Sudha Menon, a columnist, writing coach, journalist and a celebrated writer of best sellers including Devi, Diva or She-Devil, The Smart ‘Career Woman’s Survival Guide and Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India recently explored her funny bone and published a book celebrating her feisty self at fifty.
In a candid conversation with Pune365, she confessed how this book was never on the cards, and it was her sister and avid reader who nagged her into it, seeing her column on Pune365 gain tremendous popularity.
“As I headed towards my fifties, I found myself watching the changes that were happening in my own body and my emotions from a distance. When I hit menopause, the shock was not just physical, it was emotional too because nobody, but a woman will know what it means to feel redundant, out of control and unattractive at the same time.
My kid was gone, the empty nest was suffocating me and the fact that my body had also given up on me was much to handle.
There were days I would look in the mirror and not recognise the woman in the mirror with ungainly grooves around the nose, the horrid laugh lines, the wrinkles and lines on the forehead.
“But, one day I decided to stop the whining and complaining and look at the funny side of being fifty plus. The fifties might be the end of perky and the beginning of a free fall with everything, including the morale drooping but the scramble to make the best out of what we have is adventurous, challenging and exhilarating.
I wrote Feisty At Fifty because I wanted to let other women in this age group and even the men who read the book realise that your fifties can be a party if you just let loosen up a bit, let go of the baggage and decide to look at life through happier lenses.
“At almost fifty, I was not ready to accept the stuff that is normally said about women of that age.
I have decided that I will do exactly what makes me feel good about myself and if that includes colouring my hair glorious brown and my lips fire engine red, I am going to do that. I have earned my right to doing the things that I need to feel good about myself and I am certainly not going to have anyone tell me what is appropriate or not for “someone your age”.
It pisses me off that male actors who are well into their fifties are still cavorting around with girls in their twenties in our films, while female actors in their late forties have to colour their hair and play mothers and sisters to the very men who were once their leading men!
Two years since I hit the Big Five-Oh, I am having the time of my life with work and my many projects. I have rediscovered long lost friends, I am bonding with my ‘amma’, my sisters, my daughter and my husband and cooking up plans for the rest of my life.
I have bought myself some very nice stilettos, a few sleeveless dresses (back in my teens only girls with loose morals wore sleeveless, short dresses) and I am more than happy to step out in my new possessions.
Through Feisty At Fifty I want to tell everyone that the fifties and the rest of our lives can be the most fabulous part of our life.”
Sharing how a column in Pune365 led her to the book, she says, “This book would probably never have been written had I not started the column that Jaisurya Das requested me to start on Pune365.
I discovered my funny bone while writing this column and once it started getting much enthusiastic support from the readers, I discovered I could not stop writing the stuff I was writing.
The rest, as you know, is history. The book evolved from this column and I am so glad to have found a welcoming home for my Feisty At Fifty series at Pune365.
Watching her book on the best seller lists and receiving rave reviews from readers and avid personalities alike, Sudha looks forward to exploring more of her recent love for humour.
My daily dose of feel good these days comes from the emails, insta and fb posts of people who read the book on flights or vacations or even during their lunch hour and write back to me, sometimes with pictures of themselves with the book.
One woman posted a picture on fb of her reading it during a flight and wrote to me saying her fellow passengers could not figure out why she was giggling all through the flight!”
On her experience with working the humour genre, Sudha says, “I didn’t ever know that I had a penchant for writing humour. It was something that evolved as I started writing the column.
All I know is that I had a blast writing Feisty At Fifty and I am delighted when I have people come up to me, total strangers, who say they had belly laughs when they read the book.
Now that I have discovered my funny bone, I just want to go on writing funny stuff, stuff that makes people laugh and roll on the ground laughing.”
Sudha is currently writing a book in collaboration with her mother, besides planning the next in the Feisty at Fifty series.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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