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Prior to the launch of her fourth book, When Love Finds You, in association with Women’s Web on 12th November, we bring to you its best-selling author, Yashodhara Lal.
Prior to the launch of her fourth book, When Love Finds You, at Women At Work Buzz Session on 12th November, we caught up with the best-selling author and gender diversity champion Yashodhara Lal.
Yashodhara Lal describes herself as “dynamic, impatient & multifaceted”. An alumnus of IIM-B, Yashodhara spent fourteen years in marketing roles before taking a sabbatical to “figure life out”. In the meanwhile, she became privy to the pleasures of motherhood yet again; and went through a rather life changing experience during her second pregnancy, which was not only very complicated but also nearly threw her into the clutches of death.
This was a “great wake up call, and spurred her to start writing”, a desire which she always harboured, but managed to suppress amidst the pressures of juggling work and motherhood. It was during the first three months of the birth of her twins, when she was on bedrest, that she wrote the first draft of her first novel, Just Married, Please Excuse.
Weeks and months passed, before she heard from the Chief Editor of HarperCollins, who then worked with her to reach to a stage where the manuscript was ready to be published. This was followed “by her very mature response of a Chicken Dance”.
Since then, she has gone on to become a best-selling author, with three books in her kitty, an illustrated children’s book, Peanut has a Plan, in the pipeline; and her latest, When Love Finds You – due to be released later this month.
If you thought this was it, you could not be more mistaken. Post her sabbatical, Yashodhara, in her intent to give back to the community, started working with Genpact in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, and in a recent development, leads the cause of Gender Diversity for the organization – which she describes as “very interesting, especially because she can identify with so many of the issues women face with balancing work and life, given her own journey”.
In addition, Yashodhara is a certified Zumba trainer, and teaches a class of eight students on the weekends. She took to Zumba as a fitness regime post pregnancy, as a fish to water. She says, “Zumba has a strong dance component to it, but it is more about the fitness”.
In her own words, “Everything I do, including yoga and my music lessons (Whoa! We almost missed that) – they all feed off each other and are meditative activities in their own right. They are all about patterns and connections. They are energizing and draining in different ways, and complement each other so well.”
On being asked about her tryst with motherhood, she described it as “incredible and indescribable”.
“It has its ups and downs, it’s trials and tribulations, and I am so lucky to continue to have this experience”, says the mother of 3 little ones – Peanut, Papad & Pickle. Surprised, eh? The eldest one looked like a Peanut in the first ultrasound. So the name stuck, and after that, “it was just about retaining the food and ‘P’ continuity”. Talk about being quirky.
In fact, Yashodhara Lal’s writing style (Read through her blog, here) borders along sarcasm, which is modelled along the likes of her favourite writers – Gerard Durrel, Bill Bryson and James Herriot.
Her eyes light up when she talks about her latest book. The book is largely about a woman in the corporate world and is set in the workplace, a setting which Yashodhara had not experimented with earlier. The central character, Natasha is a particularly difficult character – sarcastic and cold, making it difficult to like her. The story revolves around her equation with her slimy boss Rishabh, and Nikhil, a single dad – who Natasha finds attractive.
Yashodhara believes that the audience will relate to “a strong central female character in a corporate setting, the unusual clarity that she doesn’t need anyone to complete her, and the fact that she is attracted to a single dad”.
Her future plans include exploring children’s books, based on her twins Pickle and Papad, a story on her husband and his farming experiments, a sequel to her first book, and some amount of non-fiction based on her life stories to help women figure out their lives.
We wish Yashodhara Lal the very best in life, in her journey as an author, a supermom, a businesswoman, a fitness trainer and the multiple pursuits she engages with, in time.
But of course, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.
Yashodhara Lal is the Chief Guest for Women At Work Buzz Session to be held on 12th November at Atta Galatta in Bangalore. Expand your professional circle at Women at Work Buzz Session. Would you like to be a part of this exciting event ? Register on the guest list here.
