You recently launched Tweak India, calling it ‘a space for the modern Indian woman to challenge old ideas and discover new ones’.
It is a platform to make women’s life easier. As someone who multitasks and is working with a team of multitaskers, we have realised that even if we talk about equality when you are a working woman, we are also managing your home and then you want to look a certain way. How does one manage all that? We are going to offer tweaks to make your life easier — be it a seven-minute recipe or a quick beauty tip or something for the brains. Our tone is going to be irreverent through all these.
How did this idea of ‘a digital media company featuring multitaskers’ come together?
Once I started writing, I realised there was a gap. People were either talking down to women or were boring them to death. There was nothing that was educative and entertaining at the same time. Under one umbrella, one could not find material about parenting, vaginal health, sexuality or opinion pieces. Mrs Funnybones so far has been a singular voice but I have my limitations. That’s how Tweak, which will have collaborators and experts, was born. We will provide content in every form. We have long reads, shorter pieces, podcasts and videos.
You seem to be casting a wider net. How will you manage that?
I’m not someone who is scared of work. Unfortunately, I’m a control freak. When I do my yoga and meditation, I’ve to tell myself that I have to let go of things, especially those I can’t control but wish to control. This is a big responsibility but I have a team of bright women who think in the same way that I do. We are working towards a future that all of us are in alignment with.
The tone in your writings is often irreverent. How have you cracked that?
I wish there was a formula. There is nothing in life that’s so serious that you can’t crack a joke about, including death. That’s the person I have always been, even when I was much younger. I have gotten into trouble for saying things that are actually true. The situations that we witness in life can be ridiculous. You must be paying 37 per cent tax and I am paying 44 per cent tax. Yet, we are falling into one pothole after another. I can complain about the pothole or choose to crack a joke about it.
Do you believe humour helps you connect better with people?
Writing the columns, in the beginning, was almost like writing them for myself. I was 39 when I started writing my column and just had my second child. Through this, I was also discovering things about the world. Humour comes naturally to me. I was born with a ridiculous name. I would have been dead had I not developed this sense of humour. I had to crack a joke about it before six others could make fun of it. There on, I discovered humour is a great weapon.
This platform promises to offer a ‘non-partisan perspective’. How far will that be possible in the present scenario?
I am not saying it’s easy. We have to find a way of doing it. Are we going to bang our head against a brick wall? Yes. What’s the other option.
You are often recommending books. How much time do you get to read?
Books have been my life since my younger days. I went to boarding school in Class VI. Books were my friends before I started making friends. When I recommend a book on social media, my boarding schoolmates comment that they had always seen me with books or that I used to miss lunch because I was reading. The latter is not true. I wouldn’t have been the size I was had I been missing lunch. Books are still my escape and source of comfort. Every night I read science fiction before I fall asleep. I travel to other planets and meet aliens. In the past, I used to read all the greats such as Isaac Asimov and Margaret Atwood. These days, I read a lot by Ken Liu, especially all his Chinese translations.
The movie Padman, produced by you, has bagged a National Award. Are you going to produce another one soon?
I have to find a compelling story. I turned a producer because I found the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham. No one had made a movie about a subject (menstrual hygiene) that is not spoken about.
In your bio, you still call yourself an interior decorator. Will you be devoting your time to that too?
There was a time I used to do 11 projects (as interior decorator) a year. Somewhere, while writing, I found my place. A place where I’m happy. I have done multiple things and will continue to do so. My first job has been selling fish with my grandmother. I have had many jobs in my life. I don’t want to be in one place and climb only one mountain. Why should I? It’s one life. I will keep doing things that I like to the degree that I’m happy with. However, since writing is not integrated with my personality. I can’t leave it behind.
Interestingly, the bio does not mention your stint as an actor.
I have amnesia; I don’t recollect that existed.
How excited are you about your mother (Dimple Kapadia) acting in Christopher Nolan’s movie Tenet?
I’m very excited for her, especially because she is not someone who markets herself. She is very laidback. I’m probably more excited about it than she is.