Bangalore-based humour writer, Rachna Singh, had an interactive session with students of SHIATS, this afternoon (Nov 21). An Allahabad girl, she was an illustrious student, having topped in the city in I.S.C (Arts) in her batch. She was picked by Tata Motors for a job on completion of her post-graduation. She told the audience, “But just then I was diagnosed with cancer. But God used this book to keep me afloat. This book gave me strength to carry on.” Laughter is indeed the best medicine! Here’s a report of the event.
“I always had a desire to write about Allahabad. And when I wrote the first chapter of this novel, it just flowed! I, of course, knew the city very well,” said the best-selling author Rachna Singh, as she introduced her latest book in an interaction with students and faculty of Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Monday.
“But just then I was diagnosed with cancer. But God used this book to keep me afloat. This book gave me strength to carry on.”
Rachna, the author of several books, read from her latest humour novel, Band, Baaja, Boys!, and had the audience in splits many times. The novel that tells the story of an Allahabad-based hosiery seller. It captures all the nuances of names, places and street slang of the city. The Hinglish phrases, for example, were perfectly utilised, and hooked the audiences immediately.
The Bangalore-based author was born and brought up in Allahabad, receiving her MA in psychology from Allahabad University and thus knows the city like the back of her hand. In her presentation, she told anecdotes behind various scenes and characters of the book and often broke into Allahabadi Hindi to great effect.
Band, Baaja, Boys is a funny, romantic comedy, it is the story of Binny Bajpai who lives and loves in Mumfordgunj. Well, she loves a lot, and is sought by a number of boys who are queuing up for her attention. There is ‘gorment-job’ holder Tarun, sanskari N.R.I. Harsh and lover-boy Rahul. Not to mention lovelorn Raja Singh, who is trying to get to Binny’s heart through her father Brajesh’s shop. So who is the lucky guy who Binny finally chooses? You will find out. But not before you get a few stitches in your side with uncontrollable laughter!
In an interactive book reading session, on Monday, she made the audience laugh but in the process also made them aware of their social responsibilities. Behind the rib-tickling humour, the book offers a biting critique of social attitude towards girls. The book, for instance, mentions at one place that parents of girls advised their daughters to “Ignore the dogs”, the boys, who often pass remarks on them. “But,” she notes, “no parent told their son, ‘Don’t be a dog’.”
Sharing her experience in the publishing world, she advised the aspiring students to always welcome feedback, especially criticism. “Criticism inspires me to write even better,” she said. She even shared her experience of growing up in Allahabad and told the students to never underestimate themselves. “Doors open! You just need to do what is needed at the moment. Study well; your marks are important,” she said as she told students about career journey.
Her latest book has been well received by the media. Some of the accolades that Rachna received are, “A sure fire mood lifter…a laugh riot,” according to Femina. And Indian Express said, “Rachna Singh is part of the new wave of genuinely funny, smart and self-aware women writers in the country.” Hindu puts it pithily, “Rachna Singh’s wit is so sharp, it pokes at your funny bone hard.”
She was an illustrious student, having topped in the city in I.S.C (Arts) in her batch. She was picked by Tata Motors for a job on completion of her post-graduation.
Rachna currently lives in Bangalore with Alok, her husband who is a real estate developer and their two children, Aisha and Prithviraj.
The interaction was organised by the Department of English and Foreign Languages of SHIATS.
Photos from the Internet.
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