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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Author Interview: Ketaki Patwardhan Nirkhi

Ketaki has been one of those writers who has penned a variety of genre right from romance to thriller. After reading her current book, Hello Stranger (Review here - has been a crime thriller, a stark contrast from her previous writings, we wanted to understand more about the person she is and  how she manages to transition between genre. 
Here is the conversation that took place:

Q. Describe your relationship with writing?
 A: I have been writing since the time I remember. As a child I used to write stories and poems in Marathi. I think writing runs in my family, as my grandmother, my dad have been wonderful writers themselves. My parents always encouraged me to write. I remember they had submitted my poem in the newspaper Sakal and it got published when I was just seven years old. I wrote my first suspense story in Marathi after my twelfth exam. But then studies took their toll and I entirely stopped writing. I found my lost passion again after I had done my post-graduation in Anaesthesia and had settled a bit in life. I began jotting down my memories from my medical college days, which I eventually weaved into a love story and thus got my first novel, ‘Those enchanted four and half years’ published. After that, I have been writing as and when possible, sometimes full length novels, and sometimes short stories.

Q. How has it evolved over the years?
A : I think whatever a writer writes, even fiction, is inspired from one or the other life experiences. So I would say, the more experiences I got, the more people I met, the more my writing evolved into something realistic. Suspense being my favourite genre, I have now started writing exclusively suspense stories, but the characters in these are like the day to day people you meet. So narrating how unexpected things can happen in the lives of ordinary people, is what makes it interesting.

Q. Tell us a little about your current book: Hello Stranger. How did its characters, story, etc. take shape?
A: Hello stranger is a suspense thriller. Te characters are like the people next door, and the incidences are simple, happening around us every day. The thing about psychological thrillers is, a person who looks absolutely normal from outside can have a very twisted mind inside. And as such, it is very difficult to understand what goes on in their minds. This story is also a psychological suspense thriller, where abnormal psychological reaction to certain events in life can start a series of passion crimes.

Q.  Your first book was more autobiographical, then you moved into sketching stores, how and where do you look for these stories?
: Like I said earlier, my stories are inspired by everyday people we meet and regular incidence happening around us. I especially try to bring out the different types of psychological elements around which I weave my suspense stories.

Q.  How do you juggle medical practice and writing?
A : It is certainly difficult to juggle profession and passion. But where there is a will, there is a way. I never get a peaceful time to sit and ponder and write a story. So I type into my colour note whenever my mind comes up with a story. I later expand it at leisure, whenever time permits.

Q.  Apart from writing what are your other hobbies?
A: Apart from writing, I play casio, and I dance.

 Q.  How do you motivate yourself in sad times?
 A : By taking anti-depressants. No, joking. My parents, my husband, my sister and my daughter are my rock solid support who never let me feel sad, and pull me out of it whenever the time comes.

Q.  Who are your heroes/heroines (idols)?
A: In today’s world, it is really difficult to idolize someone because the social media dissects every aspect of life of a celebrity, which was not so in olden times. If I have to name just one person, I would say I idolize Madhuri Dixit, for everything that she is.

Q.  Describe the world as per 
your perception in one line?
A: World is a boomerang, so always give good, so that good comes back to you.
Q.  If you could change one 
 thing about the world what would 
it be?
A : I would plant more trees and reverse the global warming.

Q.  Your favourite food?
A : All south Indian items – Dosa, Ildi, uttappa, Medu wada

Q.  Your favourite holiday destination?
A : Mauritius, for its pristine beaches and amazing climate

Q.  Your favourite lines from a book.
A : ‘Shoot for the moon, even if you fail you’ll land among the stars’ – from P.S. I love you by Cecilia Ahern, one of my most favorite books

Q.  A message for your readers….
A : A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one – George Martin.
So keep reading and living multiple lives!

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