Summer is almost over, but there’s still time left to squeeze in a really good book on the beach.
This week’s guest, best-selling author Amulya Malladi’s new novel The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You just may be the one. And it’s just been released on audiobook, too.
Amulya Malladi is a prolific author. She’s the best-selling author of eight novels, including The Copenhagen Affair and A House for Happy Mothers. Add the fact that she is a corporate executive for a large global company who travels the world, and has lived in India, Europe, and the United States, well, I think I want to be her in my next life.
Amulya is as much entertaining to talk with as she is talented. She’s has a firecracker personality, and we chat about her need to write, our mutual experiences mixing up Indian and Western cultures in our lives, her outspoken, rebellious nature, and about one of her burning goals to accomplish when she moved from India to Memphis, TN, that had nothing to do with her studies. (Think Carrie Bradshaw goes to college). Amulya spins the narrative of her connections with cultures, women’s issues, and how they all manifest in her books.
Stay tuned until the end of this riveting conversation to listen to an audiobook sample of The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You. It’s good. Really good.
Subscribe to Southern Life Indian Wife where you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and TuneIn. Keep up to date with the podcast and my upcoming book news by following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! And…email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a signed copy of my book The Unexpected Daughter.
I’m a lifelong Southerner married to an Indian man who grew up in South Africa during apartheid.
And I am fiercely proud of both . If you don’t like that…well, bless your heart. I’m Sheryl Parbhoo . And this is “Southern Life, Indian Wife”.
Bestselling and prolific author Amulya Malladi is here with me today. Welcome.
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.
Yes this is great. So before we start I get to brag about you to the listeners. So, you’re just going to have to sit there and maybe blush but I get to talk about how great you are. I’m going to enjoy it. So she is a best selling author of eight novels including “The Copenhagen Affair” and “A House for Happy Mothers”. And I’m really actually kind of selfish for wanting to talk to you because you’re prolific writing to do rubs off on me a little bit so I can finish my second book. But we’ll talk about that later but Amulya is pretty much a globetrotter. She’s lived in India and Denmark and the US traveling across the world with her corporate executive job. And she settled in California now and is celebrating the release of her eighth novel “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”. We’re going to get to talk about some fun stuff today. We’re going to talk about her audio book release which I’m super excited about because I’m totally crazy about audio books lately. Women in the corporate world writing and I’m hoping we can talk about some fun stuff like some juicy stories about falling in love and marry and somebody of a different culture like we both did. So how does that sound.
Sounds absolutely fabulous.
Well again welcome. And I can’t wait to talk about your new book. But before we get started I really kind of wanted to get to know you. So tell me a little bit about yourself.
Well I am less fabulous than you made me sound. On paper it looks really good. You know I was born and raised in India.
I left India when I was 20 years old. Like a lot of Indians do. I have a Bachelor’s in Engineering but then I decided to get a Master’s in Journalism. I came to the U.S. to do my masters. I met my husband here. He’s Danish so obviously an Indian and a day meet in Memphis, Tennesse
That’s how it happens. And we kind of never went to Graceland but went to Beale Street a lot. And then we moved to the Bay Area. You know we met while we were in university. He was doing his MBA and you know it was supposed to be a one night stand. My husband still jokes longest one night stand ever It’s been twenty three years. You never left. It’s never going to end. It’s never going to end. So and you know it was kind of interesting because both of us were not in our own country. And we both for finding what it means to live in America and become American also because in the US it’s so easy to become American. Nobody cares if you have an accent. Nobody cares what your skin color is. Mostly they’re like you become a part of the society very quickly.
Did you Did you experience that in Memphis. Because I think I told you I’m from Memphis and I went to University of Memphis just like you did in my experience in Memphis with my husband who’s a good draftee was not so much of an easy seamless assimilation sort of scene there in Memphis.
