Meet Ranveer Singh's wife!

Can you guess who’s romance writer Nikita Singh’s ‘hubby’? Ranveer Singh! 

  • Published 23.04.16
Nikita Singh at Starmark South City. (Rashbehari Das)

She may be studying for an MFA in creative writing at The New School, New York, but Nikita Singh is already a bestselling author. In town to launch her latest book, Like A Love Song (HarperCollins India, Rs 175), the 24-year-old tells t2 about writing a book a year, her new reading habits and fangirling over cricketers and Bolly stars. #JustLikeUs

How was writing in India different from writing in New York? 
A lot, actually. Here, I used to write from my instincts, and you know, you read, you learn from whatever’s around you, the atmosphere, and you build stories from that. But when you do a course that wants to teach you how to be a better reader and a writer, they don’t really teach you, they give you books to read and conduct workshops, and I think the better you read, the better you write. I find it has changed the way I read, the way I look at books. 

My husband’s Ranveer Singh.
He’s the love of my life....
In my heart, he’s my husband
and I am very happy that way,
you understand? 

Was writing this book a part of your coursework? 
I write a book a year. After I wrote After All This Time, I’ve been thinking about a theme. You know, there are so many books about damsels in distress who need a knight in armour to save them, basically a man? But I wanted to write about a girl who can save herself and doesn’t need anyone to save her. My character, Maahi, doesn’t know that she has the strength in herself. At the end of the book, you get to see how she takes charge of her life and how much she has grown. You know, in life no matter what you’ve done, there’s this one person who will always have power over you. But you need to learn from your mistakes. So I thought about that and wrote it. 

Why is it called Like A Love Song? 
Everybody has a different definition of romance. So Maahi’s first boyfriend would give her sweet nicknames but the man she falls in love with doesn’t. It kinda bothers her, but then she realises that her name from his mouth sounds like a love song. 

So it has nothing to do with the Selena Gomez song?
(Laughs) No, no. Actually, I heard the song after this book was done and everyone asks me that question. 

Have you found your love yet?
I believe in love and romance but I don’t believe it’s for everyone. Some people find love, some don’t. I have so much work to do that I really don’t have the time. But I haven’t found him yet and I’m in no rush.

What are you reading these days?
A lot of Nabokov. I just finished Lolita. I had read it before outside syllabus and I’m reading it again as part of my semester. Nabokov is called the master of prose and I know why. Now I realise what it is to enjoy good books. 

And your favourite author?
Jhumpa Lahiri. She’s just written this book in Italian, In Other Words, and as part of my course, I’m doing my thesis on English in India. I’m an Indian author writing in English. So I derive a lot of inspiration from her. You see, nowadays nobody speaks in one language. There’s always a combination of at least two or more.... 

Any new book in mind?
Yes. I’m writing one that tells us about Laila. In Like A Love Song, Laila is kind of a mystery. Nothing much is said about her... so I want to tell her story. The book will also feature Maahi but it won’t be a sequel.

You are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Which do you enjoy using the most?
I like Insta the best (@singh_nikita). It’s easier to connect on a visual level. Twitter is a very responsive medium. I love to interact with people. So I conduct these Sunday chats with my fans and we discuss a lot of things. We have topics for every chat and they are usually related to emotions and problems, like how to deal with stress. I gather a lot of ideas from these chats and you know, somehow I end up using this or that in my books. Not consciously though.

You’ve co-authored a few books with Durjoy Datta and you’ve written on your own too. Which do you prefer?
Working with Durjoy was fun because our thoughts were aligned. Both of us used to work with Grapevine (publishers) and we got along well. But we used to fight A LOT. In fact, once we had decided to not talk for a week, and after that we again got back to writing. But now our lives are different and we have grown as authors. There’s a lot that has changed. I’m not flexible as an author anymore, I don’t want my ideas to be bypassed by someone else. 

Hardik Pandya: 
Nikita’s latest crush 
in the cricket world

Are you and Durjoy in touch?
Oh yes, of course we are. But I couldn’t meet him as part of this trip because Mumbai’s not on the list. But I just met Ravinder (Singh) yesterday. It was great catching up.

How does it feel to be one of the very few bestselling female authors of romance in India? 
It’s true, this genre is kind of flooded with men and books that are semi-regressive. If a guy is an a**hole, it’s fine. But I don’t want people to see my books as anything like that. I don’t want my works to belong to such categories. I think my books are part-romantic, part-realistic and I want people to see them that way. 

It’s the season of IPL... are you a Virat Kohli fan like the rest of us?
I like him but I never had a thing for Virat. I like M.S. Dhoni actually, because he’s also from Ranchi. And when people come and tell me that they know only two people from Ranchi — Dhoni and myself — I feel great. I’m actually from Patna, though. But recently I’ve discovered (Hardik) Pandya (giggles) and my cousin discovered (Jasprit) Bumrah. We gush whenever we see them and discuss what it would be like to hang around with the two.

But isn’t Pandya ‘taken’?
I know and I don’t care, because my husband’s Ranveer Singh. He’s the love of my life. 

Umm, the Bollywood actor? 
Yes! (Giggles) One of my friends knows him and he asked me, ‘You do know that he’s very happy in his relationship, right?’ And I was like, ‘But in my heart, he’s my husband and I am very happy that way, you understand? Why would you take that away from me?’

Trina Chaudhuri
In your heart, do you have a husband/wife like Nikita does?