Just Married, Please Excuse
By Resmi Jaimon
Her website modestly describes her as a ‘Working Mother of Three. Also now an Author. My book ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ is available!’ What her site fails to highlight is that Ms. Yashodhara Lal studied at the prestigious IIM Bangalore and then forged a very successful career working at blue chip Hindustan Lever and later at media giant Hindustan Times Internet Division.
Techgoss (TG): Share with us your educational and professional background.
Yashodhara Lal: I graduated from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University in 2000 and then IIM-Bangalore in 2002. I’ve got over a decade of experience primarily in Marketing – first for Hindustan Unilever Limited and then Hindustan Time’s Internet Division called Firefly eVentures.
TG: Tell us about your book 'Just Married, Please excuse.'
Yashodhara Lal: This is a humorous take on the early years of marriage. It’s all about what happens when a hot-tempered big-city girl gets hitched to a laid-back ‘desi’ lad from a small town. It provides a perspective on a modern marriage in India and it’s written to make you laugh - the sample chapters are up on its website
TG: What was your vision when you started blogging?
Yashodhara Lal: I had no vision about anything when I started my blog ‘Y On Earth Not’ in 2006! It’s a different matter that it was the blog that eventually got me inspired enough to sit down and write the book and therefore will – probably- always be a part of my writing. I blog at yashodharalal.com and it basically contains anecdotes, regular incidents – and these days, notes on how my writing is going!
TG: When did you start writing? Have you been published elsewhere like magazines, newspapers etc?
Yashodhara Lal: It was only the blog started in 2006 when I revived my writing – before that, I had been Editor only on school and college magazines. So no, I haven’t really written columns, although I’m working on an idea for a column at the moment.
TG: When did you consider writing a book and why?
Yashodhara Lal: To cut a long story short – 2010, difficult pregnancy, had twins, two surgeries, almost died, realized life is bloody short and that I better do it NOW. That’s it. 3 months flat, the book was written. And I was on my maternity leave – with twin boys! I recommend almost-dying to anyone looking for inspiration. The key is the ‘almost’.
TG: Does your story have characters based on people you met in the Internet companies you worked with?
Yashodhara Lal: No, this one doesn’t – but future ones are sure to have. It’s a fascinating environment with all sorts of interesting characters that beg to be written about!
TG: Share with us your experience in finding a publisher for your book.
Yashodhara Lal: This wasn’t all that easy - but I got more positive responses than otherwise so it was encouraging. Basically, the pain is there’s a very long waiting period in this business, involving months and months for all major steps. But all in all, I’m very glad I went with HarperCollins as the team is very professional and know what they’re doing. Above all – they’re nice people.
TG: Do you have plans to work on a second book soon?
Yashodhara Lal: I’m working on it now, but finding it tougher to write than the first one because it’s a slightly different genre – involving more fictionalization. Hopefully I’ll be able to write it in the next few months, although I have no idea where it will go and when I’ll actually be happy with it!
TG: Was it passion for movies that made you join Desimartini.com?
Yashodhara Lal: I’m not really what anyone would call a major movie buff – I like movies, but am selective about how I spend my time and what I actually go to see – I’m a mother of three kids and have been working till I started my sabbatical last month. But given that Desimartini is primarily about social movie reviews and decision making about what to watch, I’ve found it relevant to me – and most people around me, actually!
TG: Any interesting experience while working as Business Head for Desimartini?
Yashodhara Lal: Are you kidding me? Every single day has been interesting for me in this particular role – Imagine being on Facebook looking for information about movies all day , that’s WORK! Can it get any more enjoyable than that?
TG: Internet marketing has changed over the years. How would you rate Internet marketing, especially with the advent of social media?
Yashodhara Lal: Internet marketing changes faster than most people are able to keep up with it – there’s no question of ‘rating’ internet marketing, it’s a fact of life and an increasingly important part of marketing any brand. What I like best about internet marketing is that it is eminently measurable and actionable – I’ve loved the experimentation and the fact that the results are visible. It can do wonders if approached correctly and clearly. And social media? A huge opportunity that most of us are still trying to understand fully – it’s very underleveraged by most brands in India, even the savvier internet-marketing companies. I’m guessing it’s not going to continue to be that way for too long, though! Exciting times ahead.