So what’s it like for you. I think what what was really interesting about Memphis was that I worked in the NEWSRO
That was my first job. I got paid ten dollars. The stories I haven’t and started working there because that’s what I wanted to do I wanted to write and they were pretty much people from different skin color socioeconomic background there. So and I was accepted immediately. Like there was no well she speaks funny. Nobody can pronounce my n. Usually you know when I was somebody would call and they couldn’t pronounce my name. They were like hey I think it’s for you. And they taught me how to write. They taught me how to bowl you know when I was in Memphis a couple of years ago I went and I spent my Professor Kennedy Justice was fabulous. I’ll also write books. And it was it was so great. I was accepted in journalism school just like that. That’s the main thing was harder to get accepted in the intense community because I had a white boyfriend but I wasn’t looking for that anyway so that wasn’t difficult for me. But I think if I wanted to get settled in the Indian community and get accepted there they would have been some barriers considering the white guy I was with. Sure. Yeah I know what that. But I think the rest I mean in school they just kind of like yeah you’re one of us. No. And I think that was the great part about it. It was my introduction to the United States. And nobody said I had to change you know in India growing up I didn’t fit in. I was too loud I was too arrogant I was too comfortable being a woman I spoke out. And then I come here and nobody is saying change. Be different. They’re saying you’re fine as you are. We’ll take you because everybody here is weird.
So you’re all right. Yes. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s a great place to be pulled into and embraced coming from I guess a home. You know I wasn’t accepted there so that’s fantastic.
And so that’s the great thing about the US and that’s five anywhere I meet people and they talk about you know and especially after living in Europe I always say this is the only country in the world that I know better people say we can do better.
So what’s brought you to Memphis from India. There’s a whole lot of different places in the world. You could go but Tennessee.
Right. Well you know like I said at a bachelor’s in engineering and I wanted to do a master’s in engineering. I didn’t. I had no other choice. So I signed up for the. University of Memphis has a very good biomedical engineering program. So I got into that. And incidentally my sister was in Memphis because she had she was doing her HD and molecular biology at University of Tennessee.
So that’s one of the reasons why I applied for the University of Memphis. I even knew about it and oh yeah. Biomed program looks really cool. So that’s how I ended up in Memphis. Oh not because I knew anything crazy.
Yeah well it’s crazy we didn’t cross paths because I think we were there at the same time. So. Well it’s interesting the way things kind of circle around and people meet people when they’re supposed to.
Absolutely the world is a really small place isn’t it.
It certainly is. We’re sure. So what we’re you know OK I talked to people a lot about Indian culture and American culture because even after how many years I’ve been with my husband since 1988. So I don’t know how many years. But even now there are so many aspects of Indian culture that just kind of elude me. I’m not really sure how to understand it to wrap my brain around it. And one of those things is women in society and I know that every every family is different. Every community is different. But I feel like women have it tough. So what was it like for you. Did your family tell you OK. You have to study and then come back and get married. Were you a rebel that way. How did that kind of pan out for you.
So I’m an army officer’s daughter so we lived all over India and it came with its own set of weird challenges. I loved moving around so I lived all over the country and it also gave me a certain amount of confidence. I was not bogged down by being a girl. And for some reason my parents were very kind of like you go do you go pee. My mother always said this. She said When you marry marry somebody with whom you could have the same life without him. So that you know exactly why you’re marrying him and you’re not bound to him because of money.
So that’s wonderful advice. You know of course in her version men are assholes and you’re going to have to leave them eventually. But do. You know she’s like if you have to leave them you can see them and you’re living in a patriarchal society so that’s something she always kind of talked about the freedom the independence. But then as we grew up they raised both my sister and I to be these forceful independent women and then they’re like OK now you need to have an arranged marriage before you come to the United States. And it’s like. Holy crap. You can’t raise this to me this. Yes but we got to just you know go ahead and get married to some dude you got to put in front of us. So there was a dichotomy there and obviously neither of us got married had an arranged marriage. So but India and it’s so in itself so difficult for women. I remember having a very bad reputation when I was going to university and I was an engineering school. And I could never understand why.
So I meet my husband and I tell him you know because this is a big deal in India where you have this bad reputation. And I said you know I had a bad reputation and he’s dangerous. It’s like Oh so you slept around a lot. God no I’m Indian. You don’t sleep around. I said I maybe kissed a few guys. And he’s just kind of looking at been going and why did you have a bad reputation then.
