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Author’s Corner: With Yashodhara Lal

Posted: July 23, 2012

In this Author’s Corner interview, we talk with Yashodhara Lal author of Just Married, Please Excuse.

Just Married, Please Excuse is a modern tale of marriage and parenthood full of quirky characters who promise to make you laugh out loud. For sample chapters of the book, visit www.justmarriedpleaseexcuse.com. This is the author’s debut novel. She blogs at www.yashodharalal.com and is also on twitter @yashodharalal.

If you had not become a writer, what would you have been?

I’m not a full-time writer as of now. I am a marketing professional and I think I’ll continue to be one and keep writing as my favorite passion, and hopefully still be able to do fair amounts of it! I love writing but as of now, I have a feeling that being a full time author may not work all that well for me – too much pressure, I suppose. Right now, writing during moments that are almost ‘stolen’ works for me. But who knows what the future will bring, right?

What is the best thing about being a published author?

For me, the best thing is simply that someone liked my writing enough to think an actual book consisting of it made sense to produce. And that someone being HarperCollins, who I really respect for their editorial team, is a great thing too.

Being published gives you reach like never before. So right now, I’m enjoying the feedback that my writing makes people laugh and gives them insight into their own relationships. I know there’s a lot of talk about how there are so many new authors and new books in India now – but I still think it’s a big deal. In short, I’d have to say – the best thing about being a published author…is being published!

What is the hardest thing about writing a book?

Now I’m tempted to say, like with the previous question that the hardest thing about writing a book is writing it! But I won’t.

Seriously, the first draft – where you have to get the story to flow on paper, really – trying very hard not to rationalize or self-edit too much – that’s the hardest part. The things that follow are a piece of cake – rewriting, finishing, editing. They’re just the icing on the cake. With the first draft too – it’s the first step that’s the hardest, as it is with most other things.

If you were a man, would there be anything different about your book?

Of course – it wouldn’t be the same book at all. Here, it’s written completely from the female perspective and you get inside the woman’s head while her husband is a character who is described as seen through her eyes. However, the project I’m working on right now is writing through the man’s eyes. I’m certainly having a lot of fun with it.

Who was the first to read your book? What was their first reaction?

I sent it to very few close friends and family members, but my friend from the MBA Days, Kunal was probably the first person to finish reading it. His reaction? He loved it – it made him laugh, which is what I was looking for. He gave me some great inputs.

My sister Gitanjali was the other person who read it, and she loved it too. The two of them helped me shape it into the form that it got accepted by the publisher.

One book you would love to have written?

No doubt about it – The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Devakaruni Bannerji. Definitely not the funny genre which I can write, but I so admire this book.

Future literary plans?

To just keep writing, somehow. To figure out what role writing is supposed to play in my life. Hoping that it’s a big one, and trying my darndest to make sure that happens! Those are my future ‘literary’ plans.

Also – while It’s too early for me, I have a feeling that the area of humorous yet insightful writing about relationships may be what comes most naturally to me. But like with most things regarding the future – we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

*Photo credit: Yashodhara Lal

Now dear readers, a book giveaway for you!
Simply share any one really funny incident about your spouse or partner and win signed copies of Just Married, Please Excuse.

Just leave your answer as a comment below – and two winners will each get a signed copy of Just Married, Please Excuse!

Please note: Only 1 comment per person. The book can only be sent to a valid address in India. Giveaway closes on 9 AM IST 30th July 2012.

So what are you waiting for? Comment away!

Update: Giveaway Closed.

The winners are Hima J and Meenaxi. Congrats!

Previous Interviews in Author’s Corner:

Rashmi Bansal of Poor Little Rich Slum

Meghna Pant of One & A Half Wife

Eowyn Ivey of The Snow Child

Shakti Salgaokar of Imperfect Mr.Right

Himani Vashishta of Princess of Falcons

Lata Gwalani of Incognito

Nina Godiwalla of Suits

Urvashi Gulia of My Way Is The Highway

Kiran Manral of The Reluctant Detective

Ameera Al Hakawati of Desperate In Dubai

Judy Balan of Two Fates

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  1. Funny? It must be the time, my husband tried the pregnancy stick. Why? Because it was our first pregnancy, I’d just tried the home test which had come out positive. The husband was in denial I suppose (even though the baby was planned) and used the second stick in the package “just to cross verify”.

