Hyderabad: Anita Shirodkar was the creative director at Mudra Communications and had spent 20 years in advertising before she decided to become a writer. Secrets and Second Chances is her first work of fiction about the fragile threads that bind a mother and a daughter, and the brave choices that a woman makes to follow her heart. She talks about the book:
How did you research on the subject?
Since the characters and situations in the novel are quite close to people in my everyday life, I did not require much research on that front. And for everything else, I used Google. Much like my character in the book, Tara, I too adore Google.
Is the story inspired from real life?
No, the characters are not modelled on anyone I know. The real-life inspiration, however, comes from observing people and how they react to situations, and life in general. The protagonist, Nandita Dharkar, is inspired by many 20-something women I know, who cherish their independence, have deep respect for their own talent and ability, and won’t settle for anything less than what they deserve.
Your book talks about how past haunts a person. What are your personal views?
I think it is entirely up to an individual to choose whether to let the past haunt you and make you miserable, or learn from past mistakes and use that knowledge to become stronger. It’s a waste of time to wallow in the past. My character Amrita has a past she can’t wipe out of her memory, but she manages to put it behind her and lead a productive, inspired life. That she gets a second chance at real happiness is a bonus, but she is the epitome of a strong, independent woman who makes her choices and lives with them. Without whining about what could have been!
Do you believe second chances really work?
Definitely, second chances do work. Who among us has not done something that we would now like to have done differently? Second chances are all about the opportunity to do things over. As one moves on to new experiences in life, one views things from a different perspective. So in reality, it’s up to us to recognise the second chance when it’s staring us in the eye, and grab it with both hands....