Sunday, October 09, 2005

An Engineer turned writer! - Meet Amulya Malladi

Serving crazy with curry!
The Mango Season!
A Breath of Fresh Air!
Song of the Cuckoo Bird!

These are the few of a books written by an alumni of KV Picket. Meet Amulya Malladi,who has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism.Born and raised in India, she lived in the United States for several years before moving to Denmark along with her husband.
The Picket Blog team contacted her and got an exclusive interview of this writer.Read on !

Could you please tell us something about yourself, your childhood days and places where you have done your schooling?

Since my father was in the army we moved around a lot. I went to school in all sorts of places, Jorhat, Pouri (a small village in Himachal Pradesh), Madras, Bhopal, Baroda, Udhampur and Secunderabad.
I think the most vivid time for me while I was growing up was in Pouri. I was quite lonely as my older sister was in a boarding school in Madras but I still remember how beautiful the Himalayas were.

For how many years were you in Picket and for which all grades.?

I was in KV Picket for four years (1987-91) from 9th class through 12th.

Do you remember how the school looked then? Was there the Tarbund, Old and the New block?
Yes, Tarbund was there and the old and new block as well.

Do you have any pictures of your school or class of those times? Can you please share them with us?
Probably somewhere in old albums…I’m in the middle of a move right now so when things settle down I will look for them.

Can you name a few teachers whom you remember?
Well, from the 9th and 10th class I remember no one; probably senility setting in.But there was Kala Madam, I think she taught chemistry in the old block. She never taught me and I got to know her when I was in the 11th class. She was very supportive of me and was always there when I wanted/needed to talk to someone about problems. In 11th and 12th I remember a few teachers...and the Physical education teacher (the one with glasses,don't remember his name).He was a good guy.Of course, Seethamani, who taught biology. She was very good. And then there was Baljeet Kaur.She never taught me but I remember her best amongst all the teachers. She was so very articulate and always warned me to not let my temper get the best of me.

Which were the subjects you liked the most?
I used to think I liked biology best; but now I wonder how much of it was about ease. Biology came the easiest to me and math was the hardest.! Of course, as I grew up and went to graduate school in the US, I realized that I enjoyed Mass Communication Law best. I didn’t do anything about it but I was fascinated with all the precedents and the cases.

Any funny incident that happened to you during school?
Lord, I wish I could remember all by myself. I think this is the kind of stuff that comes out when you’re sitting in a group reminiscing. Now when I look back it all seems a little hazy and in many ways clinical, divided in years.

What did you do after your XIIth? From where did you graduate?
I went to CBIT to do a bachelors in engineering and then I moved to the US with the intention of doing a masters in biomedical engineering. But since I was never much of an engineer I decided to change majors and do what I have always loved to do…write. I did a masters in journalism at the University of Memphis.

When did you move to a US, DenmarK? And how has the experience been .?
I moved to the US right after my engineering in 1995. I absolutely loved the United States. I moved to Memphis first and I enjoyed going to school very much. I never realized school could be so much fun. After that I worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for a while and then moved to Salt Lake City for a few months. In between there was a short 6-month stint in London and then back to Silicon Valley.My husband (who is Danish and who I met in Memphis) and I had our first child in 2001 and after that we decided to move to Europe. We’ve been in Denmark since 2002. We are living on a small island called Mors in Northern Denmark but are moving to Copenhagen next week.

Tell us something more about ur family. ?
My husband, Søren Rasmussen, is head of marketing at a Danish company. I have two sons: Tobias is 4 and Isaiah just turned one.I have an older sister who lives in LA and works for a pharmaceutical company. My parents also live in the US in Fremont, California. My father works for Oracle.

What is your current profession? How did you get into it?
I am a writer!! I have written four novels, which have been published by The Random House Publishing Group in the United States, Penguin India in India, Piatkus in the UK and the Commonwealth. My books have been/are going to be translated into Dutch, German, Korean and Spanish.How did I get into it? Well, I read a lot and wrote a lot and collected a lot of reject letters before finding a literary agent who sold my book to Random House.I also work for a company called Rezidor SAS Hospitality in Copenhagen as a content editor. The company runs Radisson SAS, Park Inn and Country Inn hotels. I just started working there this January after realizing that I couldn’t write books fulltime and needed something that got me out of the house. Working here has been great! I have never worked with people from so many nationalities before and I am learning a lot about Europe and of course, about the hotel industry.

