Juggernaut writing platform’s editor’s pick of the week is Rameshwar the Dhobi, by Vasudha Sahgal.
Why does a Dhobi (laundryman) suddenly feel insecure of the ever-changing billboards opposite his dhobi ghat? Will his biggest secret also help him to secure the love of his life? This is a story about Rameshwar, a seemingly ordinary man with ordinary dreams, who may not, be all that ordinary, after all.
Read it here
Vasudha Sahgal is passionate about travel, food, words and cinema. She is a freelance journalist who contributes to various publications such as the Tribune, Quint, Huffington Post. She recently wrote her first children’s book called ‘Planet Foxers’ for Firefox Bikes, as part of their marketing strategy. She holds a degree in Economics and a diploma in Applied Journalism and Media Communication. From her previous jobs, her time training as a copywriter in advertising stands out, where she felt like “Charlie” from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Vasudha has a poetry page on instagram, called vasudha_poetry.She is currently working on an anthology of short stories which she hopes to publish in the future!
Your story is Editor’s Pick of the Week. Please tell us more about it, and its inspiration.
My inspiration for Rameshwar the Dhobi comes from the resilience I see in the people that live in our diverse country, especially those who are under educated and semi skilled, how their livelihood depends on the basic skills they have been able to pick up, inspite/despite of the hardships of economic backwardness.
Do you have any particular rules or rituals you follow as a writer?
Since I am also a freelance journalist, when I am writing fiction, I try and set a self imposed deadline to complete my content. Other than that, I do believe in keeping a note pad close to me because ideas can come anytime! And also, I follow one of Aristotle’s thoughts which goes – “It is a mark of an educated mind to entertain an idea without accepting it.”
What got you interested in becoming a writer? Where do you go for inspiration?
I wrote my first story about a bunch of friendly witches when I was 8 years old. My fondest memories are of going to the book store after school with my parents, every few days. Our house was always surrounded by books and my parents being avid readers themselves, we would often discuss the magic of stories at dinner time. I think the love of reading transcended into writing, before I could even realise what was happening!
I find inspiration in books, cinema, travel and even art. I love spending time in museums of art, my most recent time being spent at the MET in NYC, which I visited for a few hours,for three days o a trot!
What’s that one piece written by you which is your all time favourite?
A short story I wrote called “Serendipity, Not So Sweet” . It is about coming across an ex lover, unexpectedly on a busy street in London, the plethora of emotions in the protagonists mind. I like it’s unexpected ending.
Your bestselling authors and books list. Why do they make it to your list?
JK Rowling- all the Harry Potter Series. I was the same age as Harry, when I picked up the first one. I also went to boarding school and I could relate to their adventures. And to have that entire magical, non muggle world opened up to me was the yummiest treat anyone could have offered me.
Roald Dahl- again somebody from my childhood. His books opened up adventures and gave me my favourite reveries! My favourite was ‘Danny the Champion of the World’, his books on poetry and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I must mention that I greatly enjoyed Quentin Blake’s illustrations too. I recently wrote my first children’s illustrated book and Dahl’s books served as inspiration.
Elif Shafak- I have always been intrigued by Istanbul (not been there yet) and she makes the city come alive as a backdrop, against evocative stories. My favourite was the ‘Bastards of Istanbul’.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni- “The palace of Illusions” . I am currently reading the “Forest of Enchantments”. Who better than her gives the women from our mythologies a strong and much needed voice?
Jeffery Archer – “Kane and Abel” and “To cut a long story short”. Nobody can write a short story better, as gripping and unexpected like the master storyteller.
Any writing tips you’d like to share with fellow writers?
Writing is part craft, part talent and part discipline. Indulge all aspects equally for each of them requires to be honed.