Jaya Padmanabhan

A journalist, a psychologist, a humanist, a feminist, an activist, an idealist.


Sun Sign

Aquarius and Pisces cusp

Three things people don’t know about you?

I’m an avid puzzle solver; I love basketball; I forget names easily

What’s your greatest fear?

To lose my memory

What is your greatest achievement?

None as yet.

High point of your life?

Giving birth to twins

Low point of your life

The moment after I gave birth, when I realized they were mine no longer, but belonged to the world.

Which living person do you most admire?

The person living on the street who smiles

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Sher Khan from Jungle Books

Who are your favorite authors?

Vladimir Nabokov, Rohinton Mistry, Manto, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Catcher in the Rye, Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari, Sula by Toni Morrison, Occasion for Loving by Nadine Gordimer

Is there a book you love to reread?

God of Small Things

One Superpower you wish you had?

To disappear

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a friend. She was loved.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

Exactly where I was and am. India and the US. No two places can be matched.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

To remember names and quotes

Which book you wish you had written ?

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

When and where do you write ?

In my office

Silence or music?


One phrase that you use most often?

My only duty is to craft sentences.

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

I read short stories before I write fiction. I read editorials before I write non-fiction.

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

Crime and romance thrillers and travel books.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Don’t be afraid of failure.

Jaya Padmanabhan has worked as a copywriter, sales manager, collections agent, software engineer and television producer before emerging as a writer. She believes that her previous jobs distinctly inhabit her work. She has won three Katha Short Story Contest titles, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story recognition and the New America Media award for feature reporting. She lives in California with her husband, mother, twin girls and a Goldendoodle. She is the editor of India Currents magazine.

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