Monday, September 22, 2014

Author Interview: Swarupa Chavan: A Marathi Girl From Amchi Mumbai: A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

Swarupa Chavan, a Marathi girl hailing from Mumbai. She works as a DGM and writes in her spare time. She started writing 5 years back. She has published two novels TO ERR IS HUMAN and A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER till now. Her short story THE UNSAID WORDS is a part of the anthology FUSION. She loves to travel and has been exploring the beautiful cities of India. She dreams to tour the world someday.  

Welcome Swarupa!

Your real name and pen name?

My pen name and my real name are the same… Swarupa J I love it and so haven’t kept any pen name.

About your education:

I have done my schooling from Mary Immaculate Girls High School. Following which I completed my graduation in Science majoring in Physics from Jai Hind College, Mumbai. I then went for Packaging Technology in which I am a rank holder, Computer Technology and MBA in Materials.

What career did you plan during your education days?

I guess I was creative in selecting my career as well J I had many careers in my mind. I wanted to be a fighter pilot during my school days, then I thought of becoming an astronomer. While in college I was thinking of doing Computer Engineering. But eventually I have become a Packaging Specialist.

What languages you can speak and write? 

I can speak and write English, Hindi and Marathi.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life: 

My mother is my greatest source of inspiration. What I am today is completely the result of her hardships.

What hurts you most in this world?

Nothing is more hurtful than when your feelings are not reciprocated or appreciated or when people don’t keep their word and manipulate you for selfish motives. And me being an emotional person I don’t take such behaviour lightly.

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 don’t think I would like to live the life of anyone else. I have been given this unique life and I am very happy with it.

What is your favourite genre and why?

I love to write humorous fiction. I think making someone smile is a very difficult task and if you are successful in making a reader smile with your work that is your greatest reward. I feel comfortable writing this style and it comes to me very naturally. I also love writing emotional fiction and bringing out true human sentiments. While writing emotional fiction, I feel myself connected with the story closely and actually feel the pain of the protagonist.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I used to write small articles and short write ups. But it was around 5 years ago when I thought of focusing my writing on fiction. I had always wanted to write fiction, guess the right time came with To Err is Human. I purely write as a hobby. To pen down my creative thoughts and channel my energy in writing simply because I love to.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

I have published two novels To Err is Human and A Journey to Remember so far. Both these novels have a flavour of humour.
I would love to share the synopsis of both my novels J
About my debut novel TO ERR IS HUMAN

Are you a die-hard romantic who haste’s to fall in love?
Do you follow your heart more than your head and thereby tend to make mistakes?
Do you have great dreams and aspirations but find it hard to survive in this cutthroat competitive world?
Do you have a funny bone in you to laugh at life’s tragic turns and accept that you are Human enough to make mistakes?
If yes then ‘To Err is Human’ is for you. It is a story about Malini, a girl with big dreams who comes to Mumbai to fulfil them. Malini is compassionate, hilarious, sensitive, emotional and not to forget she is a magnet for errors, attracting disasters all along.
Dealing with her mother who is obsessed to get her married is not her only worry. She merely arrives in Mumbai and finds herself surrounded by eccentric bosses and weird clients. And if that was not enough she lands up getting herself abducted by gangsters. You find yourself relating to her woes and everyday incidents as she unfolds one adventure after another sinking herself in trouble deeper than she can manage to get out of. Yet it allows us to catch a glimpse of her true self and realize that it is a normal human tendency to commit such errors.
Her dream is endangered when one day she commits a vast mistake. A die hard romantic she haste’s to fall in love & trusts Anuj with her dream. This     single error turns her life upside down. Working at her dream job, Malini realizes that her co-workers are not her friends.  It’s a dog-eat-dog world and everyone wants to climb the ladder of success—even if they step on their co-workers like rungs on this ladder.
She learns one can’t always judge a book by its cover. At first, Manoj is annoying with his constant chatter and unkempt style, but soon he proves there’s more to him than meets the eye.
But is it too late for Malini to make amendments? Would Malini achieve her dreams? Would life be divine enough to forgive her?
Find out in this rib cracking funny escapade. Malini’s witty charm will keep the pages turning.

About A Journey to Remember:

A highlight of this novel is I have written a beautiful poem in this which is being loved by the readers J
He is a happy go lucky philander who has never taken any relationship seriously in his life.
She believes love to be a hypothetical and highly overrated phenomenon.
Destiny puts them together on a journey to Shimla. Although their destinations are the same their opposing philosophies lead to sparks.
Ananya shares several disparities with her childhood friend Reva who is an impulsive, outgoing and an emotional person. While Ananya is a practical girl who prefers to keep her life uncomplicated and predictable. Reva lives her life led by her heart and falls in love with her childhood friend and neighbour Nikhil.
A phone call from Reva summoning her for her help makes Ananya drop everything and rush to her aid. Ananya embarks on a journey of startling discovery, to Oakwood in Shimla where Reva resides. Her core beliefs and philosophies are challenged when she meets Kunal who is a matrimonial alliance for Reva invited at Oakwood by the General - Reva’s father. Kunal has agreed to visit Oakwood only due to family pressures and does not have any inclination to get married in the near future.  Ananya is unable to fathom the attraction she feels for Kunal and is scared of the outcome. Things get complicated as Ananya’s attempt to bring Reva and Nikhil together results in misunderstandings between Kunal. They turn dangerous when Sam the chauffer- cum- cook at Oakwood tries to sabotage their innocent plan out of his sincere loyalty towards the General. Ananya is faced with a grave question leaving her to wonder what her journey to Shimla would lead to.

