Glamorizing Brands

first_imgIn June 2007, Glam Media, a network of women’s fashion and lifestyle sites, passed NBC Universal’s iVilliage.com as the highest trafficked online media company targeting women, per ComScore metrics.The comparison drew the ire of iVillage’s president Deborah Fine who stated at the time it’s like comparing “apples to cauliflower.” Nevertheless, founder and CEO Samir Arora pointed out that ComScore measures them in the same space, an important distinction from the marketer perspective. To get there, Arora has crafted Glam Media as a publisher network that has grown to over 400 independently operated Web sites clustered around 20 “owned and operated” sites, which now attract about 25 million unique visitors monthly and 43.5 million globally, per ComScore, placing it among the top 25 Internet media companies.It’s a strategy that Arora claims traditional publishers have missed out on: Eliminating the “destination site” concept by harnessing the power of a carefully assembled network of independent publishers while simultaneously working the marketing side by creating the ad serving technology that injects large-format and interactive ad units directly into the content that best contextualizes them. A Package DealGlam Media, with offices in San Francisco for technology development and New York for media, officially launched during Fashion Week in New York in fall 2005. Since then the company has attracted over 200 advertisers that have purchased a variety of display and rich media ads that are designed to be as attractive and engaging as the content they’re positioned within.Arora compares the contextual package arrangement to a typical September issue of Vogue. “If you package content and advertising well the ads are not only desirable, they become as important as the content itself. If you’re reading a September issue of Vogue, is it for the ads, the content, or both?”According to Arora, it’s both. The fusion of compelling advertising and content is at the center of his company’s mission and something where he says traditional media have largely fumbled the ball. “Most of the traditional media companies were having a hard enough time trying to create content for the Internet and when they tried to bring the advertising experience into it they did not know how to translate the full-page glossy ads or full video immersion to the Internet.”Glam’s technology division has engineered two technology platforms—one that serves the ads across the network, called Glam Evolution, and one that allows site owners to format and syndicate their content across Glam’s various channels. The combination, says Arora, allows Glam to place ads with a high degree of contextual control.The ad-edit package is something Arora thinks traditional publishers are inherently unable to do, as long as they keep trying to shoehorn content that comes from a strictly print or broadcast heritage. “Content that resembles traditional media—print or broadcast—actually does not perform very well on the Internet,” he says. “It’s two different things. To engage users on the Internet you have to create highly visual and interactive content.Glam also produces custom “advertorial” content for its clients, which Arora says accounts for about 20 percent of overall revenues. These products are typically custom packages that include display and rich media ads, as well as interactive elements such as quizzes and microsites. Reebok signed such a deal with Glam in March 2007 for a six-week stretch to promote the launch of Scarlett Johansson’s shoe and apparel line.Revenues from advertisers are shared with the participating network sites, some making in the high six figures. The Network Effect, or Life in the ‘Mid-Tail’At the core of Glam’s business model is the network of publishing partners that cluster around the Glam-owned and operated anchor sites that represent each content channel. It’s a model that, says Arora, further separates the company from its big media competitors. “It’s the recognition that media on the Internet is not following the clustered hits business of traditional media—print or broadcast,” he says. “The top 10 magazines have a commanding share of market versus the next 50 or 100. And the same is true in television. On