Monday, November 21, 2011




The Amazing Shobhaa De
November 18th, 2011

The last two days have been amazing – and full of outstanding women.
One of them is the excellent Shobhaa De – an Indian writer and broadcaster, and one firecracker of a speaker.
She was on the outstanding Women in Fiction panel at #shjibf with Kate Mosse , Oumaima Abdullah al-Khamis (Saudi Arabia) and Dr Ahdaf Suwaif (Egypt)which Lisa Dempster has written about beautifully already. It was bloody brilliant and highly charged.
Shobhaa is full of amazing, inspiring ideas. In a breathless hour she spoke of politics, power, feminism, aging, family, writing and so much more.
I make it sound cliché, but she’s positively electric. Her wit and a certain lightness of touch manage to freshen-up tired conversations to which so many worthy writers and events fall victim.
At 60, she’s a best-selling novelist, international phenomenon, journalist and mother of 6. Honestly, I don’t think the paparazzi bulbs stopped flashing during the entire talk.
She’s sparkling and clever and incredibly passionate – especially about the phenomenal growth and astounding opportunities arising in India today.
It was an intense hour and I’ve honestly been buzzing ever since.
I am highly intrigued by the bold new writing coming out of India – she’s made some fascinating suggestions I need to ferret out while I am here.
Plus, I’d love to learn more about the exploding market there. Every day you hear of bookshops folding and independent presses running dry. The press constantly bemoan the death of print – and the flagging subscription rate to broadsheets. In India, however, the trend is for growth and demand – and at an astounding rate. There are more books, more stores, more newspapers – more of everything it seems.
I picked up one of her books, my first purchase of the fair [if you don't count my daily can of Coke to see me through the heat of the day].
I had it signed while a camera was rolling, so I may well be on the 6 o’clock news somewhere in the world. I have no idea.
It was incrediby inspiring on many levels.
She is exactly the sort of person I’d love to take out to dinner and just pick her brains. I hope someday I have the chance to do so. Wouldn’t that be a treat!

11 comments:

Another Kiran In NYC said...

My sentiments too including dinner and brains! Dono karengey... bheja fry and aapka bheja fry :)

venkat gaddam said...

Blogposttt! finally.
this was such a cute post, itotally second her opinion. you're...just like an "interesting package" like you describe yourself to be! Haha ;)

Btw have you watched rockstar yet? i wanted to hear what you have to say of the movie...i watched it. and it was a letdown, below my expectations for sure.

and what about Beti B...haha i cant wait to see her, have you seen her yet? i think they shd name her anahita. Whats your suggestion?

Tsomo85 said...

I second her as well. On top of that Shobha De looks complete carbon copy of my in law. If she will ever wear our traditional dress, she will pass as jaw dropping Tibetan aristocrat anytime. Stunning, god bless! Can't wait to read all her books on my India trip this year. :-)

Life Unordinary said...

Cheers, we'll drink to all of the above.

pallavi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pallavi said...

I have admired Shobha de so much for so many years and have read some of her non-fiction works(Spouse,Superstar India,Selective memory,Shobha at Sixty). After reading her Autobiography (I read the Marathi translation of this one),just loved her for the Mother in her ,the professional in her and of course loved the decision maker in her .want to meet u someday maam..

glimpses said...

I guess every woman aspires to be someone like her...but alas in our country women liberation is just a myth...deep down nothing has changed...women have to struggle everyday to maintain their identity...they are made to despise their intelligence and talent...they are not supposed to have a mind of their own.

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No doubt she is a big achiever and role model for many. I can't believe her age though she looks much younger.
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चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

Amazing Shobhaa De with outstandin women :)