At 75, Shobhaa Dé Follows Her Own Approach To Staying Relevant

Novelist and columnist Shobhaa Dé, in yet another conversation with SheThePeople, talks about what relevance means to her in this day and age.

Nikita Gupta
11 Aug 2023 Updated On Aug 26, 2023 17:14 IST
Novelist and columnist Shobhaa Dé, in yet another conversation with SheThePeople, talks about staying relevant and retirement. She explains the R-word, what it means to her, and how she is dealing with the pressures of it.

The R-Word

The renowned columnist, who is out with her memoir Insatiable, says, "Retirement is not very pleasant. The idea of staying relevant itself generates stress. You just have to be open and receptive to newness, new experiences, choose what interests you, and then get to know more about it to stay relevant."


Giving an example from her life, Dé said that AI has caught her interest. "Kerala's popular actor, Mohanlal did the Godfather series on Instagram which was entirely AI-generated, which made me wonder that those actors, even of his calibre, may be out of work."

Younger Generation And Different Interests

The novelist further in the conversation explains how what may interest her daughters may not be relevant to her and the idea and interests will always vary with generations. Dé said that "I am deeply interested that Madonna is in ICU. And that came to me on a news feed and one of my children explained to me that the reason I'm interested in the news is that I'm a degraded mother of birth and I hope Madonna pulls through."


While clarifying that her children might be interested in something about Kim Kardashian, she is not, Dé said, "If that makes me irrelevant, so be it. There's so much I can invest in a very successful lady, which has made fortune for herself, by being extraordinarily bright and ambitious. She's a phenomenon of our time and among the most influential people. You choose what you want to be invested in, in the present and what you find best."

According to Dé, it's not just staying relevant with the times, it's also about being relevant in the head with how we approach things. It's about how we adapt to the changing times. The writer concluding said, "In our world today, the level of adoption expected out of every individual is skyrocketing. Every day we have to learn new things. You've got to be a voracious learner and you can't depend on somebody else."

Suggested Reading: 'Insatiable' Shobhaa Dé; On Her Book & What It Means To Have Choice

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