Eighteen Plus Duets – Everyday women turned authors

Ratna Golaknath

How often does an opportunity like authoring a book knock at your door? And fiction? That chance to let all your imagination pour into a story? Well, a writer Apurv Nagpal is behind the writing ambitions of 18 women. He suggested that eighteen of his female friends write short stories, and they co-authored ‘Eighteen Plus Duets’.

 But why did he choose only women as co-authors?

Apurv tells me, “Imagine a date you’ve been on. Now imagine going back to your girlfriends and telling them how it went, what you guys did. Your version of date will be very different from the man’s version.” He says, “I wanted to bring to light, the other perspective. A lady’s version of how it goes down.”

The stories are written by everyday women — housewives, entrepreneurs, corporate workers who have made the plot universally appealing so as to not lose the audience. Fantasy with a touch of reality, was what these authors were aiming for.

The Eighteen Plus Duets book launch was a lively, warm and cosy affair. With music to support conversations and the environment being familiar, comfortable and informal. A gathering of friends and family who had been a support system of the whole project for about two years now. Yes, that’s how long it took for the book to come alive. Apurv Nagpal says, “My first book took me twenty days”, but when you’re collaborating with eighteen other authors, the brainstorming, ideas, stories take more time. The book combines sex and humour in a way that is exciting, hilarious and will make you want to turn the page till you’ve finished the stories.

Apurv Nagpal with the women writers from Mumbai and Pune at the book launch event here in Mumbai.
    Apurv Nagpal with the writers from Mumbai and Pune at the book launch event in Mumbai

Finding a support system in their families, these women writers couldn’t feel luckier. The witty Asha Aggarwal, one of the writers, tells SheThePeople.TV, “My in-laws were excited for me. They just asked me to go ahead and take up this project.” A bold topic like this did not stop these women from experimenting and their husbands, kids, families all came together to appreciate the art of story-telling.

Manali Bagawade, the youngest writer tells me that her fiancé has been extremely supportive of her decision to write a story in this mixed genre of sex and humour.

An evening of laughter and pun intended jokes, with some brilliant women who had the courage to write and share a story from their figment of imagination. The book is not published by any publishing house, to which Apurv adds, “We are trying to change the old ways of publishing.”