Stories can be told in many ways – through books, through songs and poetry, through films, through art. Singer and songwriter Anmol Malik epitomises this fact. The 25-year-old has just debuted as an author with Three Impossible Wishes, a light campus romance.
“Creativity has no boundaries, and I love to create music, stories and universes,” says Anmol. “Even when I write music, I try to tell a story; lyrics have always been my first attraction to any song, because they feel like a hidden reward just waiting to be discovered.”
“There’s something very calming about opening a book, turning the pages and just dissolving into the story”
The daughter of musician Anu Malik, Anmol always wanted to be a writer. “I’ve studied and worked diligently towards it all my life,” says Anmol, who studied creative writing at the University of Warwick, England.
Music is just as important for her, however. “For me, music and writing go hand in hand. One can’t exist without the other because all writing tends to have a rhythm,” she explains. “And all music paints a story. So I’ve always been dreaming up stories and singing songs.”
Scene and heard
Anmol worked at Leo Burnett and UTV-Disney before going on to lead the script department at Yash Raj Films. The idea for Three Impossible Wishes struck her when an image suddenly stuck in her mind – a quaint little pub, and a boy and a girl walking together in the silence of the night.
“I could feel the cold and hear the crunch of the snow beneath their feet,” says Anmol. “I could hear their conversation and all I did was note it down. So you could say I started in the middle of the book and the story wrapped itself in layers around this one scene. This chapter is called Whiskey On Ice – I titled all my chapters with the food and drink that play an important part in each section.”
Anmol’s debut book has earned praise from Ayushmann Khurrana, among others
When she noted down that image, Anmol did not imagine that she was writing a book. “I write to make myself happy,” she explains. “So that when I read the words on paper, they make me smile. I loved writing Three Impossible Wishes. It’s a movie in a book! If Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill and Mean Girls made you smile, I hope my book does the same. The first draft was ready in four months. Then fine tuning and editing took around a year, but I honestly enjoyed the whole process and was so heavily invested in it that I didn’t notice where the time went.”
We are the world
Anmol’s inspiration comes from the world around her – events, movies, books, conversations, colours, the traffic, weather changes. “It all sort of boils together, like ingredients in some mad recipe,” she laughs. “I’ve always been dreaming up stories and singing songs. But there’s a discipline to it. I’m at my desk every day, writing.”
Anmol, with her dad and famous musician Anu Malik has lent her voice to Bollywood tracks
She isn’t concerned about the millennials’ reputation of being too easily distracted to read a book. “I think everyone wants to escape a little,” she says. “And books, movies, music, art, all have the power to do that. It’s magic. There’s something very calming about opening a book, turning the pages and just dissolving into the story.”
Her favourite books are by Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams, and she also loves a ton of classics. “Though comfort reads are always J K Rowling, Enid Blyton, Herge, and Eoin Colfer,” she adds.
Neither Anmol’s family nor her friends knew anything about her book till the day the e-edition released. “I didn’t believe it could happen myself, so I just didn’t tell anyone,” laughs Anmol.
But then actor and poet like Ayushmann Khurrana praised the book, calling it “Totally cheeky, completely hilarious and endlessly charming!” And now Anmol has little reason to doubt her writing skills. “I can’t thank Ayushmann for being as large-hearted as he is talented!” she says fervently. “He is one of the brightest stars in the galaxy. And I really hope people give the book a chance. It’s a fun, breezy read meant to feel as heartwarming as fresh-from-the-oven chocolate-chip cookies.”
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From HT Brunch, May 24, 2020
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