The (In)eligible Bachelors: A quest for Mr Right!
London-based author Ruchita Misra talks to Sahim Salim about her first book The (In)eligible Bachelors a funny tale of a young single MBA grad and her search for the perfect husband.
From halfway across her hometown, Ruchita Misra used her experience of having fancy degrees and being pushed down the arranged marriage road to pen The (In)eligible Bachelors (TIB).
Misra, a MBA graduate and triple gold medallist from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi, juggled a full-time job and married life in London to come up with this book, which has largely received positive reviews.
In an e-mail interview, Ruchita Misra tells Sahim Salim how she got around to writing the book, the difficulties she faced and future plans.
An engineering degree, a MBA, a blogger and now an author -- you have come a long way from your simple roots. Tell us how your book fit into your life, or was it the other way round?
I have always wanted to write, only I thought I would do it when I was much older and could spare time to do things I really enjoyed doing.
While in India, I had always been busy running after that rank, that medal and that job... so when I shifted base to London and job hunted in the recession-hit UK, for the first time, I found that I had some time on my hands.
I was also newly married and had known many friends who had decided to go down the arranged marriage route.
Their stories about meeting potential grooms were quite amusing.
Those conversations sparked off a trail of thoughts in my head that finally led to The (In)eligible Bachelors.
When did you start working on the book? Was the story of the book something you have been toying with for long?
I started working on TIB after I shifted to London. I had been toying with the idea of writing a book for a long time but I always thought I would write it much later in life.
Did you follow a routine to get the book finished, what with your full-time career and personal life?
It was and is quite tough (to complete a book).
Writing is a passion and work an undisputed priority.
It becomes quite a task to handle clashing deadlines, but most people I work with for TIB understand this and are happy to make adjustments.
Without this kind of support, it would have been impossible to write TIB. I have never followed a routine for TIB. I am dreamer when it comes to my book like most dreamers; I follow my heart.
I used to write when I really wanted to which was practically all the time because I had the most amazing time writing the book!
Image: Ruchita Misra
Photographs: Courtesy Rupa Publications
'I wanted to write a clean book'
Like you, your protagonist, Kasturi is an MBA with arranged marriage plan on the agenda. Is that where the similarity ends, or is Kasturi more inspired by your life?
Well, TIB is purely fictional but the initial situation Kasturi finds herself in (great degrees in hand and going down the arranged marriage route) has been taken from life around me. The rest of the events are the work of an overtly fertile imagination.
Has your genre of writing always been humorous?
I wanted to write a clean book that was great fun. Humour was incidental. I can make people close to me laugh a lot and since while writing TIB I was basically telling myself a story, it was only natural that I wrote in a humorous manner.
How difficult was it to get a publisher?
It is difficult to find a publisher and more so when you are sitting half way across the planet in a different time zone. Rupa was my dream publisher though I did approach others as well!
You have done quite a bit of online marketing for your book yourself. How did this come about? How difficult was it promoting yourself in such a medium?
For the longest time ever I have been using FB and Twitter for the promotion of the book and I cannot thank the creators enough!
The reach and power of these new-age tools is absolutely immense! The fact that most youngsters could identify with the theme of the book and that the cover/ title is quite eye-catching really helped me.
Also, while I am the one with all the fancy marketing degrees, my brother, Diva a doctor, is the one who is the marketing guru! He has helped me immensely in promoting the book.
What next, then? You still seem to be busy promoting this book. Is there a new idea that can possibly turn into a book?
There are some ideas floating in my head. When I wrote TIB I was very convinced of the story and I need to feel a similar kind of conviction before I will put another book with my name on its spine on a bookshelf. I hope that will happen, but time alone can tell us if it will.
Image: Cover of The (In)Eligible Bachelors
Photographs: Courtesy Rupa Publications