“Love and relationships are important to everyone,” says Madhuri Banerjee. “How much you are willing to give, defines who you are,” says the former screenplay writer, columnist, blogger and author. “Relationships fascinate me and it always intrigues me how they impact everyone’s life.”
Her latest novel Advantage Love, a coming-of-age story of a young, small-town girl, Trisha, explores how love changes the shape of her world. “It is not autobiographical but there are some aspects of Trisha’s life that are similar to my own. I am from Lucknow. I came to Delhi to study and found it difficult to adjust to the new setting. My character came from there but otherwise she is a figment of my imagination, not anyone real.”
Entwined in this story are elements of politics and sports because, “I believe that the youth are the future of this country and I wanted to drive home the message that contrary to popular notion it is alright to have a career in politics and bring about a change in this country. Also, since I am an avid tennis fan I wanted to bring the tennis element into it.”
Describing the book Madhuri says: “It is neither chick lit nor a love triangle. It is just the story of Vedant, Trisha and Abhimanyu and how they try to find themselves.”
Her previous two novels based on the life of a 30-something Kaveri protagonist of Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas and Mistakes like Love and Sex, is very different from this one. however, she admits, “The Kaveri novels were for a much older audience. It is set in Mumbai and begins when she is around thirty. Since she is a lot older, her idea of life and relationships are far more mature and rigid than Trisha’s. Kaveri was also a lot more like me. I loved that character and lived with her for a long time. But I think part of an author’s evolution is to go beyond autobiography and do something different in every book.” Her next two novels are markedly different. One titled My Clingy Girlfriend is the story of a guy trying to get out of a suffocating relationship while the other called Scandalous housewives is a darkly humorous take on the lives of three housewives in three metros, “I’m trying to create a plethora of different characters,” she says.
Her writing isn’t just confined to books however. She is also offers relationship advice on Twitter, used to write a column called The Love Guru and has a hugely popular blog, “I have so many more words inside me and I just want to get it out and share my ideas with the world.”
On future plans, she laughs and says, “I really hope this novel does well so I can go and buy more shoes.”