It’s her innate ability and sense to refuse to be wilfully pigeonholed in a specific genre of romance. In an age where there is a bevy of authors churning boy-meets-girl-breakup-sex-and-don’t kiss and tell-tale, author Shikha Kumar dares to be different in concocting a palate of love to linger on our tongue. Her first Book, ‘She Fixed The Match She Fixed Him’ (HFMSFM) that garnered rave reviews and swooned hearts was all about finding love in a unique fashion, arrange marriage and world of conspiracy. Shikha calls her latest offering, ‘Logically Stupid That’s Love’ as one made of characters closer to real life and far away from the run-of-the-mill candy floss and saccharine tales.
Shikha is no stranger to the world of books and social media. Her first outing will soon be made into a motion picture that earned her a place in the exclusive club of the fastest film-rights selling author. You can find this incidental author and qualified IT Manager writing columns on India’s leading newspaper TOI and DailyO, an Indian Today publication when she is not concocting cocktails of love.
Today, I host Shikha Kumar in this blog interview where she speaks on what makes her unique as a brand, her USP, Logically Stupid That’s Love taking you on a roller-coaster ride.
How real is Logically Stupid That’s Love in modern day romance? Shikha defines the characters as imperfect in a less than perfect world. “The book is as real as it could get. You would find Sahana and Kartik near you or even inside you. There is no fantasy or too-good-to-be-true element to my protagonists. They are imperfect, crazy and adamant in their own ways,” she adds.
The author believes that it doesn’t take a fairy tale to weave romance for it permeates our daily hum-drum of life. It’s the plain truth of love. ‘Logically Stupid That’s Love’ touches a raw nerve. There is romance, thrill and the dreaded balance between love and career. Shikha doesn’t believe that love is all about perfect or a magic potion that flickers our worries of the day in the dust. She brings the heart and the mind closer, logic meeting love. She says with an air of practicality, “We all have bills to foot and love fills the gap between the lives that is stuck in vicious circles. We don’t lose anything when we learn the art of juggling personal and professional life. Life is beautiful so is our responsibility towards it. Heart and mind must join forces to combat all battles and create a life worth dying for.”
The novel is about people who never valued life. Logically Stupid, That’s Love is about Kartik who sees no crime to work hard and touch the pinnacle of success, unwilling to let go of it for love. He calls Shahana as Miss Stupid. She calls him, Mr Logical. Shahana is a firm believer in love who waited for five years until reality shook her to the ground. Will love triumph with complex characters deeply rooted in their personal ideologies of career meeting love? Shikha muses, “It’s the perk of being a story-teller. I enjoy taking people into a brand new world and see life through various lenses. Deep down we are all believers in love but only a few consider it paramount that life is also a baggage of priorities. But, love decides for itself at times.”
“Mr Logical keeps himself busy with balance sheets. Ms Stupid actually balances all out. It’s a story to make you think how simple it is to live happily with both the heart and the mind in the right place,” Shikha lets the cat out of the bag.
One cannot help not to draw comparisons between both books of Shikha Kumar. I suspect a sense of deja vu with two diametrically opposed characters and wondered if the author has a surprise in store for us with a streak of sequel hiding somewhere, like thrillers.
Shikha says: “Two different plots, characters and situations. The underlying message of embracing life and believing in love is the same. She says HFMSFM was all about finding loved in the most turbulent manner embedded in an arranged marriage while Logically Stupid That’s Love is a striking equilibrium between career and love. Both would mesmerize in their own subtle way. It’s a promise.”
The NRI author and Indian to the core went on to promote her latest book in a rather unique fashion, going live on #Fame app and hosted her own show, ‘Love and Relationships’ where she doles out gyan. She is also the first Indian author to be styled by the international clothes brand Vinegar Fashion and during city tours, she counseled youth on matters of the heart through Master Classes on Heartbreaks & Heart Aches. Was it a conscious move to tap the pulse of the Indian youth with novels meets branding through Love and Relationships. Comparison or not to MTV’s Love School, one can’t deny that Shikha is taking branding to an entirely different level that will revolutionize the way we look at authors and books in India. It’s the right time to give authors their due.
Shikha gave a fantastic guest session on Love and Relationships at the Bedekar Institute of Management as part of their capsule on self-management and emotional intelligence for managers.
Shikha takes it as a compliment whenever her books are compared to a movie-viewing experience. She honestly gazes, “It’s the brand that I am trying to sew for myself where the conversations take the story forward and wrapped in an entertaining capsule. The characters are pivotal to the story and capture the hearts of the audience in an effortless manner. It’s something they can relate to.”
The characters in the world of Shikha Kumar is not altered in a drastic manner or forcefully impose an event in her novels, a pitfall she smart avoids falling into. It works in my favor, she says.
The story of ‘Logically Stupid, That’s Love is peppered in a smooth flow. As an author, her ultimate aim is, ‘To make people smile and leave them with hope for a beautiful life.” Isn’t what romance books worth its salt should be all about? Freshness, alluring and whiff of optimism. “A good read, value for money and no dull moments is my promise to the readers,” she waves off.
Book your copy of Logically Stupid, That’s Love here. You can connect with Shikha Kumar on Twitter, Facebook, and her website. The interview has been facilitated by one of my closest friend, the Mumbai-based Mayura Amarkant, Media & Business Strategist and Consultant to several companies.