Saturday, June 11, 2016

Inspirations - An audio interview with Anu Hasan, author of “Sunny Side Up”

Note: Usually my "Inspirations" write-ups are essays about the subjects of my inspiration.  This one is a little different - it is a Skype audio interview.  Please read on for a bit of context before you get to the audio link below.

Early Morning Sunshine

At 5:28 am this Sunday, two minutes before the start of our scheduled Skype call, I texted Anu Hasan – “Remembered your driver anecdote, which is why I didn’t call early J”  One of the hilarious anecdotes captured in her lovely, sunny book - the aptly titled “Sunny Side Up” - is one involving a driver from a production company.  Known for her amazing punctuality, Anu had had a tough time repeatedly giving this driver instructions that he had to pick her up at 7:45 am.  7:45 am! NOT 7:25 am, certainly not 7:55 am!  This was fresh on my mind ever since she committed to a call at 11:30 am UK time on Sunday (5:30 am in Chicago, where I had traveled to for a conference.)  Let’s rewind to a couple of months back…

The moment I finished reading “Sunny Side Up,” I instantly knew that it was the third non-fiction book, after Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and Sheena Iyengar’s “The Art of Choosing”, that made me hold a mirror to myself and look intently.  In my opinion, when a piece of literature does something to you, you thank the author.  And, thank them properly.  I wanted to go a step further.  I wanted to understand deeper why I was feeling certain changes in myself.  I had shared my  review with her on Twitter, which she responded to, very kindly.  And, when my wife suggested that I request her for an interview, I did.  And, much to my joy, she promptly agreed.  

Thank you, Anu, for your time.  And, for all the 'sunshine' 

Here's the link to a youtube playlist that contains the audio of our conversation.  Below the link, I have included the list of files in the playlist in case you want to pick and choose topics.  Below are also a couple of quick references (to things in the conversation) for those that may not be familiar with her book or her recent interviews.  Take a look at these before listening to the audio so that you can follow along. 

Jacob – One of the unforgettable chapters in the book is the one on her friends, one of whom was Jacob, who passed away very young (in an unfortunate accident).  She outlines a checkered yet fascinating relationship that came to an abrupt end owing to a cruel quirk of fate. 

The BITS Pilani Advice  – Anu Hasan’s father gave her a terrific piece of advice when she called him from BITS Pilani during her first year.  She admits to venting her frustrations only to be asked by her Dad, “Why do you think I sent you there?”  When she innocently responded, “…to study,” he told her, “No, I sent you there to learn about life.  You just did.”

List of Audio Files in the Playlist:
  1. Introduction and about "Sunny Side Up."
  2. Writing Non-Fiction - Cathartic or Difficult?
  3. The Inner Voice called 'Rationale'
  4. The 'Triggers' of Temper
  5. Dealing with People that wear a Mask of Smugness
  6. Fitness - A journey to be enjoyed
  7. Essaying a Role Effectively
  8. Balancing Creativity and Efficiency
Links to Anu’s Youtube channel and Facebook page:


Zola said...

Ram Murali : This HAS to be a FIRST ! The FIRST Audio Book review…
Its been a long long time since I watched “Koffee with Anu”. In my opinion she was far and away the best anchor the show had purely due to (using her words  ) – for want of a better word – her maturity.

But this is better because you’ve managed to draw out the person who draws people out – AND her infectious laugh. Its nice to hear Sunny Side up on a “Sun”day morning.
We’re assaulted so much visually nowadays that in line with what her book is about, the audio format you’ve chosen works much better since its so much better to close one’s eyes and listen without hindrance. The resurgence of the radio if you will.
Great going !

Nandini said...

Thank you Ram for the wonderful interview with Anu Hasan. I completely enjoyed listening to her responses esp how she reacted to someone in her workplace who tried to put her down. Great questions too, Ram.

Anusha said...

That's a lot of effort! Is this something you do often? I listened to your conversation with Director Suresh Krishna too. How do you get over feeling self-conscious? Or the doubt that what you have to ask them might not be important enough? (Now I'm just projecting my own concerns, haha.)

Ram Murali said...

Ravishanker, Nandu and Anusha - thank you all for your kind comments. I am glad that you enjoyed it.

Lion's share of the credit for how this has come out goes to Anu Hasan, undoubtedly.

Anusha - to answer your question, I honestly have never been self-conscious when talking to the subjects of my inspiration because my intent is to (1) express my admiration for their work and (2) gain deeper insights through a dialogue.

Thank you, once again for listening / reading.

Unknown said...

Loved the interview. She is awesome in that she was seriously asking you about your experiences as well on handling stress etc. I think that is the anchor in her that allows other people to talk unlike some other anchors of today.
Very interesting on the triggers. I want to listen again and formulate a plan myself.

Anupama kumar said...

Fantastic! I m getting myself a copy today! Totally enjoyed the interview, ram ☺
Anupama kumar

Ram Murali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ram Murali said...

Thank you very much, Anu, for listening and commenting. I am sure you will enjoy the book. Thanks, once again.

Janet said...

Hi Ram
I read all your blog posts sometime last month and read sunny side up after reading your review. Now glad to listen to this audio interview .Good work !

Ram Murali said...

Janet - thank you so much for your kind comment. I am delighted to know that you read "Sunny Side Up." The book has made a tremendous impact on me. And, I am glad to know others are reading it. Thanks, once again, for commenting.