Hello Folks! Hope all of you are doing well during these testing times. Most importantly, I hope you are staying home and staying safe. In this week’s #blabwithsandy, I have Gitanjali Murari with me. She had worked with the corporates, headed the content team at Sony PIX, and did many more things before becoming an author. Having the creative bug in her, Gitanjali ji paved way for herself to get her writings into a book. With the help of Penguin India publishers, she has released her first book titled “The Crown of Seven Stars”. Let’s wait no further and dive into the blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hello Gitanjali ji! Hope you are doing good. 😊 Could you let us know about your early background?
Gitanjali: Hello dear Sandeep, I am doing good, thanks! You would be happy to know that I spent few years in Hyderabad, and I spent my schooling years in Nasr School and St. Ann’s, Secunderabad. My Dad was into a public sector job, and he used to get transferred often. I studied in 7 schools and had the good fortune of meeting many people.
I am an alumna of Sriram College of Commerce. I completed my Master’s in Film and TV Production from Jamia Milia, which was made famous by celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and director Kabir Khan.
I started my career in TV Production and moved from Delhi to Mumbai. I joined Sony Entertainment Network (which is Sony Pictures today) in 2004 and worked initially as one of the creative head’s. Later, I was part of the inception team of Sony PIX.
Sandy: Wow! Before even knowing you as an author of your new book, please describe us about what all did Gitanjali Murari indulge in, prior to writing this book?
Gitanjali: Hahaha! Before turning into an author, as I mentioned, I was into the TV entertainment industry. I quit my role in the year 2012 and that is when I began writing.
Sandy: When did the writing bug hit you? What made think about writing a book in the first place?
Gitanjali: Thank you Sandy! I never thought of writing a book, but my head was full of story ideas. My sister Meenakshi was instrumental in giving me the confidence in writing a book. She is a fabulous storyteller.
I remember writing my first story when I was 8-years old, and I named it Peppito– the Donkey. I started reading Upanishad literature, Swami Vivekananda’s literature, and they really had a good influence in my life.
After Film and TV, I had many ideas that I wanted to share with the world. I started writing one-liners, and slowly my ideas turned into a wonderful plot, thus, making its way into a published book!
Sandy: What is “The Crown of Seven Stars” all about?
Gitanjali: The Crown of Seven Stars is a fast-paced novel about one man’s struggle to overcome oppressive circumstances, to win a battle over his biggest enemy Destiny who has cursed him with the Saade Saati. Astrologically, Saade Saati is the period of seven and a half years that brings with it, misfortune and failure.
Saahas, the hero of the book, struggles to overcome this dreadful period so that he can claim the throne of the kingdom called Aum. This is a story of courage, to find that eternal Truth which brings with its infinite freedom.
Sandy: Writing is an art which not many are capable of, but the industry has a good number of writers on the field. What is the thing which makes your writing a tad different from the rest (if at all you think so! 😊 )? And, what’s your opinion on the current writing scenario in India?
Gitanjali: Hahaha, I think my readers will be able to tell what’s different in my writing. I feel writing is a very personal thing and everyone’s trajectory is different. The current scenario is very vibrant, with a variety of writing styles, be it mythology, folk styles, contemporary, etc.
Quick Shot Round:
- Love: It’s unconditional
- Your biggest regret: Don’t have any
- If your book was to be made into a movie, who would star in it? It would be Ranveer Singh and I would name it “Saptaratna”, haha!
- What do you indulge in when Idle? Grab a book to read, if weather is good, I go for a nice walk. Observing nature and photography are my other interests
- Your close friends in the industry: I do not have many close friends in the industry. But, Deepti Naval and I share love for old Hindi songs. Whenever we meet for a coffee, it’s a beautiful thing
- Best compliment you received for your book: I had a reader message me via Facebook. He said that he had just finished reading it and it was 2am. He conveyed that he could not put the book down and completed it at one go. It felt so good!
- A habit of yours which you do not like: Hahaha! Many habits. I procrastinate sometimes. I would love to write early in the morning, and I need to start doing it
Sandy: Deepti Naval ji has also voiced her support for the launch of your book. And, Penguin India has published your book, which is a great feat. A few anecdotes on the above.
Gitanjali: When I’d shared my story with Deepti ji, she suggested that I should published it as a book. I did not know how to get in touch with a publishing house. I would like to mention the names of Roshini Dadlani and designer Rujuta, who helped with designing the cover and the two maps that are an integral part of the story.
Penguin India liked my story and were happy to publish it. I approached them with my manuscript which was around 300,000 words. I just kept on writing my story without concentrating on the word count. My editor Roshini guided me and helped in creating a better reading experience. It has been a thrilling experience Sandy. I must say, it’s much like a joy ride.
Sandy: A piece of advice that you would like to give to the budding writers.
Gitanjali: Write everyday even if it’s 100 words. Read daily if it’s a page. Accept struggle, accept the pain, and just move ahead. Keep faith that one day all your words will flow well. Do not fear to express your unique thoughts to the world.
Sandy: What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
Gitanjali: More writing, more stories, more books, and more chats with you Sandy, hahaha!
Editor’s note: The perfect book to curl up with in these times, an action adventure to beat the boredom of spending hours shut indoors! Click on the link below for the e-book: https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B084MC4TQH/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1584702446&sr=8-1
It was great interacting with Gitanjali Murari. There is no doubt that I’ve found a new friend in the form of her. Wishing Gitanjali ji a soothing journey ahead!