My short story The Unsaid Words has been published in the anthology Fusion recently. I have tried a completely different style in this story. It is an emotional story and while writing it I felt a connection with Dr Raksha the protagonist of the story.

What are your forthcoming writings?

I am currently working on my third novel. I believe in doing a good research on the topic and prepare the background before embarking on writing. This time I have selected a completely different genre and topic and I hope my readers love reading this novel as well.

What are your future plans?

Now that I have found my true self in writing I plan to explore myself further. I wish to keep writing some more and connect with my readers.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

A strong storyline which is the soul of any novel and which grips the interest of the readers, strong characters with which the readers relate easily, the narration which flows easily and off course the grammar and language. These I think are the four basic essential elements in any writing.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

I think even though the story might be fictional, the feelings are real. The author has to feel the feelings only then it becomes realistic and interesting for the readers to read it. It is just like making a movie where the author creates a scene in her mind’s eye and depicts it through her words. Weaving the scene through her words making fiction seem real when the reader smiles on a funny scene, cries when there is sorrow, bites his nails in a suspense scene or is excited during a thrilling scene is the true success of the writer. And for that the writer has to pour in her true feelings and connect with her characters herself.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

Definitely! Imagination is one of the key elements for an author. Imagining all aspects of what can happen in and around the lives of the characters in the novel makes the story lively. Without imagination there would be no zest and the story would be dry and drab.

Your dream destination on Earth?

Hahaha now you are asking J I simply love traveling and exploring new places. Though I must say that the current high-pressure life style does not allow one to live as one pleases I do make it a point to find some time to meet my hearts desires and pack my bag to go explore another beautiful destination. My dream destination is Switzerland. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and I do wish to visit it one day.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I am an Indian and have traveled across most of India but still feel there is so much more to this beautiful country which needs to be explored. I loved the north India places like Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Jammu, Kashmir, and Nainital... south of India… Kerala, Bangalore, Ooty, Kanyakumari… J
 I have been to Amsterdam and loved every bit of this beautiful place especially the windmills and long lush green carpets of grass spreading miles after miles with cute little country houses. It almost seemed like a dream town!

Your favourite time of the day?

Early morning when I wake up and at night before retiring to sleep. These two times of the day I love the most as I feel more connected with myself during this time.

Your zodiac/ sunsign? 

I am a Leo… no don’t get scared I am a harmless Leo if such a thing exists J ha-ha

Your favourite colour and why?

I love bright and vibrant colours. Yellow being my favourite. It is so fresh and full of energy.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

I am a voracious reader and I love reading almost all the books, though to be honest these days due to the work pressure and too many projects on hand I am not finding enough time to read as many books as I normally can read. The last book I read was The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho. I am currently reading I’ll Be Seeing You by Mary Higgins Clark.

Your favourite book and why?

It would be difficult to name a single favourite book. To name a few... I love Illusions by Richard Bach, Fountain head by Ayn Rand, Books written by Ken follet and Michael Crichton, Secret by Rhonda Byrne… and a lot more.

Your favourite movie and why?

Dilemma… :) Favourite movie…hmmm…. I love most of the movies of Amitabh Bachhan J
It’s because his personality is very charismatic and strong. His acting very natural and dynamic and all his movies have melodious music as well. In short very entertaining movies.

Your favourite celebrity and why?

Guess … guess J actually nobody in particular.

Your favorite food?

Indian food always. I love our typical Maharashtrian homemade food. I also love Punjabi and Chinese food occasionally.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

A difficult question…. I am a proud Indian and wish I could do much more to bring back the glory for which India was truly known for - its diverse culture and natural beauty. It is now replaced with rapes, child abuses, politics and terrorism.

Some quickies: 
Sun or Moon - Moon, 
Laughter or Smile - Smile, 
Morning or Evening - Evening, 
Coffee or Tea - coffee, 
Mountain or Sea - Sea, 
Long Drive or Short Drive – long drive, 
Silence or Conversation - silence, 
Water or Fire - water, 
Air or Earth - air, 
Mars or Jupiter – any other choice?, 
Tulip or Rose - Rose, 
Red or Blue - red, 
Left or Right - left, 
Glance or Stare – glance.

What three words come to your mind for each –?

Technology – Progress, fast, growth.
Life – live, love, forgive.
God - friend, trust, guide.
Humanity - believe, spread, nurture.
Terrorism - banish, poor laws, politics
Racism – banish, old fashioned, myth
Childhood Abuse - punish, help, and care
Love – beautiful, believe, and spread
Parenting - noble, difficult task, challenging
Old age – understand, care, love

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote – 

Thoughts become things, choose the good ones.

The last line of your autobiography would be…

I lived the Illusion and walked through this journey called life…  
You can connect with me on:
Twitter handle: Swarupa_c
Facebook page:

Amazon link: 

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