The Crème Brûlée of 246 pages : Ramona Sen

By Neha Dhingra in Reviews 24/11/2016

Ramona Sen, a writer mainly known for her new and magnificent book ‘Crème Brûlée’ has taken her audience by storm. With being a Wodehousian and taking the humor onto another level, the girl has managed her book to be the bestseller of recent times. Crème Brûlée, which originally is a delicious French dessert with a custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel is a treat for life but so is the Crème Brûlée offered by ramona in 246 pages. With her being originally from Kolkata, has given her a lot of inspiration to use in her book such as the Colonial settlements, culture and habitation and that too with a diverse twist.

 

Many of us know her as the writer of Crème Brûlée but there is more to her than that. She works in T2, The telegraph, where she discovers new eateries and meets new people on daily basis. In an exclusive interview with Feministaa, Ramona Sen said that reading is her primary hobby, as she stated ‘I am first a reader and then a writer’. Crème Brûlée had its beginnings as a comic piece on a friend’s blog.

 

Cheering about her childhood days in Kolkata she talked about how it has always been a major part of her life formation. The world she inhabited is the world her protagonist Aabir potters around in ,filled with colonial club food, vast libraries and yes, even the ghost of Thakuma wasn’t a complete fabrication. She mentioned with a pinch of humor that her  parents were fairly strict when she was young and suddenly became very liberal as soon as she started working.

 

She believes her parents thought that she is adult enough to make her own life decisions. Adding to that she said, “It’s true, when one is a girl, parents will worry more, especially about things like travelling alone at night and working late. Women are conditioned to feel fear, it’s such a pity”.

 

Also, She pursued her education from Loreto House and then pursued a Bachelor Degree in English from Loreto College and later went to Delhi for a Masters degree (LSR, DU) and then worked for HarperCollins for a couple of years before moving back to Calcutta.

 

When asked about her opinion on whether Indian society has changed their perspective towards a working woman, she states, “there has been rapid progress in the sphere of allowing women to work but less progress has been made on the part of shared responsibilities.”

 

She adds, “while more women are working, they’re also spending about as much time bringing up children and keeping an eye on the home front”.

 

According to her she noticed this with her married friends. The media house she works for, employs a lot of women and they all work very late at night which leaves her often wondering how difficult it must be for the working mothers. What she meant is that simply allowing women to work is not progress enough, one  has to form an environment where women can share domestic responsibilities with men and be able to climb the corporate ladder with as much alacrity as their male counterparts.

 
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Everyone faces difficulties on the initial stage and so did Ramona. When asked from her about this she said , “Yes, the process was long and hard even though I was working in publishing. I got lucky when I found a literary agent to represent me. Many rejections later, an editor in Rupa (Publication House) loved my story. It’s about luck and patience and writing for yourself, not the world. It’s hard balancing my regular job with the life I want on the side. It’s hard to find time to write these days. I wrote Crème Brûlée when I had weekends. But one makes time for things that matter, so time management is entirely my responsibility”.

 

With the astonishing performance of her book on Amazon, she is pumped with joy as it is ranked as no. 3 on the website.

 

She humbly mentioned that she wasn’t expecting such response from the audience & is overwhelmed. With her having a very dismal perspective on books sales after having worked in Publishing, she was quite expecting her book to disappear without a trace. But as we know success reaches out to those who work hard as people have found her on Facebook and told her that they loved it.

 

With her interview coming to an end, the message she gave to all the budding writers is to

 

‘Veer off the beaten path, but don’t disappear into the forest. Go where your heart leads you but don’t jump off that cliff. Be brave but not brash. Be intense but not idiotic. God knows, it might be a losing battle, but let’s all try’.

 
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Compiled By : Divya Sharma

 

Neha Dhingra
She has her heart and soul drowned and dipped in classical literature, no wonder she completed her Masters in English and followed her heart by choosing a pen. Neha loves to listen, write and learn from stories of success and struggles of women who today stand at par with men in every field.

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