that would make your book a bestseller and it has nothing to do with you and your potential…[It’s important to] keep going, to keep on working and hope that [you produce] bestsellers…”
The final words of wisdom Banerjee had for me, were related to a storyline I presented to her, for a movie I would like to make some day, when I have grown enough as a writer, I suppose. It holds enough truth about life to last, well, a lifetime. It was a dialogue she suggested for my female protagonist’s man-hating, potentially bisexual best friend, to be played (hopefully) by Kalki. “Don’t be stupid! Love doesn’t have any pacts,” Kalki says to Deepika when Deepika doesn’t notice Saif’s devotion to her. And perhaps you cannot make a pact with success, either, if writing chick lit is what you love.
“Love. Doesn’t. Have. Any. Pacts.”
http://kindlemag.in/secret-success/

Saturday, May 2, 2015

5 Tips on How to Pick Up Books

A part of one of my bookshelves
I remember every summer my grandfather used to take me to a library and I would sit there the whole day reading books. There was no TV, ipad or mobile devices to keep me busy. Thankfully I was a voracious reader. It's helped me all along my life. I'm a true book lover and I love shopping online and at book stores. I have three bookshelves at home filled with books.
So here are 5 tips to buy books and read more this summer!

1. Mix Genres - Every book store and online mart has books by genres. Fiction, Nonfiction, Self-help, Travel, etc. It’s easy to go to a books store or online and go through the genre you really like. But what’s even more interesting is to pick up a genre you’ve never read. If you’re a hard core romance person, why not try a self-help book? If you only like reading thrillers, why not glance at a travel book? Don’t limit yourself to what you like. There’s a whole world of books out there that you should be reading to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world and develop your personality!

2. Mix Fat and Thin – Some people like only reading thin books so they can get through a lot of books soon and say “Oh I’ve read fifty books.” But the purpose of reading a book is to do many things – entertain you, or educate you, or make you think, or suck you into a world that you’ve never imagined and enlighten you. What it’s not supposed to do is make you brag about how quickly you read it. So for every three thin books you read, find one that is at least 400 or more pages and read that!

3. Covers & Colours – Sometimes we like the cover of a book and we pick it up. Most often it’s the mood we’re in that draws us to the colours of the book. Say you want to read something new but don’t know what you feel like buying. Close your eyes and imagine a colour. Let the colour embrace you. Then if you’re in a book store, go and find 5 books with that colour on the cover. Or online type the colour and see how many books you find with the colour as a title. You’ll see that you’ll find a story that you may want to read!

4. Blurb and Bestsellers – Often we pick up a book for the genre, the cover and/or because it’s a bestseller but we don’t read the blurb. The blurb is the most important part of the book. It actually takes longer for an author to write the perfect blurb than write out characters for their novel! It’s the brief synopsis that goes on the back cover of the book. It tells you what the book is about, the characters, the era when it is happening and maybe a twist. I urge people of all ages to always read the blurb before buying the book. Let it appeal to you. Let the story sink in. Do you want to know more about it? Then only buy it. Never buy just because it’s a bestseller and everyone is reading it. You might actually hate it later and kick yourself for wasting money instead of buying another less popular book with a better blurb!

5. The First Chapter & Classics– Every good fiction author takes plenty of time to write his first chapter. This is the hook for the reader to get into the book. I would recommend that you always read a sample of the book which is generally the first chapter before you buy a book. Often we are expecting the same thing since we are prone to like only one genre. I would recommend that everyone tries something new at least once in three months. Pick up an author you’ve never read, a genre you’ve never tried or a classic book like Charles Dickens or Thomas Hardy or Naipaul or Forester that it very different. Open up your reading to vast experiences and you’ll be rich with stories for the rest of your life.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Navbharat Times

I'm so grateful for everything I have each day. Every day. So thankful to be alive.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Buddhism, Mandalas & House of Cards


I was watching Season 3 of House of Cards when I saw Buddhist monks in episode 7 making a mandala.
According to the Berzin Archives and Wikipedia, "A Mandala is Sanskrit for circle. It is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. Mandalas often exhibit radial balance. 

