Reading Hour with Anuja

Yes, I know this is nearly two weeks late but I’ve been really busy and there’s been no time to put anything down. Sorry guys! So here’s a quick recap of the event we did with Anuja at Atta Galatta.

Anuja turned up ten minutes before the event, proceeded to sign books and pose for selfies graciously and fans (including me) were thrilled to have her with us for a whole hour.

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So, without any more delay, here’s the gist of the event.

There are some writers whose books you look forward to greatly, knowing that you’re in for a good time. You trust those authors and know that you can count on them to give you hours of reading pleasure. Anuja Chauhan, who really needs no introduction is one such author. Fans wait for every book of hers with huge anticipation. For readers, she’s a storehouse of dreamy heroes, strong wilful heroines and some deliciously complicated storylines. For writers, she’s a huge source of inspiration. I only have to go back to any of her books, just to be stumped at how much detail she invests into the lives of her characters and their worlds. So it was with much delight that I moderated this session of Reading Hour with  her on 20th September.

We got talking about how she’s such a popular author and whether she ever thought she’d become this popular. Anuja modestly admitted that she had no idea that she’d get this popular as an author. But she also admitted how she loved writing because one could just get up and without even moving from bed, pull over your laptop and start writing.
I then asked her about her deliciously complicated plots, if she made any chart to organise it. She admitted her methods weren’t very organised or scientific and although she has certain folders in her computer for plot etc, she ends up not using it.

Of course, when you’re talking about an Anuja Chauhan book, you have to be prepared for some really funny dialogues. Hinglish, yes, but even then, she does have an amazing ear for dialogue. So I asked her if she heard a lot of people talking and absorbed it. How did she retain it? How can she remember it all? Her answer was simple. How can you not remember, she asked, when people botch up pronunciations like it’s a perfectly normal thing to do. She recounted numerous incidents that made the audience laugh out loud, and there’s stuff there that I can’t repeat here. What happened in Atta Galatta stays in Atta Galatta. Ahem. Too bad some of you missed it.

When readers ask me where I can find the heroes in my books, I always tell them, in my imagination. When I asked her she said it’s not entirely in her imagination. A little of this, a little of that, and yes, a belief in a cause maybe, and there you have them.

It’s the same with the a spunky heroines in her books. From the first book till the fourth, they’ve certainly evolved. Anuja agreed, and said that though Zoya is the closest to her she’s enjoyed writing about all these new, sassy heroines like Bonu in The House that BJ built.

To wrap up, I asked her about the filmi plots of her books. How does she know when to stop? Where to draw the line? She admitted that her first readers do help her out but she also avoids using the too many coincidences and other elements that make the work ‘filmi’.
All of us, her eager readers are waiting for her next book, which she’s currently writing.

The next Reading Hour event is in November with Anjum Hasan. Don’t miss it! Details coming soon!