Meet Stuti Changle, author of ‘On the Open Road’
1. Why did you choose the title, “On The Open Road?”
‘On The Open Road’ is a concept of freedom, of breaking free from the old routine lives to be able to embrace the new. My characters: Myra, Kabir, and Sandy are just one of you, trying hard to lead the lives they wish to. ‘On The Open Road’ is the journey, the emotional journey, that one has to take, to be able to live their dreams, to accept their true self.
2. If your book is a Bollywood movie, then
i) The name of the movie would be?
It can be ‘Khuli Sadak Par’ if we translate it to the Hindi language directly. But I think to be able to come up with a better name I might have to ponder a little more.
ii) Who do you think can play the role of Myra?
I will love if Alia Bhatt plays the role of Myra. She can do the justice to the character. Myra is the modern young Indian woman who fundamentally challenges the prevailing thoughts of the society and brings in a fresh new perspective from her side of the story.
iii) Who do you think could have played the role of Ramy and Why?
Ramy could be Ranveer Singh or Farhan Akhtar. Ramy is free-spirited, open-minded, above all, a traveler in this world full of tourists! If you’ve read the book, I’m sure you can relate to what I am trying to say.
iv) Who would you choose for the music?
3. What’s your least favorite topic to write about?
Horror stories, maybe. I think being a writer, one must be comfortable with writing whatever comes their way. I have written blogs as well as company white papers to make money while practicing writing. Especially if you choose not to keep a day job, like I quit mine, it makes sense to take up any writing assignment that comes your way and earn your bread for good.
4. A line or quote your whole life runs on?
‘Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.’
5. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I guess I have always wanted to be a writer. I wrote a poem at the age of 12 as it rained on a Sunday afternoon knowing that I had to write a Math exam the next day. Maybe, it was one of those early signs when I was being reminded that, this is who you truly wish to become, don’t let it go unnoticed.
6. What is writing to you?
Writing acts like meditation to me. It’s like a healing process. Also, if we’d go by the quote that I’ve mentioned above, writing helps me un-become everything that isn’t me so I can be who I am meant to be in the first place. I don’t necessarily have to think or plan, it just flows so smoothly and effortlessly at times, it feels like someone is talking from my soul and I am just helping it find the right words.
7. The most challenging phase of your life?
There came the point where I realized I had made a big mistake not taking up enough freelance assignments and my bank balance was nearing a zero. It was six months after I quit my job and started to write and travel places! But it’s just about realizing it. If you’ve understood that what went wrong, it’s never too late to start working on it again.
8. What did you think of becoming when you were a child?
Like any other child, I had vivid imaginations about what I would want to become. A teacher, an astronaut, a doctor, a singer, an actress. The list was endless, and when you’re young, the best part is nobody tells you what is achievable and what is not achievable. It’s only when you finally write your tenth board exams that you’re herded by others who instruct with sentences that comprise of the words ‘Scope hai!’ & ‘Scope Nahi hai!’
9. Your favorite:
- The Alchemist
- Fight Club
- Into the Wild
- The White Tiger
- By the Flowing River
ii) Bollywood actor and actress
Wishing a very happy birthday to one of our brightest stars @ranveersingh. I have an immense respect for him & his work. He is one of those rare gems who never stopped being the best version of himself & battled against all the odds when people questioned his choices. I believe that the best thing we can do to ourselves is being ‘ourself’ & win hearts nevertheless! . . . . . . . . #ranveersingh #happybirthday #actor #bollywood #OTOR #ontheopenroad #author #writer #dreamer #instapic #instagood #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #book #inspiration #motivation #follow #keepwriting #keepfollowing
I am feeling sleepy!
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”
10. How does it look like an average day for you?
I wake up at 7 am. I write for two hours straight even before brushing my teeth. Then, I cook myself breakfast and lunch. I get ready, and head to We Work. I work on my startup with my co-founder. I come back home by 7. I cook myself dinner. I write for another 2-3 hours. Watch a series on Netflix sometimes. I reply to the fan mails (only the ones related to my book) on Instagram and Facebook and go to bed by 11 pm.
11. Do you accept speaking invitations?
Yes, I do! My event ‘CONVERSATIONS on the open road’ aims to initiate the conversation of breaking free from the routine lives to follow one’s inner calling. Over 150 people have attended the events cumulatively in Gurgaon and Bangalore. Anshu Mor (StandUp Comedian), Rishabh Kaul (Cofounder Belong, Fortune 40u40) and Vandana Vijay (Co-founder Offbeat Tracks, TedEx Speaker) graced the occasion & were a part of the panel. I wish to take this idea of ‘Conversations On The Open Road’ places in the long run.
12. Do you think that someone who isn’t fond of reading a novel can be a novelist?
I don’t think so. I would ask a question in return to this one, ‘Can someone who isn’t fond of music be a guitarist?’
13. In which mood do you prefer writing or reading?
I like it the best when it rains, and I am at a cozy cafe. However, I can’t afford such luxury at all times, so I choose to write nevertheless. Whether it is a car, a metro train or the toilet seat. I write. If I don’t have my laptop, I write on the ‘notes’ on my smartphone. A passion must consume you every moment only then I believe that it can be your passion truly. But I wish that I can build a lifestyle where I would travel and write. It’s my dream, and I’m working every day towards it.
14. Your first thought when you started writing the book?
Just do this. You would not want to regret not writing a book any further after this point in this lifetime.
15. Is getting a book published, an easy task?
Ask me? No, no. Not at all. And that’s the reason why I resorted to self-publishing it on kindle first. It’s still as challenging for me. But I believe in my work & my story. I know the patience will pay off huge someday.
16. One suggestion for those who are in their 20’s and struggling with their lives?
I would suggest them to read ‘On The Open Road’ once. Ok, I am sorry for being so salesy but it’s my first book & I tend to get nosy at times. I believe if you’re courageous enough to be yourself, that’s the best gift that you can give to yourself, and the struggle would eventually go away. I believe that the struggle is mostly with the self and not the others as it may seem.
17. How does being popular feels like?
Being popular was never the goal, so it feels weird at times. But when you’re a writer, your work is out there in the public eye, and there’s no way you can escape from it. I like it when my readers write back to me telling how much ‘On The Open Road’ has impacted their lives. It feels wonderful. I talk to myself as I say, ‘I have finally created a story that can move people, touch their lives, create an impact in the society.’ I smile in the mirror and start to work on my next with 200% commitment.
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