The sand mandalas are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are supposed to give purification and healing. A great spiritual leader chooses the mandala to be created. Then Monks create a drawing from memory and begin to fill it in with colourful sand. Grains of sand are carefully placed along the drawing with funnels, tubes, and scrapers over a few days, weeks or months. As the monks do this, they recite sacred chants to the divine spirits to meditative music. According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas transmit positive energy to the environment and the to the people who view them. Once it’s completed, the mandala is blessed and the sand is swept away, first broken in half with grey sand and then slowly from outward to in, sweeping the sand into a mesh of grey particles and then it is disposed of in water in what’s called a “Dissolution Ceremony.”
At its base, the ritual of constructing and dismantling a mandala represents the transitory nature of life, the way things can be at once present and then removed and just because it’s been removed, doesn’t mean it wasn’t once there."
So first I wanted to marvel at the writers of House of Cards of thinking to bring it in. A power couple who have had terrible strife till now renew their vows in this episode. The mandala seems to have healed them. It also shows the passage of time since a month passes by and the monks come and go. It shows how Frank is so busy with his work that he is unable to see the beauty in it. And Claire goes so close that she almost ruins the mandala, as she does with all her decisions in season 3. It also shows how both of them are struggling to leave a legacy and how right under their nose Buddhism is teaching them that nothing is permanent. Life, our legacies and our desires are all temporary. It was a beautiful way of showing a dichotomy of a power couple against a spiritual message.
The sand mandala made me realise something about myself as well.
All these years I’ve been struggling to leave a legacy for my daughter. Maybe even for my generations to come. I have been working hard to etch things in bestselling paperbacks that has fed my ego and burst my bubble many a time.
I wanted to say I’m truly successful at what I’ve tried to do. I’ve achieved what I set out to be. I have miles to go because the legacy is not done yet. So much more work to be done. So much more writing before I die.
And in that moment when the mandala was done, I could feel that the Monks would be proud. What an achievement. Back breaking work over a month to put tiny grains of sand to make the most incredible and beautiful piece of art ever. And within a single stroke of breath the Dissolution Ceremony began and the piece of work, was all gone.
And I looked at all my six books. Why the hell was I so proud of them? What legacy was I even thinking about? It was important that I did the work. But one should never hold on to the pride of doing it. A Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds.
When Monks can stand and chant while they see their hard work of a beautiful creation turning to ash, I needed to realise that I was just a small part of this Universe. I must extend myself beyond my creations, a legacy and my ego, to go beyond my body and mind to be one with infinity.
The Dissolution Ceremony of the Mandala shows nothing is permanent. Nothing is ever lasting. Nothing is going to remain forever. Not even this moment.
That piece of work was made to heal you at that time. It gave you a sense of purpose, reason, love, belonging, identity. And we must realise and understand after a single moment of breath, it is all gone. It was important at that time. But you cannot hold on to it forever. The accolades, the dissent, the brick bats, the anger, the praise, the love, the hate for what you created, what you believed was wonderful and what you thought was permanent is nothing but a moment that was given to you to realise and then extend beyond.
The meaning of a mandala is that which encircles a centre. What is our centre? Our ego? Our spiritual being? Our love? Maybe it is our “nothingness.” We came from nothing and we will become nothing. There is no such thing as a legacy. That’s just history.
Does that mean we stop working? Not at all. Because we need to do the things that we’ve been chosen to do. That book I’m working on. That presentation you just finished. That child you just fed. That art that you just completed. They were all necessary. As long as you know that it’s not what defines you.It's what Lord Krishna says in the Gita about Nishkarm Yoga. "Doing your work without expectations."
So I realised long after I finished watching the show that we can do our best every day and then let it be. I know we’ve heard it one million times. But in this we must not let our ego come in. And we must know how to let the beautiful thing we made, worked on and created be free. If it stops meaning anything, if we stop asking for “what we deserve” and stop wondering “why we’re not getting” things or pained by “what is happening to us” then we have truly understood the meaning of the mandala, of the essence of life and of who we really are.
That was my spiritual awakening. Let me know about yours. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chef Vikas Khanna Loving My Clingy Girlfriend

International Acclaimed Masterchef Vikas Khanna tweets this about my new novel
My Clingy Girlfriend
What an awesome fun book by @Madhuribanerjee. Loving it http://t.co/xOcmkoXsph.

My day is made! 
Get your copy here: http://goo.gl/VwPjmN

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 Ways to NOT Be a Clingy Girlfriend


Stop Constant Questions – Where are you? When are you coming home? When are we meeting? What are you thinking? What are you planning for our anniversary? When should we meet? Why aren’t we getting married? The constant questions will make your boyfriend run from you faster than a zebra from a lion. Maybe he doesn’t have all the answers. Maybe he needs some space. Give him time to call and chase you a bit. Keep the mystery alive.

