Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Define your dreams: An Interview in Fuccha for Advantage Love

My interview in Fuccha - a college online magazine aimed for the youth and by the youth of India.
Advantage Love_Final Spread
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In a candid interview with Niharika, Madhuri talks about her successful journey, reading trends in India, new book and more.
Niharika: Tell us something about yourself, how has writing books and blogs changed your life, how do you feel knowing that your books and columns have changed the life of the readers as well?
Madhuri: Writing has always been a part of my life but now it’s become a career, something that I never thought would happen as I set out to be a director in life. I’m most happy if my work can make someone feel good about themselves or if they take something from any of my books and incorporate it or identify with it. If it gives pleasure in any small way, I feel I’ve achieved something in life.

Niharika: What’s a day in the life of Madhuri Banerjee like?
Madhuri: I wake up and take my daughter to school from Monday to Friday, come back and write until lunchtime. Then watch some TV and pick up my child. Post that I spend time with her. An evening walk every day is a must and at night I write again.

Niharika: You write blogs, you are a columnist, you have written bestselling books, you write scripts and you are a love guru and most importantly you are a mother, how do you manage all this?
Madhuri: I prioritise my time. You can’t do everything well at all times. So you must manage which one you want to excel at, for that day. Therefore, I focus on just that and give myself a lot of leeway to not be perfect at everything.

Niharika: In a country like India, where words like ‘sex’ and ‘virgin’ are considered taboos, you have written books with such titles and you have covered such topics. You talk about feminism at a total different level. Comment.
Madhuri: I want to break the shackles of a conservative society where parents can’t speak to their children about these topics. If the youth are open with their parents on many such things, I feel there will be less misunderstanding and less miscommunication. Initially there may be fights but the dialogues will start. Virginity and Sex are not taboo. If understood correctly, they can be liberating.

Niharika: Life before and after first book got published?
Madhuri: Life before my first book got released was me trying to understand who I was and where I wanted to go in life. Life after Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas was like losing my virginity in the world of publishing, liberating! I finally found my calling and understood what I needed to do for the rest of my life. It took a long time though. I was in my 30s when it happened!

Niharika: When did you realise you were famous?
Madhuri: Am I?!

Niharika: How do you define generation gap? What does today’s youth lacks or what is that something that you think is there in the youth of India today that can bring about a change?
Madhuri: The youth today need a little more focus on their careers rather than their relationships. They are the ones that can change this country but if they just want to please their friends or wear the latest trends, they’re not making a difference in their lives. They need to read more and believe that they will be the Prime Minister one day. Set their path and go forth.

Niharika: What is your take on reading trends in India?
Madhuri: I wish people would read more. Authors and publishers have seen a down turn in the economy of late when it comes to books. People need to pick up their books more than their mobiles.

Niharika: Any words of wisdom for all our Fucchas?
Madhuri: Define your dream. Work towards it every day. Everything else can wait. Don’t let others influence your dream. Believe in yourself.

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