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    Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush on her memoir, new projects and more.

    The excitement is palpable in the lobby of Vivanta by Taj. PR professionals and photographers scampering around to find the right spot, while the hotel manager ensures the bouquet of flowers is ready for her welcome. Well, if you are a celebrity child, more importantly, thalaiva Rajinikanth’s daughter, this is the usual drill, is what we assume. But trust Bengaluru’s traffic to be a spoiler. Even a stickler for time (that’s what we are told) Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush is late by an hour for the interview on her debut book Standing On an Apple Box which she launched at the Bengaluru Lit Fest earlier this month.

    After the long wait, she arrives, dressed in a long black gown, walking gingerly. “I wish I had worn my usual jeans,” we overhear her whispering to her representative from Harper Collins — the publishers. Her book, written like a personal diary about her life as a celebrity child, a mother, a sister and a wife, is an easy-breezy read, we say, from first hand experience. It throws light on certain unknown, vivid details from the superstar’s household. “This book just happened, it wasn’t planned,” starts Aishwaryaa, adding, “I thought of blogging first, but I am not very tech-savvy, in fact, I don’t even change my phone or laptop. So the idea of formatting the text and uploading was definitely not happening.” But she went ahead and wrote a piece and showed it to a few friends in her production house. They encouraged her to approach publishers and her first draft was immediately approved. “That was very encouraging,” she admits.

    Little-known facts
    It’s interesting to observe how she has managed to string starkly different chapters into one book that gives a deeper glimpse into her life. “I had to dig deep to remember all these episodes but this is how I wanted it to be — more like a personal diary,” she says. While her family read the book and was nostalgic reminiscing the past, her actor husband Dhanush was taken aback. “My parents were aware of my writing, but Dhanush was happily surprised to see that I have actually penned a 180-page book.” In one of the chapters, Aishwaryaa acknowledges her fear of darkness and how she keeps a tiny bedside lamp on in her room, she agrees and tells us, “I am afraid of the dark and I just cannot watch horror films. That’s one thing that my husband complains about because he can’t watch such films at home.”
    With her debut book doing well, Aishwaryaa is now busy completing the first film of her documentary trilogy. Titled Cinema Veeram, the 60-minute film reveals the lives of stuntmen in India. Apart from this, she is busy completing a script for her next film that goes into production in March 2017 and with her duties as the UN advocate for gender equality. Rs 399. Available on amazon.in
    — Ayesha Tabassum

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