Ira Trivedi is one India’s best loved authors. I became addicted to her books after reading There’s No Love on Wall Street which is about a young woman discovering just how misogynistic and cut-throat the seemingly glossy world of investment banking can be. Trivedi is multi-talented. She is an alumnus of Columbia Business School, has written 7 books and is a yoga teacher and founder of Namami Yoga, a charity which teaches yoga to underprivileged children.
Her book Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st century was widely praised for chronicling India’s new social revolution in marriage and sexuality. The author has just released her new novel, Nikhil and Riya, a love story set in a boarding school, and told from Nikhil’s perspective. The book is about dealing with teenage love, and explores the journey of healing, moving on, learning to die and deciding to live.
She speaks to SheThePeople.TV about her journey from business to writing to yoga, and the journey of Nikhil and Riya.
1. All your fiction books are from a female perspective, so why the new book from a male perspective?
Initially I had written this book 6 years ago from Ria’s perspective. I closed it and didn’t have it published. I decided I wanted the book to be from Nikhil’s perspective. Riya is the one who is dying. The person closer to the one who is dying will feel it more strongly. Riya’s perspective is more zen.
2. How difficult was it writing a love story from a male perspective?
It was challenging. I had never done it before. I specifically wanted a male editor, to help me with writing from a guy’s perspective. All the publishing houses have female editors so I got my own editor on board, and he played a huge role. Even feelings like jealousy, I didn’t know to intensify. I realised that the way a young man feels jealousy is different from how a young woman might.
But it wasn’t unnatural to write from a male perspective. I really enjoyed it.
3. You have named the every protagonist in your book ‘Riya.’ So which ‘Riya’ do you relate to the most?
The Riya from the first book. That character was supposed to be me. From then I was used to writing with Riya. It seemed like a natural thing to name my characters Riya. I don’t put that much of my personality in my characters, though I do put my own experiences. Each Riya is different from the rest.
4. You have done a lot of work on marriage and sexuality. What is the one thing that stays with you when you meet young women across the country.
Change is happening in fast. Women’s views are changing more than men’s. men were confused. As a result women have many issues with men, because the male-female relationship has changed and that is a big problem.
6. Who are the writers that influence you and what project are you working on next?
I did a lot of spiritual reading for Nikhil and Riya. I read Book of the Dead, lessons about dying. It was difficult to translate deeply profound messages into a simple novel. And spiritual books have greatly influenced my writing.
A writer that I like is Kiran Nagarkar. I loved reading Cuckold.
The next project I am working on is called A Book of Yoga and will release on June 21st, It is a yoga manual which provides 10 minute yoga solutions. You just need ten minutes of yoga a day.
7. How did you get into Yoga?
Yoga and writing are very related, and yoga has helped me find myself as a writer. The common factor is that I love both. There is so much discipline required to do both.
Writing is inextricably linked to yoga. Only if I do beautiful practice can I write. It prepares me to write from the bodily perspective and from the mental and emotional perspective. It can unblock writer’s block.
I was going through a spiritual search when I found yoga. I was trying to understand my life purpose which is when I went to the Sivananda ashram in Kerala. In an ideal year I would be spreading a tenth of my year at the ashram.
Also Read: Diksha Lalwani On Finding Balance With Yoga
7. Advice for aspiring writers
I would say reading is one. We don’t read enough in this day and age. Read what you want to write. If you are writing a crime novel, read a lot of crime novels. Yoga is amazing for writers. Yoga and reading would be my advice.