With your background in the fashion and glamour industry, was it doubly challenging to write this book, or did the words and plot flow easily?
I would say the subject matter was relatively easy for me because I had extensive exposure in both industries. Having said that, writing is a very unpredictable process. The plot, character motivations, story is always changing. There are days when I can't get anything on the page and others when it flows so freely that my fingers can't type fast enough.
How close is Lila the protagonist's story to any familiar face in B-Town? What about the rest of the characters?
I tried to make her as original as possible with flaws and characters nuances. There is no one that fit's her character in real life that I am aware of. Regarding the other characters, I utilised bits and pieces of many people I've met. There is no one character that is a perfect fit to anyone in the industry. There may be eccentric quirky qualities that someone might identify or draw parallels to but it will most likely be a coincidence. I did not do it deliberately.
Do you believe that this book will be identifiable among young hopefuls floating around the big, bad world of Bollywood? Will the reality of it all, scare them away?
I hope the book will resonate with readers. My idea was not only to draw back the curtain on the industry to show what really happens behind the 'Lights. Camera. Action!' but to also put a spotlight on some major issues that this generation is dealing with these days. It's true that the film industry has a reputation but it is also a world-class industry that runs on international standards. While there's no need to be scared away, I do think it's important for hopefuls to be cognisant of risks. More importantly, I'd like there to be dialogue and conversation on the generational issues such as sexism, nepotism, gender violence, and such which are themes in this book as well.
Crashing B-Town, Tulika Mehrotra, Rs 175, Penguin Books. Available at leading bookstores.