  2. Well, it was nice knowing that a Marketing professional is getting her book published.
    I would love to get your book,
    I am a north indian and married to a south indian and staying in joint family, where i have just started to understand the language..
    So my husband usually used to make me a fool especially what his parents have just said, and now i just catch him, because i have started picking a word or two of the entire conversation.

  3. Congrats Yashodhra for release of book. A sneak peek in your blog confirm your book must be laughter riot and I m gonna order if i dont win giveaway 🙂
    funny event with spouse – when my daughter was 1yr old..me and MIL for morning kirtan at near by gurdwara and we were suppose to be back by 10:00 AM..My daughter generally wake up by 8:00 so my hubby dear got the job to get her fresh ( read clean potty 🙂 ) which he never dare to attempt in last one year. When we came back lil late around 10:30..daughter was still sleeping and HD was fretting in efforts by cooing her continously so that she doesnt wake up and he can avoid potty cleaning. Me and MIL had hearty laugh after seeing his efforts in not letter daughter wake up 🙂

  4. Congrats Yashodhara on the release of the book.

    Here’s a really funny incident that happened to us.
    When it comes to punctuality, my husband and I are poles apart; he is ok with reaching ‘some’ time whereas I believe in being 5-10 minutes early and I HATE being late, even by a minute. This has been one of our hot tiff areas right since marriage, and he is inclined to agree with me after the birth of our son.
    This particular incident happened in Sept 2009. We had been to Kodaikanal with our 1.5 yr old son – our first vacation with him. My husband was determined to remove the ‘blemish’ on his character and prove to me that his habit has changed for the better. He checked on the ticket that the departure time of Tuticorin Express from Kodai Road station was 10:30 PM. He ‘calculated’ that we needed to check out of the hotel at 6 PM; “shouldn’t drive down the hill in the dark” plus we can have a leisurely dinner. And this was what happened to the best laid plans.

    6 PM: Hotel check-out complete (am mighty impressed)
    7:15 – 7:55 PM: Dinner at a road-side hotel. We had the luxury of time, you see.
    8:10 PM: Got down the taxi outside Kodai road station.
    8:15 PM: Old porter taking luggage to platform no. 2 in great hurry. We follow him, puzzled.
    8:23 PM: Arrived on platform no. 2. Kid’s dinner time. I start preparing Cerelac for kiddo. Porter puzzled.
    8:25 PM: Porter continues towards the end of the platform in greater hurry, signalling us to follow suit. Kid’s dinner plan aborted.
    8:27 PM: Some train approaching the platform; no announcement. Porter almost running with luggage now.
    8:28 PM: Porter stops where he thinks our compartment will arrive. We check and re-check if he has understood that we need to board THE Tuticorin Express, bound to
    Bangalore. He confirms…in Tamil.
    8:29 PM: Train coming closer. It has started drizzling. Trusting our English more than our Tamil (of which we only know a couple of words!), we check with other
    waiting passengers. Everyone is in agreement that the train is indeed THE TUTICORIN EXPRESS, which will take us to Bangalore the next morning….if we board it now.
    8:30 PM: Husband dear checks the ticket. Train departure time: 20:30 , i.e., 8:30 PM and NOT 10:30 PM; he bites his tongue – slight conversion error. Train stops.
    8:31 PM: We board the train, a bit wet.
    8:32 PM: Hubby and I exchange looks; a range of emotions follow – shock, disbelief, anger and finally, relief.
    8:33 PM: Train starts moving. We laugh out loud!!

    So much for reaching BEFORE-TIME.