the Internet, this is not the case. For example, Yahoo as a media company has the largest reach of all the Internet, but accounts for 7 to 8 percent of the actual usage of the Web. There are tens of millions of Web properties in the mid-tail.”This “mid tail” is where Glam makes its home—methodically collecting blogs and other independently operated sites and merging them with the Glam publisher network, now numbering over 400 and arranged under a growing number of channels currently including fashion, beauty, shopping, celebrity style, glam living, entertainment and wellness.The point of an owned and operated site, says Arora, is to act as a gateway, or anchor, for its channel. These sites combine original content with content pulled in from the surrounding partner sites. “It’s part of a hub and spoke model for each of the clusters of channels,” he says. “That allows us to expose and support each of the publishers at the hub.”It is a model that has some very knowledgeable industry observers excited. “I have been arguing for as long as anyone would listen that the future of media is less about products and more about networks,” says media consultant Jeff Jarvis on his Buzzmachine.com blog. “It’s nice to be proven right. Glam is also an advertising network that supports the creation of content. That’s how you encourage others to produce more. So in the end, Glam is really a platform. That’s the key. Glam is a rare example of that and I say other media companies would be wise to follow suit.”Arora says Glam is in a position now where it can select partner sites for the women’s fashion and lifestyle channels from a waiting list, a process he likens to curating. “Our editors are both editors and curators. We start by making sure a site is targeted to women, then we look at editorial quality, then how we can package brand advertising with this publisher in a way that will make the ads desirable. What I don’t want to do is create a media company where users want to Tivo the ads.”Rapid GrowthArora declined to specify Glam’s revenues, which are based solely on its advertising model. However, a July 2007 story in Forbes reported revenues near $25 million for 2007. A Glam spokesperson declined to comment on that figure. Sequential quarter-to-quarter growth rates, says Arora, have ranged from a low of 40 percent to a high of 150 percent, and he expected the company to be profitable at the end of 2007. Costs, he says, are generally tied to the sales team, engineering and technology, and the revenue that is shared with the partner sites.Unique visitors have ballooned from 100,000 per month when the network launched, to 26 million currently. “And we have spent zero dollars on search or keywords to drive customers,” says Arora. If You Can’t Beat Glam, Join GlamThe company’s rapid growth as attracted its fair share of talent, and from the very sectors with which it is competing. Joe Lagani, former publisher of Conde Nast’s House & Garden, joined Glam last October. The magazine promptly closed after he left. John Trimble, who also joined in October, formerly oversaw brand advertising for Fox Interactive’s MySpace, IGN, Fox Sports, American Idol, and Scout.Additionally, Hearst and Lifetime have noticed the value of Glam’s network and signed partnership deals to syndicate content. Under the Hearst deal, Marie Claire contributes editorial content in exchange for inbound links to other Hearst magazine brands and subscription promotions. Cosmopolitan arranged to have its advertisers’ brands inserted into contextually relevant sites across Glam’s publisher network. And Lifetime, the women’s basic cable television network, partnered with Glam to create its own channel, essentially a vertical network of Web sites and blogs inside Glam’s network.MORE STARTUP STORIES:ArchitectCraftInternet EvolutionScientific AmericanWTWH Media More on this topic Rodale Partners with Glam Media Glam Gets $10M in Private Financing Glam Launches Video and Distribution Platform Are E-Media Companies—With Revenue—More Valuable? Women’s Network Eyes Men Glam Media Acquires Advertising Targeting FirmJust In Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the Move The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the MovePowered bylast_img read more

