Friday, November 23, 2012

5 Hilarious Mistakes We Make About Sex

There has been tremendous controversy with my new book Mistakes Like Love And Sex. People are continuously asking me “how can sex be a mistake?” Read on to find out what I think are the mistakes people make in and about sex.

5 Mistakes About Sex:

1.       Not Getting Enough - Honestly sometimes, you need to schedule the sex in. There will always be work, children, deadlines, commitments, etc. You need to put some time away and say “Saturday we’re doing it!” Otherwise, it’s never going to happen and you won’t be able to remember whether it was circa 90s that you had sex or was it in the new millennium. A man/woman needs sex as much as they need food. Set a date with your partner. Keep the children busy or better yet, drop them off at a friend’s place. If you don’t have kids, you really don’t have an excuse. Switch off your phones while you make love. Nothing more annoying than a Watsapp ping! Besides penciled in sex, quickies are a good way to enforce that scheduled sex need not be the norm. All men wake up most days with ample “eagerness.” Make use of it. At night, women should try to wear sexy lingerie rather than those comfy, ugly pajamas. Find the opportunity. The mood will happen.

2.       Too Much Communication - You know when people say it’s great to talk to each other because you bond really well? In bed, it’s not a great idea! Men should really shut up with the dirty talk. We all know how big you are. You don’t need to keep repeating it. And women should seriously stop worrying about household chores and rattling off `to do lists’ while they’re having sex. Communication should be what you want, where you want it and appreciating your partner for giving it. The only sounds you both should be making are moans, groans and shouting out “yeah baby!” Screaming an ex’s name or chatting about your mom is a huge turn off.

3.       The Circus Act – So you read the Kamasutra, your hard drive has the latest porn collection and you’ve memorized the latest issue of Cosmo. Let’s remember that your partner is not Sunny Leone. Trying to do the various positions and expecting your spouse to be in the mood is just asking for too much. We are not a nimble generation. The fact that we have done yoga a total of 7 times in our life is enough to make us feel great about our bodies. We still cannot bend in that manner. Missionary position is always the best. But don’t get lazy with all the stuff you need to do before. Foreplay is most important. A big mistake is to avoid it and expect a happy ending. Give each other control occasionally. Show your partner how you like it. When you’re up for experimenting, try only one new thing at a time. You could lose a limb in that pose!

4.       Taking it too seriously – Mistakes happen in bed. Your nose bumps, your hand gets stuck in her hair, she accidentally slaps your balls. Stuff. Don’t think it’s the end of the act. You are not Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct. You are just two human beings enjoying the act and each other. Smile. Laugh. Kiss. And then get on with the stuff. Don’t take yourself too seriously. And if the mood is gone off slightly, bring it back on. Women need to take the initiative. Don’t lie back and think it’s all a man’s job. Moreover, men need to figure out how to enjoy caressing and kissing a little more. Erogenous zones need to be stroked as much as our egos. Get to it. Be spontaneous. You don’t need to always do it in the bedroom. Move around and find new places. By this, I mean in the house. Not the Ferris wheel at the county fair.

5.       Before And After – You might think that your natural body odour turns people on but it doesn’t. Post a gym workout, you might feel like Hercules, but you don’t smell like him. Be hygienic. Take a shower or wash up before an act. Dab a bit of perfume that’s not overwhelming. Wash. Trim. Wipe. Then proceed. Also post coitus, you don’t need to jump off and take a hot shower immediately or strip the sheets the moment it’s over to clean them. Take a moment. Nothing bad is going to happen if you lie there and get your breath back. And while you’re at it, do not ask questions to each other like “Was it good for you”, “What does this mean?” and “So when do we get married.” It’s just not done. Sex is supposed to be a fun act and you’re supposed to enjoy it. Don’t fake it. Don’t make more of it. And don’t dismiss it. Each individual needs it. Get used to it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Talking about Mistakes Like Love And Sex on 94.3FM with Hrishi K.

So my interview with Hrishikesh Kannan was on air today at 9am on 94.3 FM.

