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Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Write Stuff

Literati was a platform for authors to share their new work with a larger audience.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
November 26, 2013 5:38:20 am

It was in a brand new role that actor Gul Panag was spotted at Literati,The Chandigarh Literary Festival 2013. She was on the panel of two sessions — “Exotica is the new erotica” and “Women and the paradox of modernity” — and it was here that Panag talked about a project that’s keeping her busy,not on the film sets,but on her laptop.

The actor is busy giving final touches to her first book on fitness titled What Works For Me,which should see a New Year release. “It’s a trilogy and I am rushing to meet the deadline of next month,’’ says Panag,soaking in the sun at the lawns of the Lake Club in Chandigarh.

Known for her passion for fitness,Panag says she learnt the benefits of being fit and healthy early on in life,when her father introduced her to running at the age of 16,an activity that remains at the core of her regimen. “I was only 20 when I started to live on my own and went through the predictable cycle of eating unhealthy,trying to lose weight in a hurry,following fad diets and relying on dieticians. Ultimately,I realised that that you know your body best and so I decided to formulate my own fitness and diet plan,one that I have followed flawlessly for the last five years,’’ says Panag.

The book has been on her mind for many years now,with Panag wanting to chronicle her own experiences with food and exercise,and sharing these with others. For the trilogy,Panag is collaborating with fitness specialists. The idea is to introduce people to a method where minimum effort gives maximum results. “The first part of the trilogy is targeted at people with little or no exposure to fitness and how exercise and what you eat can lead one to the road to wellness,’’ says Panag,who has done extensive interviews with specialists to present a new side to healthy living. The books are for people of different fitness levels,with the main idea being to get people on the fitness track and establish the link between food and disease. “What we consume is most important. We have to give the body a correct input to process nourishment. Indulgence is okay,as long as we rationalise our energy expenditure,’’she says. Panag adds that the books are meant to provoke,and she has narrated her own experiences with fitness and healthy eating,to encourage and inspire others to develop a regime that works for them.

Politically Correct

My novel The Krishna Key has about 40 pages devoted to a plot that took place at Sukhna Lake and here I am,’’ said Ashwin Sanghi,speaking at a session of Literati,titled “The Contemporary Chanakya”. The author of The Rozabal Line and Chanakya’s Chant talked about his next book Private India in collaboration with author James Patterson. A mystery-thriller set in India,Sanghi reveals that like all his earlier works,this too has drawn inspiration from real stories,with elements of truth omnipresent. “He is a master and churns out thrillers like no one,having perfected a formula. It’s an absolutely thrilling experience to

collaborate with him on the project,’’ says Sanghi.

While The Krishna Key emerged from a myth surrounding a tomb in Kashmir,Chanakya’s Chant was a result of him looking at the political scene of today. “Mythology overlapping with history excites me,and I strive to bring facts in context with fiction,and as a writer,I see myself as a work in progress,’’ says Sanghi.

Choosing characters that are grey and multi-hued,Chanakya as a character completely absorbed Sanghi,with him drawing research from the Arthashastra and the Sanskrit play Mudrarakshasa. “Chanakya’s ideas of governance are relevant today and I wish we had a modern-day Chanakya to think about national interest. For what plagues us today is a lack of governance and able administration,’’ says Sanghi. He is in talks with filmmakers to adapt the novel into a movie and take it to another audience.

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