What you may want to know
I am a fiction writer, based in San Francisco. Prior to dedicating my waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours to writing, I started my career as a copy-writer, and eventually became a television producer. Ironically though, even then, I spent most of my days and nights wrangling with words – whether it was working with a team of writers, supervising scripts, or generating ideas for driving story lines forward. And when I wasn’t delivering audio-visual communication messages, I was leading various marketing initiatives and trying to meet client expectations. A charmed sabbatical later, I realized that all I wanted to do was tell everyone the stories I had in my head. So, I took the mad (and scary) plunge into authoring my first novel, and along the way developed a passion for food and traveling as well.
What you probably don’t need to know but may find interesting
I grew up in New Delhi, India and knew that I wanted to write from a very early age. If you ever met me at a social gathering back then, I have a feeling I wouldn’t have been very social. The only way I could be persuaded to go to any party was if I could take my book-stuffed satchel along. Yes, satchel. This was before the advent of tiny, sequined, shiny purses. All it took was a little corner, a good book (or any book), and I was usually lost to the world.
At the age of five, I came up with other ways to avoid meandering the halls and eavesdropping on the grown-ups. I decided to direct my first play. So I turned my house into a stage and my peers into unwilling actors. I guess everyone just humored me because I was the youngest one. But I was dead serious. I took to dramatizing Red Riding Hood with a vengeance, and dare I say, it was a success. That is, if you can count forgetting lines, giggling uncontrollably, and prancing around the room a success. In any case, from then on, I guess I knew I wouldn’t have an ordinary life.
And so, of course, I named myself. I was all of six and thoroughly tired of my mother’s creative bursts which left me grappling with a different name each week. So, one day, I took matters into my grubby little hands and stalked to my sister’s picture book. I flipped it open, saw a god-awful looking bird, and promptly declared that henceforth, I would be called Rhea. Putting aside all decision-making rationale, I’m just glad it’s a nice sounding name. I could have picked worse. And miraculously, it also has a glorious meaning. Telling people I’m a Greek Goddess is so much better than saying I’m named after an ugly, flightless bird. So.Much.Better.
There you have it: a few vignettes from my life. Someday I’m going to write about it. I’m sure parts of it creep into my stories already, for as the inimitable Virginia Wolf put it – Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.