Ashwini Gangal

Recovering journalist.

After completing a rigorous masters degree in clinical psychology, I switched fields completely and worked as a media journalist at afaqs, India's most trusted b2b dot com, for 12 years. My beat was advertising-and-marketing. Which means, I made a career out of interviewing people who made advertisements. A big part of the job was analyzing brand strategy.

At afaqs, I learnt the art of taking in-depth interviews (in closed rooms, moving vehicles, on stage, across screens), business writing, feature writing, soft profiling, news reporting, copy editing, website management, print magazine production and team leadership/people management. Here, I also learnt how to put events together for a live audience. That said, what I really learnt here is the meaning of the words professionalism and work ethic.

My last held designation at this publication was managing editor. In mid-2022, I moved on from afaqs, to pursue my passion - poetry, fiction writing, academia and scholarship. Currently, I am enjoying this creatively energising sabbatical, as I nurse my neuroses, eat through my savings and try not to go completely mad.

Literary magazines that have published by fiction and poetry include Lit.202, Danse Macabre, Piker Press, The Aleph Review, Papers Publishing, Vocivia Magazine, San Antonio Review, Cowboy Jamboree Magazine, Zooanthology, Sad Goose Cooperative, ZVONA i NARI, The Bangalore Review, India Currents, Penumbra Literary and Art Journal, The Unconventional Courier, Story Mirror, Wind-up Mice, Paragraph Planet, The Hooghly Review, One Art: Journal of Poetry, āraśi, Oranges Journal, Sein und Werden, Tap into Poetry, Iceblink Creative Writing Magazine, Six Word Memoirs, and Write City Magazine (Chicago Writers Association), among others.

I am an insatiable reader. To sound intelligent I sometimes make intense eye contact with people over the rim of my wine glass and tell them I love reading Dostoevsky and Nietzsche (I've mastered the first; still working on the pronunciation of the latter), but authors I actually enjoy are Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, Jhumpa Lahiri, JK Rowling, George RR Martin, Donna Tartt, Salman Rushdie, Oliver Sacks, Kay Redfield Jamison, Yuval Noah Harari, Gabriel García Márquez, Simon Schama.... and oh, I'm very taken by the Paris Review Interviews. 

I've been maintaining a list of all the books I've ever read. Sometimes, I wake up at 3 am in a fit of urgency to update it, before going back to sleep. The list is not available on the internet as of now but a part of my brain is trying to decide what to do with it. Most likely, nothing.

My favourite movies are Aamis (Assamese) and Devrai (Marathi), but that doesn't mean I can watch them over and over again. 

I live in a sleepless time zone at the intersection of Mumbai, Hong Kong and San Francisco.