BANGALORE: Here is a treat for all those who want a laugh riot out of a few turn of pages. Author Saaz Aggarwal in her latest, 'The Songbird On My Shoulder - Confessions of an Unrepentant Madam', has offered her readers a collection of previously published work. Based on real-life experiences, she has brought out the banal instances of life and turned it into something unpredictable.
Having published different kinds of books before, this humorous collection is a series of vignettes from her life that leaves the readers tingling with laughter. The event saw some of her fans eager to get the first glimpse of this funny and thought- provoking book. It was released by Saaz and author Brinda S. Narayanan that was followed by an interactive session.
During the interaction, Saaz mentioned the reason for the title of this book, "A lot of it is personal. I have been called Madam by many people under many circumstances in my life. While looking through the book, I saw I had many a times referred to myself as 'madam'. I thought it will be funny to play on the salacious word madam. I'm the madam, and I'm not repenting."
Both Saaz and Brinda read out their favourite pieces from the book like 'A Madam's Life', 'I live in a house that Iqbal built', 'Marriageable age', 'Pratibha and her Memsaab' and the ones that touched them the most which included 'How I transformed myself' and 'You can always find something to laugh about'. Saaz Aggarwal is a woman of many facets. She is a humour columnist, ghost writer, literary critic, corporate biographer and is also known for her Bombay Cliches and quirky paintings of contemporary urban India. Her inspiration comes from incongruous objects or instances. "I can give you an example. The Bombay Stock Exchange is a very powerful place. It plays a vital role in the economic position of India. Yet, right outside the building, one may see a barber sitting and shaving. These differences fascinate me," she said.Her book is a collection of short stories and poetry and "portrays a madams life" as mentioned by her. "There is a difference between writing poetry and prose. I get a very smooth flow to write poetry after any instance that touches my heart. But writing a prose is much harder," she replied to Brinda. The book has glimpses of her childhood, her move to Bombay and Pune, the tussle between people with social differences and even the uncomfortable relationships of people at home. Saaz spoke about certain things she learnt as a kid that she still keeps in mind whenever she writes a book. "One of the things you must realise is paying attention to detail. Every single detail is important.
Whatever you do, small or big, give it your best shot. The other thing you should look into is the constant improvisation of skills. Work on them and improve them. The third is never to give up," she said. "I get inspiration from certain authors like Virginia Woolf, Woody Allen, Kurt Vonnegut and even PG Wodehouse. I have even critiqued them in my book," she added. At the event, the audience had a wonderful time listening to Saaz read out stories with voice modulations, expressions and even her applaudable imitation of a Malayalee accent based on one of the characters in the book. The audience interacted with her and asked her a few questions. One of her fans was keen to know the launch of her next book to which she said, "I am working on another book that will be launched on November 14. That day is very special to me. It marks the 65th year of the move of my family from Sindh to Bombay." The book was launched on April 30 in Landmark.