I started a second novel seven times and I had to throw them away. You know, 100 pages here, 200 pages there, and I’d say, “Is this what they liked in The Joy Luck Club? Is this the style, is this the story? No, I must write something completely different. I must write no Chinese characters to prove that I’m multi-talented.” Or “No, I must write this way in a very erudite way to show I have a way to use big words.” It’s both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success. It took me a long time to get over that, and just finally being able to breathe again and say, “What’s important? Why are you a writer? Why did you write that book in the first place? What did you learn? What did you discover? What was the most rewarding part of that?” Don’t think of what’s going to happen afterwards. If it’s a failure, will you think what you wrote was a failure, that the whole time was wasted? If it’s a success, will you think the words are more valuable? That crisis helped me to define what was important for me. It started off with family. It started off with knowing myself, with knowing the things I wanted as a constant in my life: trust, love, kindness, a sense of appreciation, gratitude. I didn’t want to become cynical. I didn’t want to become a suspicious person. Those were the things that helped me decide what I was going to write.
"We hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi will now take up the issue of declaration of Maulana Masood Azhar as an international terrorist since Jaish-e-Mohammed, to whom he is affiliated, has now been declared a terrorist organisation by BRICS nations." On Modi's statement at BRICS Summit that the country was in a "mission mode" to eradicate poverty and ensure health, sanitation, gender equality etc., Surjewala said: "Modiji needs to travel from rhetoric to reality." "There is a difference between the reality and rhetoric of the Prime Minister. It is time for him to walk the talk," he added.