Was super excited that a friend of mine arranged the meeting. He told me to go with the flow. He had already read my book Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas and had a copy of Mistakes Like Love And Sex that he was going through before we started. Couldn't believe that he had read it cover to cover in just three days!

I told him that I was a bit nervous and my voice was "tilly" so didn't know how I would sound on the radio. Had been trying to get a cold for the last 3 days so I could have more base and sound sexier. He said it didn't matter.
I also told him to cut when I fumbled and retake it. He laughed and said - people care more about personalities than fumbling. So be yourself.

So I tried to be myself. Spoke about Kaveri the protagonist of my book. Spoke about relationships, my column in Asian Age and CNN-IBN. Spoke about the difference between men and women and how I would love to write a screenplay that Ranbir and Hrithik could do together. I spoke and I spoke!

So he told me he did need to play some music. The interview had the best bits.
I'm uber glad that my dream of going on the radio came true.

Hope you guys tuned in. Here's the full version in case you missed it:
Tell me what you thought!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Writing Business and Labels. The DNA Review

It's a double edged sword.
This writing business.
I wrote Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas because it was a story I needed to tell. The fact that it had a few sensuous scenes in it hardly took away from the adventures of the protagonist's search for True Love.
The story ended for me there. With Kaveri giving up Arjun and finding Ray, with all her notions of what a perfect man should be subverted into disbelief.
But the publishers loved the idea of Kaveri's story going on. It had sold 50,000 copies! People needed to know more.
So I wrote Mistakes Like Love And Sex.
And now I'm labeled as an erotic writer or as a chick lit writer.
True I can write about relationships and love and sex and a deep loss of it all. I've faced it, embraced it, understood it and can now put it down in words. I don't mingle words about any of the above. There needs to be passion in your writing and it's not just about the sex scenes. I hope I bring that to my books and distinguish myself from other writers and authors. To each their own personality I say.
The publishers required a certain number of scenes in the book for it to do well. They said the readers needed it.
I didn't think so. I told them, "Let me tell you, the fun story of Kaveri finding a new best friend in the spunky Shyamolie and teaching Bela, the actress how to talk dirty and Kaveri's relationship with the older man is what's going to come out the most."
The editor told me, "Nope. The amazing sex scenes will."
WE had a bet.

Tell me who won?

Love Guru Advice: Scared of the wedding night

Dear Love Guru,
I’m getting married next month and am quite anxious about the wedding night. I’m a virgin. Are there any tips for not goofing up?

Dear Priyanka,
Congratulations on remaining a virgin until you get married. Wonderful achievement. Don’t worry about the wedding night too much. The more you worry, the more you will be tense. You need to enjoy yourself. Connect with your husband. If it’s in a hotel, keep the room temperature to a comfortable degree for both of you, instead of feeling too cold. Also, make sure that you put the do not disturb sign outside your door and on your phone so you have enough privacy. Start with foreplay. Kissing, cuddling, necking, touching gently, slowly removing each other’s clothes, softly running your fingers down each other’s back and gently to other areas. Don’t be intimated. This is your spouse. Ask each other what you want and do those things like kissing more behind the neck or lying down and him kissing you all over your back. Wear some satin/sexy lingerie and a light perfume. Don’t rush into the act. It may hurt a bit if you’re tense but tell him to go slowly and gradually. Close your eyes and let your body relax as if it’s floating on water. Let the tingling sensation take over. Use a lubricant if you need to. Also, figure out if you need to use a condom or take an emergency contraceptive the next day in case you don’t want to get pregnant. Have fun!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Exclusive! Excerpt from Mistakes Like Love And Sex


