You always knew that the popular television series Sex and the City was the primer on dating, boyfriends and eventually, marriages, with fashionable (and extremely desirable) clothes and shoes thrown in. What you possibly did not know was that it was an also an "anthropological exploration of a certain kind of a person in a certain place at a certain time". We learnt that, and much more, from its writer Candace Bushnell, as she took the stage, "manoeuvring her high heels" before interacting with writer Ira Trivedi.
Being the creator of the characters of a popular TV series (that draws on her eponymous book) of course comes with a price. Your opinion on matters of the heart becomes much sought after and Bushnell, much like the fabled oracle, gladly obliged.
She censured cheating. "Cheating is a moral issue," she said, "man or woman". On marriage: "If it feels like the end of life [as you are about to get married], then you are not ready for it." On relationships: "I wish human beings were constructed differently. Marriage is so wasted on the young." Bushnell, now 52, married around a decade ago.
Bushnell does not believe that her fiction should convey a message, "crazy" as she is about the novel as a form. Her first visit to India 11 years ago was followed within a few months by her marriage. This, her second, will also be fruitful, providing the subject matter for her next book where one of the characters, an actress, will be coming to India and "probably going to stay at the same hotel where I am staying".
Her message to Indian girls: "Be a person first and a gender second" as "achievements and self-actualisation gives power". Heavy stuff.