Stop Going For His Boys Nights – He has a life beyond you. He has friends he likes to drink with. This is his support system! Stop landing up for his Boys Night Outs to spend time with him. Soon all his friends will hate you and ostracise him. And ultimately he’ll resent you. Give him that one night a week or month off to just enjoy himself and get sloshed, without you giving him grief the next day. He’ll love you more.

Stop Asking About Marriage – Everyone wants to know where the relationship is going as soon as the third date is over. Some men don’t want to get married. It’s not that they’re commitment phobic, it’s just that they enjoy their space and freedom as much as they love you. Think about an alternate life with him if he’s not ready for marriage. Redefine your relationship. And if you truly want to get married and your “biological clock is ticking” set a deadline and move on if he’s still not ready, instead of pushing him into it and regretting it later.

Stop Comparing – Your best friend is getting married, another is going on a Europe tour with her boyfriend and another has been introduced to his parents. Instead of whining, demanding and comparing your relationship to others, realise what you have. Does he love you? Does he listen to you when you talk about your dreams? Does he give you space and support you? Does he look after you when you’re upset? Those are good things in a relationship. Treasure them and cherish him. Don’t demand him doing it all the time. Sometimes he doesn’t have the bandwidth to support, listen or love you. Doesn’t mean he can’t later. Give him time.

Stop Being Suspicious – He liked a girl’s photo on Facebook. He must be cheating on me! He is having a coffee with his old school friend. He’s probably cheating on me! He has a girl on his team at work?! He is definitely cheating on me! Stop getting suspicious. If you’re cool and easy about the girls in his life, he’ll appreciate it. But the more you lock him down about every female he’s spoken to, he’ll hate you. It’s ok to be possessive and a little jealous. Let him know how much you lust after him and hate it when anyone else does so too. By giving him space to make a choice, he’ll never want to leave you.    

For more laughs buy My Clingy Girlfriend here: http://goo.gl/VwPjmN

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Statesman on My Clingy Girlfriend


I'm a commercial fiction author. That means I'll probably never win the Man Booker Prize or a Nobel for a life changing book. But it also means that I'll write about things that everyone can relate to in simple, funny, emotional ways that no other author is able to do. That's my USP. And at the end of the day all I can hope for is that you'll buy my books and love them, without or without them being classics :) 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Absolute India interview and review of My Clingy Girlfriend


Why Do Women Keep Silent?


The other day I was at the airport when I noticed an obnoxious older man with a pretty, young woman. I use the term obnoxious because he was cursing the woman for no reason, calling her stupid, idiotic and utterly childish. 

My flight got delayed and I was having a coffee while the couple who were apparently on the same flight, were sitting behind me having a drink. While the man got drunk, he became more obnoxious. The woman tried to have a conversation with him in low tones and all I could hear was, “I can’t believe you can be so dumb.” And “I really can’t understand why you’re so stupid. I mean seriously you have no brains or what?” The woman didn't say anything and looked away most of the time, fiddling with her hair and sipping her drink while I was seething with rage. “Why are you keeping quiet woman?” I wanted to yell out but stopped myself as boarding was announced.

A few days later I went to a party where a husband verbally abused his wife in front of all of us. He said things like “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat again!” And very often, “Oh she has no sense of style. I buy all her clothes.” And even things like “She was nothing till I married her. Now look how high class she pretends to be.” The wife just smiled and drank green tea because her husband hadn't allowed her to have a glass of wine. 

Why did she keep quiet? And again all I said to him was, “I think she’s amazing. With or without you.” But I figured he didn't care and she wasn't bothered.

Why do women keep silent in abusive relationships? Do they feel that because a man doesn't hit them, that there is no abuse? Is it because as a species we've been taught to be subservient? “Be adjusting. Be accommodating. Don’t pick fights. A man is everything in your life. He will give you status and security. Forgive him his faults. All men are like that only.”

The women in question were pretty, strong, and educated. So why do so many intelligent women keep silent at this abuse?

Because we were taught to do so.

Because somewhere we doubt our own capabilities. We are insecure of our potential. We've been told, taught and have imbibed that it’s a man’s world and we won’t be able to succeed without the help of a man. A drunken partner is better than no partner at all. Being single is worse than being in a dead marriage. Be a good woman and look after your partner – feed him, clean his house, look after his needs, keep him happy. If you keep quiet, the abuse goes away.