Yeah right. Like it’s not computer. What do you mean. Especially in Denmark where you know if a girl is sleeping around it’s like she’s having a good time and there’s no judgment.
I make friends you know they’d be like oh yeah we sleep on the first day. I’m like really you have sex on the first date and they go Yeah if it’s bad. I don’t want to waste my time. So. Well OK. There’s no way of thinking about. This on tour but in India you know the fact that I was outspoken led to that. So I had my own form of rebellion. I would do things to kind of make it worse. I think they’re like oh yeah you think I’m bad. Watch me now here. I’m lighting a cigarette up in public. So you know I kind of rebelled in society in my own way. I did not sleep around because my mother had scared the bejesus out of me about sex. So I was just so afraid I was going to get knocked up so I wasn’t like ever having sex.
Oh yeah. You can’t do that. Yeah I remember my mother told me you know why would they buy the cow. They can get milk for free.
And I never forgot to say right. I know. But it’s stuck. It’s a slip right. Right. But it sure does. So that was good. But I was scared. And then you know I came to the US and that was actually my plan. I’m like now I’m in the United State
I’m to, like, have lots of sex with lots of people like it’s gonna be just you know I’m going to I bought the shortest clothes I could find my husband’s dirty jokes that you know your clothes wouldn’t shorts you know your wearing bells earlier . So I was like truly kind of like I’m on my own I don’t get that a silver good means nobody’s going to you know whistle slip me when I walk down the street. So there was a sense of independence and I took it. And you know I was going to well you know have a lot of sex and then I ended up with my husband and now I’m still here. So what I joke and I tell my husband you know I was going to be Carrie Bradshaw and he goes You think you have problems.
I was gonna be Mr. Big. And we’re both living in suburbia right now. Things sure don’t ever go the way we planned do they? And I never became Carrie but you know we do have the house in suburbia. So it worked out. But India is hard as I kind of sympathize with a lot of women. I think it has changed to some extent today when I meet my friends but it still counts. So this is interesting.
I was I was in India in March it was my third time in India and twenty three years and my friend my closest friend opened her own clinic–she’s an embryologist. And you were going there and it was hot. So I was wearing a pair of shorts and she said. (ahem) I said, what? she goes can you not put on a set of outcomes I suppose.
And she goes Wait I’m at work can you just put out a set of art. Oh.
All right. Yeah. Things are different. Well you know I’m curious because you know so you’re originally from India and you’ve been to India recently and my husband’s family is from South Africa.
They came from India to three generations ago and they are very very traditional. So traditional especially the ones that are still in South Africa and they tell me that it’s like an Indian community in a time warp there because they’re still living with the values that they had in their 20s the 30s. So do you have any experience with that or people in India more progressive than maybe other pockets of communities around.
Absolutely. Apps you ever see actually. OK I think so this is where I kind of have less experience because I’m a first generation Indian. Right. And I’m not very close to the Indian community.
But when I talk to my friends there is a sense of living in a bubble. So if you came in the 70s you think India has to live in has moved on. I mean you go to India it’s all other country.
Right. But there is. So I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ABCD. You know the American Born Confused Desi. Yesi means “countryman”. Yes. So that I think I have seen in Indians that I know but I’ve seen them not just with Indians. I’ve seen that with other cultures too. People who move here even from Denmark they and Denmark doesn’t change as much as me has changed obviously. But they see Denmark in this strange light that is probably not true. So when I met my husband he would keep talking about how what a great egalitarian society Denmark was. And then we go to Denmark and Denmark from a social perspective is egalitarian. But in the corporate world I’ve always said that the glass ceiling is made of steel. And he was so shocked that he hadn’t noticed that while he lived in Denmark and he could only see it after he had left. So I think there is there is that aspect of Indians believe these things when they come here. And until they go back they can see oh my god there was smoke. Don right a friend of mine. Yeah. He just kind of hang on some good strong values. He was born in Kenya raised in the U.K. and I was telling her how you know growing up in India had to go into you know public buses and there was always some guy you know trying to grab this and that she was no Indian men are so respectful of women. I’m like what Indian man would not in the same rules as I was.
