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Words, lines and thoughts

You are nowhere if you don’t brand yourself, says Ganga Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Techie, blogger, chick-lit novelist, filmmaker… Ganga Bharani proves the modern dictum: Conquer the digital world and you conquer your destiny. Market your products in the virtual universe through social media, friend networks and digital tools, and you can be what you want to be.

Ganga’s third book, A Sip of Love and a Sip of Coffee was launched by director Balaji Mohan at AVM Preview Theatre earlier this month.

Her stories are about young adults, their issues, and how they surmount them. She has so many stories to tell, she says. It all began when Ganga hit high school and her father plonked a bundle of newspapers on her desk every morning, exhorting her to read the opinion pieces, and write. Ganga entered a caption contest and won. She then realised she could write.



Ganga went on to write on civic issues, contributed to Your Opinion Matters on NXGN, and started a blog in 2006. Here, she archived her rejected pieces, wrote a novel a-chapter-a-day. Readers enjoyed it. Says Ganga, “It gave me a high when strangers spent time to read what I wrote.” In a natural progression, Ganga joined Facebook and Twitter.

It paid off. A publisher — friend of a friend — offered to bring out her blog series as a novel the traditional way. She was thrilled and “signed the contract without reading it!” She re-wrote the chapters into 40k words, and Just You, Me and A Secret came out in 2012.

Each of Ganga’s six blog-books has over 300 readers. She has won prizes from IndiBlogger.in, blogadda.com and in Sunsilk contests, was declared ‘Woman of Substance’ by Godrej and Blogadda. She was shortlisted for the UK Blog awards, 2015.

Her works of romantic fiction and crime thrillers are written with an eye on movie rights. The aim is to “hit the silver screen sitting at home.” One of her short stories was made into a short film called Bhimbam. She has also made stop-motion videos addressing social issues. Two of her documentaries, Tiny Steps and Candles, won best-film and special-mention awards respectively, at WE CARE Film Festival.

Ganga’s next is a rom-com for a film. “It’s tough,” she laughs, and adds, “But I’ve always experimented with style.” Her first book has conversations between the characters and the author. “I work within a framework, but stay myself. It breaks the cliché, right?” She is planning sequels to her books, and will partner with a school junior and filmmaker to turn her novels into films.

“Thanks to two supportive families {she is married}, juggling an IT job and writing isn’t too difficult,” she says. Her iPad is a constant companion for writing, preparing publicity videos, checking the blogosphere for reviews of her books and updating her YouTube channel, FB page and Twitter account. “You are nowhere if you don’t brand yourself,” she feels. “I have been lucky; I didn’t have to struggle to get published.”

Her books are ‘fast reads, written in short sentences,’ according to her readers. “I guess they enjoy it that way,” she says, but she wants to improve on detailing. For Ganga, writing is like learning to draw. You draw two circles and whiskers for a cat, but gradually learn to make it look realistic. One hopes that will happen with better editing and more vigorous proof-reading.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 9:32:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/it-girl-ganga-bharani-on-her-literary-journey/article14322836.ece

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