On Author’s Circle today, meet author and doctor, Madhu Vajpayee, to talk about writing, life and her book,
Hi Madhu! Thanks for dropping in and letting us have a peek into your life.
So, what’s SEEKING REDEMPTION about?
MV: The literal meaning of Redemption is “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” My book besides being a love story deals with caste based reservation and corruption in the country. And the main characters of the book seek to redeem themselves from such an error that has the potential to destroy their future. PAUSE. Sorry, little heavy stuff but don’t worry, story is weaved around the central theme of love that can lighten any situation.
What’s your favorite line from your latest novel? Why?
MV: “She concluded that to be able to live without regrets, one has to let go of life that one has planned to give space to the life which has been destined.”
Somehow I feel that to be happy, we should learn to flow with the current of life rather than unnecessary getting miserable by countering it or complaining about it. Not that we should not try to get what we want but if it’s not achieved, we should move on and enjoy whatever life has to offer.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
MV:Scribbling spontaneous writing ideas and thoughts that springs to my mind at the back of the book that I am reading. Also, at times, trying to write on the notepad of the phone while waiting at red-light while driving and then suddenly realizing that it has already turned green when get honked by the following vehicle.
What does your day look like?
MV: It used to be very hectic when I was working full time as a medical doctor but since I have opted for part time work it’s much relaxed and carefree giving me ample opportunity to write.
What’s your favorite book by another author, and why?
MV: Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s such a beautiful love story in a setting where you would least expect it to be. Perhaps because I belong to medical profession and I have seen hoe disappointing a cancer diagnosis could be. And in this story, the two young adults who are suffering from it are celebrated rather than being pitied upon. Their love blooms in spite of all the limitations. Its victory of their spirits over suffering.
If your book becomes a movie whom would you want to play the hero and the heroine?
MV: Perhaps Aditya Roy Kapoor as Aman, Shraddha Kapoor as Meera and Shahid Kapoor as Abhay!!!
How did you become a writer? In other words, tell us YOUR STORY.
MV: Perhaps one doesn’t become a writer. One is born as a writer. Passion for the writing can remain dormant or unexecutable for the time being but ultimately it has to be expressed. Precisely that is what happened to me. Although being a medical doctor living in a different universe, I always loved writing. The words that only had space in my heart or notebooks, diaries or computers eventually got life once I found the courage to give them a face that world could see and this is when my first book Seeking Redemption happened.
What is your best marketing tip?
MV: Not much idea except that “Don’t give up, just keep going”!!
Why write what you write? As in romance or suspense or thrillers?
MV: I love to experiment with different genre, preferable drama but love remains the core of my writings. Love is an essence of our existence and no one can remain unaffected by it. It may not necessarily be all the time romance only but any kind of love and care between any relationships for I believe that love is an enigma, that can never be solved and one can write infinite volume about the mystery that it is…… Why you love someone? What you can’t give up? Why you go through what all you go through?
Is there a certain scene you find difficult to write? Eg: Racy or action etc.? Why?
MV: Great question! I dread writing action sequence or any fight scene. Most of all I avoid them like anything but sometimes it’s imperative to include them for the sake of the plot. Ask me how I feel at those moments, I try to visualize the scene but it’s so difficult to give it a form!! I can’t explain why….perhaps I am just not good at that.
Is your writing character-driven or plot-driven?
MV: I would say, both! Although I start with a fairly well defined plot, sequences and the ending while at the same time creating the characters who are synced with the plot but most of the time I have realized that characters acquire life of their own and start demanding attention. The role is reversed, instead of me directing them, they start directing me.
Naturally, in part you are all your characters (they come from your head) but which of your characters is the most like you? Or resonates in you the most? Why?
MV: I would say Meera, the heroine of my book Seeking Redemption. Although the story of her journey, specific events of her life, problems faced by her was not exactly mine but her principles, belief and faith are mine. I saw myself in her dilemmas, in her pain, in her loss, in her triumph against her own demons.
What do you wish to convey through your writing?
MV: Love is a powerful force that shapes our lives. It’s not only happiness, ecstasy and dreams but also the pain, suffering, vulnerabilities and loss. As I said earlier, whatever I write, the central theme remain would remain love. And I wish to convey how love can transform our lives in different ways. Besides that I like to highlight the social evils still plaguing our beautiful country.
What can we expect from you next?
MV: I have already completed my next book, ‘I Owe You One’ that’s again a romantic-drama where I have tried to focus on Hindu-Muslim harmony as well as the divide in the country. Finger-Crossed, it’s under consideration for publication. The next that I am currently working on is a pure romantic story where nothing except love is felt, lived, suffered and eventually conquered. I am really enjoying writing it. To my surprise, most out of all three until now.
To end let's try a Rapid Fire round. Your answer should be the first word/s that pops into your head when you think of:
LIFE: Flowing River
PASSION: Go for it! That is where your salvation lies….
HERO: Be the hero of your own life!
LOVE: Essence of life!
HATE: We don’t need it!
Thank you, Madhu for being here and talking to me. It was fun!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.
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