An Interview With Amrita Priya
Amrita Priya has the twin passions of writing and observing people and their behaviours. She believes that both these passions of her are interrelated and help in connecting with people.
Amrita began her career, fourteen years ago as a feature writer – writing features on a variety of topics for Hindustan Times, The Pioneer and Prabhat Khabar. Her two cookery books are a result of her interest in writing about food and her experience in writing recipe columns. She holds a post graduate degree in Mass Communication and has deep interest in Psychology and Management. She often incorporates the concepts of the three subjects in her writings.
Thousand Miles Team feels glad to have a close conversation with her regarding her new book ‘Romance On Facebook’ and questions related to women empowerment.
TM: What is your book Romance on facebook all about? The inspiration that moved you to write this book?
Amrita: This book is about two people who meet each other on facebook after a gap of 19 years and how in the process of discovering what happened in their lives in this nineteen-year-gap, they re-establish a sense of attraction towards each other.
I had read in newspapers and magazines that the root cause of many divorces in today’s technological advanced times are the proximity that the social networking sites are providing to people with someone outside their marriages. This idea became one of the crucial factors behind my decision to write Romance on facebook.
I feel that it is a social myth that if one is married, one cannot get attracted to someone other than his / her spouse. However, it is very important to keep the family values intact. Hence the purpose of writing this book was to portray how people start finding themselves happier in company of someone who can be reached through Internet. But this does not mean that they disrespect their spouses or there is the intention to stray away. Rather, this a modern-day complication that many people are experiencing even when deep down their hearts they do not want to hurt the people they are married to. Through the characters of this book, I have tried to portray the dilemmas of two mature and caring people and through them have tried to pass on a message that indulgences should be controlled.
TM: Did you ever get any rejections for your novel? If yes how did you react to them?
Amrita: I am lucky that my manuscript got accepted by the first publisher that I got in touch with. Apart from this book, Jaico Publishing House is also the publisher of one more book of mine.
TM: How has been the response and does it fulfil your expectations as a writer?
Amrita: Taking into consideration, the current Indian fiction scenario, as a writer I was confident about the freshness of the topic. The readers have responded well to a different story.
TM: Who are your favourite authors now? Who were your favourite authors in your childhood?
Amrita: My Favourite author now is Paulo Coelho. I have read almost all his books and have got mesmerized by his charisma. I also admire Robin Sharma’s work. Ruskin Bond was my favourite author when I was a child. In my teenage years, I loved reading the romantic novels written by Barbara Cartland.
TM: There is a saying that tells Women empowerment is an illusion, but in our country, majority party leader is a woman, many organizations are led by lady CEO’s. Not only this, many eminent photographers, writers, movie makers are women. Women empowerment has evolved in the past few years but still majority of women are backward. In this point, we want to have your suggestions and views.
Amrita: I feel great to be living in a time when women are proving to be role-models in each and every field. I don’t think that a section of women are backward; rather there is a section of society as a whole that is backward. Since women are nurturer by nature, they nurture and accept the men of their lives along with all their weaknesses and insecurities. In this process, they get influenced by the rudimentary outlook of men who matter to them for their emotional well-being. To get rid of this phenomenon instead of just focusing on women, the focus should be on the uplifting of the society as a whole. Of course, women should be made an import catalyst of change.
TM: How did you become an author? Was the career transition difficult?
Amrita: Before the birth of my daughter, I used to work full-time. After she was born I had to be with her all the time. I started writing my first book when she was not even a year old. It was a very difficult thing to do at that time. Apart from writing books; which just provided me creative satisfaction, I also explored different genres of writing to fulfil my financial urges.
Now my daughter is eleven years old. Just as she has grown in age, my writing career has progressed too. Now I have got so accustomed to the luxury of a career that has the flexibility of timing that I can’t think of returning to a nine to five work set-up. The career transition was not at all difficult as I was turning the adversity of staying back home because of being a new mom into the advantage of becoming a writer. There were initial struggles both financially and also in terms of work opportunities but then a writer has the luxury to follow the path of her heart if there is a spouse to provide financial stability and security during the days of transition.
TM: Any new book you are preparing to launch or writing for your fans?
Amrita: I have started writing another manuscript which again revolves around a mature and complex relationship. I love exploring man-woman dynamics and the different layers and intricacies of relationships.
TM: Who is your ideal woman in your life? What was her role in your life? What are the strong qualities does she possess?
Amrita: My mother is the ideal woman in my life. I used to observe her a lot in my childhood and from a very tender age, I was clear about the qualities of her personality that I would like to imbibe and the qualities that I would not like to emulate. So though I loved her more than anyone else, I was not a blind supporter of everything that she did. She played a very significant role in my life and to me she is an epitome of goodness. Another role model that I have is my sister. She is an exemplary teacher and has excellent multi-tasking abilities. By observing both of them, I still learn the lessons of patience, modesty and politeness.
TM: Considering the present day worst condition of Delhi and India at large, what do you think is responsible for such moral declination, is it the male dominant society or the new generation girls and ladies?
Amrita: Lack of proper conditioning of today’s children both at home and school as far as moral conduct is concerned as well as exposure to gossip, violence and sex through new age media can be held comparatively stronger reasons of moral declination than male dominant society or new generation women.
TM: Any message to the teenage girls who easily succumbs to modern-day relationships with their male counterpart?
Amrita: I really feel worried about the way our teenage girls have started treating their advancement in age. My message to them is that – life is long enough to try new things. Since they are not women yet, they should preserve the innocence of their minds and regulate the actions of their bodies in such a way that it appropriately suits the phase of life they are in. For this, it is very important to not get negatively influenced by people of their age. Instead, they should try to build an open-communication with their mothers, aunts and grandmothers and trust their guidance.
TM: The item numbers in our Bollywood films that portray woman as a candy piece of adulthood and centre of mere attraction. Do you think this has a direct effect to our society?
Amrita: This phenomenon certainly has a negative effect on the society and particularly on people who are young and still have impressionable minds.
TM: Any message you want to deliver to your fans and modern India writing trend?
Amrita: I would like people to develop the habit of reading. They should spend more time in reading good books. They should not succumb to the distractions that technology is creating. Technology should be embraced for knowledge acquisition and faster communication instead of as a means of mindless addiction.
TM: Your thoughts on being featured in the Anniversary Issue (Women Empowerment) of our magazine Thousand Miles.
Amrita: I feel happy about being featured in the Anniversary Issue (Women Empowerment) of your magazine Thousand Miles.