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Preeti Bhonsle On Dark Thrillers, Girls From IIT Delhi and Writing 27 Broken Footprints

Preeti Bhonsle On Dark Thrillers, Girls From IIT Delhi and Writing 27 Broken Footprints

An almnus from IIT Delhi, Preeti Bhonsle wrote the book 27 Broken Footprints which has an alluring lyrical balance along with thriller narratives which she unravels in the story.

The reviews from her readers keep reverberating to The Other Woman, The Tree House in the Rain, The Forgotten Tales of A Family Lost.

She changed the name of the book from The Dark Engineer to 27 Broken Footprints. She refuses to unlock the mystery behind the name. “Not so soon”, she says.  If you are thinking it covers 27 short stories in the book, you are mistaken. The name unravels a much intense literary twist to it.

“Can a girl from IIT ever be a real woman? Can one really get over the hurt of their first failed love? The darkness of misery – can it lead one to kill? How much does one really pay for fame – acquired and lost?” – Preeti Bhonsle 

Highlights of This Episode

  • Her inspiration to ink the script. 
  • Advocating the pressing issues of the contemporary times.
  • The importance of editing when writing a book. 

The Takeaway for writers 

  • Your first draft of the book is not what will go in print. Perhaps the 76th will.
  • James Joyce self-exiled himself to lay the foundation for Modern Fiction.
  • Anything can act as a trigger for the mind of a writer, sometimes its tragedy, other times its love, sometimes its society, other times it is a cause.

What was your primary inspiration to become a writer? Does it trace back to childhood or was it a message you wanted to advocate?

I think it is a little bit of both. I have been writing for a very long time now. In fact this isn’t my first book, it is my first published work though. Writing is a way of life, it is how I see the world.

Sometimes writing does become a medium to advocate a message, a cause I believe in. For example, in this book I have spoken extensively about the condition of women in the country, existing laws, prevalent mind-sets around rape and rape victims, state of education in the country and also the Indian family structure. I think we become so wrapped in societal conventions that we forget the humane way to go about things, and I wanted to talk about this, so this book.

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Can you tell us briefly about 27 broken footprints? What inclined you to ink the script?

27 Broken Footprints is a narrative weaved around recent popular events dissecting and exploring pressing contemporary issues while raising a few questions – some old, some new – is vigilante form of justice an answer to today’s rapes in India? Where have all our heroes gone? Can a girl from IIT ever be a real woman? Can one really get over the hurt of their first failed love? The darkness of misery – can it lead one to kill? How much does one really pay for fame – acquired and lost? And is forgetting the only way to stay truly happy?

Everything that I have seen around me has become a trigger for this book – whether the Nirbhaya Gang Rape incident or the proposal to build new IITs and IIMs.

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Are the characters influenced by any fact of your life or was it all an effect of your imagination?

Each character has shades of real people that I have met, spoken to, been with.

Why did you decide to name it 27 Broken Footprints?

The name now wasn’t my first choice for this book. In fact when I started pushing it around for publication, it was called – Many tales of my learning the curves, then it was called – the Dark Engineer. Finally after some discussions with this artist friend ( and yes, my publisher insisted too that I change the name) we zeroed in on the name 27 Broken Footprints.

27 Broken Footprints is called so for a reason. I am not giving that reason away. Not so soon. Some people think it is a collection of 27 stories. That is funny, because I am not that literal. I think few people will be able to figure out why the “27” and why the “broken”. I am really hoping some would.

 The ideas of an artist bloom from inspiration. What in your opinion nurtures the mind of a writer?

I think writers write because there is little else they can do, they know of no other way to live.

Anything can act as a trigger for the mind of a writer, sometimes its tragedy, other times its love, sometimes its society, other times it is a cause. The death of his son served as a trigger for the creation of great works of Shakespeare. James Joyce self-exiled himself to lay the foundation for Modern Fiction. Anything and everything can nurture the mind of a writer.  For myself, it is the people.

It is said, that editing is the gem for great write-ups. What is your opinion?

I agree. Editing is.

Your first draft of the book is not what will go in print. Perhaps the 76th will.

Is there any specific writer whom you lookup to?

I avoid reading fiction, non-fiction, yes, I read that a lot, there, my favourite writers are Nassim Taleb and Richard Dawkins.

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What is your message for writers who are seeking to find a pitch?

Writing a book and getting it out there in the market are two different games. Do not get disheartened during the entire publishing process. It takes time but it eventually works out well.

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