Book is full of Bangalorean characters, hopefully no one comes to know: Anuja Chauhan
“It’s been six years that I’ve been living in Bengaluru, and I love the city,” says author-screenwriter Anuja Chauhan, who has a deep connect with Delhi, but decided to shift to Bengaluru. “It was a very conscious and thought-after decision to choose this city... As a child who has lived in cantonment areas, once I stopped my full-time stint in advertising, I thought we could settle anywhere. We (my husband and I) sat with a map thinking which place to finalise, and could see the hills, greens, lovely weather and everything in Bengaluru! And, my husband is from Bengaluru,” she shares, adding, “It’s only good that we chose this city because it’s been beautiful to spend time here even during the pandemic!”
Bibliophiles would be familiar with her popular works previously, such as Those Pricey Thakur Girls and The Zoya Factor, which have been also adapted for the screen. But, the writer has now attempted a whodunnit in the forthcoming book, Club You To Death. “People expect a certain sort of book from me, and I’m terrified of being cast into a certain formula because then you get boxed and then it’s death! What I found challenging about writing Club You To Death was that I really wanted to see if I could pull the character of a killer successfully. I was very excited to do it! In earlier books, the romances, a boy and a girl coming together was the propulsive thrust. In this one, it’s the mystery being solved. This one is also definitely a romantic book in a way, but I’m going beyond the happily ever after and exploring the element of mystery,” says Chauhan, who admits seeking inspiration from her real life, for her fictional creations.
“I always draw characters from my life, but I disguise them of course,” confesses Chauhan, adding, “This book is full of very Bangalorean characters. Hopefully no one comes to know (laughs)!”
And was this idea conceived and executed during the lockdown last year? “No, actually, I wrote something else then,” says Chauhan, who like most of the writers found the lockdown as an opportunity to write with more intensity. She recalls, “I started writing a new book last January and finished it in June! When the pandemic hit, I found my world narrowed down. The situation was so ghastly that writing the book was my escape. I had started writing, but didn’t know what the scope would be; at a deeper level there were existential questions and things going around — such as the news of migrant labourers moving back to their home towns — might have crept in. But nothing defined or formally referring to the pandemic is there in that book.”
Author tweets @HennaRakheja