But let me tell you. It doesn't. 
The abuse never goes away. 

It comes in small lethal doses over time eroding your confidence and belief. And women suffer in silence, living in misery, self-doubt, depression and in delusion thinking their lives are good enough.

But the most important reason why women keep silent is because they’re LAZY. Yes. They don’t want to upset the “system” of having to explain to their families why they broke up, having to deal with friends looking at them as if it was their fault it didn’t work out and having to work hard at earning a living because the man at some level gives them money to do whatever they need. 
“Arrey I can buy whatever I want and he travels often. That’s good enough for me. At least he’s not slapping me.”

Stopping the abuse starts from YOU. Stop being CLINGY, LETHARGIC, LANGUID, SLUGGISH, INDOLENT.

This is what it means to be empowered. To do something for yourself. That’s YOUR CHOICE.

Stand up for yourself and tell him to “Shut up!” Tell him to take his own plate to the kitchen. Tell him what you want him to do for you instead of the other way around. 

Be strong. Be brave. Be bold. Be brilliant. 

And be powerful enough to leave the man to live your life the way you were chosen to do if he continues to abuse you. 

You are not the weaker sex. Stop behaving so. Have the courage to not be silent.
Speak up!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crossword Bestseller List!

Only one week after the launch and My Clingy Girlfriend is already on the Crossword Bestseller List!

It's available in every book store and Amazon and Flipkart too.

What 25 Yrs of Pretty Woman Taught Me


1990. The year of Good Fellas, Godfather III, Home Alone and Pretty Woman. All great films but only one left an indelible mark on me. The one where the rich man rescues the poor woman from the streets and they fall in love and live happily ever after. Pretty Woman.

Somehow it got ingrained into me for a long time that relationships were as simple as that. And a whole generation grew up waiting for a rich, handsome man to come along and sweep them off their feet while they did nothing but look pretty. I wanted the fairy tale too.

My first boyfriend was a big industrialist’s son. Loaded. Semi good looking. Funny. I thought I had it all. I went to a prestigious lady college in Delhi and thought I would graduate and live happily ever after with this industrialist. After all Edward and Vivian did the same. I believed I was Julia Roberts. I took loaded son shopping and behaved weird most days trying to mould him and teach him to be grounded. He took me shopping like Edward had with Vivian on Rodeo Drive. I wore beautiful dresses and he even got me a magnificent necklace which wasn’t diamonds but quite beautiful. I was living Vivian’s life. This was it. I was Pretty Woman. The kind he’d like to meet.

Till it crashed. And he dumped me.

So I grew up. 25 years later these are the things I learned from Pretty Woman:

Baby I’m Going to Treat You So Nice You’re Never Gonna Wanna Let me Go – Relationships disintegrate over time because we stop being nice to each other. We stop listening to our partners, stop caring how they’re feeling, stop looking after their emotional, physical needs. If you want a relationship to last 25 years, you’re gonna wanna treat each other nicely every day.

It’s just that, uh, very few people surprise me. Yeah well you’re lucky. Most of em shock the hell outta me. – If you saw something different in each other over time, keep the mystery alive. Whether it’s taking a surprise vacation or trying something new in bed, surprise and shock each other in a good way to keep the romance rocking.

I never treated you like a prostitute. You just did. - Never Stop Working! Earn your own money. Wild women do…and they don’t regret it! It’s a high to get that pay check. No matter what profession, strive to do better, to do different things and be your own successful person so that no one at any point can put you down, not even your partner.

Do you have anything in this shop as beautiful as she is? You’re Not Julia! God she’s perfect with the perfect hair, smile and oh smoking hot body. And we’re not her. And we’re still fine. And beautiful and sexy. Be proud. Be humble. Be forgiving to yourself. And know you’re not Julia. You’re better.

You’re Late. You’re Stunning. You’re Forgiven – Let it go. Some fights aren’t meant to last. Men will need space. They will be late. They will forget dates. They’re forgiven. Women may not know how to cook. They may hate children. They blow up too much money. They’re forgiven. Fight over things that are important and let the other small issues go.

What happens after he rescues her? She rescues him right back. – A man cannot do everything for you. As a woman you’re supposed to rescue him too. You need to do it daily for years. You need to help a man become the person he has dreamed of being, not what you think he should be. Always motivate and support him. And make sure he does the same for you.