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Image source: Yashodhara Lal
I have been in love with the written word for the longest time now. I have had the opportunity to intern with Women's Web in 2016, and continue to remain a proud member of read more...
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Before expecting the daughter in law to love, respect and accept the new family, it is only fair that the family demonstrates all of these first.
If you are a married Indian woman, one of the first words you hear from your in laws is that you are now a daughter of the house. How true is that statement though? Are daughters in law really treated as daughters or is this only lip service?
A friend recently confided how hurt she felt when she wanted to visit her in-laws along with her husband but was told not to, because the in-laws wanted time alone with their son. Naturally, she was taken aback since she had always been fed this trope – that she was the daughter, not the daughter in law. Why then this sudden keeping at arm’s distance? Would a son in law ever be told not to accompany his wife on her visit to her parents because they wanted quality time with their daughter? That is unimaginable in a patriarchal society.
It is ok to want time alone with the married offspring but how does that meld into the Indian family system, where independent choices are less important than the whole family coming together?
Chhorii starring Nushrratt Bharuccha is another horror movie challenging the patriarchal standards that persist in society!
Adding to the list of horror movies that use the genre to challenge patriarchal standards, Chhorii is a scathing look at the so-called moral standards using which women are judged and turned into ‘witches’.
When does a chhorii (girl) become a chudail (witch)? Like the brilliant Bulbul from last year, Chhorii asks this question poignantly, making us search deep within ourselves for the answer. Bulbul becomes a witch in order to protect the women and girls of her village when she dies after suffering patriarchal torture at the hands of her husband and brother-in-law. Why is the witch in Chhorii a witch?
An amazing Nushrratt Bharuccha stars as Sakshi, a pregnant woman who comes to a remote village with her husband to escape loan sharks. But all is not right there, and Sakshi can sense it. The real horror is the patriarchal nature of their hosts, rather than the supernatural beings. Will Sakshi be able to escape with her and her unborn child’s lives? Watch Chhorii (now streaming on Amazon Prime Video) to find out.
Trolls have been giving Sania Mirza unwanted advice on her pregnancy, even shaming her for being 'out there in this condition'. She tweeted back, educating them that pregnancy is not something to be ashamed of.
Trolls have been giving Sania Mirza unwanted advice on her pregnancy, even shaming her for being ‘out there in this condition’. She tweeted back, educating them that pregnancy is not something to be ashamed of.
Oh, see that actress got pregnant; I feel sad for her as she won’t be getting any more roles now. Oh, that athlete became pregnant, sad that I won’t get to see her playing anymore. That lady just had a child, she won’t be coming to work…. No matter if you are a star or a commoner, no one will be spared from the societal taboos surrounding motherhood.
While reading the news I came across how Sania Mirza was constantly being trolled on social media for husband Shoaib Malik’s poor performance in the Asia Cup. Sania, who is expecting her first child with Malik, recently took to Twitter to slam all those continuously troubling her by giving her unasked pregnancy advice on social media. Earlier, she had been asked by a leading journalist Rajdeep Sardesai when she was going to ‘settle down’ and have a family – not considering the fact that she is an accomplished woman in her own right, and she shut him down with aplomb.
Yashodhara Lal's techie husband decided one fine day to become a farmer. Which is how she became a farmer's wife. An excerpt from her best selling memoir, reviewed here.
Yashodhara Lal’s techie husband decided one fine day to become a farmer. Which is how she became a farmer’s wife. An excerpt from her best selling memoir, reviewed here.
‘You seem a little … stressed,’ Vijay remarked. The two of us were in the back seat of our Innova as our driver Kamal drove us to work.
‘You think?’ I looked up from my phone and leaned to his side of the car to see how I looked in the rear-view mirror. Damn. I should have gone to the parlour. I rummaged around in my bag and found a spool of thread. It was a great timesaver, this little skill I’d learned in college. I tied the thread to the handle above the window on my side, twisted it expertly around the fingers of my left hand and proceeded to do some threading.