Introducing Trusha Ganesh: A young Indian Writer

I am always so happy to meet another writer. Whether it’s a seven year old child who is tentatively but excitedly experimenting with the power of storytelling, an older person wanting to get their stories down for posterity or somebody who plays around with the occasional poem, meeting another writer who recognises the potency of words feels like connecting with a member of my ‘tribe’.

So when I met sixteen year old Trusha at her home in Goa, Arco Iris, a heritage home lovingly restored by her family, I was excited to know more about her writing journey. I’m really happy to welcome Trusha on my blog today, my youngest guest blogger to date!

What is it about writing that attracts you?

Just the idea that I can create things with little more than a piece of paper is what fascinates me most about this whole business.

As someone who’s often accused of living in her own little “dream world,” being able to create as many of them as I like with words and full stops and plenty of exclamation points is more than enough to get me to start scribbling.

What is your favourite book (or two) of all time?

Haha, this is a toughie. I hadn’t even fully read the question before I was already torn on the inside, wondering how on earth I was going to talk my way out of this one.

I’ll just list out some of the titles that come straight to my head and hope that’ll do! Most of the books on it are ones that I read quite recently but, at any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed all of them

The 100-year-old Man Who Jumped Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Hot Water by PG Wodehouse

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

How do you fit writing around your studies?

In all honesty, I don’t get nearly as much time as I’d like to write at the moment. I still pen the odd poem and write a regular column for a newspaper, but apart from that, I’m not writing much. Not for long, though, as I’m planning a dazzling return to “the scene,” complete with a show of fire-breathing zebras, musical chocolate fountains and a parade of belly dancers (but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you…).

You started blogging at the age of 9. What were you blogging about and what made you decide to write in the public arena?

The first entry on my blog was written on (surprise, surprise!) my darling Labrador, Feni, and how she became a part of our lives and the next hundred or so posts that I churned out followed a similar vein; they were all just disconnected ramblings about the things that caught my eye and made me sit up.

The reason I decided to publish it all online was mainly because I’d seen my father do it and decided that anything he could do, I could do better (a mantra I still desperately cling onto, despite all overwhelming proof of the contrary).

I’m only half kidding…

For other young people who feel they have stories in them, what advice would you give them?

The beginning is always the hardest bit, so if you’ve been struggling with the start of a story for a while now and are thinking of throwing in the towel, don’t! I mean it when I say that the first thousand words are the trickiest; get them out of the way and you won’t even realise that you’ve already scribbled out a thousand more!

(If only I could find a way to follow my own advice…)

Which qualities, in your opinion, make a writer?

A bit of arrogance, maybe. What else would lead any of us to believe that we have something worth saying?

Can you name any memorable books from your childhood?

Growing up, I was absolutely smitten by the Adrian Mole series (which, I’ll admit, wasn’t really written for ten year old schoolgirls to pore over past their bedtimes, but alas) and I quickly fell in love with the stifling misery and gnawing hopelessness of it all. Sue Townsend created a delicious atmosphere, so full of subtle humour and honest prose, that it was too tempting not to let it engulf me altogether. I ended up buying every single one of the books and didn’t regret it for a single paragraph.

That, and the obligatory Harry Potter mention (never mind that I only actually read the books after I turned thirteen, owing to my stubborn refusal to be like “everyone else”).

Which are your favourite YA novels?

My first foray into young adult fiction, as far as I can remember, was with the delightfully dystopian Hunger Games trilogy and I’m tempted to say that it’s my all-time favourite series in the genre. Something about its crisp delivery and riveting storyline just did it for me in a way few stories have done since.

It’s rare that a book lives up to its blurb nowadays, the alleged “nail-biting suspense” usually washes away after the initial couple of chapters however “masterful” the Times may have reviewed it to be, but the Hunger Games managed to leave me reeling after every single twist and I love it for that.

Who are your greatest inspirations?

Wodehouse, for one. The man’s a legend, the most fertile of all my favourite storytellers and a lovely distraction when I need one.

Usain Bolt, for showing the world that every moment is just a dance party waiting to happen.

Jennifer Lawrence, for her quick wit and for starring in the Hunger Games.

And, above everyone else (yes, even above Wodehouse), my mother. She’s just the most fearless, flamboyant and fabulous person I have ever met (and I’m not just saying that because my next meal depends on it – kidding! I’m kidding).

Thank you so much Trusha for joining me on the blog. This is inspiring indeed for others to read about and if you’ve got a story to tell, then you’re never too young to start blogging! Good luck with your studies, your writing and we look forward to seeing more from you in the not very distant future!

Check out Trusha’s blogs:

woofdiaries.wordpress.com and chiqutam.wordpress.com

Compliment this blog post with a reflection on speaking to students about reading and writing in South India 

and Why I still read out loud to my children.

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