Yeah. Different experiences completely. I think that’s part of it. Yes that’s interesting. We talk about Denmark then. So you have this really interesting perspective of being just this global person. So you have this Indian background you’ve been here in the US you lived in Memphis the home of the blues. Then you met the Danish guy and you moved to Denmark. I know nothing about Danish culture so what kind of a transition was bad and what’s it like being married to a Danish guy when you’re from Syria.
You know everybody told me that when I came to the US I’d have culture shock but the thing was I was prepared for that culture shock. I watched. Beverly Hills you know nine or two. I know obviously it wasn’t like that you know but. I was prepared for the culture shock because I knew I was going to another country when I was living to Denmark. I thought I’m really been an immigrant. How different can it be. Oh my God. The culture shock Denmark is different all of Europe is different. And we tend to think of Europe as you know Europeans but the Brits are so different than the French and they are so different.
I mean now I actually you know I used to call Scandinavia one place and even now when you want to piss off Scandinavian just say you know Denmark Sweden Norway same country.
And they are not all very different and they interact in different ways and I remember I was complaining about this French guy at work and I was like Oh my God you know Nicola he never gets back. Yeah. But that’s because he’s French. I’m thinking what. That’s OK. Audience Yeah. My friend who’s German one of my close friends and you know we went travelling together and she’d be like we have to do this and then we have to do this and then we have to do this.
I’m like Oh my God you’re like a German cliché you’re on vacation. Can we not just drink wine and I was like No we have to go take pictures on this bridge. So that it has to be planned out. And then you have the day. Yeah. A completely different society. Danes are averse to confrontation. So my husband had to learn how to fight. I mean you’re married to an Indian you know we like to have a good fight and we know how to have a good fight.
Mine’s a different kind of Indian he likes to walk away from the fights. I’m the one that likes to fight. I had to force him to fight I think for him though because he’s a guy.
My husband also you know the minute we start and he starts to get really angry picks up his car keys.
So my favorite line twenty three years has been one of these days when you come back that door will be locked you know on one of these days when you come back I want to be here. And you know his first instinct is still go for the park but Danes and Jen don’t like on station. So so in families they want to discuss things when they have issues. They won’t talk about those issues like you know that elephant under the carpet will grow and grow and take over the room and still talk about it. So and here I am speaking my mind getting into trouble rise are also I believe Dana is rude.
They believe they had to draft seven I met my husband and I used to keep thinking oh my god yes. But you know if you go to Copenhagen. So whenever I travel to the US I go back to Denmark. I used to go back in a lot of doors banging into my face because you get used to it the US people hold the door for you.
Don’t expect that in Denmark you know really. So so there’s no chivalry in Denmark. You are nice to people actually. This is it is you know. So there is there is this aspect. But on the other hand I also learned from Denmark how to relax. I used to be a workaholic and then I go to Denmark.
You know you do you take three weeks of vacation at the summer. Literally if somebody in my team didn’t take three weeks this summer I’d ask them why I was expected to come back and I’d be like the company’s still standing. It’s all good. And I learned how to do that. I have the I learned work life balance and then are the true work life balance where I shop work down.
So now when I moved to new data especially in the U.S. I don’t get it on my team you know when I when I first came in.
They’re like I’m on vacation but I’m going to call him to the meeting. But you’re on vacation. Why would you call in to the meeting. Huh. Well because you have to. And I’m like No no no. So I just like I said I got a new job and that’s what I told my team on day one I said. I have one important rule. Please when you are on vacation don’t call in to meetings and trust me I won’t. If you need me I’ll be there. You can text me but unless you know someone’s dying and usually I’m not in that kind of business. You know what it’s gonna be all fine. I’m gonna go take my vacation. Yeah. That’s a great attitude. And I know that.
