Author Reshma says it’s different ‘This Time’

Reshma, an Aluva native, recently madehar authorial debut with two books- ‘This Time’ and ‘Salty Blues’
Reshma Joly (left) at the event in Nosh Haus | Aravind Haridas
Reshma Joly (left) at the event in Nosh Haus | Aravind Haridas

KOCHI: There was a mix of curiosity and grossly unconventional thoughts in the atmosphere when the 20-year-old Reshma Joly said that her favourite author is Sidney Sheldon. It comes as no surprise considering the fact that Leslie Stewart and Dana Evans were born just a year before she was born. Little did she know the two characters of her favourite book ‘The Best Laid Plans’ by Sidney would influence the young author during her growing pains.

“Up until his book (Sidney Sheldon), all the female characters I have read were two-dimensional. It was amazing to see him write about women who are multi-faceted, strong, shrewd, unstoppable, flawed and sexual. Everything packed into one. I looked up to them a lot as examples of boldness and how to go after what you want,” she says. Reflecting these characters, Reshma’s two books - ‘This Time’ and ‘salty blues’ - were released the other day. 

On Saturday, the Aluva native sat down for a ‘meet, greet and read’ of her books at Nosh Haus. Reshma had conducted similar events at Bengaluru and Pune.Of the two books, ‘salty blues’ is a collection of poems. “It is an attempt to curate broken hearts,” says Reshma. She is quick to point out: “It may sound very cliche because generally girls only write about feelings. But what makes the book worthy of a read is that she curates moods and not just feelings.”

Her second book ‘This Time’ belongs to the genre of erotica. “It goes well beyond the parameters of conventional erotic literature. “Conventional erotica works are usually fully sexually charged. There’s nothing beyond that. In my book, the female protagonist discusses body hair and insecurities related to the body. Works in the genre should cater to the senses. That’s what I have attempted. It’s more textural. Instead of describing a love-making scene as it is, I have written about what it feels to be in that situation,” says Reshma. 

Not a lot of Malayali girls in their 20s, she says, write an erotica every other day. “Which is why the book is set around two Malayalees and there are only these two characters. The stories we usually read are set abroad and we can’t relate to the characters. I felt I should be rooted to the place I am from,” says Reshma. A taboo still exists when an Indian girl talks about pleasure and body-related stuff. “This is exactly why I chose to do it now. It is about navigating through each other with the bodies they have,” says Reshma. 

Currently a third year Liberal Arts student of Symbiosis University in Pune, Reshma has everything planned. What does she dream to become in the future? “Not an author,” she laughs. Citing Michelle Obama’s school of thought, she is quick to say, “I haven’t become an author, I am still becoming something else or the other. What I will become is a question mark. But what I will be becoming is very clear.”

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The New Indian Express