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And the good girl is…

CATHERINE RHEA ROY
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BOOK Annie Zaidi's The Bad Boy's Guide To The Good Indian Girl figures some things out

WRITING FOR HERSELF Annie Zaidi photo: Murali Kumar k.
WRITING FOR HERSELF Annie Zaidi photo: Murali Kumar k.

F or a woman with a mind as sure and an opinion as strong as hers it is shocking how calm and soft-spoken she is. She looks like a ceramic doll. But wait a minute; this is Annie Zaidi we are talking about. A woman who has a bite in her words, even when she is writing out a grocery list – she is Action Hero Annie.

Annie Zaidi, who has lashed out at politicians, authorities, media houses, and ignorant youth through her articles was in the city for the launch of her book “The Bad Boy's Guide To The Good Indian Girl”.

“This is a co-authored series of interlinked narratives, there are a lot of stories and each character is interlinked. And although it is fiction, between the fiction, there are bridges of non-fiction, where we have done interviews with women, and allow an authorial voice to come through,” says Annie explaining the book.

The book has been co-authored by Annie and Smriti Ravindra and the whole book is an attempt to locate this creature known popularly as the ‘good Indian girl' says Zaidi, “The book is an attempt to figure it out – we talked to women in the sub-continent and wrote stories on their stories and it culminated in this book.”

Having followed Zaidi's work, it was her irreverent pen, and her tongue in cheek voice that sort of structured the idea of journalism. Zaidi says, “I don't think of the audience when I write, and that is where the irreverence comes from. It should not matter how it will be received except if you have an agenda.”

Zaidi also has the privilege of being a published poet, and although she recognises the non-viability of being a poet today she says, “‘Crush' was a small book and in that sense it is an illustrated narrative. I wrote simple and short poetry, which, along with the illustrations, made it less intimidating to take on. And I pitched it as something young people would understand,” she says.

She shot to fame with her blog that was widely followed and she rests a lot of credit on her blog in shaping her as a writer,

“I became a much more informed writer after I started blogging. I found my voice and used colours, and bilingual and trilingual posts. I learned how to use the same material I came across at work in different ways and that broadened my perspective.”

Zaidi is now working on a collection of short stories, and also some dramatic writing, which she hopes will be staged soon.

Until then she goes back to blogging and making sure her voice is heard.

CATHERINE RHEA ROY

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