An Interview with Vrushali Telang

by Mugdha Wagle on January 30, 2014

Vrushali Telang

This is what Vrushali Telang’s website has to say about her: ‘From reporting for CNBC-TV18 & NDTV, to producing shows for MTV India, from freelancing as a screenwriter on films, television and events to writing columns for Marie Claire India, to now writing novels- Vrushali Telang is on one helluva joyride!’ We couldn’t agree more! Read on as Vrushali answers a few questions we had for her.

1. You’ll be talking with 3 crime writers (Piyush JhaShatrujeet Nath & Somnath Batabyal) at the Pune fest. Do you enjoy reading crime thrillers? Who is your favourite author in this genre?

I enjoy reading Mafia thrillers. But these three authors are phenomenal. I have enjoyed their work. Though he writes non-fiction, I enjoy reading S.Hussain Zaidi. I have read all his works. And when I am reading his book I keep telling myself this is non fiction.

2. Does comedy come easily to you? Or is being funny hard work?

Comedy is simply a way of seeing things. If you choose to see things in a lighter vein it comes easily. For instance a friend confided that her husband was cheating on her. I turned around and said “oh looks like you have married a very loving man. And lovable too…” we cracked up over an intense situation and three rounds of whiskey sour

3. It’s only now that we see women creating comic work, in books, movie scripts, stand-up routines, music channels…. why do you think comedy has hitherto been a masculine domain? And what has changed now?

Opportunity, Timing and Perspective . Women have greater opportunity now than earlier… thanks to the advent of satellite TV. The timing is ripe for comedy because advertisers are interested in the genre be it a TV channel or a Stand-Up Comedy on stage. And perspective because women we are conditioned to be care-givers. Humor is never on the agenda. Its family, nurturing, careers of late…  I have read interviews where women say “I’d like to have a man with a sense of humour”. Men on the other hand want a woman who’d bring stability to their lives. Phew…I really feel sorry for my husband sometimes.

4. Your recent release has characters who are Parsi, and your book explored their endearing idiosyncrasies. If you were to write a humourous novel set in your own community (Maharashtrian, I believe?), what are the funny-yet-sweet things you would explore about it?

I’d explore what goes on in the mind of a traditional Pune shopkeeper who has no concept of customer care, who is often rude to his customers and yet runs a flourishing business. Customers flock to his store despite his lack of tact or courtesy.

 5. Your first book, Can’t Die For Size Zero, was funny, touching and relatable – and it got you lots of fans, especially among women who could relate to your heroine. Yet, unlike many others who stick to a winning formula, you chose a completely different setting for your second book. Was it a conscious choice to be innovative and break new ground with each novel?

I have a simple need and that is to tell my stories in the most authentic way. So the stories decide the genre and pace. I am working on a Crime Thriller for my next

6. Apart from the festival, any other Pune experiences you’re looking forward to?

I have a foodie friend here. He has promised to take me to a restaurant called Nisarg for some great sea food!

7. If you were to meet the late, great Pu.La.Deshpande……..

A dream come true! I am a great fan of Pu La. He is my favorite humorist. He Loves Me Not has some characters that are inspired from Pu La’s Vyakti Ani Valli.

If I were to meet I would simply shut –up and observe him while he wrote , composed and performed his stand-up act. Meeting the legend would be an honour.

Thanks for the time, Vrushali! We wish you luck for all your future projects. 

You can follow Vrushali on Twitter, and listen to her talk about the storyline and setting of her book He Loves Me Not. Read about the launch of the same book here

Written by Mugdha Wagle

Kitabi Keeda of the most obsessive sort. When she’s reading something, interrupt her only if you have life insurance! Discovering a fantastic new author can move her to tears. Loves trekking, adores animals and venerates good food (eating it, not cooking it :))!

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