Miraculously, several things happened the very next day. One of my brokers called and said a new place had just opened up on the market, and though it was in Santacruz West, not Bandra as I had wanted, it was in my budget. He asked if I wanted to take a look. When I went and saw the apartment, I knew instantly I wanted it. It was a small one-bedroom apartment with off-white paint peeling off the walls but a decent bathroom and marble kitchen in an old building that overlooked a large lawn. The location—slightly away from the main road, but close enough for easy access—was perfect. I decided to sign the lease right then.
I finally had a roof over my head.
Later that day, Aditi went through her phone directory and found the number of a close friend of hers who used to work as a producer but knew the entire media industry and could help me connect to some people. It was a great idea. The more people I met, the better idea I would get of the types of jobs out there for an art enthusiast.
His name was Scunjay Panjwani. The ‘c’ was silent; he was not. Scunjay was in his late forties, tall and trim with a warm smile and a cloudy head. We met in his office—a dark dungeon with black walls, a black marble desk, a grey executive’s chair for him, and a matched pair of smaller chairs in a different shade of grey for visitors. He spoke nineteen to a dozen and ended each sentence with ‘I don’t speak too much.’ When I asked him how he knew Aditi, he told me his entire life history, detailing all his achievements. And when I nodded in appreciation he would say, ‘That’s nothing. That was like doing it with my left hand.’ After hearing descriptions of the many things he had accomplished ‘with his left hand’, I began to wonder if he was actually left handed!
He had a tiny Sony Vaio on which messages popped up every now and then, much to his annoyance. He said to me, ‘I don’t know how to shut this down. I can’t see this bloody screen!’
I nodded sympathetically and asked, ‘Are you planning to change it?’
He shook his head vigorously and said, ‘Oh no! I just bought it. I think it’s very sleek.’ Then he snapped his fingers and bellowed, ‘RT!’ Instantly, a little man—short, with hair that was slathered with some strange-smelling oil, wearing dark horn-rimmed glasses, a checkered full-sleeve shirt, trousers, and shiny shoes—entered and tapped on some keys on the Vaio’s keypad and hurriedly walked away. This silent, swift, eighties debonair man, as I later learnt, was Rakesh Thanki, a Gujarati who relished dhoklas and was always in deep trouble with either his boss or his wife. One of whom would leave him soon enough. And since he didn’t seem too concerned about his marriage, it wasn’t hard to guess which.
‘So what can I do for you?’ Scunjay asked after his hour-long dissertation on about himself.
I took a deep breath. I thought I would start by introducing myself since he hadn’t asked a single question about me and didn’t have a clue why I was there. ‘Well, I am an art teacher. I was living in Barcelona the last two years. I…’
Scunjay interrupted. ‘You were living where?’
‘Where is this? Near Pune?’
‘It’s in Europe, sir…not many people have heard of it,’ I said stammering a bit to make it easier for him.
‘Aah. No wonder. Is it close to Switzerland? Most of our Hindi films are shot there.’ He snapped his fingers and bellowed, ‘RT! Look up Barcelona for me.’ RT entered, Googled it on Scunjay’s Vaio and left. Scunjay waved his hand as if to indicate not to bother with this tiny five-foot man coming in and going out so noiselessly, ‘I’ll read about it later, you carry on.’
Since I quickly realized his attention span was as short as a buzzing bee in a valley of flowers, I told him I had taught art history at the university in Barcelona, and was wondering if he knew of some job opportunity for me in Mumbai. He closed his eyes for about a minute with his elbow resting on the desk and his fingers covering half his face pondering deeply to what I hoped was a job opportunity for me but could might as well have been how to tick RT off. Just then a woman knocked and entered his office, bearing a box of `kaju barfis.’ At first he declined meagerly but then he took five pieces and wolfed them down. She offered them to me but I politely refused.
