MUMBAI: At 34, Hetal Adesara has seen it all... Rather, that’s what she would have us believe through her maiden book, ‘Matrimonial Mocktales.’
From a traditional Gujarati family in Jamshdepur, Hetal, left the small town in East India to get away from being hurled into another traditional Gujarati family through the instituition of arranged marriage. She saw many a "suitable boy" and was seen by many of them as and when her parents referred them to her even as she moved to Mumbai.
‘Matrimonial Mocktales’ is Hetal's take on a few of these meetings. She does mention though that the instances are dramatized for a better reading experience.
After escaping from Tatanagar, Hetal cut her teeth in journalism in indiantelevision.com by starting and editing The Team Players section which profiled young executives in advertising, marketing, broadcast. She then moved on to report on media, marketing and advertising developments. Her commitment to work and sharp and clear analyses left an impression on whosoever she interviewed or wrote about in the television, advertising and marketing industries between 2003-2005.
She has explored every opportunity that has come her way over the past decade. Following her stint with indiantelevision.com, she helped co-found businessofcinema.com. From writing about films, she went onto to work as an assistant producer with Vidhu Vinod Chopra on 3 Idiots. She then tried her hand at direction, assisting director Rohan Sippy on Nautanki Saala apart from working as script supervisor on the same film. More recently, she worked on the IIFA Awards at Tampa Bay as executive producer for television and digital content.
But all along Hetal nursed in her heart a deep desire to pen her own novel. Which this diploma holder in journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications finally fulfilled last year when she wrote ‘Matrimonial Mocktales’. It took her two years to get the book published. But she finally found a publisher in OM Books International.
‘Matrimonial Mocktales’ revolves around young Rhea, who always wanted a Mills & Boon romance but in the real world, that is probably too much to ask. She is raised in a conservative Sikh family in Jalandhar where it is unthinkable for a girl to remain unmarried at 25, let alone 33. But there she is, single and independent and STILL in search of her Mr Right. At just 15, her parents get her engaged to a 23-year-old boy but that story does not pan out as per plan. Having entered the arena of love on a wrong footing, it takes the better part of her young life to find the right man before a whole lot of wrong ones come and go, even as she tries to make sense of her chaotic world.
Hetal believes many a young girl who has escaped - or is struggling to escape - from the clutches of arranged marriage will identify with Rhea the character. "Rhea is educated but because of family pressure she goes through what they ask her to do. It could be any other girl from any other small town who has dreams to achieve and be happy with the man she loves, and not the man that's chosen for her," she says. "That should resonnate with today's women."
Quite a few eyebrows were raised, even among Hetal's friends, at her move to quit working and take time off to write her novel. But, resolute young woman that she is, she did not let any of their reservations hold her back.
“As a kid, I loved scribbling poems and dreamt of becoming a writer. God has been kind to me and I am sure there is a lot more in store for me,” says she.
Indeed, Hetal is already working on the sequel to ‘Matrimonial Mocktales’. “I want to continue to write stories because I think it is an enriching experience,” she adds.
What would she advise young, budding writers out there? “There is a huge market out there which is unexplored in the publishing industry in India. Get the right inspiration and get to penning it down right,” she says.
We at indiantelevision.com wish our former employee and colleague good luck and recommend readers to and pick up a copy of her book for a good weekend read! It will be money well spent!