So recently, I got an opportunity to interview this Rupa Publications author, Rupa Bhullar (no, it’s not her publishing house, they are just namesake :P) Since it was my first time interviewing face to face, naturally, I was a little skeptic, about the author’s attitude, not my confidence. But, I was in for a surprise, Ms. Bhullar turned out to be a sweetheart, answering all my questions with a smile on her face and as much enthusiasm as myself.
Read on to find what Ms. Bhullar has to say about her novel and the inspiration behind it.
Having born in India, Ms. Bhullar now lives in the US where she is managing both her career and her role as a mother to two boys. It wasn’t until some time ago when she realized the need to do something else in her life, apart from handling her business and home. “When you have a home, kids, and career to juggle, it becomes difficult to take time out for yourself, and even if you do so, it is mostly at the very end of the day when everything else has been done. While I was content with what I was doing professionally, I found myself in a completely different space mentally. My mind started conflicting,” she says. It was really late in her life that she started reading, and when she did, it was mostly booked on philosophy and life and that sort of stuff. She continues, “While reading, I would always write down points and take notes of whatever I felt was good enough, and eventually I started writing little quotes myself, posted them on social media, and started getting positive responses from friends and acquaintances. Since what I was writing was mostly a reflection of my life, a lot of them could relate to it, after all, we all usually go through the same things, albeit the circumstances are different at times.” Ms. Bhullar now knew that writing was her calling to all the creativity that was now brewing inside her, but when, was the big question. After waiting for a long time, she decided to get in touch with the publishing house, e-mailing them, sending them sample chapters and in return getting a positive response, which boosted her to set a commitment for herself, and bang, here she was ready with her manuscript to undergo the processes of publishing.
Coming to her novel, when asked about the protagonist Maya, the inspiration behind her being what she is, Ms. Bhullar muses, “A lot of Maya is me, her journey is rendered with my own experiences. I believe that writing should somehow be connected to the writer, but the characters after a point of time start speaking for themselves, and that is when reality starts diffusing with fiction.
Maya is a reflection of mostly everybody in today’s time, having all yet yearning for something else. The steps she takes, suicide and then leaving everything behind, to go for a holiday cum self-discovery journey without being bothered much about the cost and its repercussions, how much of it would be possible for the middle-class people, the ones who are bitten by this “I am stuck” bug, I ask. “Money can buy things which bring happiness, but not happiness itself. I am not against having money, but it is a personal choice of how one uses it. There are people who are happy with whatever little they have, and there are people who aren’t even when they have their bank accounts running into millions! It’s all about how you chose to be happy, someone might be happy by wearing expensive clothes, carrying branded bags, and driving luxury cars. For me, it’s the experience that matters, which can be created and enjoyed irrespective of the place you are in.“
“Putting up a question that I had been meaning to ask Ms. Bhullar since the moment I finished reading her book, how the story would have proceeded had the set up not been that of super-rich families, but of the middle class were making ends meet means working from paycheck to paycheck diligently? “I think it wouldn’t have mattered. The story is Maya’s journey, and she would have found what she was looking for in whichever circumstances she was.”
More of a dreamer and an artist, when asked whether she considers herself more of an author than a writer, now that she has a best seller in her name, Ms. Bhullar says, “I’ve always been a writer at heart. Even if my book wasn’t published, I’d still be writing.”
Well, all I have to say is that I hope she continues being this writer, giving the world her share of wisdom, one book at a time.