Penning stories of life with a grain of salt | books$author-interview | Hindustan Times
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Penning stories of life with a grain of salt

books Updated: Nov 11, 2016 08:04 IST
Nikita Saxena
Renée Ranchan

Author Renée Ranchan’s latest book To Each With Love.

It isn’t often that one comes across a book that picks up the mundane things of life and treats them with a depth that is surprising. However, author Renée Ranchan’s latest book does just that. Titled To Each With Love, the work is a collection of six short stories — of which some are long, that revolve around North India and have undercurrents of a satirical tone.

“The stories have their satirical moments, but there is also humour and varied emotions and feelings that find their place in the stories. When I was writing it, there was no defined direction or methodology that I followed. These are just things that I see or experience that have found their way in my works,” says Ranchan.

Her crisp portrayal of the daughter-in-law Vimla Jain and her family wishing for a son, the awkward Chander who turns street-savvy, a school teacher Lulla who is facing the demons of singledom, and a Kashmiri woman ruing her youthful days – Ranchan’s book gives place to all characters that one will come across in their routine lives.

Author Renée Ranchan.

Of her portrayal of the country and the characters, the author says, “India is a constantly changing country. It has become a schizophrenic nation in many ways. On one hand, we have restaurants introducing navratra thalis and then there is another side where technology is the pied-piper in the country – children are busy in their phones and don’t care about anything. These things linger with you and make you wonder.”

Ask her if the stories deliver a message and Ranchan replies, “There’s no such message but a few points do come across through my work. Truth should be taken with a grain as opposed to a pinch of salt. There has to be acceptance of everything and everyone, even if it’s resigned. Surrender – you just throw up your hands and go on with the business of living. And that there is a new lesson to be learnt every day.” The title, she adds, finds inspiration from these points. “To Each With Love - that is the message; you surrender, accept, resign and to each with love you go on.”

Ranchan has also authored a collection of poems — Untwined The Wind in the past, and says that writing a book and poems involve very different processes. “Poetry is about immediacy of expression which makes it precise and succinct. However, writing a story is completely different, the story comes to the author over time. The writer never knows where the plot will go or how a character might become unrecognisable,” she finishes.