From the intrigues of the Mughal court in Nur Jahan’s “Daughter,” to the interpretation of dreams in “A Mystic World” Tanushree Podder as a writer has traversed genres, calling herself an ‘incurable dreamer with a wandering mind.’
Her latest novel, A Closetful of Skeletons, delves into crime, the latest of the diverse genres that the versatile writer has explored.
We caught up with Tanushree Podder in an exclusive tête-à-tête where she spoke about her journey and gave us a sneak-peek into her beautiful home.
The journey of a writer can be long, painful, and lonely, but always rewarding
Tanushree was bitten by the writing bug at the tender age of four, and since then she has never looked back. She recollects, “At the age of 10, I was moving people with my stories. I would also perform short skits.”
Since her mother was a postgraduate in Hindi literature, she has an old connection with renowned writers like Munshi Premchand and Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’.
Tanushree always had a passion for writing, but after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, and later a management degree, it was the corporate world that drew her in. It took another eight years before Tanushree left the cubicle corporate world to begin her journey into words.
Soon enough, Tanushree was contributing stories and ‘middles’ to reputed magazines and newspapers.
When her husband was posted in Bikaner, Tanushree scripted radio plays and interviews in Hindi for All India Radio (AIR). Later, travel writing caught her eye.
“My first book was published back in 2000,” she reminisces. Those were the pre-Kindle and pre-social media days.
When asked if she would ever go back to her 9-to-5 job, she laughs it off saying, “Corporate is not my cup tea!”
“I prefer a minimalist approach to home décor”
Being married to an Army officer, Tanushree has stayed in all types of homes. “From small houses to colonial bungalows to typical army homes- I have stayed in all types of places.”
Like any other army family, temporary homes with minimum furniture was the case with Tanushree as well.
The key, however, is to create a beautiful home with whatever you have. And she says, “It comes naturally to army wives.”
Now settled in Pune, Tanushree prefers a minimalist approach in home décor. “Since I am always rushing, I don’t like a cluttered place that hinders my movement.”
She further adds, “Open wide spaces with ample light is perfect for me.”
However, one thing that she is very particular about is changing the upholstery to suit the season. There is a particular colour scheme that she loves to follow every season.
Reading nooks are perfect
Tanushree has her own little nook where she has some potted plants. Apart from that, “I love the colonial-style easy chair in my study. Given a chance, I would love to stay there the whole day reading!”
Local Indian art can liven up any living room
While there are certain things that she is fond of, three things that stand out for her are – tribal art from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthani miniature work, and Warli paintings. And a writer always has a soft corner for the things closest to her heart – having pride of place in her living room are her daughter’s paintings.
Another thing that she loved in her home was a walnut wood desk that she sourced all the way from Kashmir. Unfortunately, it broke while she was moving cities. “I was devastated when that desk broke,” remembers Tanushree.
Squeaky-clean homes can de-clutter your mind
“I am a cleanliness freak, and I don’t find it practical to have a thick carpet as it absorbs a lot of dust. I would rather opt for dhurries or rugs, which are way more practical,” Tanushree says, describing why she abhors thick carpets as furnishing.
Reading, writing, and music are great de-stressors
Apart from reading and writing, Tanushree loves music. “I love both Indian vocal music and Western music. And being a Bengali, I also love Rabindra Sangeet.”
Fresh flowers can brighten up a room in an instant
“You can never go wrong with fresh flowers and candles. You can have flowers floating in a brass bowl with candles to set the mood right.
Also, tribal art is another thing that never gets outdated.”
PG Wodehouse is an enduring favourite
When we asked her about her favourite author, Tanushree, for the first time hesitates. “A very tough question,” she says. But it is PG Wodehouse who is the author’s all-time favourite. “When I want to get over my worries I pick up a Wodehouse,” she laughs.
A writer’s day never ends
What next after the publishing of ‘A Closetful of Skeletons?’
“I am currently working on a sequel to the murder mystery with HarperCollins and also a sequel to Boots Belts Berets.”
A writer’s book is never complete, and Tanushree’s journey in the writing world is still ongoing. Just as our homes grow and change, so too do words.