Author Parinda Joshi On How Rajkumar Rao Aced His Role In The Movie Adaptation Of Her Book 'Made In China'

In this exclusive interview, author Parinda Joshi talks about how all the characters in the movie 'Made In China' have done complete justice to the book.

Author Parinda Joshi On How Rajkumar Rao Aced His Role In The Movie Adaptation Of Her Book 'Made In China'

After the publishing two books, it was a surprise for author Parinda Joshi that her latest book 'Made In China' was adapted into a film starring Rajkumar Rao and Mouni Roy. With her Masters in Computer Science, Parinda was born in Ahmedabad and currently resides in Los Angeles. 

Made In China is a book about a middle-class, god-fearing failed serial entrepreneur who goes to China in search of a new business opportunity and instead gets tragically sucked in the back alleys of Beijing in a black-market trade. What he does with that idea upon his return to India forms the rest of the story. 

Talking about one of the best Gujarati-jugaad that she's come across, she said, "I’ve seen countless ones but the most ingenious hacks were 2-wheelers masquerading as 4 to 6-wheelers on the highways of Ahmedabad. I also distinctly remember my father’s car mechanic having a vintage powder blue Corolla’s bonnet as his tabletop in his tiny officeIt took up much of the room but it was the pièce de résistance of his garage and in fact, of the entire lane that was flanked by car mechanics."  

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Rajkumar Rao aces every role that he plays on the screen. Talking about how she felt when she got to know that Rajkumar Rao will be playing the protagonist, she said, "Since none of my previous books were turned into movies, I hadn’t imagined who could play my characters when I first wrote it. My protagonist, Raghu, is slightly older than the movie’s protagonist. He’s a tad daft but ambitious, a go-getter and has good intentions, although his choices may not always reflect that. When I first heard about Rajkummar Rao being cast for the movie, I thought perhaps he was a bit young but he brought out the struggles of the protagonist wonderfully. The way he showcased Raghu’s angst, his dilemma, his insecurities, his failures and his triumphs were exceptional and beyond smooth. He’s an actor par excellence. Same for Boman Irani and Sumit Vyas as those are the key characters in my book snd now, I can’t possibly imagine anyone else doing those roles. 

 Parinda Joshi has also been the screenwriter for the movie and taking us through how being an author is different from being a screenwriter, she said, "It’s been a fantastic learning experience. Writing a book and writing a screenplay are two entirely different things. Assuming one can do the latter because one is experienced at the former is like assuming one can snowboard just because one’s trained in skiing; both sports require familiarity with navigating the snow but the similarities end there. Essentially, an entirely new art form needs to be studied for a novelist who wants to venture into the screenwriting space that’s because books are inherently different from movies. Books are wonderful because they allow the reader to be a part of the story; allow them to be the observers that have insight into the character’s thoughts and emotions and all the nuances that create three-dimensional characters. There’s more detail, more focus on character development and more depth.

On the other hand, the great thing about movies is their ability to show, and the overall experience of watching one. Both are potent in their own rights. For a writer to be a part of both mediums (i.e. when a book gets adapted for the screen) can be exciting but confusing and challenging. For starters, you often go from being the sole pilot of your aircraft to multiple co-pilots. Those cockpits aren’t that roomy and it can easily get crowded and if you know the first thing about writers, it’s that they are very opinionated. Imagine those razor-sharp opinions flying at breakneck speed in that tiny cockpit. It requires a lot of collaboration, a lot of whetting of ideas and a lot of arriving at a consensus. Once you get past it, there’s a lot to be gained from that partnership with other writers." 

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Here are Parinda Joshi's tips for aspiring authors:

1) Read a lot across genres; fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It opens up your mind to new styles of writing, whether it's contemporary, lyrical or literary and widens your horizons.

2) If you aren’t formally trained in creative writing, read guides such as the one by literary agent Donald Mass 'How to Write a Breakout Novel'. These guides have good insights into the craft of writing and can help you prevent major issues.

3) Join writing groups. It's a judgement-free zone where a group of writers read and critique your work and you do the same for them and it's incredibly effective. Start one if it doesn’t exist around you.

4) Take your time to write and rewrite, edit and re-edit until you're convinced it's perfect. Writing is an isolated process and it's easy to get derailed from the subject you set out to write on. Don’t be in a rush to complete it but have some realistic deadline in mind before you start.

5) Find a group of early readers who'll give you unbiased feedback on your work if you don't have access to writing groups. There could be gaps, inconsistencies, logic issues, all sorts of problems that you could be oblivious to because you're so close to it. You're living and breathing it for months, possibly years. There's a lot to think about such as how to make your characters layered and interesting for the reader, how to differentiate them from each other, the voice, the tonality, the undertones.

6) Most publishers have submission guidelines on their websites, follow them strictly. Find a literary agent if you are unsure or don’t have the patience to reach out individually to all publishers.

7) Give it time. Publishing moves at a slow pace. Have a backup option such as self-publishing in mind if traditional publishing doesn’t work out and don’t quit your job to write full time until you make it really really big. 

 Parinda Joshi has also penned Live From London, Powerplay and co-authored Turning Point. 

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