I want the fairy tale – Doesn’t everyone really still want the Pretty Woman fairy tale romance? In 25 years, relationships have become extremely complicated. Not everyone will end up like Vivian and Edward do on that fire escape. Their happily ever after isn’t yours. A great relationship might actually be exactly what you have. And for all the single people, be the king of wishful thinking and find your own fairy tale. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Clingy Girlfriend Book Launch



What an amazing evening. Feel so blessed to have so many friends who came and supported me. The book is already rising in the best seller charts. Hard work and patience does pay off! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Views on #VogueEmpower Videos


First of all I want to say I’m all for women empowerment. I completely agree that it is a woman’s choice to get married, have a child, wear whatever she wants and choose her life and decisions.

Vogue’s empowerment campaigns though leave me a little confused.

For example the first video "Going Home" https://youtu.be/0EDJxs1yJrQ was of Alia Bhatt getting into a car full of male strangers and going home safely. 

I love Alia. But I don’t get the campaign. Yes we need to make our streets safe. But don’t we also need to teach our girls and women to be aware, be safe, be bold, be vigilant, be smart. 

Maybe that video should have been about Alia getting out, fixing her car, holding a wrench when a car full of men drives up and says, “Thanks but I got it covered.” And that should have ended with #Mychoice to be bold, my choice to be brave, my choice to change the world.

Vogue’s 2nd empowerment video "Start With The Boys" https://youtu.be/0Nj99epLFqg was of men being told not to cry. "Ladke nahin rote hain." 
And then in the end we see a man hurting his wife/ partner and the very lovely Madhuri Dixit comes and says “Aadmi rulate bhi toh nahin hai.”

Huh?

What has that got to do the empowerment or have any relation? What did that video actually want to do? So men who don’t cry will hurt their wives? And men who do will be pansies? Whaaa?

In fact the video should have Madhuri Dixit saying, “It’s ok for men to cry. Take a woman’s support because we can give our shoulders to you too.”

Men should be sensitive. Men should cry. And women should understand that. Women should raise their sons to cry and feel and talk and discuss and that’s how you will have a generation of men who will express their feelings to their wives and girlfriends and never have misunderstandings! Yes they shouldn’t hurt women. But you’re not teaching that by this video.

So let’s come to Deepika’s video. https://youtu.be/KtPv7IEhWRA
Yes I know there are 99 women in it. But it’s her voice and Homi’s vision. So while my Whatsapp groups are having massive debates on how beautiful it is and how it is always a woman’s choice to live life her way I have a few issues with this video and script.

First of all what the hell does “my odour, your anarchy” mean? Or for that matter many other phrases. And what's with this photo of Deepika in boxing gloves with a man looking so pitiful? 
I know plenty of great men who give their partners unconditional support and love. And all it takes for the woman is to help them understand what they need instead of screaming "Mychoice at them. 
Also empowerment is not about making men succumb to your every whim and fancy and boxing them to make them understand your view point. 

Yes it is a woman’s choice as I’ve said in the beginning but let’s talk about EMPOWERMENT for a second.

How does 99 privileged women with hair flying across the screen with a voice over of bindi, odour, sex have anything to do with the common woman and her empowerment?

I would change the video in 4 ways:
1. Had a mix of languages that women across the country speak. We have 30 languages. Why only English?

2. Get a mix of ordinary women with just a few celebs from different careers like a Chanda Kochchar or Indra Nooyi who can say “Don’t judge me because I’ve worked hard to be here.”

3. Get men who also believe in empowerment. Not all men are horrible people who will rape, criticise, judge and slander women. Have men in the video saying, “I’m a feminist.” And “I believe all men and women are equal.” “I will protect you because we need to change the world together.”

4. Take everyday situations to depict how we need empowerment.

For example a woman driving a car who says “Don’t judge me because I am a woman driver.”
A woman employee who is wearing what she likes and says, “I don’t need to sleep my way to the top. I’m smart enough. Don’t judge me.”  

A housewife who says, “I don’t want to sleep with you tonight. I’m not having an affair! Don’t judge me.”

A girl who wants to give up her job and get married, “I believe in love and want to be a mother. Don’t judge me if I give up my job!”

A woman who is overweight and says, “I am a National Award winner. And you’re still judging me on my weight?”

A village woman who will say in her language with subtitle below, “I refuse to have more than one child. I am not barren. Don’t judge me.”

I believe in empowerment. I believe these are the voices that need to be heard from women AND men across the country. Speaking sentences that resonate. That make sense. That we can agree with. That will raise a debate on how we can change our thinking. And truly become empowered. 

