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Jayanti Ranganathan: It’s my failure if I’m unable to deliver a book that hooks my readers

ByHenna Rakheja, New Delhi

“In the past few years, I’ve seen people prefer to write in Hindi than read in Hindi… The youth today prefers to listen in Hindi than read. People are not comfortable with Devanagari (script) because we never made them,” says Jayanti Ranganathan, journalist-author-podcaster.

Journalist-author-podcaster Jayanti Ranganathan says her new book purposely brings in young lingo and Hinglish wordst.

Her new book, Mamrazzi — the title of which is a play on the word paparazzi — is replete with Hinglish vocabulary and she holds no bars in stating how she’s all for promoting the Hindi language while adapting it for modern readers. She says, “Writing is a serious profession… I always keep the broad audience in mind, especially the youth, and ensure that my writing is comprehensible and appealing to them.”

The plot of her latest work revolves around a young boy gaining familiarity with the small town culture. And, she purposely brings in the lingo and weaves cinematic sequences, right from the start. “It’s my failure if I’m unable to deliver a book that hooks my readers,” she says, adding, “You take time [out from] from a web series or TV show to read a book, and if the book is not catchy enough, you’ll be bored after the first two pages. That’s why I deliberately used this youth-friendly technique. One that’s easy to visualise what the author wants to say along with the characters.”

“It’s unfortunate that in Hindi writing, monetisation is not often discussed,” laments the writer, who has so far published 16 books in the last three decades. Over the years, she has dabbled from writing serious, literary pieces to thrillers and now a masala chick lit of sorts. One reason to shift gears in her writing style was to satiate the urge to go back to her Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) roots, and the other, to keep her loyal readers on the edge. She adds, “There’s a common perception that Hindi writing lacks commercial appeal. However, if we look at the film industry, writing scripts is a crucial step for [enhancing] earning potential. As a Hindi writer, I’m actively promoting the language. And I firmly believe that every writer, irrespective of the language they choose, has the right to earn from their work!”

Author tweets @HennaRakheja

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