"A Thelma and Louise-like vibe enters the narrative from the moment Tikli's first ill-advised outburst lands the pair into a spot of bother. Character development is the author's strong suite and it's obvious that he has carried Tikli and Laxmi inside his head for years. Laxmi, in particular, leaps off the pages, especially at junctions like the first time she threatens a man with violence or the all-important scene where the cooperative (or "our system", as Tikli and Laxmi call it) has its first physical confrontation with Mhatre's goons...
Tikli and Laxmi Bomb is neither wish fulfillment, feel-good literature nor a violence-fuelled revenge story, although it flirts briefly with the notion of being both, at various points in the book. Thankfully, it sticks to what it is at its heart: a gripping, no-holds-barred realist novel it is rare to see genre fiction of this calibre coming out of India...
...Tikli and Laxmi Bomb, then, completes a formidable, intensely cinematic troika for Kripalani. Read it to experience the agony and the ecstasy of Mumbai."
34 year old Aditya released his first novel, Back Seat at the age of 26. He also self published it, a task he claims was much tougher than writing the book itself.
The sequel to Back Seat, titled Front Seat was released when Aditya was 31. Both books are bestsellers.
In no hurry to write and put out novels Aditya is also a songwriter and budding musician who uses the same independent publishing method to put all his creations out into the world.
He has worked as the Cretive Head of Idream Production, makers of Bend It Like Bekham and Monsoon Wedding, for 5 years and the Creative Head of Percept Picture Company for a short while. He has been credited as the Script Consultant on films like Tahaan, Staight and the critically acclaimed marathi film Jogwa.
His songs, which he's written, composed, sung and directed videos for, can be seen and heard on YouTube. His first released song and music video `Mumba Devi De Mujhko Maafi' has been received well online, with nearly a hundred thousand views to its credit, since its release.
Over the past 5 years Aditya has spent a large amount of his time writing in advertising for Lowe, McCann, JWT and Leo Burnett across Asia, with some of his campaigns winning awards at Cannes and the Effies. He believes that advertising in the current context has the power to be about much more than just sales. He is forever in a dynamic, dramatic, love-hate relationship with Mumbai and the city forms the backdrop for most of his artistic expression.
As an Indian man, I often wonderered why we didn't, as a country, have our own Thelma and Louise, a story that spoke about patriarchy and made everyone think about how bad it really is. A story that went deeper than non fiction, to talk of certain truths.
For my past two books I'd spent time talking to bar dancers and sex workers and I'd always wanted to write stories that were about their travails and the stark reality they face everyday. If there's one section of women who handles the harshest realities of a patriarchy, it's sex workers. For, in India, they don't even exist legally, forcing them to have no right to justice even on paper, in most cases.
I wrote this story, therefore, as an homage to sex workers and Indian women in general. And their indefatigable spirit.
I also wrote this story in part, to talk of the way patriarchy turns women against other women, which to me, in India, is one of the major tricks it uses to keep its unfairness going. And it is only when there is an unflinching sisterhood between women across strata and creeds that change will gain the momentum it needs.
I look forward to a world run by women. And can only hope I see it in my lifetime. Going by the direction of the winds, I'd say that change is already happening. For in the instances that I have seen women lead the way. it's a nicer journey.
I myself, as a man am flawed and at some level am guilty of being a functioning part of this patriarchy. But I am forever seeking and curious about rectifying not just my own flaws but also those that create any form of a divide between human beings and stop us from being one in spirit.
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