The Sunday Leader

The Life’s Library Of Kinita Shenoy

By Tia Goonaratna

The gorgeous Kinita Shenoy is a myriad of interests, talents and quirks that can keep you on your toes in every conversation with her.  Coming from an Indian background, she studied in Sri Lanka at the British School in Colombo and then finished her BA in Journalism and Communication in India and Germany.  She attended Cardiff Metropolitan University to complete her Masters in Business Administration and is now in the process of following a few Masters/PhD courses in Political and Developmental Economy as a recipient of an EU Bridging Award along with research in the field. Since leaving school, she also volunteered with special needs children whenever she was in Sri Lanka for a break from university or after her workday as a financial and leisure writer and reviewer.

Now that we have established Kinita is a prodigal daughter, we can introduce you to the other side of the petite, crazy haired girl who likes inventing stories about strangers on the metro, smelling old books and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a glass of wine wrapped up in a big comfortable duvet. Living in Italy, however, has yet to cater to the taste buds of wine tasting as she explains one of her past times as pretending I know how to pair wine with my meals

Along with her love for reading, sketching, dancing and big, fluffy, unruly dogs, she spends a lot of time travelling. ‘It feels like we did a trade-off, like a little bit of the city is always in me now – a phrase, a drink, a painting that will sort of affect who I am, and I left a bit of me in there, talking to locals, walking down the street, petting dogs, dropping my ice-cream on the sidewalk’, and just like that she finds solace in exploring new cities and wilderness’ all by herself.

Kinita spent last year backpacking across the United States, which included hikes to the Havasupai Falls, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, and a few months exploring Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. She also marked off important dates in the Calendar with a memorable checklist of spending Oktoberfest in Munich, Christmas in Vienna and Carnival in Venice.

With the world under her feet, imparting experiences in her personality, a quirky humour to balance her genius and an angel’s face, Kinita’s external elegance and inner beauty compliments each other without a fight.

Q: The book that makes the world disappear around you?
A: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s a testament to the incredible intrinsic oddity of the human condition, and the lifelong horror of true love. Also its home to the great quote, “this soup tastes like windows”.

Q: The book you want to be made into a movie?
A: A collection of Roald Dahl’s adult fiction like Tales of the Unexpected as a TV series, or My Uncle Oswald as a movie. Partly because Dahl was a brilliant writer, whose prolific wit extended beyond his children’s’ fiction, and partly because he is just laugh out loud, rib-achingly funny without ever lowering his expectations of his audience’s intelligence.

Q: Favourite quote from a book and why?
A: “I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window, like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment she had a dream that rhymed with mine.” From a collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems. When something’s your favourite, you don’t have to explain why (like your first old soft toy with all its stuffing leaking out).

Q: If you could be any character out of a book, who would you be?
A: Clovis Sangrail from a few of H. H. Munro’s (Saki) stories. He’s an acerbic, superbly witty young man who is essentially a sleek, highly cultured version of Pan. He lives for frolics and mischief and manages to traipse through life enjoying good literature and the opera and leaving a trail of confusion and mayhem behind him. Who wouldn’t want that?

Q: Book you are currently reading and what else is on the list?
A: I’m currently reading Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, the last of his books that I haven’t read so I’ve drawn it out for months because I’d hate not having any new Rushdie material to anticipate.
Tolkein’s Unfinished Tales and Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being are next!

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