My kids stimulate me more than anyone else

Updated: Mar 24 2004, 05:30am hrs
Celebrity columnist Shobhaa De says she pretty much writes like a maniac all day long. The only time she takes a break is when she takes her meals and has to sleep. Besides meeting deadlines for her regular columns, Shobhaa is also penning two novels and some television serials these days. This one-time top model is also a consulting editor with Penguin where, she says its raining manuscriptsshe reads 10 a week. Other than following her passion for writing, Shobhaa doesnt like doing any of those fancy things like Vipasana or scuba diving, unless it is with one of her six children.

Best time out from writing: I love hanging with the kids. My children are between the ages of 15 and 30, each with their own endearing qualities and quirks. For me, there is no time that is more interesting than being with my kidsbeing a part of their lives and following their interests. I dont think I find anyone elses company as stimulating as that of any one of my kids.

Bonding time: There isnt an office that I go to. I write at my dining table. In fact if I could, I would carry my dining table with me wherever I go. So my children are always around. It isnt as if I stop writing o spend time with them. They walk in, we talk and I write. Its a kind of a discipline that you write and yet be attentive to what your children are saying or doing.

Windows to the world: Whether it is a turn of phrase that my 15-year-old daughter Anandita uses or sharing the joy of my 26-year-old daughter, Avantikas discovery of Milan Kunderas writing, for me its all a learning experience. I get to see the world through their eyes, through their understanding. My eldest child writes to me about his highs in copywriting. I didnt know anything much about sculpture until my daughter Radhika went to study it in Baroda. And if 18-year-old Arundhati hadnt introduced me to her kind of music and dance, I wouldnt know how to pronounce the names of many DJs or experienced a full-moon rave in Thailand.

The equation: Im not their buddy, but I love being a part of my childrens world, with all their ups and downs.