  5. Rama Chandrasekharan -

    This was an incident which took place two years back.I had planned to attend an engagement of a relative with my children and as my husband was not attending it,I prepared his dinner and gave the house keys to my neighbour and also called him to get it from them.After reaching home from the engagement me and my children were shocked to see that the grill gate had been put on outside the front door,and so we presumed that he had gone out somewhere.We waited for some time outside and tried to call him also,but the phone was switched off.I really panicked as the time was 11 pm.My neighbours told me that he had taken the key from their house.Again we came to the front door,when we heard a mild sound of the telivision running on.I rand the door bell,and there was my husband opening the door as if nothing has happened.It is his daily routine to put the grill gate after closing the front door and he had done that without realising that we were out.I found this incident very funny and even I am laughing out loud when I am writing this.My best wishes to you Ms.Yashodhara on the release of your book “Just Married,Please Excuse”.Waiting to read it.

  6. I, Meenakshi and my husband Manish worked in the same team in the same company and during our courtship days, we had kept our engagement a secret in the office except few team members who would ask for small and sweet favors to keep their mouth shut.

    One day we approached our boss in his office, first my husband asked for 15 days leaves to get married out of station, and after a deep thought boss approved with a nod and statement pointing towards me, that in his absence, Meenakshi would be in charge and take care of the project. Then my husband told that Meenakshi is also getting married. Next statement from boss came, “that’s okay, first Manish you go and then afterwards Meenakshi can plan her leaves for her marriage. This is critical project time and we must do some personal adjustments, both of you can’t be off keeping the difficult times in mind.” Our demeanor was so professional that boss had no clue.

    Then with little embarrassment, my dear beloved had to reveal that since both of us are getting married to each other so leaves had to be simultaneous. And boss had his hand on his forehead. “Oh okay”, he exclaimed. Then hiding his concerns of the project, he managed to congratulate us. This is one incident in Boss’s office which still tickles me quite badly, and we both took leaves together postponing our wedding after delivering the project.

    Wish you good luck for your book Yashodhara and look forward to enjoy reading it!

  7. first of all wishing u luck 4 ur buk
    hmm..funny moment wid my partner is – although my partner is damn caring but wen it comes to expressing love he is bad at it so one day i just strtd complaining that how oder boys express dere love ,,so in order to impress me n express his love he bought me some gift ,n to my surprise it was a showpiece made up of glass wid an artificial rose made of plastic in it.i unwrapped the gift in front of him n he gave me the explanation that oder boys give rose which die after sometime but mine is the one which will always remain fresh 🙂 ,,i loved him more for his innocence but in my heart i was laughing loudly ,,dis is one of the moment which we share wid each oder n now laugh together on it 🙂

  8. Rajshree Gupta -

    I remember when my younger son was few mths old… and at times when he was cranky I used to give him the pacifier .With two children … I had lately become a little absentminded….and on one of those days when my son was howling…. instead of putting the pacifier in his mouth I was trying to put it in my husband’s mouth … it was more funny when even after he removed my hand I was still trying to put it in his mouth coz my ears were just hearing the howling n not anything else…. but after the second time I realised …. n kept laughing …n laughing …. !!!!!

  9. we were in the midst of our honeymoon, and as ours was an arranged marriage we were still getting to know each other. we had an interim bus journey and my hubby was loading the bag in the bus and the bus started, in midst of all the hullaboo i did not realize he hadnt got in, till i saw him running after the bus and i nearly burst out…………laughing, got the conductor to stop the bus but as soon as my panting hubby reached me he was nearly screaming could you not get the bus to stop, i just kept mum………….so as yes, not to burst out laughing again!

  10. Thank you all so much for your comments and good wishes – you really had me smiling there :-)…all the incidents above are really funny!

    Do stay in touch and let me know how you liked the book!

  11. Thanks Yashodhara for finding my entry funny! Can’t wait to receive my copy and read it. Moreover, dear hubby would be cribbing a lil’ less about my books expenditure 🙂

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