Mattis to Remove Pentagon CMO over Performance

first_imgThe White House is looking for a replacement for John Gibson II, the Pentagon’s first-ever chief management officer (CMO), for a “lack of performance,” according to defense officials. Gibson, whose primary duty is reforming DOD’s business operations including real property management, remains in his job for now but his responsibilities have been scaled back, reports the Wall Street Journal. He was informed by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan more than a month ago that leaders weren’t satisfied with the results of his work. Gibson’s expected departure suggests the department’s initiative to find savings within its massive bureaucracy and apply them to modernization needs — one of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ top priorities — is “foundering,” one official told the paper. “All of Mattis’ modernization ambitions lie in the money that Shanahan and Gibson were going to harvest out of the institution in savings and efficiencies,” the official said. “Without it, Mattis is truly in trouble.”DOD photo by Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Surfing at the 2020 Olympics What you need to know about the

first_img Share your voice 2020 Olympics Tokyo 2020 shows off Olympic medals made from old phones Karate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know Your guide to basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Everything you should know about skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics How do athletes qualify to surf at the 2020 Olympics?Firstly, athletes must comply with the current Olympic Charter, the document that sets forth rules and guidelines for Olympic athletes and the Olympic Games. It’s a hefty 103-page file that includes rules such as the “citizenship requirement rule” (Rule 41) that states athletes must be a “national” of the country they represent in competition. And, of course, Rule 43, which details the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions.A total of 40 surfers (20 men and 20 women) will qualify for surfing at the 2020 Olympics. A maximum of four surfers (2 men and 2 women) can compete from each country’s National Olympic Committee — the governing body in each country that regulates athlete participation in the Olympics. Athletes will qualify for the Olympics if they meet performance qualification criteria at one of the following events: 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT): 10 men and eight women2019 ISA World Surfing Games: Four men and four women2020 ISA World Surfing Games: Four men and six womenContinental representation: With the exception of North and South America, the highest-placed eligible athlete from each continent at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games (someone who didn’t yet qualify) gains one spot. For the Americas, continental representation comes from the highest-placed eligible athlete (who hasn’t already qualified through other events) at the 2019 Pan American Games. Host nation slot: The Olympic Games guarantees one male and one female place for the host nation, in this case Japan. If athletes from Japan qualify regularly (through one of the events above), the host nation slots will be reallocated to the highest-ranked eligible surfers from the 2020 World Surfing Games.See the full qualification criteria for more details.2018 Russian Surfing Championships in SochiThere are many types of surfboards, but the primary categories include shortboard and longboard. Olympic surfers will use shortboards, which are known for their pointed noses and excellent maneuverability.  Sergei Bobylev/Getty Images When and where is surfing happening?The 2020 Olympic Games surfing program will take place at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, Japan from July 24 to August 9, 2020.Check out the full Olympic schedule of events here.What will the events be like? Surfing consists primarily of two disciplines: shortboard and longboard. At the 2020 Olympics, all athletes will surf shortboard. A shortboard refers to any board that’s shorter than seven feet in length. They usually have a pointed nose and are lightweight. They’re designed to be quick and accurate, and are more suited to fast and powerful waves than are longboards. In heats of 20 to 30 minutes, Olympic judges will analyze four athletes at a time, with the top two scores advancing to the next round. Because surfing conditions are so variable, the IOC has allowed for the surfing competition to take place over 16 days in the case that weather presents safety concerns or unfair circumstances.How will the athletes be judged?Judges will rate athletes on the type and difficulty of maneuvers performed. One example of an advanced surfing move is the aerial, where a surfer finds a ramp within a wave and launches off of the lip, gains air and lands back on the face of the wave. For even more jaw drops, a surfer would spin in a complete circle while in the air and still manage to land gracefully — a surfing move known as the 360.The judges will also account for speed, power and flow. Like other Olympic events, judges will score surfers from 1 to 10 with two decimals, for example, 7.91. Only one surfer may ride a wave at any given time, and athletes may lose points for failing to use common surfer etiquette, which rules that the surfer closest to the peak of a wave has right of way for that wave.  Fitness Sport and Outdoors Post a commentcenter_img Tags 0 The 2020 Summer Olympics Surfing will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Japan. Athletes will surf at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, Japan. Brian Bielmann / AFP/Getty Images 100 years ago, Duke Kahanamoku dreamt of surfing in the Olympic Games. He was a five-time Olympic medalist for swimming, but in between Olympic competitions and after his retirement, Kahanamoku, a Native Hawaiian and the “father of modern surfing,” traveled internationally to popularize the sport of surfing. Back in the early 1900s, it was known only to Hawaii, which had yet to become a US state. Kahanamoku would be proud to know that in 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) unanimously decided to include surfing in the Olympic Games for the first time. Surfing will debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the new Olympic sport.last_img read more

Wipro net profit up 27 beats estimates

first_imgBangalore, Jan 18 (ANI): India’s third-largest Information technology (IT) services exporter, Wipro Limited, registered a 27 percent rise in quarterly net profit, topping estimates, bolstered by rising demand from overseas clients. Wipro chief executive officer, TK Kurien, aimed for a constant growth rate of four and four and half percent.last_img

