India Se continues to hold its own in a difficult market like Singapore where the media is dominated by government monopolies and only 10 per cent is left to other players, said India Se Media Managing Director Shobha Tsering Bhalla. “India Se is more than a magazine,” she said. “We have a digital presence, an e-magazine, a website. We cater to the needs of the Indian community.”
She was speaking at a party organised by India Se Media to launch writer Seema Punwani’s debut novel, Cross Connection, at the Art House in Singapore on Tuesday (March 12). India Se Media has a tradition of organising literary salons and the annual Asian Women Writer’s Festival.
Seema Punwani said she wrote her novel about second chances — “second chances at life” — with women in mind. The story is an NRI romance, largely set in Singapore and India. It is the story of Sama, who finds herself single again in her mid-30s, and Zehn, the man she loves, whose marriage also breaks up, and their passionate love affair. What makes it interesting is the love story is told both from the perspective of the man and the woman. Sama and Zehn are both narrators in this novel, telling the story from their point of view. Initially inspired by events in her own life, Punwani wrote the novel as “a fresh take on modern-day romance”, which gradually took on a life of its own.
Punwani said she used to blog and was told she could be really funny as a writer. She was encouraged as she wrote her novel by friends who read the work in progress and liked it. An MBA working as a marketing consultant, she is doing her Master’s in Creative Writing with LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore and writing her second novel. It is about five students from an international school in Singapore and their later life.