She's set on tickling your funny bone

witty author Rachna Singh with her book.

A HR professional, based in Bangalore, she has just launched her first book ‘Dating, Diapers & Denial’ where she narrates her experiences and covers milestones from marriage to children, work and more, all laced with a generous dash of humour. The book has funny, anecdotal passages and witty observations as well as tongue-in-cheek, self-aimed pot shots that give the reader a sense of déjà vu!

Born and educated at Allahabad, Rachna began her professional journey with Tata Motors (then, Telco) at the Lucknow operations in 1994. Subsequently, she worked with Infosys in Bangalore. Her last corporate job was with Dell. She is married to Alok and they have two children, Aisha (nine) and Prithviraj (five). Currently, she is an Organizational Development Consultant, specialising in Organisational Design, Change Management, Succession Planning, and Macro-Leadership Development tools. “Both my parents are teachers, one teaches English and the other, Hindi. So, I guess a sense of language was in my genes”, she says about her language skills. She believes she inherited her sense of humour and wit from her dad and love for writing from her mom.

For someone who could make people laugh easily, writing came naturally. “Whenever I went for a picnic or to a party or any other event, I would email my friends about it and they invariably always told me that my recollection was incredibly funny. In fact it was my friends who felt I had it in me to write a book. And, of course, my husband is not just my best critic but also loves having a good laugh at himself, which helped me easily chronicle experiences in my book.”

Incidentally, the initial response to her debut novel has been encouraging and heart-warming. “Friends have liked it but what really matters to me is what strangers say. I had this lady write to me about how she was having a hard day at work and then she read my book and couldn’t stop laughing the whole evening. Also, there was this other lady who said that she felt like this was a book that she could read again and again. This makes me feel good.”

Having studied psychology and counseled several youngsters in the early days of their marriage, Singh is all set to launch her book of six short stories called Nuptial Knots next. “I want to experiment with different genres and this is all based on real life incidents and will be more like a self-help book.” For someone who reads a lot of psychology, she counts Shadow of the Moon by M M Kay and The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton amongst her favourite books.

Quiz her on getting her book published and pat comes the reply. “The folk at Alchemy are very professional and go solely  by the merit of your book. It was quite a smooth process as the team is young and is on the lookout for fresh ideas. When I saw the book for the first time, it was like seeing my child for the first time and I was completely content.”

Considering that the genre of humour is not easy, she feels that comic timing and choice of words, as well as the ability to be able to laugh at yourself, matters much.

She also has practical advice for people who want to write. “While I don’t think it is right to talk about the style of writing as that is very personal, I suggest that you get yourself some critics who can be blunt about your work. That will help you fine-tune your writing. You need to be aware that if everyone around you is only praising you, there is a problem. As much a cliché as it sounds, you must write from the heart — and that will ensure that a critical mass connects to your book. Also, it’s a good idea not to be too self critical or get bogged down by boundaries. A sense of recklessness and confidence is sure to hold you in good stead.”

Rachna’s future plan includes documenting her own love story, which she says is a potboiler in itself. With her ‘easy-to-read’ writing style this one already promises to be a winner and is expected to be released in the middle of next year. Until then, curl up with a copy of ‘Dating, Diapers & Denial’, and I assure you, you’ll find something to smile about!

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