My Clingy Girlfriend video!



Culture Machine has taken elements of my new novel My Clingy Girlfriend and made a video about how your girlfriends could be. It's exaggerated, caricatured and hilarious. Not all women are like this but we love all women!

Already gaining momentum online, it's the new Being Indian series that is going viral. With over 19,000 views in the 1st 12 hours of going viral and with over 3 lakh subscriptions, you don't want to miss it.

If you like the video you know you'll love the book too http://goo.gl/VwPjmN

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time for Good Sex


There is nothing like time bound good sex. Everything lies in the state of you and your partner’s mind. A great orgasm can happen in a few minutes or it could take hours and sometimes great sex could happen without an orgasm. But to truly enjoy sex here are the time frames you can explore.

5 Minute Sex: If a couple has been sexting to each other the whole day, flirting casually over Whatsapp or sending each other pictures or scenes of what they want to do to each other, as soon as one partner or both get home, it would take five minutes to have great sex. If you’re already put your partner in the frame of mind, then they’re half ready. If you haven’t had time to do all this through the day but want to have a quickie, another way is to arouse your partner through gentle kissing and then use a vibrator for her. It won’t take her long to cum and then you can as well. A five minute Quickie can also happen when there is danger involved. Someone walking in on you in a public space, or you need to get to a party and are already late. The excitement that is built up and the urgency of the situation if both of you are ready and willing will give you the five minute orgasm.

15 Minutes Sex – This is when you’re slightly intoxicated and already horny. You’ve been eyeing a girl at a party. She gives you the come hither looks. You have a scintillating conversation. Sparks fly. You take her to a secluded place and you can have fifteen minutes sex. You will still need some foreplay of kissing or feeling each other before the act. The whole thing would probably last only fifteen minutes as there’s not much thinking going in. Do remember to ask her if she had a good time later. Thank her! Make sure she doesn’t have any STD and you should always wear a condom. If you’re doing this with a partner at home, (and are intoxicated already) it’s an act of faster foreplay before the act.  

30-45 Minutes – Every couple must have this kind of sex. It’s a longer version but must be indulged in once a week at least to keep the relationship alive. It starts slowly from cuddling and kissing to more deeper passionate kissing, necking, feeling, licking, sucking, touching, caressing. It can involve scented candles or ice cubes, depending on whether the woman likes it hot or cold. You can give each other an oil massage. (Please use a lavender scented oil and not mustard or coconut. This is not a maalish! It’s a gentle arousing of the senses.) Once the longer foreplay is over you can do the main act. Please remember that sex is not the actual penetration or pounding away. It’s also the arousal, the foreplay and the afterwards that counts as the time taken. It’s all in the state of mind. From the moment you get your partner to start thinking it, to moving on to the next activity.

1-5 hours – Many people think this is an absurd amount of time to have sex but remember this can only be done when you take frequent breaks. This also doesn’t mean that you need to pound away for 45 minutes. It’s a myth that women like penetration for anything longer than 5-10 minutes! So if a man is boasting about it, he’s definitely not given an orgasm to the woman who might be just trying to keep him happy. When a couple has gone on a romantic vacation, taken an entire day to just relax in the hotel room, then you can have this kind of tantric sex. But it needs a bit of concentration. No going off to watch TV or chat with friends on Whatsapp. Start with some oil treatment for each other. Then you can have a bit of sex. Then go off for a hot bath, again have some sex, indulge in some foreplay and again have some sex, caress her hair and have some conversation or a bit of light food before you again have sex. Stay in robes. Do not wear clothes! The purpose is to have a sex vacation that doesn’t need any other activity. Most hotels also have honeymoon packages so you can ask them if there is a special room with a hidden balcony or a special terrace that you can go to. Experiment there as well. It’s the idea of just having sex that can be exciting enough. You can always come back to your room if you’re not into outdoor sex. If you’re tired, use a finger vibrator or a clit simulator to have sex with your woman. You can even use different toys if you’re alone and planning to have sex for a few hours. Always be in the state of mind and it can last hours with multiple orgasms.