I also learned that you know oxygen to yourself first before you could take care of others. It’s a very dangerous thing you take care of yourself. If you’re not feeling well you don’t come into the office like this week I haven’t been well and I just didn’t go. I didn’t do it you know earlier I would do buy into a matter and I’d show up at the office. Now I’m like Hey I’m at home. It’s not working. I’m gonna call in if I can. I may fall asleep in the middle of the call because I’m really not feeling well all right.
But you’ve had you’ve had so much experience with different ways now you know this is what you have to do to take care of you.
Yes. And we have to. So I make it a big point with my team and they say I’m not feeling well. I’m like I want to hear from you you know. And if you’re not feeling well tomorrow hey guess what. You shouldn’t come into work and infect other people.
You know stairway and get healthy faster. So yeah. So I learned all of this from Denmark. I also learned how to have a good time. I used to not know how to have a good time. I know how to have a good time now.
And I learned that at that Bach is writing something that you enjoy. And that’s part of having a good time because I know for me that is since I’ve had I have five children and I’ve been home with them for oh twenty five years almost. That’s the only time that I ever had for me that’s my downtime I love it. That’s my me time. How do you fit writing into your corporate life your family life. What does it do for you.
So writing is a pain in the ass. Let’s face it it’s.
OK. You’re the first author I have ever heard of admit that to me. Yes it is. You’re right. It’s so.
Hard. You know there are times when I know I have to write on a weekend. Sometimes I would just work on my corporate job because it’s easier than writing.
Amen to that. I find writing hard.
It is hard. Does it give you enjoy. Yeah. Does it frustrate the hell out of you. Yeah. It’s it’s it’s it’s it’s a lot of work and it never. Ends. I mean it’s not like after your first draft you go yay I’m done. You go Yeah well you can. And then you’ve got to get my staff to which you know is the hardest draft.
Yeah exactly. You can go yeah. Have a glass of wine and then go Oh. Crap I’ve got to do it again.
And then by the seventh draft you hate the book obviously because you’ve panels seven times and then you know you get it published and and then some idiot goes on Amazon it gives it a one star review because of something and you don’t remember any of the five star reviews because well that’s life. I still remember my last book got great reviews except some publishers weekly. They called my characters wooden and I still remember that game remembered the good ones.
Oh we just don’t ever read your reviews. I know it’s so hard. But that’s what everybody says. Just don’t read on.
I don’t read the Amazon and GoodReads. I mean I kind of kind of let that one go. But you know the media reviews. Yeah. You know we’re still looking for validation. Right. I mean Shriners are the most weirdly insecure but yet put their work out kind of weird people. I mean that takes a lot of and your work out there and say yeah come at me with the attributes huh.
This is me I bled onto this page and now you’re going to judge it. Yeah.
You know I don’t want the writers said you know what I sent my book away to my. And you know these were the days when you had to mail your manuscript and she’s like I feel like I just put my naked baby in a mailbox and now I don’t know what.
Is going to do to it. So why did you start writing books in the first place. What was your drive for that. Was it a passion. Or did you just have a message that you had to get out there for people.
You have a choice. I was 11 years old home. And that’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I did since I was eleven I wrote my first book when I was eleven it was 50 pages about a bunch of can you go to an Indian village and there’s some stolen temple to read. It was I was reading in it like that so I was obviously into the whole Famous Five and Secret Service like all other good. It didn’t get to read British young adult writers Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and things like that. So I’ve always written I don’t know how else to live my life. And but I have a book that is working in the background even if I take a break. I’m a much better person.
But if I don’t have anything and I’m going through that phase you know between books why you struggle to find the right story and you’re writing a lot of plus 50 pages.
Yes. God can I swear. Yes you can. I’m a total total bitch.
Everybody stay away from you during that period of time. OK.
My husband is just like my husband’s just like we should just find a book so she’d stop being like this. And because he has to listen to everything I write so and literally I’d be reading what I got yeah this is awful. But I was into it.
I’m I guess complete crap that’s what you know. So I write because I don’t have a choice. Honestly if I could turn that switch off I would.
Because who needs that heartache. Seriously I have another career I could be like a normal person would just want to go figure you know.
Yeah but when you’re an author there’s no way you can ever be a normal person. It’s just not going to happen. Know all we all have that in us and it’s just never gonna go away. So how much of you is in your most recent book. So.