AL restored oneparty BAKSAL rule

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Friday alleged that the ruling Awami League has depoliticised the country by ‘restoring one-party BAKSAL rule as it did in 1975’, reports UNB.”Now, there’s no politics in the country. Politics is now under the grip of one party,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He came up with the remarks while exchanging views with local journalists at his house in Thakurgaon.The BNP leader said multiparty democracy was restored by their party founder Ziaur Rahman after Awami League had introduced one-party BAKSAL rule in 1975. “The one-party rule has now been again restored undercover of democracy.”He said their chairperson Khaleda Zia has been subjected to government’s political vengeance as she has been kept in jail by convicting her in ‘false’ cases.Fakhrul alleged that Khaleda is neither getting bail from the court nor proper treatment by the government though she is very sick.He renewed their party’s demand for shifting Khaleda to a specialised private hospital for her proper treatment.The BNP leader said Jatiya Oikya Front is united though two – MPs of Gono Forum, one of its components, took oath violating the alliance’s decision.”Organisational action has been taken against those who have taken oath. We’re united and working for the restoration of democracy. We must move forward together with people,” he said.About the stance of their party and the alliance on the current government, Fakhrul said they think Awami League has been ruling the country illegally by usurping the state power. “There’s no reason to accept such a regime.”He demanded the government immediately hold a fresh national election annulling the results of the 10th parliamentary one.last_img read more

Search continues as Hurricane Michael toll hits 16

first_imgView of the damaged caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPThe death toll from Hurricane Michael rose to at least 16 on Friday amid fears it would continue to climb as search-and-rescue teams scour the debris of the Florida town that bore the brunt of the monster storm.”Mexico Beach is devastated,” Florida governor Rick Scott said of the town where Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday.”It’s like a bomb went off,” Scott said as he toured the town of 1,000 people on the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s like a war zone.”Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in Mexico Beach on Friday in a search for victims who may be buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community.Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that he expected the number of deaths to rise.”I hope we don’t see it climb dramatically but I have reasons to believe we still haven’t got into some of the hardest hit areas,” he said.”What’s happening is search and rescue is trying to get into the rubble to make sure that there’s nobody covered up, trying to assess if there’s additional casualties there,” Long added.Dozens of structures in Mexico Beach — homes, shops and restaurants — were lifted off their foundations by storm surge and 155-mile per hour (250 kph) winds and moved hundreds of feet inland or smashed to bits.”Very few people live to tell what it’s like to experience storm surge,” Long said. “Storm surge causes the most amount of loss of life.”SticksMembers of City Miami Fire Rescue look for victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPState officials said Mexico Beach was under mandatory evacuation orders but some residents decided to stay and try to ride out the storm.”You hope that somehow at the last minute a bunch of people got up and left or went somewhere else,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN.But judging from the number of homes reduced to “sticks,” he said “my sense is they are going to find more victims.”Bob Tenbrunson, a Mexico Beach retiree, rode out the storm at his daughter’s house in nearby Panama City and returned to survey the damage to his home.”I was going to stay here until it turned to a Cat 4,” he said. “So I followed the mandatory evacuation order and left with my wife.”Luckily we did not get a surge,” Tenbrunson said of his home. “I’ve got two trees on the roof and a couple of holes on the roof. I have been trying to patch it up the best I can.”The rest of Mexico Beach did not fare as well, and most of the beachfront homes, restaurants and stores were obliterated by the storm.”I spent my life savings and retirement to stay here so I can’t sell it now,” Tenbrunson said. “I just have to be hopeful that (the town) will be rebuilt and fixed.”Some residents arrived Friday with vans or moving trucks, hoping to recover as many personal effects from their splintered homes as they could.Others came with nothing — as there was nothing left to save.At least four deaths from the storm have been confirmed in Florida, five in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina.US media on Friday quoted authorities in Jackson County, Florida, as reporting three deaths there, bringing Michael’s toll to at least 16.The latest two deaths in North Carolina occurred in McDowell County when a car struck a tree that had fallen across a road, officials said.Hundreds of thousands of people remain without electricity in Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and officials say it could be weeks before power is fully restored.Trump to visitA US flag is seen next to a fire department station damaged by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump said he planned to visit Florida and Georgia.”People have no idea how hard Hurricane Michael has hit the great state of Georgia,” Trump tweeted. “I will be visiting both Florida and Georgia early next week. We are working very hard on every area and every state that was hit — and we are with you!”Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.Many of the damaged Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.About 5,000 US servicemen were deployed to help with relief and recovery efforts, the Pentagon said, using 100 helicopters and 1,800 high-water vehicles.Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the F-22 stealth fighter, suffered extensive damage, according to aerial photos of the coastal facility.The base was evacuated ahead of the hurricane and the costly fighter planes were flown to other installations out of the path of the storm.last_img read more

