One of the sessions on the inaugural day at the Times LitFest held from 28 – 30 November, 2015 in Delhi was what the title of this post says, and certainly matching with the title was the author, Anuja Chauhan sharing stories in and out of her personal life.
I have not really been a reading person but since I have been quizzing, I knew of Anuja Chauhan as the pen behind some of the famous ad campaigns like Yeh Dil Maange More, Tedha hai par Mera Hai, Kit Kat break toh Banta hai and the list goes on. While the session was yet to start, I saw one lively angle of Anuja Chauhan while she interacted with some of her readers in the walking area and it was then that I realised the extent of popularity of Anuja. She certainly seemed to have left the time behind her and has lots of collegiate readers in her fan following.
And then it was time for the session to start. The session was one-on-one interview with Anuja Chauhan by the editor at Harper Collins, VK Karthika. Karthika had been publishing Anuja Chauhan and hence was quite an apt choice for Q&A with her since she knew quite a lot of her personal and professional life both. The comfort factor between Anuja and Karthika was well visible during the entire session and they chose to sit close to the audience instead of the stage that had been created.
The session started with knowing more of an ad-girl Anuja before moving to her writer side. We got to know that she had worked with PepsiCo campaign for around 13 years. With some nice catchphrases to her name, she certainly made name in the creative career. When asked from the audience on what was her most famous phrase, the majority went to “Oye bubbly” for Pepsi. This phrase also brought up something hilarious shared by Anuja herself. While the campaign was on her highs, Anuja had once travelled to Manali for some family time together and she had been teased in the streets of Manali with the same phrase. While her kids were happy knowing their mother was so popular and not knowing the true story, Anuja was equally laughing out on seeing her ad campaign also becoming the eve-teasers’ anthem.
She had been involved in lots of cricket advertising and shared some wonderful experiences of her shoots with cricketers. While the present day cricketers are quite cautious about the screen image and shoot angles, she shared her tough times with the Cricketers of the earlier times just like the ad campaign featuring Virender Sehwag for Reliance which said “Kar Lo Duniya Mutthi mein”. Obviously, the cricketers used to be sceptical of such campaigns since usually getting out earlier invited sarcastic comments revolving around the campaign like “Aur karo duniya mutthi mein”.
Getting so successful in her creative life, still she wanted to do something more. Continuing with another of her famous campaigns, Darr ke aage Jeet Hai, she started writing. Since she was all involved into cricket and advertising all these years, she weaved her first book around the same theme. The Zoya Factor was being written. The book has been about the lucky mascot for the team who always got her presence make the match win for the team. With an exciting storyline, I am certainly going to read it up soon.
Her subsequent books, Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Battle of Bittora, The House that BJ Built have had won the hearts of critics and readers alike and certainly with the kind of fan following I was witnessing for her, it called for no further evidence. No wonder, the story rights of her books have been purchased by Bollywood as well. I came to know here only that even the TV serial ‘Dilli wali Thakur Girls’ coming on Zee TV has been based on one of her books only.
With so much insights on her life and books, we also saw the superstitious side of Anuja for the fact that she always wears her lucky pendant, which was also adding to her beauty that day too.
The session ended, but not before a selfie with “Bubbly Anuja Chauhan”.