A lot of me actually in this book I’ve had my friends at work read it and literally from three companies my previous three companies literally all of them are like Oh my God I know this guy. So there is a lot though.
I wrote this book my protagonist as me and asked me in Sanskrit means I am. And us me is single. She is turning 40. She doesn’t have any kids so obviously that’s not me.
But I have a lot of friends of world class single and I wanted to be single or I’m not going to have kids and I kind of I don’t know why she became a single person. I thought she’d be married and have kids but she became single. Mm hmm. And I wanted to write about her challenges because I have so many friends you know where they struggle with I’ve heard comments like you know women who have kids they have less of an edge. She is total bitch. She has no kids model. She has no life. You know she works all the time and she expects us to work all the time. I wish she’d just get laid. I’ve heard it all about single women. Also you know. But you know giving the project because of course you and working on the weekend right. I mean you don’t even have a family so you should be on a plane going somewhere. Yeah sounds awful. Yeah but it’s so real that the corporate world on the other hand married women will say they have an advantage. I have kids you know. Probably leadership feels like she’s more going to be more dedicated to her job than I am with my two kids hanging off my boobs. So I think what women need to realize is we’re screwed in the workplace regardless of our medical situation. So we need to find a way to deal with that right.
Well I think it’s great that you’re able to work through that in fiction and people can read that and it’s a little bit more padded.
It’s easier to take when it’s fiction and hopefully it will sink into their brains and make some change. That’s what I love about fiction is you know people can kind of change from it without realizing maybe that they’re changing.
I think it’s it is so I said this. We were in Paso Robles a couple of months ago and I met this wonderful young Pakistani woman who works for a vineyard as their tasting manager and how she’s trying to find her own life and you know she’s dealing with the whole ABC thing as well. And so she read a copy of the book and she sent me a message saying I just finished reading your book.
It’s 1:00 in the morning and I have to re-evaluate my life now thinking score. Yes. And that’s what I really wanted. But this book was you know we are there are so many extended voices that tell us so many different things like you too emotional you’re too aggressive. I heard all of it you’re too abrasive. Can you write down your sentences with I think we should do this and say oh I’m not sure. But what do you think. And I’m like Do you want me to talk on my hair when I say that. Oh yeah I’ve heard it all. And then there is that internal person you know the inner critic that is telling us you’re not good enough you’re not smart enough you’re never gonna make it. Why bother. You know to the point that one’s my husband said Amelia you’ve got to stand up to bullies even if it’s you in a critic. Enough already. Stop. Stop being so hard on yourself. And so I really wanted to write this book for those women because all the books I read about corporate women like I don’t know how she does it. Devil Wears Prada. I just did it because savage news which is actually very fun. The women leave you know in I don’t know how she does it. This woman leaves she goes and lives in the countryside. Well nice for her. A lot of us can just leave. We have bills to ban kids to put through college. So how do you that is not a solution. And I want to tell you I want to see more fiction about women who stay and make it better or make a difference. My ex boss she once told me you know because she said Emilia I don’t meet a lot of people who have or. As have so much integrity as you and I was as righteous as you. I’m like Yeah. She said you know to be morally flexible I’m like What. Yeah. She said you want to get up. And help women. You try and be a little more morally flexible you played the game. Otherwise you’re not gonna get ahead and you can keep being righteous and your little middle management circle. It’s your call. He will be up. She’s right. Yeah.
I can sit here and bitch about my situation or I can do what I need to do to get ahead. And every time I take the next step my goal is how can I help women get ahead. I have such a big focus on promoting women making sure they have confidence building them up and moving them on because I measure my success with how many women I can get promoted. What me.
That’s fantastic. Women that look out for other women. That’s what we need and I think that’s kind of that’s rare especially in the corporate world. Isn’t that kind of an interesting dynamic women not wanting to support each other.
Peter there are women out there but I have to say maybe I’ve been fortunate and I have met women like that too but mostly the women who have taken care of me. My mentors have been women who have stood by me with me.
