This book took a long time to write, for I was conscious of the fact that I did not want to write anything similar to my debut novel The Sari Shop,” said author Rupa Bajwa as she shared the journey of her new novel, Tell Me A Story with readers at The Browser bookstore and library on Friday evening. Bajwa’s debut novel The Sari Shop was published in 2004, saw critical acclaim and went on to win many awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and Sahitya Akademi Award for Best English Fiction (India). “I was 27 when I wrote that, and it has taken me eight years to pen the second, for writing is a serious business. The motive to write is to do good work, the end result does not matter,” remarked Bajwa. Tell Me a Story is set in Amritsar and New Delhi and is the story of Rani, a young woman in urban India. Rani enjoys her work in a local beauty parlour, loves telling bedtime stories to her little nephew, and is blissfully in love with Shah Rukh Khan. But her naturally, happy disposition is marred by the real world. Her lower middle-class family lives in a state of constant struggle to make ends meet, to hang on to their dreams and to keep their fragile lives from collapsing. “As their financial troubles escalate, emotions run high and Rani’s stories dry up. And here begins Rani’s solitary journey of love and loss,” said Bajwa while addressing the gathering. Published by Picador India, Tell Me A Story (Rs 399) reminds us of how tenuous are the connections which bind us to our illusory lives.