I wrote my book to de-stress during my board exams: Author Karina Arora | books$author-interview | Hindustan Times
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I wrote my book to de-stress during my board exams: Author Karina Arora

Author Karina Arora talks about her debut book, The Spirit of the River, her shared love for food, writing and her future plans.

books Updated: May 11, 2017 17:23 IST
Aditya Dogra
Karina Arora doesn’t want to do writing full-time, instead plans to open her  own boulangerie in the future.
Karina Arora doesn’t want to do writing full-time, instead plans to open her own boulangerie in the future.

Board examinations— a time when most students are too stressed to focus on anything else other than their textbooks and notes. However, 18-year-old Karina Arora used this time to channel her creativity into her debut novel. Her book, The Spirit of the River, which was launched recently in the Capital, deals with depression, loss and the road to a joyous and spirited life through the eyes of the protagonist Zoe. What’s even more interesting is that this Delhi girl has dealt with mature themes with finesse.

Depression is a word commonly thrown about in our daily lives but in the bigger picture, it is a silent war that many fight, without any support; it needs to be expressed, to be shared and to be heard. That is why I chose the themes of loss, broken hearts and missed opportunities, second chances and coloured pasts for the book

So how did she do that? “ I am influenced by whatever happens around me, the people, their emotions and more. Depression is a word commonly thrown about in our daily lives but in the bigger picture, it is a silent war that many fight, without any support; it needs to be expressed, to be shared and to be heard. That’s why I chose the themes of loss, broken hearts and missed opportunities, second chances and coloured pasts for the book.”

Arora had been toying with the idea after her visit to Banjar Valley in Himachal. “The valley’s calm and positive vibes inspired me to use that as a base for my story and I had over the time planned out my character and a bit of their stories. It was during my boards that I decided to start working on the book as a means to de-stress; I started putting parts of the book together since it wasn’t a straight narrative and had a collection of interwoven stories.”

The cover of author Karina Arora’s debut book, The Spirit of the River.
Le Cordon Bleu was always the plan, but since I love writing as much as I love the culinary arts, I did plan to pursue my bachelors in English.

Arora says authors like Jhumpa Lahiri and Sophie Kinsella have had a profound influence on her writing. She loves the way Lahiri tells stories and borrows the descriptive quality of Kinsella’s chic lits in her own book, but makes a point to mention that her work still feels like her own. The true blue Delhi girl might have shifted base to Sydney to pursue a business degree in restaurant management and culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu —a worldwide leader in gastronomy, hospitality and management, but she says that she did want to pursue English honours from St.Stephens College in Delhi University. “Le Cordon Bleu was always the plan, but since I love writing as much as I love the culinary arts, I did plan to pursue my bachelors in English. I have always blended my two loves together through a blog that I have, and will maybe one day write a cookbook,” she says. So is she working on a new book? “Yes, I am. This one too is going to be about experiences, specifically focussing on Asian students studying abroad. I already have a working title planned for it too — Khidki. Writing won’t be full time thing for me though, as I plan to open my own boulangerie in the future,” says Arora.