Monday, January 06, 2014

Author Interview: Prerna Varma: Meet An Observer, Learner, Reader, Writer, Foodie and Much More

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She calls herself an Observer, learner, Reader, writer, public speaker, psychologist, Foodie and TV lover. Known as the 'Wizkid' from Punjab, she has worked as a freelancer for magazines and local sections of prestigious national newspapers like Indian Express, The Times of India and The Tribune. She works for causes such as Female Foeticide, Education of Underprivileged and Cerebral Palsy.

You might confuse her to be a TV artist, model, big screen actress or a beauty magazine cover page celebrity which she is not…

A very warm welcome to Prerna Varma…and thanks for sparing out some moments of your life to share here…

·        Your real name and pen name?

Real Name- Prerna Varma
Pen Name- Prerna

·        Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Honestly, my childhood is a one big happy memory. I think, every moment I went on stage, whether for a speech or plays, moments I spend fighting with my younger sister, the moment I met Former President, His Excellency Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and moments I have been pampered by my parents and teachers are some of the best reminiscences of my childhood.

·       About your education
My schooling was from BCM Ludhiana. I have completed my graduation in Applied Psychology under Amity University’s scholarship program. Currently, I am pursuing Post Graduation in Clinical Psychology.

  What career did you plan during your education days
For as long as I can remember, I planned a career in psychology and journalism during my education days.

·        What languages you can speak and write?
I can speak and write Hindi, Punjabi, English and Spanish.

·        What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
My biggest source of inspiration is my parents. I think if there is anything worthy I can do or have done in the past is because of what they have taught me. They can solve anything, that’s what inspires me.

·        What hurts you most in this world
I am still unsure about that.

·        What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge was and is ‘Me.’ I am still figuring out ways to overcome.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
I think I would either be Mr. Dev Anand or President Barack Obama. It would be fun meeting my family as Mr. Anand as my father and grandfather idolize him. And I would love to be Obama for a day, just to see how power feels like! And maybe I can live the quote, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’

·        What is your favorite genre and why?
Thrillers, mystery, crime writing are my favorites. They overlap with each other, have subtle humor and the pace is maddening.

·        When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
Well, ‘writing’ writing started when I was a kid. I would buy sheets and scribble pages addressed to ‘Dear Diary.’ Honestly, I am unsure if I purpose of writing, because most of the things have never been read. But maybe it started because I wanted someone to know me unconditionally and paper became that someone.

   Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
I have been published as a writer with different newspapers and have contributed to a book titled, ‘Children Ask Kalam.
As an author, I have been published once with co-author, Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava. The work is titled, ‘The Dumb and the Dumbfounded.’ The synopsis of the story is,
For few, college is the temple of learning, for some it is their ticket to romance, for others it is a place to make new friends, creating countless memories!
What does 'college' mean to you?
Does it remind you of your 'best friend?'
The friend who has been there, shared your dreams, acted as an advisor and an agony aunt!
But what if this same 'friend' betrays you, tries to sabotage your career and threatens to reveal every single detail of your life?
Would you sit in a corner and sob? Or would to stand up and retaliate?
'The Dumb and the Dumbfounded' is a tale of two friends- Aarav and Dhruv, who embark on a thrilling ride of life. But soon the thin line between thrill and fright starts to dissipate.
Aarav begins to lead a 'dual life.'
Dhruv gives a new meaning to IIT.
And one of them discovers other's plans.
Would they forgive and forget? Or would they seek vengeance? But first, they have to make the ends meet, without actually making them meet!
This is a journey where there's nothing right or wrong.

What are your forthcoming writings?
Well, I am planning a few things for my blog, which has been lying idle for at least four months now. Apart from this I am working on a nonfiction book.

·        What are your future plans?
I think my future plan is to multi-task, write new things, manage work with other responsibilities and give back to the world.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I am just one book old and still unsure about what factors should be kept in mind while writing a book. So, I try to take care of only one thing while writing. And that’s reading. Personally, I think reading books is the best way in which I can hone my writing skills.

·        Your dream destination on Earth?
I haven’t really traveled anymore. So every new destination is my dream destination.

·        Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
India. I have not traveled or stayed in any other country as yet.

·        Your favorite time of the day?
I love food, so my favorite time of the day is 9-11 PM when I eat dinner.

·        Your zodiac/ sunsign?

·        Your favorite color and why?
I literally love all colors, each one of them is so beautiful, so distinct and unique.

·        Your favorite book and why?
Well, I love a number of books and like several writers. I love plenty of books because they are intriguing, where you want to know more about the characters and create this world that you wouldn’t want to leave. Some of my favorite books-
V.S. Naipaul- A House for Mr. Biswas
Sidney Sheldon- Master of the Game, If Tomorrow Comes, Memories of Midnight
Stephen King- Carrie, On Writing, Full Dark No Stars, Dream Catcher, It, Misery
Jeffrey Archer- Collection of Short Stories, Kane and Abel, Shall We Tell the President, Not a Penny More Not a Penny Less
JG Farrell- The Siege of Krishnapur, Troubles
Robert Ludlum- Trevayne, The Ambler Warning
Margaret Atwood- The blind Assassin
Ceclia Ahern- Where Rainbows End
Michael Connelly- The Black Echo, The Lincoln Lawyer
Salman Rushdie- The Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Michael Ondaatje- The English Patient

Your favorite celebrity and why?
Mother Teresa and Shah Rukh Khan. Mother Teresa because she changed lives and Shah Rukh Khan because he changed his life.

·        Your favorite food?

·        Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Moon or Sun, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare
Sun, Laughter, Evening, Coffee, Both, Short Drive, Conversation, Water, Earth, Mars, Moon, Rose, Red, Right, Glance

What three words come to your mind for each – Technology, Life, God, Humanity, Terrorism, Racism, Childhood Abuse, Love, Parenting, Old age
Technology- Ruling our lives
Life- Still can’t comprehend
God- It is everywhere
Humanity- Unconditional positive regard
Terrorism- Blinding the world
Racism- ‘Fair and Lovely’
Childhood Abuse- Needs stricter laws
Love- Open your heart
Parenting- Mummy and Papa
Old Age- Live with dignity

·        State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
‘If you judge people you won’t have time to love them.’ – Mother Teresa
‘Put your troubles in pockets with hole in them.’- Chinese Proverb
‘Be kind to people as everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.’ - Unknown

·        The last line of your autobiography would be…

And then I went off to sleep/eat/watch TV
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