Cautionary Measures:
1. Always wear a condom if it’s with someone new or if you or your partner have an bacterial infection. The infection can go back and forth.
2. Don’t have any body odour or bad breath. Take a shower before you hit the party. Don’t have an overwhelming smell about you. Women DO NOT like a man who has sprayed too much cologne and perfume. They can’t breathe during sex then.
3. If you smoke, remember to carry gum so you don’t have smoker’s breath that can turn women off. If your partner smokes, then it’s fine.
4. Don’t use the vibrator with every encounter. Keep it for every third or fourth time you have sex with your woman. If she starts depending on it, it can get dangerous for you.
5. Ensure the woman has a good time and it’s not only you who has had an orgasm. She will curse you and feel terrible if you’ve only “used” her. So be considerate and a True Gentleman. That’s what makes for Great Sex. A mutual admiration of each other.


Monday, March 16, 2015

50 Shades of Vermilion: 1.Shraddha


I think that Indian women are far more courageous, erotic and sensuous than anyone in the world. So I'm writing a 50 Shades of Indian Women. 50 erotic stories of Indian women told in different ways!

My first story came from a WhatsApp chat I was having with a friend of mine who stays in London. He told me a story about one extremely smart, beautiful Indian woman.
I’m going to keep his words exactly as he wrote it in the WhatsApp chat instead of putting it in a female tone or style that I have in my Scandalous Housewives. I love his writing and I think this is a completely new way of telling a story. Not a prose, not a poem, but a chat! 
I hope you’ll like the story and style too! 

Let’s call her Shraddha.

Dumped by boyfriend just before he went to the U.S. for a masters. I was her friend with benefits for a few years. She rang me saying she needed to escape from India for a couple of weeks. So she came to me in London.
She was hurting. Nothing happened. We just went on long drives. Sat by the ocean. Took a steam train ride. She slept in another room. I was totally cool with that.
End of first week as we stood by glorious Windsor castle in the dying sunlight, she kissed me. Thank you for giving me this. Just a short kiss on the lips. Nice.
That night we had dinner and showered and cuddled in front of the TV.
She said she wanted me to read to her as she went to sleep. So we got into bed and I was reading to her as she nuzzled. Cute.
We feel asleep entangled.
She woke me up at 5 am. Such a special time. Sun just coming up. Birds stirring. Everything else quiet.
Everything bathed in liquid blue. Crystal clear.
We had explosive sex. She was angry and hungry and uninhibited. It didn't matter.
We fucked on the bed. Then rolled into the floor. I lifted her and we fucked standing up. In front of the mirror. She kept digging into me. Pushing back till she had every inch buried deep in her. When we were done we were both exhausted and happy and serene.
Over breakfast she told me how she loved my Writing. How she had been seduced by it. How she slept with me all those years because she wanted to be part of my soul. I took it as a compliment. Humbled.
Then she asked me if I would make one more fantasy come true. I said what.
She wanted to be devoured. By two men. At the same time. I was quite startled at first. Weird but I was. Also where do I find a man. I couldn't just ask a friend to do me a favour. And there wasn't time to invite her to meet my mates to see which one she fancied. No guarantees they would be up for it either. So I said i would see but didn't think I could do much.
That week she was going up to Edinburgh. While I went back to work. I bought her a pack of condoms just in case and she thanked me.
We had sex. Then she packed and I put her on the train for her final week of adventure before she headed back to the real world.
I went to Edinburgh as a surprise during the week. And arranged to go with her to a very sophisticated sex party
An orgy for the rich and famous. Very discreet. Very clean. Very safe and respectful. But very naughty.
I just watched. I am not into that kind of thing. Or at least was not that day. But let's just say she got what she wanted. Low lit room. Clean and stylish. Turkish theme. Lots of beautiful men and women in practically nothing. All very civilised at first. Drinks. Laughter. Food. She stayed close taking it all in at first. But you could tell she was feeling safe confident and getting turned on. Men making bee line for her. Indian dusky women are exotic. She is beautiful. Short. But beautiful full breasts. Small waist. Lovely legs. Men wondering if I would mind. I smiled at her.  I enjoyed watching her give and take. Friday night went into Saturday morning. We left in the afternoon.
Today she is married to some nice Banker in Mumbai. Happy. Normal.
I like that. I like how she healed herself. Sex does that. But you need friends…

If you like this read more in the book Scandalous Housewives http://goo.gl/VUCLNr

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How to Get Rid of a Clingy Girlfriend

Disclaimer: I wrote this piece in the Feb issue of Maxim magazine in lieu of my latest book launch My Clingy Girlfriend. This blog and the book is not meant to offend anyone or provide unhappiness to any relationship. 

