Sunday, March 23, 2014

Author Interview: Sumeetha Manikandan: The Perfect Groom

Your real name and pen name?
Sumeetha Manikandan. I haven’t written under a pen name so far.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Summer holidays and books

About your education
I am an English Literature graduate with a diploma in Journalism and Communication

What career did you plan during your education days?
I once cherished a dream to become an archeologist

What languages you can speak and write?
English, Tamil and Hindi

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
Reviews from my readers

What is your favorite genre and why?
Historical fiction. I have always been fascinated by history and love to read anything historical.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I started writing in college. I have written some plays, comedy scripts that were performed in college. Later I dabbled in translations of Kalki’s tamil epic story, Ponniyin Selvan.  I am publishing it here - It was only during my sabbatical after pregnancy that I started writing seriously.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share
a synopsis of your work?
As of now, The Perfect Groom is the only published work of mine.


I tried to talk to Ashok about the impending medical test that she might force me to have. I told him while we were in bed.

“Ashok, I  need  to  talk  to  you  about  something.”


“Your  mother  is  pestering  me  to  get  a  medical  check-up done. I have given   her   many   reasons   why   we   don’t   want   kids   right   now.   She   is   not   listening. Can you speak to her and tell her that for the next two years you don’t  want  kids?”

“Hmm...I  don’t  know  man.”
“I  have  been  listening  to  this  pregnancy talk for the past month now. She wants me to go along with her to India next month and when we go she wants me to have a medical check-up with a gynecologist that she knows. If you  don’t  tell  her  that  you  don’t  want  kids  right  now, I will have to undergo a medical check-up. Please Ashok, speak  to  her.”

“What   the   fuck, Nithya? It’s just a medical check-up. What are you scared  of?  Why  are  you  pestering  me?  I  don’t  want  to  talk  to  her  about  this.   Just  leave  me  alone.”

I bit my lip to fight back the tears but they just rolled down. I felt trapped in a situation where the walls were closing on me from all directions.

“You  don’t  understand  Ashok.  Please  try  to  understand...I...”

He  tore  at  his  hair  and  screamed,  “Oh  God!  I  am  going  to  kill that guy the minute I land in India next time. He sent her here deliberately to mess with my life. Okay, I will talk to her.”  He turned away to sleep.

He did speak to her the next morning, I think, because she looked sullen when I came back from the restaurant and kept muttering about my hold over her son.

“God  knows  what  sins  I  have  committed.  All  I  want  is  a  grandson  to  hold   before I die. If you cannot give it then what is the point of this marriage? I always knew that people from Salem are very cunning. Now I know why they say that. You have him twisted around your little finger. Usha’s  son  got   a new wife because his first wife was not conceiving. You should thank your stars  that  we  are  not  doing  anything  of  that  sort...”

What are your forthcoming writings?
My next novella is named, ‘These lines of Mehendi’. It will be published as a paperback.

What are your future plans?
To keep writing…

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I try to make the narrative as interesting as possible.  I try to get into the skin of the character and try to experience their joy and pain

Your dream destination on Earth?

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.
Born and brought up in Chennai. I am yet to step out of India J

Your favorite time of the day?
Early morning 5 AM

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Your favorite color and why?
Green. Because it suits me

Your favorite book and why?
Pride and Prejudice. Because you can read it again and again.

Your favorite celebrity and why?
Daniel Day Lewis, because he is very intense

Your favorite food?
Tamarind rice prepared by my mom

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote: I am what I am

Twitter handle: sumeetha2

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