02 June, 2016

#Interview with Nikita Lalwani, #Author of 2 Peg Baad

About the Author:

She started her journey as a dentist then transformed into a blogger, then a copywriter and now she’s also an author. Dr. Nikita Lalwani already has got quite a lot for her LinkedIn profile. The 25 year old has recently got her book – 2 peg ke baad - published with Srishti Publishers. 



Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
At the age of 15, I wrote my first article for a local newspaper. The idea behind starting to write was to confront people with the long running conflict in my mind. The article was titled ‘why girls have restrictions’ and I guess that explains everything about the conflict. That’s when I realised that writing is such a potent medium to express oneself.

What inspires you to write?
I once saw a movie as a kid, where a school girl happens to write a book and accidently it gets published. That movie inspired me to write my first book. Ever since then, my hunger of exploring the world of words has kept me inspired.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
It was when I started my own blog – “2 peg ke baad” – where I used to collect interesting stories from people and write them down. The blog turned out being of great interest to people and so I decided to turn it into a book under the same title.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
While I was studying, I used to write blogs. Writing was the only hobby that I maintained during my student years. It was the same time, when I wrote two other books, which never got published. When I got my first job as a copywriter, I even got a chance to compile a text book on Digital Marketing as a part of a project, but the project didn’t take up.

Tell us about your writing process.
There is a lot of thinking and research involved before I start to write anything. When it comes to writing a book, I make sure to feel the character as that’s when I can come up with my best. Every writer, as I believe, writes out of a particular emotion. It could be rage, love, sorrow etc. I assure to soak the most of it before I start writing a book. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
“Kicking the Butt” is one of the stories which I can call as my story. Unfortunately, I have been a part of the tale in real life, which inspired me to write the ending for it. 
Also, one of my favourite parts out of all the stories, is from the chapter Epilogue. It’s when Laxmi narrates her story to Lisa. It gives me a rush every time I go through it. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
I connect with the anxiety of a writer that Kiara portrays in “Papier Blanc”. 
The feeling of consummating the urge of putting your feelings into a creation, as said Ananya in The Last Painting, is similar to how I feel once I have out my thoughts on paper. 
And definitely, Kicking the Butt is one of the stories which is very close to my heart. 

Do you read? Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I do read but I don’t feel that I have explored enough yet. However, I appreciate a few authors for their work but their approach doesn’t influence my writing style.
My favourite authors so far have been Khalid Hosseini, Chitra Banerjee & Dan Brown.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
A: The best advice I got is from my dad that I should read what I write again and again. He made me believe in a long known fact - Altering and changing words is a part of the process to write an enticing story. And well, it has worked in my favour!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Read as much as possible! Start with reading what you like, don’t follow authors blindly. And start writing anyway. Don’t think whether it’s good, bad or worthless. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Amir Khan, Tabu and Nawazuddin. I would love if it is directed by Anurag Kashyap or Imtiaz Ali, especially for chapters like Rosita in the Bar and Papier Blanc.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Coffee, phone and a book (or something to read) are my best companions. I would take them anywhere I go.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Most of my weekends are spent in a cafeteria (probably CCD) with a cup of coffee, either with my laptop or a book is an ideal scenario for me to relax. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I wish to have my own coffee farm and a cafeteria at some point in life. 

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I am a gold medalist in Kung fu (Beware!) 
- I am a big time coffee enthusiast. In a bad day, I can feel sorted with just a cup of coffee.
- I feel that as a kid my only aim in life was giving interviews and thank you speeches at award shows.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am currently working on my next book – which is a dark fiction. It tells the story of a woman in a socially unacceptable relationship. Hopefully, you could get to read it by next year.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
What makes human beings differ from the rest is their ability to think. I feel one should live with a belief. It could be anything, as simple as food or as complicated as science. One must believe in a theory, an idea or a way of living and every action of their life should be around and in favor of that belief. This helps us to grow as an individual and gives us a scale of right and wrong in life. Did I spill too much of philosophy here? Blah! 

About the Book:

2 Peg Ke Baad brings together 14 short stories that happened after 2 pegs, in an inebriated state. World’s greatest stories are created when people are high – masterpieces are painted, universal truths are realized, models on billboards are befriended, lovers are united, butts are kicked, confessions are made, and relationships are sorted.

The book started as a blog with people from across the world sharing their stories, ideas, confessions and beliefs and the elixir of the 14 best stories is here to reveal what lies beyond a conscious mind.

Though the book does not intend to encourage drinking alcohol in any sense, here’s to celebrate every emotion that kicks after a few pegs. Cheers!!

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