Most men have had a clingy girlfriend. They’re the ones who keep checking who you’re talking to on WhatsApp, they keep asking what you’re thinking, why you don’t give them your Facebook password, when will you get married and what your babies’ names shall be. All within the first month of knowing you. So if you know you need to break up, here are a few tips to do so.

1. Empty Threats – You can’t say we need to break up and the next night sleep with your girlfriend. You can’t give her mixed signals. Then they’re just empty threats that are not going to make her go away at all. You need to say you don’t think this relationship is working out and stick to it. Keep saying that you’ve broken up. Don’t show emotion, don’t care if she cries, don’t say we’ll figure it out. Clingy Girlfriends will use all their power to keep you in their life. Understand she’s first going to try to scare you, control you and then destroy you. You must stay strong!

2. Slob Attack – Women like changing and moulding men. They like to see a man well groomed. So you need to do the opposite. You must not bathe, shave, wear deo or clean any part of you living area. Do not let her “mould” you. When you do bathe, or shave use all of her expensive bath products and make sure she realises they’re over! Then leave your wet towel on the bed and leave the house.

3. Be Sickening! – You’ve been saving your sick leave for a sick day but here is a chance to actually stay at home and show what a pain in the house you can be. If you have a live in girlfriend, get in the way of what she does at home and thoroughly enjoy yourself in your house. Fire the maid. Ask her to clean the dishes. Watch TV the entire day. Play on your X-Box. Talk to your female friends loudly so she can hear. Do it for a few days till she kicks you out. You must have told her you’ve broken up with her before you do this and maintain that you’re single and she’s still staying with you while you do this. Or you’ll be in trouble!

4. Girlfriends Disapproval – Once a woman has told her girlfriends about you and they approve they will always keep pushing her to get back together with you. So you need to un-do this approval. You need to call her friends and start flirting with them. If you meet them you must try to ask them for a date saying now that you’re broken up with Ms. Clingy, you’re free to date her friends. If she is meeting her friends, you should go and barge in on their party and flirt with the friends, make lewd masochist remarks and pick up an order and leave. Let them pay your bill. Women hate that!

5. Family Circus – A clingy girlfriend is smart. She will use the help of your family to get your relationship back on track. If you don’t want your mother, cousin or well-wishing relative to call and say what a beautiful `jodi’ you two make, you need to let them in on it. Let your family know what she’s been doing and why you need to break up. Otherwise they’ll take her side. Ask them for their advice on how to break up. Once they feel they’re helping you no matter what she calls to tell them, they’ll not relent.

6. Off the Beaten Path – Sometimes you need to act strangely and pull away in different ways to make your girlfriend realise she’s not important. Become a “sadhu” for some time. Enrol in philosophical classes, take solo trips to ashrams, and wear loose fitting white clothing. Say phrases like there’s only God in this world and I renounce myself to Him. I shall not have a family life anymore. If she asks what happens to her, you can reply – You’ve found your true calling and it has nothing to do with this materialistic world. However you still need to work to pay the bills.

7. Keep Proof – Clingy girlfriends can use every psychotic trick in the book to keep you in their life. From telling you they’re pregnant with your child to cutting themselves and writing letter to you in their blood. Don’t freak out. Don’t feel guilty and never take the woman back. Instead send her the names of some well-known psychiatrists and take all this proof to a police station to get a restraining order. Keep the police and your family involved and aware of her so that later it won’t surprise you if she takes legal action.

8. Block, Delete – If you can’t move your city to get away from her because truly that’s the best way, you need to change your passwords on your computer, laptop and any social media sites that she may have had access to. For God’s sake don’t change it to her name or date of birth! Unfriend and remove the people common in your life if you have to. So they won’t spy on you. Stop going to the same parties and the same events both of you hung out at. She’ll be there hoping to rekindle the romance. Change the locks if she was a live in. Crash at a friend’s place. Avoid her. Then delete her.

9. Relapse, repeat – It’s ok if you’re single for some time. It’s ok if you’re lonely. You don’t want to go back to the same person again or the same type of person. You need to also do some introspection or actually speak to a counsellor on why this relationship happened and how you don’t make those choices again.

10. Stop Feeling Guilty – She might use phrases like what would your friends think, is this how you treat women? Is this how you’ve been brought up? She’ll use your core values and demean you. Don’t fall for it. You might be a great guy and it’s not your fault you fell in love with a clingy woman. Don’t doubt yourself. Focus on her as the problem and not you. 

If you think this is tongue in cheek, order the book here: http://goo.gl/cct76A