Here, told in her own words, is her professional journey.
My professional journey originated in my love for books and reading. I started out as a lecturer in English Literature, eventually moving into magazine journalism. I am a literary editor which means words are important and not subservient to design. What I like about magazine work is the combination of text and images and the fact that a good magazine is dynamic and evolves with time, just like wine!
In my long journey, I’ve learnt a lot along the way and met some wonderful people. This is my third act. I’m 71 years of age and I’m at a good place in my professional life. I have achieved my childhood dream of creating a magazine of my own and was lucky in choosing a fascinating subject like wine. In this I was something of a pioneer and contributed to the growth of wine culture in India. I love my work at the magazine and never tire of my subject. My greatest highpoint is when I get a good piece of writing.
What inspired you to start a wine magazine in India?
I always wanted a magazine of my own. I’ve been subscribing to magazines since I was a child. Given my long experience in magazine journalism, it came as a eureka moment when I returned to India. “Why don’t I start a magazine on wine!” I thought. Nobody knew anything about wine and there was a gap in publishing that was crying out to be filled. So, it was a publishing decision.
What books would you suggest to young professionals who want to pursue writing as a career?
There are no dearth of self-help books on the subject. Here are three titles from my bookshelf:
- Stephen King – On Writing. A Memoir of the Craft
A practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools a writer should have. Part memoir, part master class by a bestselling author
- Natalie Goldberg – Writing Down the Bones. Freeing the Writer Within
Write from your first thoughts. Keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper…
- Anne Lamott – Bird by Bird. Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Writing reveals itself through writing. As you write, you uncover the hidden gems inside you. Words come to you…
Who is your source of inspiration or role model?
I’ve been inspired by different people at different stages of my life. Too many to enumerate here.
What is your greatest challenge and how do you overcome it?
My greatest challenge is to fill the pages of Sommelier India with relevant, compelling content, issue after issue while maintaining high editorial standards and always keeping SI’s unique readership in mind. I’m able to do this by discipline, attention to detail and the satisfaction of knowing that each edition is a new beginning, never forgetting I’m only as good as the last issue.
Where do you see beverage journalism in India in the next few years?
As I see it, beverage journalism in India will remain very much a special interest category, whether it be a trade journal such as Ambrosia or a consumer magazine like Sommelier India.
What is your favourite tipple at the end of a busy day?
My favourite tipple at the end of the day is wine, of course. Which wine it is depends on my mood. It’s usually from own cellar which is stocked with personal favourites