I take pride in being a sensualist

first_imgQ. Sita’s Curse opens with a masturbation scene. Meera Patel relieves herself while her angry husband bangs on the closed door. While describing the scene you have written she folded up her legs like Goddess Lakshmi seated on a half-open lotus. No fear of the Religious Right getting all worked up?As I writer, my job is to write the story I believe in. Worrying about whether an opening scene or a line or a particular character will ruffle some right-wing feathers is frankly not in my nature, nor is it integral to a creative person’s integrity. Also, we’ve been conditioned to be scared – of being branded, banished, judged, criticized and eventually rejected – family, friends, publisher, peers, Right Wing, radicals, conservatives, communists… the list is endless, as is the eventual fight. Sita’s Curse being just the beginning, in my mind – of where I want the many Meeras of our country to be. Someday. One day.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Free from their desires. Freed by their desires. When we can write about marital rape with the same rousing sentiment as we scream hoarse about rape in the heart of a burgeoning national capital. When a housewife being paraded to a family Guruji, on the false pretext of religion can actually protest. Before the next Asaram Bapu scandal. When a married woman can say just like a single woman that she enjoys masturbating or watches porn. That she nurses a secret life. Enjoying being watched back, without it escalating into yet another feminist rhetoric. Sita’s Curse is not only about a married Gujarati housewife’s sexual destiny – it is a start. Of a sameness. Of a sanity. Of a sexual secularism. A world, sans halves.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix Q. After a fairly safe debut with Faraway Music, one would have expected you to stick to plain, old goodhearted romances. But you chose to write an erotica instead. Why?Actually Sita’s Curse was the third book I penned after FM, my second being a racy lad lit, out next from Hachette, a modern day reinterpretation of Shakuntalam, as retold by Dushyant. You’ve Got The Wrong Girl. Sita’s Curse I started writing as a short story about a Gujarati housewife, I saw daily, on my way to work at the Times of India office in VT from Mahim where I lived a few years ago. Sometimes hanging clothes on a flimsy plastic wire, feeding green chillies to a tota in a cheap wrought iron cage or running her hands over her full breasts, the Meera of my imagination turned into a daily obsession – a slow fire, as I began conjecturing about her daily life. Imagining her every moment.  The way she felt trapped, soulless, sad, sabotaged by the simple irony of her own life. Till the floods of July 26th, 2005 of which I too was a victim, taking three days to reach home, battling a serious viral infection I contracted, being hospitalized…later I resumed work. She was no more. Sita’s Curse is my tribute to that memory. To a life unsung. A woman with the most melancholic eyes – the color of rain. This is her story. I am but a vessel. A medium. A transit point.   Q. Those who know you personally would say there was much of you in the first book. Piya Choudhury is Sreemoyee Piu Kundu. How much is this book rooted in personal history, if at all?As I said, Meera is drawn from my personal memory. And honestly, while parallels were drawn about my first female protagonist Piya and me, I feel Meera is drawn from my own flesh and blood. I gave birth to Meera. I bear her cuts.  Q. Being an erotica many readers will savor the sex in it. But you have addressed important issues here as well. Long-standing social biases like considering a woman impure during her periods. Did the feminist in you pop up every time your penned down a sex scene?The biggest challenge for me as a writer was to constantly keep reminding myself of the real Meera in whose memory I penned this novel. And so, in writing the sexually graphic scenes, my attempt was to make it as real and as normal as possible for a woman of her social strata and experience – belonging to a small town, an everyday housewife, a woman who bears no children, in a soulless marriage. Also, as women our battles are all the same. I have myself seen and heard stories of women not being allowed to offer prayers or enter a kitchen/temple when they are menstruating, my own life changing after I made the transition from girlhood to womanhood at twelve. So, more than feminism, I think the erotic elements of the novel are rooted in a deep everyday Indian realism. Q. Another rarely discussed social reality, incest, is discussed early on in the book. Meera and Kartik, inseparable twins, grow up loving, caring, and