In a world where left and right swipes dictate one’s love life the word ‘love’ has surely gotten everyone baffled even more.
And when writer Aastha Atray Banan found herself being questioned about the daily struggles of love, she decided to build a guide for everyone, which was the genesis of her latest book The L-Word. Aastha’s book is about modern love: from ghosting, polyamory, love in the times of social media to more everyday problems such as dealing with heartbreak, infidelity and getting out of toxic relationships. Through the book, the writer has tried to explain various facets of love.
When asked about what inspired her to write the book, Aastha simply says, “Love and how it’s so misunderstood.” Then, she elaborates, “I get so many messages from young people going through a lot of pain because they don’t understand why this is happening to them—why is loving someone so hard? So, I wanted to make things easier for everyone. Even the book’s title tells the same story. It’s basically about everything the L word denotes—love, lust, life, etc. It’s trying to understand everything that a relationship throws up. I just wanted to give good solid advice that people would take as it would seem doable and relatable. All said and done, I also want readers to know that, first and foremost, the book is about loving oneself.”
Self-love brings no heartbreak
On a personal level, Aastha finds it most intriguing that when you love someone, logic goes out of the window!
“How can we, and do we, love other people more than we do ourselves? Love makes us selfless beyond belief,” wonders Aastha for whom 2020 and what’s yet unravelled of 2021 have been all about change. “I know now that we all have to love ourselves, re-imagining what is important to us.”
Interestingly, the most common love- and relationship-related question she says she’s come across is how to move on after a heartbreak. “We as human beings get stuck and can’t let go. The hardest thing we ever do is to give up on someone and move on,” she remarks.
A little about her
Aastha was a journalist before she became a published author, after which she became a podcaster whose fourth season of the podcast Love Aaj Kal will be live soon.
Despite donning multiple hats (and successfully) at the end of the day the author, however, simply considers herself a writer. “I am a writer. I love words. Everything stems from that. The podcast, the books, the songs… everything comes from my love for words, and my love for love, of course,” says Aastha, who in her free time, loves to read melancholic, surreal, fantasy and motivational books. Haruki Murakami is her favourite writer.
When asked about her advice to budding writers and podcasters, she emphasises on authenticity. “Do what you are most passionate about. If you are excited about knitting, then do a podcast about it. But be authentic. Don't be someone else,” says the author and podcaster who will soon be live with her first Hindi original song.