Episode 9: Sudha Menon: An Audacious Journey
About Sudha Menon:
Sudha Menon who is an author, a columnist and a writing coach. She is the renowned author of five non-fiction books, Feisty At Fifty, Legacy: Letters to their daughters from eminent Indian men and women, Gifted: inspirational stories of people with disabilities and Devi, Diva or She-Devil: The smart Career woman’s survival guide and Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India.
Sudha is the founder of ‘Get Writing! , a writing workshop that helps people kick start their writing journey and ‘Writing In the Park’, an initiative that she started to get people to spend time in the outdoors, writing in public parks and gardens. Her Writing With Women (WWW) gets women from different backgrounds together to share their experiences and write about them.
She also runs ‘Telling Our Stories’, a voluntary initiative where she works with senior citizens in Pune to help them write their stories and thus capture the legacy that they will leave for posterity.
Some of the questions that we cover in our chat with Sudha include:
● You have had 23 years of journalism experience. I am intrigued to know how was your first day of work like? Was it like the movies, where on the first day the actor gets breaking news to cover and changes the entire equation??
● Do you think that struggle in early days has helped you write with depth and wit?
● Let’s go to when you were 15 years old when you wanted to be something else but you ended up with journalism and eventually a renowned author. How did this happen? Did journalism choose you or the other way round?
● Of all the things you aspired to become in your teens, you immediately let go of air hostess and beautician options due to a letter from your someone special. Why did you hold onto it for a long time?
● I know you have a bucket list which is yet to be fulfilled. Apart from this, there is one very invigorating thing which is Acting. Could please tell us about that?
● Interestingly, I also know one more secret bucket list you haven’t mentioned but I kind of inferred it from looking at a facebook picture. Please help us understand that!
● Does travelling inspire your writing? Do you have any incidence where you have travelled and came back inspired and wrote something?
● I saw you TED, read a few articles and there was one thing which was constant, your father. Could you tell who he was and what did he teach you..how has that impacted your writing and who you are today?
● Just before your father passed away, he insisted upon one thing about your daughter Nayantara when you portrayed your despair about the 23-year-old daughter who was a pastry chef and not in a hurry to start off her career, what did he tell you, how has that impacted your and Nayantara’s life.
● You have got a lot of innovative concepts in writing. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
● You had a career in Mumbai, why did you come to Pune?
● You are an unapologetic feminist. Does gender inequality affect your paycheck in the writing industry? Also, being labelled as a feminist journalist and author of female-centric books, do you meet people who think you lead a very hippie life like smoking drinking and all? Any incidence that comes to your mind?