Men and women react to heartbreak differently, says Preeti Shenoy whose latest novel captures a man’s perspective of a broken relationship
Writing has always been a crucial part of Preeti Shenoy’s life. “I’ve always written even as a child. I wrote my first book as kid, which was all of eight pages. I used to take part in school and college contests and win them all. However, I never thought I would become a published author. That was a dream come true,” she smiles.
The author who is one among only six writers to make it to the Forbes List of the 100 most influential celebrities of India says that her advent into serious writing occurred in 2006, when her father passed away. “The shock was too much for me to bear and to deal with it, I started blogging. My blog became really popular and I began writing for various other publications like the Times of India, Reader’s Digest and Chicken Soup for the Soul. The natural progression for all this was a book,” she says.
She went on to release her first book, 34 Bubble gums and Candies, a collection of narratives derived for her blog, “This was the first instance of creative non-fiction in India,” she says. The success of this book emboldened the author and she went on to write three other novels, all which garnered a positive response.
Talking about the genesis of her latest book, The One You Cannot Have (Westland Rs. 200), a treatise on love, relationships, longing, and above all hope which was released earlier this month, she says, “I normally write my books from the female perspective but this time I’ve included the male one and that proved to be very challenging. It started like this — I got a lot of e-mails from young men who have gone through heart break complaining that I always wrote from the female point of view and asking me why I didn’t tell their stories too. I realized that men deal with heartbreak very differently from women. They tend to suppress their emotions much more and therefore find it harder to get over that perfect love. This is the basic theme of my book.
“It tells the story of Aman and Shruthi who are madly in love and are convinced they are going to spend their life together. Something however goes wrong and Shruthi decides to leave Aman and marry Rishab,” How Aman deals with the situation and comes to terms with it is related in the novel. And is there a happily ever after to this story? “You have to read the book to find out. I think it is my best work so far. But it has a practical rather than a fairy-tale ending,” she confirms, adding however that like all her books it is, “inspirational and has messages of positivity and living life to the fullest.”
And living life to the fullest is something that Preeti certainly believes in. Besides the writing, she is also a self-taught artist, yoga practitioner, photographer, intrepid traveller, hands on mother and animal lover. Her interests are eclectic and she has several academic degrees to her credit including one in PR and advertising, International Travel and Tourism and Interior Design, “If I get interested in something, I have to go and study it. However I truly believe that life is the best teacher,”