Tuesday, 24 February 2015

In Conversation with Aastha Atray Banan

Reviews, Vol I, Issue III
Interviewed by Varsha Singh, Managing Editor, Reviews

Aastha Atray’s recently published novel Games Girls Play by Rupa Publications has won numerous heart and is still creating waves all around. We are glad to feature an on-demand interview with Aastha in the current issue of our magazine.

Aastha Atray Banan is a Delhi girl with her head up in the clouds. No wonder writing romance comes easy to her. As a journalist, for publications such as Tehelka and Open, she has written about India and its many facets right from movie stars to underprivileged Muslim girls playing basketball. As a romance writer, she aims to write about relatable love you know, the kind we all feel. Currently an assistant editor at Hindustan Times' Sunday magazine, Brunch, she lives and dreams in Mumbai.

VS: A warm welcome, Aastha! Thanks for taking out some precious time from your tiring schedule.  It means a lot. My first question; we already know that writing is like food for you, yet asking – what makes you write?
Aastha: It’s the only way I express myself. It’s the best way to talk about my feelings, my imaginary life and all those romantic thoughts that my head is full of.

VS: Was there a special moment, when you realized that you are made for the world of creativity, rather than the technical world?
Aastha: I have always been a romantic person, who saw the world through rose coloured glasses. All I did was read, listen to music and write. I used to write books in diaries about me and my friends going for mad adventures. So it was always meant to be.

VS: Your work explores the meaning of the word ‘liberation’ – could you define this?
Aastha: I hate that we have to be confined to a “label”. That’s what liberation means to me. You are free to be who you are, love who you want and live however you want.

VS: How did Games Girls Play happen to you? Did it happen the Siya’s way, as per your narrative? (Siya – Protagonist from Games Girls Play other than Natasha)
Aastha: No. I wrote the Mills and Boon and when Rupa came calling, I just came up with this book. I wanted to write about how it’s so wrong to be judgmental. And friendship. And love.

VS: How much of Siya and how much of Natasha exists in you?
Aastha: Both exist in me. I was more of Siya till a few years ago, and now I am more of a Natasha. I am both. I am comfortable with being both. It depends on my mood.

VS: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from your recent book?
Aastha: Siya - Alia Bhatt | Natasha - Shraddha Kapoor

VS: Where do your ideas come from?
Aastha: From the world around me and my mad head!

VS: How do you think you've evolved creatively?
Aastha: I am evolving every day as I grow older because you learn with every day, every experience. I love growing old! I think I am getting more and more fabulous everyday.

VS: What are the hardest thing and the easiest thing about writing, in your views?
Aastha: Hardest is to actually write, like sit down and type. Easiest is that it lets you all the lives you want.

VS: What is coming next from your desk?
Aastha: A couple of books. Another mills and boon. And many books about women in love.

VS: What advice do you have for young writers?
Aastha: Just sit down and write. And never become jaded. Believe in love

VS: Thank you very much. Team Reviews wishes you all the best for your future endeavors.

Click to read: Review of Games Girls Play

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