Trust Me in Platform

TRUST ME: RAJASHREE

           The newest author in town, Rajashree’s Trust Me has already made it to the Afternoon Bestseller list. Her book has gone in for a re-print and she is all set for its official launch in India. Her debut novel has been called ‘Own own filmi chicklit romance’ by Kundan Shah; and Michele Roberts, who’s been a Booker judge, called it ‘A feminist romance set in the Bombay film industry.’ Rajashree, of course, still thinks of it as her ‘baby’.

           She has dabbled with a variety of things in Mumbai, from assisting in the making of big-budget multi-starrer films to designing the costumes for a tiny-budget Indie film. Her other ventures have seen her as producer, writer, creative consultant, journalist, lecturer and of course, director – she self-scripted and directed The Rebel that won the National Award for Best Short Fiction Film and was screened at many film festivals.

           She began by locking herself up in a Pune hostel to write fulltime. Her story began with a ‘drug addict’. (NA sessions were being attended and the young writer was busy scribbling her ideas.) A friend crept up on her one night crying about her lost ‘Mr Right’. Her life soon took another turn by bringing another man into the picture while Rajashree’s Drug Addict took a backseat. Her own experiences with the casting couch and lecherous producers gave her the setting while her friend gave her the story. Parvati became her new protagonist while a little joke heard a while ago about trust me translating to F**K you from Polish to English became her kernel.

           Writing for her is like acting – she believes in taking on the garb of her characters and becoming them. A first person account, the novel sways in and out of various types, creating refreshing characters. She quotes Sharon Stone, ‘When you’re playing a bad girl you can’t play her like “I’m playing a bad girl but wink, wink, I’m actually a good girl,”’ and feels it reflects her own way of character and story delineation. She describes her writing experience as a process of ‘let(ing) go of my own personality to catch the sur of this girl so that I could speak in her voice…’

           When asked about her future plans she excitedly responds. ‘I want to make a feature film next. I’ve written some scripts and am looking for a producer. “Produceji, producerji, whereforth art thou, producerji?’”

           A light, easy and funny read captures the Bollywood contraries of harassment and sentimentality. While creating a little filmy world in itself Trust Me set in contemporary urban India may just begin a setting in of another trend of writing here.

– Shahnaz Siganporia

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