Would you be willing to guide any enthusiastic Picketians who wish to pursue a similar profession as your?
I will be happy to!

What do you think was the biggest learning/lesson you learnt studying in Picket?
There should have been something, right? But I can’t place it right now. I fell most life lessons were learnt by me later in life, after I left my parents’ home in India.

Did you have crushes on any one back then?
Oh god, yes! Too many to count! There was some Das guy when I was in 9th class. I can’t remember his name now…says so much about the longevity of the crush. Then there was the first boyfriend…that isn’t a crush, right? There were one-day crushes and half-hour crushes and three-week crushes and year-long crushes…hard to keep track now from this distance of years.

Had you been in India and in Secunderabad, would you have sent your children to KV Picket? Why or why not?
I have sadly not been to India since I left almost 10 years ago. But I plan to soon. My husband has never been and I want my children to see it as well. Maybe once Isaiah is a little older and can understand what he’s seeing.

Do you think if there is anything that the school desperately needs?
I am simply not qualified to answer this question.

Will you be there for the Picket reunion?
Probably not. My fourth book, Song of the Cuckoo Bird comes out on 27 Dec 2005 and then there’s the whole Christmas hoopla as well. So if we’re going anywhere it will be to the US for some publicity, otherwise we’ll stay put and open presents and do the Christmas thing.

Is there anything more that you would like to add?
I am glad to see someone is working so hard on bringing the alumni together. Thanks a lot for sending this interview over and I hope I catch up with some old friends through it.Athar Aslam, from my batch has been very proactive and fabulous at collecting people from our batch in a Yahoo! Group. We share emails and it’s interesting that we’re getting married around the same time, having babies about the same time, moving countries, working in different fields…. It’s good to keep in touch!

Oh and if anyone I know from the Picket days is coming to Copenhagen…give me a holler, my email address is; and for those who want to know about my books, please check out my website at


At 1:46 PM, Blogger Salil Kader said...

It feels really good to see a celebrated author amongst us ex-Picketians. It was quite a revelation when a few years back a friend told me about Amulya's success as an author. I wish her all the best for her latest work to be released in December 2005.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Amulya from school. Its great to know about herself and her work. I wish her all the best. This seems just the tip of the iceberg of the achievements of Picketians.

Maheep Singh Thapar

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Picketian said...

Itz time I read the books and recommend everyone about it.After all, itz written by my school senior.:)

-Biswajit Das

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Krishna R.A. said...

Wonderful to have a well known novelist from the Alma Mater! Maybe like Kumar said it is the Vastu of the place. All the best Amulya. May your new novel top the best seller list and all the best to your family too.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger ruchika said...

can any one forward me amulya's email id. I am one of her classmates who studied with her in class nime. We were four good friends - Ronika, Anu, Amulya and Ruchika (that is me)- who lost all contact with each other when i moved out in class 10.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger ruchika said...

if any body had amulyas's emil id, please pass on the same to

At 1:21 PM, Blogger vani said...

Hai amulya i was your batchmate in 10th as we were in 10 e section . I am happy to know that amulya you have a great word power within you. Your best freind was anu. As i my hobbies are writing poems and i really like the people who are good in literature and creative at work.
any way nice to know good things about you...

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Akbar said...

Hi A Akbar Aleem - Good to know good about people .

At 11:15 PM, Blogger ^^*I);VY@*^^ ' S said...

Absolutely! I miss my Picket days.. (1976 batch --Dr.Mohan Krishna now in Goa 0992346999)

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi is great to read about u.we were in d same class 9th &10th.i like your kids d way i was arpana gnanabharanam then.i hope d best for u .God bless you.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger kota said...

Amulya its great to see this. I was your classmate in 12th c. Hope u remember me, anyhow if u c this get in touch on my mail



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