The longer the ticking of the clock,
The lesser the time left to talk!
The Tick-Talk series features rapid-fire moments with high-flying achievers from all walks of life.
"I believe that it's wiser to be uninterestingly interesting than to be interestingly uninteresting. I also strive to be practically idealistic as opposed to being idealistically practical. By practically idealistic, I mean we can shape our own destiny and apply practical strategies to chase our seemingly 'idealistic' dreams, rather than embracing the idealistically practical notion of exercising pragmatism to live an ideal life within a pre-established mold," chirps Nischinta 'Nish' Amarnath. Her enthusiasm is contagious!
Nish is an eminent New York-based author, poet, journalist and singer-songwriter. She is also an occasional painter, a mystic and an incorrigible nomad.
She has authored bestsellers such as The Voyage to Excellence, Citi and its Scuffle with the Watchdogs, and Victims for Sale -- a crime-thriller that was released worldwide by HarperCollins the previous year. Her articles have also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek (now International Business Times), TheStreet.com, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance and India Today, among others. Today, she opens up about a few of her favourite things.
• Life in the Big Apple is...
A space where you can be as crazy as you want! Everyone is crazy at some level or the other. And that's a good thing! New York gives you the space to your most real self. What I like best about this city is the ability to connect with random people and have meaningful conversations. These experiences have tended to inform my work as a writer.
• If you could be an ice-cream flavour, what would you be?
I'd be the New York Super-fudge Chunk! It's a chocolate ice-cream with pecans, walnuts, fudge-covered almonds and white and dark chunks of fudge! It reflects my authenticity, my unpredictability and my multi-layered concoction of sweet, smooth, chunky, crunchy, wild, unpredictable and refreshing -- all at once!
• Most played song on your iPod?
Ahh, there are many! But, one of my all-time favorites is I want to spend my lifetime loving you by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena. Another favorite is Shankar Ehsaan Loy's Aasman ke paar shaayad, from Nagesh Kukunoor's 1999 coming-of-age Hindi movie, Rockford.
• Which is your favourite destination and why?
My go-to is London. I came of age in this city. I would still go back to London, over and over again! I also love Berlin with its history, sprawling parks, artsy vibeand culturally enriching ambience.
• Your current read(s)
I recently finished reading Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman. It is a book I would recommend not only to writers, but to any book-lover. The bits and pieces that go into writing a blockbuster novel, as he has put together, are extremely intriguing and compelling for anyone who appreciates a good story. I'm presently re-reading the manuscript of my own upcoming novel, which I'm on edits for! Another of my recent reads is Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg and I would highly recommend this mystifying crime novel. I would also suggest Elif Shafak's Forty Rules of Love for those who can relate to mysticism and sufism, and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go for those who appreciate magic realism in dystopian settings.
• Favourite memory
A Diwali celebration with friends in London's Trafalgar Square in 2007, replete with Bollywood naachna-gaana. I remember I wore a georgette sari!
• Greatest achievement
My ability to face myself, honor my thoughts and feelings, and rise above many fears and limiting beliefs to meet myself in a place of courage and authenticity. So long as I know that I'm speaking my truth and not hurting anyone's sentiments consciously, I no longer mull over what people or society will say in response to anything I say, write or do. It has taken a long, long time to get this far and the process is ongoing!
• Greatest challenge
Balancing my travel routines and the demands of my work with the everyday requirements of addressing my dysfunctional beta cells (I have type-1 diabetes).
• Do you have reader's block?
Oh, yes! And I won't mince words here: I couldn't get past the first thirty pages of Shobhaa De's Seventy… And To Hell With It.
• What story does your family always tell about you?
They say, "She used to recite 26 nursery rhymes when she was fifteen months old, and she knew all her shapes and colours, too. By then, she could also count from 1 to 100 forwards and backwards in three languages, and she began reading sentences at the age of two."
• Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people can find?
Oh yes! There are quite a few of those in my upcoming novel!
• Your favourite superhero?
My mum Swati, and my life partner Swami.
• What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry?
I'm a total crybaby when it comes to movies and books! But two tear-jerkers that I most vividly remember are My Sister's Keeper and A Walk to Remember.
• One thing that annoys you the most?
Net-savvy quotient: *****
Image Courtesy: Nischinta Amarnath