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Author Interview : Nickunj Malik

 

TaleSpin is the debut book of Nickunj Malik, the journalist whose career spans over 22 years. The book is an anthology of her one hundred columns in newspapers. The columns are delightfully eccentric and funny yet thought provoking and insightful.
The narrative is  gripping and easy to read with illustrations by Osama Hajjaj, Jordan’s leading cartoonist.
In her words, Talespin is a book that will make every reader identify himself or herself in it. That is why they should pick it up and read about themselves. 
#CreativeFreedom  – It was fun to interact with the journalist who says that it has never happened that she has wanted to write on something and she was prevented from doing so. 
 Q. Let us know your journey from your first column to ‘Talespin’?
The journey from my first column which was called ‘Ordinary People’ and appeared in the ‘Khaleej Times’ newspaper in Dubai between the years 1994 and 1997 to now has been momentous. For me, at least. In that span I have written three more columns, ‘Bits and Pieces’ for Bahrain Tribune, that ran for three years, ‘Business as Usual’ for Business Times in Tanzania, that ran for six years and now ‘Talespin’ for Jordan Times that has been running for the last four and half years till now in Jordan. I have also done scores of interviews, feature stories, book reviews, film reviews, covered art exhibitions et al in the last twenty three years of professional writing.
Q. I have read your columns at Jordon Times. Tell us more about your life in Amman, Jordon. 
Amman is a beautiful city and Jordanians are very friendly people, especially towards Indians. Petra, the three thousand year old ancient city is there, so is the Dead Sea and the Baptism site of Jesus Christ. My daily life in Amman is pretty ordinary but because of its proximity to historical places it sounds very exotic when I recount it to strangers.
Q. What helped you to break into writing and how important is writing in your life? 
 Nothing spectacular happened to lead me to writing. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was six years old. Everything that I penned was always appreciated by my English teachers and it was just a natural progression that I would go on to follow it as a profession.
Q. Your journalistic columns are touched with beautiful human connections. How would you define your writing style?
Thank you for the lovely compliment. I do not try to add the human connection but just write about things as I see it. My writing style is of a natural humourist, I think. 
Q. What made you work on the idea of collecting all your columns and putting in one book? Any person who played a great role? 
I am turning fifty early next week and though it is not an earth shattering moment, for me personally, it is a reminder of my mortality. My father, who passed away twenty years ago, always wanted me to collect my columns into a book form and ask some cartoonist to make illustrations to go with it. This book is a tribute to that future vision that he had for me.  
Q. Tell us about a proud experience you’ve had in your encounters or with your readers since you became a columnist.
 
There are several humbling moments when my readers have recognised me and quoted pieces of my work that has resonated with them, back to me. In my writing experience of more than two decades, such instances always make me glow with pride. 
Q. What’s your present state of mind? What’s next up for you, writing-wise? Is there another book in the making?

My present state of mind is happy at having accomplished something that I set out to do ten months ago. Despite having the columns at my disposal, picking the hundred best ones, co-ordinating with the cartoonist, putting them together in a book form, polishing them, and so on, was hard work. I am excited that it has shaped up well. My next project is a novel which I would be working on later this year.
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About the Author:

Nickunj grew up in various parts of India and pursued her Masters degree in English Literature  from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Nickunj’s sense of humour, style, vitality, craziness, her gregarious personality and her uncanny ability to laugh at herself and avoid the pompous and the posturing of society have given her ink a certain edge that is honest, often piercingly so but still pleasant and positive. The book has been published by Ocean books, New Delhi.

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