He then looked at me and spoke about Barcelona. ‘I don’t go to these places where they don’t speak English,’ Punjwani said with raised eyebrows and all seriousness. ‘Too tough to understand what to order. What if they give me some dead animal to eat that I haven’t heard of?’ He asked with a shocked expression. “You know I’m a vegetarian on Tuesday. I only eat fish.”
Before he embarked on another story about himself, I quickly butted in, ‘I know seven languages, sir. That why it’s easy for me to understand them.’
He suddenly sat up and stared at me with what I thought was respect, but would later realize was just food poisoning. He closed his eyes and held his head in his hands once again.
I asked him gently, ‘What is it, sir? Are you unwell?’
He shook his head slowly and pointed to the ceiling. I didn’t know what to look at. So I asked, ‘Ceiling?’
He sighed and said, ‘Top lighting.’
I waited for further explanation.
Still holding his head in his hands, Punjwani said, ‘Top lighting gives me a headache. I don’t know why they don’t keep lamps in this goddamn room! RT!’ The moment RT entered, he hollered at him, ‘Tell them to keep lamps in this room and get rid of these above type of lights. Bloody fools!’
I didn’t know what to say so I just cleared my throat, smiled and nodded.
‘Can you speak Russian?’ he asked me unexpectedly.
I nodded, ‘Yes.’
Scunjay leapt out of his chair and shouted, ‘RT!’ and the tiny man was inside the cabin a second later as if he had been waiting right outside.
‘RT, I think I’ve found our answer,’ Scunjay said as he sat back down, completely ignoring me. ‘She can help us with Bela.’
‘Bela?’ I asked, unsure if he was actually offering me a job.
‘Bela Bandhan. She’s half Russian and half Kashmiri. But she knows no Hindi. And she’s the next top actress of Bollywood,’ Rakesh explained, while his employer stood by, looking as if he was going to faint.
‘It’s all settled then. RT, take care of it,’ Scunjay said feebly, clutching his head once again.
I began to get worried. Was this man having a heart attack? ‘Sir,’ I asked with concern, ‘are you feeling okay?’
His eyes closed against the glare from the ‘top light’, he nodded and said meekly, ‘It’s the kaju barfi. Tell her, RT.’
RT leaned towards me and whispered, ‘They make him sleepy.’
‘Sleepy? As in drowsy?’ I asked incredulously. I had never seen that happen with a man. But RT nodded in all seriousness and led me away. But hadn’t he taken the sweets himself? And if he knew this was the effect why would he do it to himself? RT answered with straight face as if he had read my thoughts, “Kaju barfis are his weakness.” The last image I had of Scunjay Punjwani was his head down on a table muttering away how people were determined to poison him.
Once outside Punjwani’s office, Rakesh explained what the ‘job’ for me was. He said that they had been searching for a translator for Bela who could travel with her and translate her scripts from Hindi to Russian so she could understand them and help her learn Hindi so she could learn her lines. I would be paid handsomely for my tuition, translation, and would be given extra if I were travelling out of Mumbai with her since I would have to be with her all the time. By the time shooting ended on her current film, they wanted her to know Hindi fluently. So far they had shot only one schedule which was some ten days of shooting in Mumbai and they weren’t planning to use most of the shots. Therefore, I would have plenty of time before the film released to have her speak Hindi without an accent. Rakesh added that not only would I be with her for the entire length of this movie, but, if need be, future films as well. And with my talents and the industry importing these foreign ‘actresses’ who neither spoke nor understood Hindi, I would be a permanent employee with them.
I was thrilled. I could finally visit my parents, now that I’d sorted out my life. Perhaps even do up my apartment and invite them over for a short visit. The only problem was that it took me very far away from art, which was my core skill and passion. But it would bring a host of new experiences. God doesn't give you everything you want, but he does give you exactly what you need at the right time.
Buy it here:

