'I enjoy observing people around me'
A well-known writer and family counsellor, Gouri Dange has been a known face in the circuits of Pune and Mumbai. Recently out with her third novel and fifth book, the columnist with several national publications spoke to The Guide about writing and its secrets.
Gouri Dange at the launch of her novel, Three-Dog Night
Characterised by spunky humour, Dange is never hesitant to ramble from music to dogs and the different cultures she writes about:
Can you tell us something about the book?
Three-Dog Night is imbued with all the drama of a life passionately lived; a life lived with nerve and verve. As Viva turns 61, she decides to speed up the process of going junglee, as her husband once put it. But just as she has begun to back-pedal, de-clutter, disengage, go monochrome and all the other things people her age are supposed to do, life comes romping in again, with all its insistent, multi-coloured demands. Moni is dating someone who’s just bad news.
Perhaps Aidan, the vet with an interest in Indian mongrels, is the right man for her? What is Shruti’s mysterious Nepal connection? How will her grandson Dhruv react to the arrival of Emanto? Should Viva be listening to the sinister Gautam-Gafoor’s suggestions about media and mandawli? Should she have gone on that date with Raghav? Viva deftly bats these googlys and doosras that life throws at her, playing her second innings with an inventive grace.
Of late, Indian writing has become far more casual borrowing every day Hindi words than before. Do you agree?
It is seen that nowadays authors prefer to write some words in Hindi or the local language which helps in making the writing more reader-friendly. Also, writers are getting more scope to write in this manner.
What do you enjoy more — fiction or non-fiction?
Regarding non-fiction, I have written more of columns as I enjoy observing people around me. Honestly, I like writing both as both genres have their own plus points. While writing fiction one can create their own world, which is fun at times. Readership for both is different and so I enjoy both.
Three-Dog Night - A Viva Voce Novel by Gouri Dange, HarperCollins India, Rs 250. Available at leading bookstores.
Who is your favourite writer and book?
The Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith and Vikram Samant in non-fiction and Devapriya Roy Choudhury in fiction. I also like all audio books. I liked Midnight‘s Children, too. From my books, Three-Dog Night for being the youngest is the favourite.
From your perspective, has reading as a habit reduced among youngsters?
People want to read the e-version of the books, these days. Especially people who travel a lot prefer such mediums. As they save paper and space, they find use for different people in different ways. Though the reason may be anything, the reading habit has not reduced. It is just that the means of reading has reduced.
Any tips for young writers?
Don’t limit your writing to your experience only; write something to which others could relate to. Listen to others, be keen observers of life, one must not be judgmental but write all that they observe.