My ex boss was an amazing mentor I still talk to her every other week. And when I got this job you know she’s like still saying “okay, Amulya”. I want you to do this is this. She’s still coaching me she’s still invested in my career. I don’t work for her anymore. She lives in Germany. She’s still invested in my career. And I think that’s that right. Yes there are more women like us than there are women who don’t want to help us. And I honestly truly believe that because I see way too many women in senior positions. I walk and aware that we have to help each other.
Well that is absolutely wonderful that you have experienced that. And you know so many people that are like that for you and I think you are doing that job with the people that you work with as well as the books that you’re writing. You’re making a huge impact on other women for sure. I’m so excited that the audio book is going to be released on what August 5th. Actually it’s better than yours. Thanks much.
It is. OK so it is already out. Okay well we’re going to have a clip of that in just a few minutes. So when we’re done with the interview all the listeners need to stay tuned and listen to a little bit of this wonderful audio book the narrator is fantastic. She’s great. Come on. These are awesome. Very very good. I always love a good audio book. That’s got a great narrator because I’m sure that you have probably experienced that you’ll get a great book and then the narrator’s voice just doesn’t do it for you. And then you don’t want to keep listening. I know that. Is.
Not going to happen but the quicker she she you know she definitely not really. Right.
Yes right from the very beginning I was hooked. So I can’t wait to listen to the whole thing. So do you have anything coming up. Do you have another book in the works in the back of your head.
I actually have half a book right. But then I took a little break. My next book is set in 300 B.C. India. Exciting because I just wanted to. I’ve been wanting to write a book. All right. This one of my friends. Have you heard of this.
So just like you know Machiavelli wrote Prince in 300 B.C. India. We had a gentleman out of China who wrote a book called The aka Astra and he’s one of my favorite characters from Indian history.
And writing this book is like writing science fiction. I got to go find out. Did they have gotten them. How did they tell time. Yeah. That’s exciting but most interesting fun fact about 300 B.C. India two fun facts best fun fact they had unions for prostitutes in 300 B.C. India. No way. Prostitutes went on pension second fun fact. Do you know what people were arrested for mostly in 300 B.C. India? I had no idea it certainly wasn’t prostitution. It was drunk and disorderly. Interesting. Do you know what people are arrested for mostly today. No idea. Drunk and disorderly. We haven’t changed much!
Interesting. Yeah that sounds like a lot of cultures. Wow. So how do you do research for a society that so long gone.
Well the problem with what this aspect of society is we don’t have a lot of books from that time. We have one book which was out to Shasta which was written by China. Yep. And after Shasta is more how people should live. So obviously people were not living like that. That’s more how people should live. And the other is that this was the time when Alexander the Great came to India and then he left. It was a Greek historian got to make us Denise but make us Denise wrote indica by sitting in the palace. So obviously he did not get the ins and outs of. But we also have a couple of Sanskrit plays from that time that tell us a little bit more. So putting all these books together and then I’ve been collecting history books from that time for a while. A lot of analysis and what this means and what that means piecing it together and then you know the rest. I’m just looking it up as like how exciting.
Well I can’t wait to read that one either. That’s that’s going to be great.
Do you have any idea when that’s going to be fleshed out and ready for the world by December I should have a first draft and then you know what happens after the first draft. Yeah.
You can’t really celebrate you drink your wine and then you write the second one you realize. Well I’m excited to get that one. So I definitely need to hear some news about that when you have that one out. But the next one I’m going to read is going to definitely be “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”. That sounds like a very good read even though I’m not a corporate woman. I would like to see the ins and outs of what women have to go through. What because you know as a stay at home mom it’s completely foreign to me and it’s important for everybody to know.
I think you like it. Yes. And I hope that everybody listening will read to and all of your information where to get it. Your Web site is going to be on my Web site as well. And to stay tuned for the sample of the of the e-book following and I thank you so much for being here to talk with me. Just so much shuttle. This was a lot of fun. When will you take care. And I hope lots of people buy “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”. Thank you. You have a lovely day. And.
Now here’s a clip from “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”.
