Nov 05, 2012, Jayanthi Madhukar
Radha Thomas likens her first book to delivering a baby. And as Men On My Mind forays into the published world, she confesses to being on tenterhooks, awaiting the reaction to it. “At least, a new-born baby is something everyone will love on first sight. Hopefully, the reaction to my book will be the same,” says Thomas.
Most would recognise Radha Thomas as the city-based jazz singer with her band UNK and quite a few would recognise her as a columnist writing in a humourous vein about the way men and women see each other in Between The Sexes. Since her primary interest has always been writing, the column writing veered her towards the first book. “I mulled over writing the book for a while, but the writing process itself was just six months,” says Thomas.The book is a light peek into the mind of a young girl whose innocent curiosity about boys as a seven-year old meanders into having sex with the perfect boy in her hormoneheavy teenager stage. This book details the girl’s search, “which is not done in a conscious manner although it occupies her mind” as she travels the world. Incidentally, the search for the ‘perfect’ boy proves to be harder than she had imagined.
Men On My Mind has description of places around the world, obviously drawing from her experience as a tour guide when she was in her twenties. “I travelled a lot, mainly for free which was the perk of my job, but NO,” she stresses, denying the next unspoken question, “this book is no way my autobiography!”
Shuttling between two creative genres (writing that requires her behind- the-scene presence and singing which is to be right in front of the audience), Thomas has always enjoyed both roles. She is already on the second book of the three-book series which will detail the experiences of the protagonist from her teens to forties-fifties.
“I want people to roar with laughter when they read my book. Indians have always been seriousminded and nowadays, there seems to be a bit of humour seeping in,” says Thomas. Her idol is the humourist and novelist PG Wodehouse whom she admires for the “clever use of words and evoking a fun, humourous image with seeming ease yet with perfect skill”. And although the tone of the book is light-hearted, Thomas says there is a place for seriousness as well. “In many ways, it is about life and the choices we make.”Her book has already been touted as ‘wickedly funny’. And does ‘it’ happen? “Oh yes, but telling anything more will be giving away too much,” she demurs. Only thing that she will say is “you would think the girl will be happy but…” Welcome to the real world wherein there is always a ‘but’.