Millennium Post

Newshound, author and the rain

Newshound, author and the rain
Newshound. That is not a word we arbitrarily picked for the new author on the block - Ashwini Devare. It is a word she picked for herself. A journalist by head and heart, an author - because writing has always made her happy.

Devare opened up over some soothing Darjeeling tea as we talked about her work, her book and every other thing under the sun. Batik Rain and other Stories (published by Har-Anand Publications) gave Devare a chance she has always been hankering for. The chance to go beyond ‘two minute reports and six second headlines’.

A post graduate in Broadcast Journalism from the American University in Washington DC and a former BBC Asia correspondent, Devare is currently a freelance journalist based in Singapore and her stories come from her experiences from across the world and her nomadic childhood. ‘We are shaped by the varied influences we encounter through our lives. A nomadic childhood exposed me to the world from an early age, and these cross cultural journeys no doubt shaped the outcome of
Batik Rain
,’ says Devare.

Batik Rain is a collection of delicately nuanced short stories that unravel the complexities that layer Indians in foreign lands. Spread across a wide canvas – US, Southeast Asia and India, the stories meander through the lush locales of Bali and Siem Reap to the charming by-lanes of Hyderabad and Pune, where characters spring to life with striking vividness.

As we picked up Batik Rain, the stories touched parts of the heart and mind that seemed to have been dormant for a good while. Devare’s special way with words along with her journalistic determination to couple truth and fiction makes Batik Rain an absolute delight with Anthem of Guilt being a personal favourite.

And what was the most difficult part about writing a book we ask, ‘Editing it,’ comes the pert reply. It is so tough to limit your imagination to comprehensive word-count, rues Devare. We feel your pain, always!

You can find out more about the author from her website and for those in Kolkata, Devare will be Oxford Bookstore on 26 March. Head over and yes before that - pick a copy!
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