feeling each other up. Do you think this may make Indian readers a tad uncomfortable? Incest is common in India, as it is elsewhere, in large joint families, for instance. But I am against branding feelings and boxing experiences into socially acceptable/non-acceptable labels and norms. So the relationship between Meera and Kartik is one that is elusive at one level and yet touches upon a very deep chord. Also, from the standpoint of the book, Meera and Kartik grow up in a small town, with hardly any window to the life and lights of a big city. In this insular life, sans much entertainment or luxuries, they are each others’ constant companions and soul-mates and it is a natural progression that from swimming naked in the village river as kids to sleeping on the same bed as scrawny teenagers, they begin viewing each other’s changing bodies and minds with a strange curiosity bordering between a platonic man-woman chemistry to the first dint of pleasure between two sexes, segregated and separated by social conditioning and conservatism. Q. Meera’s husband Mohan suffers from premature ejaculation. There is also inference to a certain godman her mother-in-law parades her to. Her first dance teacher scars her. Are all men in Sita’s Curse black? Surely, not all Indian men are so hopeless? Again, the book is not intended to start a woman vs. man debate. Who is stronger, fairer… who suffers more and why. Who always pays a price? The men you have quoted are not the only men in the novel, and as is true of anyone, each character carries strong shades of grey. Even Mohan’s character to me is a mystery – the dynamics and sexual politics of a marriage where from the first night the husband is intimidated by the sheer physicality and sexuality of his own wife. As for Guru Amarkant Maharaj – he is a prototype of the deep and complex relationship between sex and religion that is primordial to our Indian culture. Case in point. The epic Mahabharata. The dance teacher who shuns Meera is again typical of a weak man – and he could be anything, even a German or a man of French origin. Also, a character that you have skipped is Yosuf Ismail who sets Meera free. So this book is not just about the men in Meera’s life, but the life in her men. Each person teaching her something, even those that tainted her. Without them, Meera’s journey – both inwards and outwards would be incomplete.  Q. Sita’s Curse has masturbation, incest, lesbian love, BDSM. Yet, I have to say it does not read vulgar. How difficult is it as a writer to tackle sex in a way that the book doesn’t become another Mastram handout?Erotica is an artform which is why it’s constant cross reference to porn is an indication of how little we as modern day readers are actually exposed to erotic writing. Before I started writing SC, I delved deep into our indigenous roots of erotica – be it Kalidasa or Jayadeva’s Geeta Govinda or the 6th century Tamil poet Andal. From Kamala Das to Ismat Chugtai. My inspiration being the innate sensuality and heightened sense of mysticism that is very much pervasive to our consciousness. I hope readers will also soak in the erotic elements of SC. Relishing it as it should be, without being squeamish or stand-offish. Being an erotic writer has led to me letting go of many of my innermost inhibitions and I hope readers also can do the same. Also, today I take pride in being a sensualist and I think it’s hugely liberating. So I was always pretty sure of the clear line between Meera and Mastram.   Q. Is it embarrassing to have your parents and family elders read an erotica you have written? Or friends saying you might get branded as a porn writer? Yes and no. I have already received mails calling me a ‘whore with a disease,’ just the way I have been reached out to by many housewives and women from small towns and in urban settings, those I do not know at all, sharing with me stories of their sexual suppression, aching to find a way out. To want to stand up for their basic physical need. To speak their minds. So when I weigh the pros and cons, I know the scales are tipped in favor of Meera. Already.Q. What next? A political thriller is in the offing I hear. Right now am consumed in the promotions of SC that is a super lead from Hachette and their first erotica offering in their Indian publishing list. But yes I am hoping to start Rahula when the dust settles and I go back to my desk. As no one, but a mass of energy. Rahula is a political tragedy that is inspired by the son of Buddha and will be set against a contemporary Indian political and social milieu. But like all my other books, the story is of a man’s struggle. To be bigger than his father. To win over a shadow. And his final flight.last_img read more