What is it that lets you sleep soundly at night? The army that puts your country first, their families later and their lives on the line is probably what ought to be your answer. And it’s that acknowledgement and appreciation that had this Bengaluru-based army kid spin a tale about love, war and sacrifice. After her saucy debut with The Deliberate Sinner, Bhaavna Arora is back with her second book, Mistress of Honour.
Set during Operation Blue Star and the Kargil War, the story follows the tale of Pansy and Rihana, a mother and daughter duo whose love stories are interspersed with war. “Will their love come second to their beloveds’ duties, putting them in the position of the Mistress is what forms the crux,” explains Bhaavna about her metaphorical baby that took nine months to flesh out.
Having traveled across the country, speaking to over 160 officers – both serving and retired this author hoped to capture the essence of love, sacrifice and war. “I’ve wanted to write this book since I was a kid,” says the hardcore academician who gave up her job as the director of a prestigious B-School in Bengaluru to make it as a writer. “They are based on real stories although they are all off record,” she confesses. “I wanted to thoroughly research this book such that when an armed officer picks it up, he shouldn’t feel like reading it was a waste of his time,” says the bold lass whose father was a colonel and her brother still serves as an officer of the Indian army. Taking inspiration from the likes of Sidney Sheldon and closer home, Shobhaa De, the strong women protagonists find a meaty role in this book too. “Just when you think it’s all about men, their duty and the army, the women step in and steal the show,” she smiles.
From a learner to teacher and now a writer, Bhaavna has had a smooth transition through her career. “I’ve always wanted to be writer since I took to reading my first Archies comic, but I accumulated degrees first,” she laughs. Although she already has a PhD in leadership, she’s looking to get one more in creative marketing. “The satisfaction and success grows on you and this will help me with the many books I plan on writing,” says the livewire author.
When you don’t find her turning into a nocturnal wordsmith, feet up at her Patiala house, “I love travelling, read and write a lot. I’m also a sports person of some recknoning,” laughs the kudi who has represented her district in basketball, car rallies and swimming and has a yellow belt in karate and judo too! Nudge her about the one compliment she will always cherish and she says, “It’s got to be when Shobhaa (De) asked me if I was married and when I said no, she said, ‘That’s because you’re too good for men your age!’” she laughs, for now happy with her prized possession – her grandfather’s Audi, and of course, her newest book flying off the shelves.