August 07, 2011


We interviewed published author Aditi Talwar Sodhi recently.


Aditi Talwar Sodhi born in Mumbai, is currently living in Dubai working in advertising field armed with an MBA degree. She has spent her childhood in a house that echoed the full-throated drone of Osho’s discourses; that had bookshelves on which J.Krishnamurti, Norman Vincent Peale, The Mahabharata, The Bhagavad Gita, Oscar Wilde and such fought for space with Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Jeffrey Archer, Paulo Coelho, Ayn Rand, et al.
She likes travelling, cinema & cooking.

So here goes :
Tell us something about your debut novel.
“Of Dreams” is about the dreams of three young girls - Aarti, Amrita and Payal and their journeys to realize them; the choices they make along the way and who and what they become as a result. It is about inner journeys and outer achievements, it is about unloading our past baggage and realizing our potential. It is about becoming who we are meant to be!

How did this book happen and why did you choose to write about it?
For me an emotion plus an idea equals a book. Everyday I am touched by issues that I feel I can’t do anything about; they seem to be beyond my sphere of influence. Just the other day I was watching BBC’s report on the lopsided gender statistics of the Indian population. Even today a male child is preferred to a female child in our country. So I have taken up the pen to redraw the sphere with a larger circumference and reach out to as many open minds as possible. And I intent to continue picking up issues that tickle, taunt and traumatize the modern Indian woman and wrap them up in entertaining plots and elegant prose.

When did you take to writing?
For a very long time now ideas have been bobbing inside my head, but I was too busy with the everyday to take their hand and see them through. It was when I gave up my job at the birth of my child that I turned my attention to them. The child gave birth to a mother and the opportunity to an author.
Where do you usually write? What is your favourite setting to write in?
I write elongated on the sofa with hot butter popcorn to my right and soft cushions to my left. The lights are dim and the hum of the air-conditioner reassuring.

Did this story  come to you easily or did you find yourself stuck with a writer’s block sometimes?
Part of the story was etched in my mind as if in stone - Aarti and Karan’s story; but as the other characters developed they became strong contenders and demanded center-stage and thus from the story of one girl set in India my book became the journey of three modern Indian women set in India and Dubai.

Does this story have anything to do with your personal life? Or is it a story of someone close to you? 
Well, they say debut books are autobiographical in nature. The book definitely has a lot of me in it, in the sense that it embodies what I see, hear and observe around me and it reflects my thoughts and feelings - but all of that has been liberally interspersed with pure fiction to make it an engaging racy page-turner.
Tell us about your life online and the sites you maintain
My virtual self is my website -
My book’s facebook page - Of Dreams by Aditi Talwar Sodhi -

What are your thoughts on life – The one thing that it takes to live it?
The one thing I have come to believe in is that there is no right and wrong - there are only perspectives. It is important to find that voice inside you that shies away from saying what you think, that scurries away at the first glimpse of a conflict, that scoots at the thought of being judged or ridiculed - and express yourself.

How has been your experience so far in the literary world? Any highs or lows being a part of this space that you would like to share here?
Since I finished writing the book my learning curve with respect to the publishing industry has been steep and still going strong. This uphill climb can sometimes be very exhausting especially when met with roadblocks like rejection e-mails from publishers, distribution snags, getting the right exposure, etc. There are a lot of ideas that slide into obscurity because they don’t get the necessary platform / exposure. 

Tell us something about your work & hobbies?
I was a part of the advertising industry before I moved to marketing at Vodafone Mumbai and then back to advertising in Dubai.  So I was always in the ideas business. It taught me to cull insights and present them in a crisp engaging way. But in the corporate world the function of an idea is to ultimately push product and there are so many stakeholders to please that sometimes what sees the light of day seems like a distant cousin of the original thought. The beauty of writing a book lies in the purity and innocence of the thoughts and words.
As for my hobbies, I enjoy wildlife safaris and snorkeling; I love the movies; and I find cooking therapeutic.

So how did it feel when you finally finished writing the book?
The entire experience of writing it was cathartic and when I finished - I felt lighter, freer ... happier.

Top 3 All-time favourite books.
Wow, there are so many. Top 3 would be - 
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand; 
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 
The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor 

Participate in book giveaway organised by Aditi -
Last date to participate being 7 Aug 2011

1 comment:

  1. a wonderful book, cant stop speaking and boasting of it. impressive and elegant style of writing... hope you continue writing ma'am. hats off! to Of Dreams and you!