The new audio book from our guest Amulya Malladi. A woman with no husband or children must at least have a stellar career. If a woman doesn’t have a career she should at least have a husband and beautiful children. The children are always beautiful even when they’re not. She must have one or the other. If not she might as well jump off a cliff or get hit by a bus and no one would miss her. There was a tacit understanding between a single woman and the entire workplace that she didn’t have a life and was therefore perfect for dumping work on the no one else wanted. However a successful career woman who has no husband or children is looked upon as a charity case. Well at least she has that they’ll say with a tilt to their head and a pitying look. Or as in the case of us me the whispers wondered if maybe a better candidate for the position would be someone with a family you know someone well-rounded and stable because it went without saying a single woman was unstable. The subtext. No one wanted to marry or impregnate you. What was truly offensive it was usually women who said this about other women. Madeleine Albright was right. There is a special place in hell for women who turn against other women. The worst single woman was the woman who slept with a married man. Combine single home wrecker and career failure all in one place. That was who asked me felt she was fueled with these negative and self flagellation thoughts as me ordered yet another log of all in at the Lark Creek Grill in San Francisco International Airport when her plane was delayed due to Stormy Weather a day after Valentine’s Day night. The bartender asked her with one rock. She replied and stared into the depths of her phone reading once again the e-mail that she felt signaled the end of her career at G Tec her company for the past six years. She had received the e-mail from her friend in H.R. on the flight from CTG Paris. Shall de Gaulle Airport to SFO San Francisco International Airport en route to S.A. John Wayne International Airport and her apartment in Laguna Beach it kills a taste. A man said to her house we looked up her eyes glazed with irritation really.
My life is ending and you want to hit on me. The man smiled at her.
He was African-American in his late 60s. Well suited and not the type of man who normally hit on her. He looked downright decent the ice kills the flavor. He said I’m okay with that. Asked me responded little more curtly and despondently than she would have liked. But there were extenuating circumstances. She went back to her phone. Her eyes saw and her heart heavy with despair. A part of her wanted to dramatically lean her head against her forearm and an operatic Bollywood heroine style say I wish I was dead. She cried all the way from Paris to San Francisco. It was something she did on long flights when they dim the lights and a hush fell over the plane huddled alone and private and business class. She would sob into the side of her seat. Big tears flowing her whole body shaking her therapist Shohreh her lovely Persian psychologist seemed to understand how Assamese had worked thought it was cathartic. That Azmi cried on flights. But the fact that she did this on nearly every long haul flight Azmi was on such a flight nearly every other week concern the psychologist. That’s not normal she said. The Bollywood heroine would then fling her hands up in the air and cry out. My life is not normal.
I’m Alan Sanders the man next to her said and put his hand out as he shook his hand automatically asked me vanilla the man nodded. Is your flight delayed as well. That’s me wanted to tell him to leave her alone. But then something about his eyes those kind eyes framed in square metal frames made her answer. Yes I’m on my way to Santa Anna. I’m on my way to L.A. X. The man said Work or pleasure on my way home. Asked me said I live in Laguna Beach that’s nice.
Alan said I love the Newport Beach ten years ago but then I moved to Silicon Valley and joined the rat race. Azmi told him she’d gone to university in Irvine and had stayed in Orange County. Though she was born and raised in India a country she left nearly two decades ago.
I hear that all Indian names mean something. He said. How about yours. I am has me said my name. I mean my name means I am in Sanskrit Allen grinned.
No kidding tell me ask me what sorrows are you drowning during this storm and PD whiskey. There was something about airports and airplanes where you told your life story to a stranger were heard theirs.
That clip was from “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”: the new audio book from Amulya Malladi. It’s available on Audible and, of course, I’ll include a link for you at my website, Sheryl Parbhoo dot com. If you like this podcast so far.
Please continue following along by tapping the subscribe button wherever you listen to podcasts. If you really liked it go on the awesome and leave a rating and a review. Find me on all social media to by searching Sheryl with an “S”, Parbhoo . That’s P-A-R-B-H-O-O. Thanks for listening to “Southern Life, Indian Wife”.