Interview of Sakshi Salve, Author of “The Big Indian Wedding”

Sakshi Salve author, The Big Indian Wedding book, author interview, Indian English literature, Indian English writersSakshi Salve, a born humorist from New Delhi, is a versatile personality. She wears several different garbs at the same time. She is a budding novelist, photographer, chef, avid reader and entertainer. A business management graduate from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, Sakshi had a stint at a fashion house of international repute and investment banks such as Barclays before she started shaping her thoughts, observations and fantasies into words. She even studied the fine art of food science and tasting at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in London. Sakshi debuted as author with the book The Big Indian Wedding, a humorous take on big fat Indian weddings at home and abroad. SliceofRealLife catches up with Sakshi Salve to share with you her views on Indian weddings and other aspects of life that she finds humour in. Here are excerpts from the interview of author Sakshi Salve:

Congratulations! How are you feeling as a published author?

It feels great to be a published author and see my book in stores everywhere. The day my publishers told me that it’s a best seller was the happiest day of my life!

Who or what motivated you to hold a pen and debut as an author?

I never thought I would write a book. In fact I didn’t know I could write at all. My deep involvement in so many weddings made me aware of an entirely different world of high end fairy tale weddings. Less than 1% of the Indian population gets a glimpse of this make-believe world and I thought it would be interesting to share it with people across the globe.

You don several hats – photographer, chef, novelist, banking and script writer – at the same time. Which suits you the best?

Definitely writing as it feeds my soul. I am not the most verbally expressive person but give me a pen and paper or a laptop and I can write non stop for days. It unleashes something within me and is the best outlet for my thoughts and ideas. When I experience a writer’s block then I cook. It’s a great de-stress.

I have started reading your book “The Big Indian Wedding.” It is a great humorous take on Indian weddings. Are you a born humorist? Or is it your overwhelming love for humor?

My parents tell me that even as an infant, I made them laugh. When I was 2 years old I would sing and dance for my parents friends when they came over. So yes I guess I’m a born humorist. I feel the best way to give out an important message is by making it interesting and entertaining. No one likes a preacher. So that’s what I have tried to do in my book. And will continue to do so in my next one as well. 

The book packs in so minute details of big-fat Indian weddings that you seem to have observed each and every Indian wedding custom and ritual. Is it all research work for years or your conscious observation?

We have all grown up attending weddings and know the basics that go in to planning one. Over the years I have seen the evolutuion of the Indian wedding. When I was a teenager things were much simpler than they are now. The functions remain the same but the way these are executed and celebrated these days is way superior to the past. Two years ago I attended 8 weddings back to back and realised that weddings are serious business. Not only has this market flourished but created new industries and jobs that never existed before. I didn’t do any conscious research for this book (other than talk to people of previous generations) but every wedding I attended gave me a different point of view and lots of content for my book.

Do you ever play with the idea of making a documentary on the side effects or funny aspects of Indian weddings?

I have not thought about doing this as yet but I think it’s a great idea. AIB did something along these lines last year so if I can do something different that I think people will enjoy then why not.

You have drawn comparisons as well as contrasts between Indian weddings, Indian American weddings and American weddings. What challenges or difficulties did you face to support the comparisons and contrasts with facts and figures?

It was actually pretty simple. The only challenge was to get the figures. The facts I knew – thanks to being a part of so many weddings. The area where I had to do a bit of research was weddings in the past, before I was born. It was great fun talking to my parents and their friends, grand parents and other people who had really simple weddings many decades ago.

You are a business management graduate. How did your transition from banking to creative writing happen?

Creative writing started as a fluke in 2009 when I wrote a script for a friend’s wedding performance. I emceed for this performance and it went off really well. And after that everyone wanted me to write the script and emcee at their weddings. I did it only for close friends of course, but since I have so many of them I have emceed for about 20 weddings till date. That’s when I realised I could write as well as hold the attention of a large audience.

How did you hit upon the idea of taking on extravagant Indian weddings from a satirical viewpoint?

There is no other way to explain these weddings. If I had been too serious in my book I would have offended a lot of people. I thought this was the best way to convey the message and yet keep the subject light.  

What is the response to your maiden book so far?

So far I have got a very positive response. My book is a best seller in India. Now I am trying to increase awareness and reach the people I have not managed to already. Another challenge is to market it properly internationally. My book is available on Amazon so it can be ordered from any part of the world. I just need more people across the globe to know about it and that it’s available to order no matter which country you live in.

What is your next book about? (If you have already planned)

I am currently working on my second book. Unfortunately I can’t say much, but this one is very different from my first one. It is a very interesting topic (current national obsession) that I have embroidered in a really interesting and fun story. This one is a fiction but with a very strong message and I am hoping it will be turned into a film. thanks author Sakshi Salve for the opportunity to interview her and wishes her all the best for her next venture! 

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