Facebook page:!/LMVODI 

Mistakes Like Love And Sex: Review

Sunday, November 11, 2012

CNN-IBN Chat: Are relationships getting more complicated as time progresses?

Wanted to interact more with people who were having relationship problems. Felt that too many people asked me questions on Twitter and I was unable to answer only in 140 characters. Some things needed more explanations. So CNN-IBN decided to do a chat with me and for one hour I interacted with people in a chat room. From answering questions on who's my favourite superhero to how to manage a boyfriend who only thinks about porn, I answered all questions.

Read, learn, enjoy, laugh and join me next time!  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mistakes Like Love And Sex Poster

A poster I designed with a friend of mine. I love working on my book. I'm horribly passionate about every small detail. I hope people like it and enjoy the books!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monsoon Memories

It’s raining again.
I just put the clothes away.
I’m sitting here in this corner of mine.
Close to nothing, and away from it all.
It’s so silent. Peaceful.
And yet there is something missing.
I can see the rain softly speaking to me.
It’s been so long since someone spoke to me.
No, not the regular stuff. They don’t matter.
Fake smiles. Artificial laughter. My life.
What is it now.
People talking. More promises.
The rain lashes down. Forcing me to remember.
And then there was you.
I tried to forget.
I moved on.
Time was supposed to heal me.
It never really does.
Do you remember?
Me…those times… that song.
The rain.
I run my fingers down my face…softly..
Just the way you used to.
My skin tingles.
It doesn’t go away you know.
The memories.
They don’t die.
I don’t know if I love you still.
I don’t know if I even want you back.
I just know that it’s this damn rain
It’s pulling my body to you.
Like we did that day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Discussion at Samanvay Lit Fest, Habitat Delhi

I spoke at the Samanvay Lit Fest on Saturday 3rd November.
Samanvay is a festival at the India Habitat Centre that brings together many writers and performers of various languages on one platform.
My panel discussion was on "Where is my reader?" It was most interesting to be sitting next to 3 esteemed writers.

Jai Arjun Singh in the blue was the moderator. He writes for The Hindu, Tehelka and has written a book about teh cult film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron which has been recently re-released.

Biman Nath, the author of The Tattooed Fakir spoke about how he is not media savvy and hoped the story sells itself.

Palash Krishna Mehrotra is called for many "readings" at the Hauz Khas Village but they end up being a dance party and he has a few beers and goes home. His book The Butterfly Generation is extremely popular and I've ordered it from Flipkart today itself. Palash should really write comedy since the audience was in splits over his answers to Jai's questions.

During the question and answer round someone asked us "What do you mean by conservative India?" We had all been talking about the "conservative Indian" who is traditional in his thoughts. Palash answered, "The Bajrang Dal." And the woman asked, "Anyone else?" And he replied "No."
I was in splits.

Jai asked me about "commercial fiction" and "mass market"

I said that many authors were now labeled as mass market and the term should not be derogatory. Later I met a "fan" who asked, "Didn't you write 50 Shades of Grey?" I smiled and said, "Similar. I wrote Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas and Mistakes LIke Love And Sex." And he replied, "Oh, I haven't read those." Nice.

We all spoke about how authors need to start doing their own marketing. I confessed I was not a marketing whiz at all. I had done English Literature from LSR and filmmaking from Jamia. But since I loved interacting with people and writing, I used any medium online to reach out to as many readers as I could. And that's why I had a blog, a FB page

and a Twitter account

How else could I connect with people?

At the end of the day, all authors want to be read and appreciated. It's a lonely profession as Palash said. We sit in one room, wondering about characters and scenes and when we finally publish it, a year or more of our lives has gone by. All we can do is sincerely hope that someone will like it. That it will result in sales. That the outcome will be a publisher commissioning us to write more and further our careers. And it all depends on the reader who is willing to spend Rs 150/ on your book.

Till then I will attend Lit fests to learn, appreciate, interact and fall in love with books and writers. I hope to see you there soon :)


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Poem: The First Time

The first time I saw you
You were wearing black.
You walked straight past me
Not knowing, not caring, not wanting.
You smiled as you got to the door
And just as you opened it
You looked back.

The first time we kissed
Was in your car
Under the flickering street lamp
Not planning, not understanding, not concerned.
And then you dropped me home
And left me alone.

The first time we made love
It lasted the entire night
Gripping. Hungry. Raw.
Not spoken, not comprehended, not defended.
And when the dawn broke
Our other life began.

The first time you said goodbye
I cried my heart out
Till I could feel nothing anymore.
Not realizing, not believing, not speaking.
The senses stood still for a long time
And then it didn’t matter anymore.

The first time I remembered you
Was when it rained today.
Soaking my clothes, touching my skin, caressing my face.
Not with consent. Not with concern. Not with consequence.
Just like, you had taken my heart.
The first time you saw me.

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...