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Ahmed Faiyaz, Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers and a prolific writer with a deep insight to relationships, as they exist today in the urban cities, shares his thoughts and views with BookChums.   Beginning with the mundane/clichéd question: When, where and how did the writing bug bite? I’m not sure actually, to be honest. I guess being a voracious reader (as I am) is what pushed me towards writing in the first place. Back when I was 10 years o...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  An economics graduate from Wellesley College Massachusetts with an MBA from Columbia Business School, Ira Trivedi is the personification of beauty and brains. After having interacted with her during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, we were more than eager to interview her and know about her experiences of being an author, a model and about her internship at JP Morgan. This is what she shared with us.    What made you participate in the Mis...
Post by: Sonia Safri
We live in an interesting era. New-age Indian authors are on the rise. The market is flooding with authors churning out English books that revolve around campus fiction, contemporary fiction, murder mysteries, local everyday drama, and the commercial story sorts. They give an almost accurate picture of society as it exists today. The real and sometimes pretentious situations; the fictionally honest thoughts; and the simply elaborate settings gel remarkably to make up for...
Post by: Sonia Safri
It all began with author of the famed The Rozabal Line reminiscing Pune as this hill station where tourists could relish the very famous Shrewsbury biscuits at Kayani Bakery. We know Pune has metamorphosed into a hep, busy city just like author Ashwin Sanghi, who after The Rozabal Line (a mythological fiction) has now picked up Chanakya's character from Indian history and intertwined another story of politics, revenge and manipulation to put together Chanakya's Chant, a ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
There is something about Aashish Mehrotra that cannot be missed. And we are not talking about the twinkle in his green eyes. Along with those mysterious, soulful peepers, the fact that he is a film writer, producer, assistant director and a short story writer, all rolled into one, will force anyone to sit up and take notice of this talented young man.   When most teenagers prefer to chill, Aashish choose to work as an Assistant Director for a TV show at the age...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Despite a college romance being released every other day, love stories today have very few takers. And this is completely justified because these stories don’t have any depth – no pain, no longing, no determination, no romance, no feeling at all. The lovers are not committed; are not passionate for each other the way lovers of a romantic flick were known to. Love stories were known to motivate people, to win their love. But the stuff being churned out now, is...
Post by: guddu
When I contacted Rohini Kejriwal, for the first time, she came across as a 20-year-old, who, like Alisha, her protagonist from her short story - Learning & Unlearning, a short story from Down The Road - was interested in Maggi parties, masti and friends. But just like Alisha’s character had a lot of depth and acute understanding of life, this girl too knows what she wants to do in life and how she could go about it. With blogging, writing short storie...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Like most first-time-writers Shrenik Mutha’s novel Broken Hearts has a strong autobiographical influence. The novel talks about love, separation, loss, happiness and romance. Dressed in a white blazer and white trousers, this suave, attractive looking guy, spills the beans as he says, “This love story has originated from my own life,” and blushes just as he was seated between his friends and was being teased about his lady love.   We seldom meet ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
BookChums got a chance to interview the versatile and prolific Chennai based freelance writer, Malathi Jaikumar, who was earlier senior sub-editor/ chief sub-editor, Indian Express, Delhi; Deputy Head Press and Public Affairs of the British High Commission (Delhi); and Communications Consultant for UNDP doing Post Tsunami advocacy work after her retirement. Receipient of the prestigious MBE award, she was also awarded the first prize in the Femina All India Short ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Nikhil Rajagopalan’s interests are very different from the degree (Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from VIT University and a Master’s degree in Bioscience - Infection and Immunity - from the University of Leeds, UK) he holds. A complete anthisesis to his academic interests, Nikhil in his spare time simply loves writing flash fiction on his blog and has been regularly posting blogs since 2008. In his posts he explores the kind of love, relationships a...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
An avid blogger, a stickler when it comes to editing copies, a dreamer who writes on love, life and everything in between and an experimental photographer. That’s Naman Saraiya for you. He loves each of these roles and hopes to reach a stage where he can say it's a perfect balance between all these. Ambitious and a multi-tasker is what we shall like to add to this long list of epithets that best describe him. The stories he contributed for Urban Shots ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
5th July, Mumbai. Landmark at Inifinity Mall was crowded as ever. But this time it was Landmark garnering most of the attention. And why not!?! Anurag Anand’s fifth novel, a fictional one, Reality Bites was launched at Landmark by eminent personalities of tinsel town – Sudhir Mishra (Director), Randeep Hooda (Actor) and reigning Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2011, Kanishtha Dhankhar.     (L to R: Randeep Hooda, Anurag Anand, Sudhir Mish...
Post by: Sonia Safri
24th July, Mumbai: So I had quite an eventful Sunday. While all of you were busy sleeping and lazying around, I was on my way to attend the book launch of Growing up In Pandupur, by authors Adithi and Chatura Rao. A bit cranky and a bit annoyed with the early morning travel, I reached Landmark at Kemp’s Corner at 11am sharp…only to find it shut! My first thought: Was I mistaken about the launch date??? But thankfully a kind lady (with a really cute k...
Post by: Sonia Safri
With the number of fiction books being released in the market, it is no surprise that people from all walks of life are trying their hand at writing stories. The purpose behind writing could be to educate, entertain, or simply narrate a tale that they feel deserves to be spoken about. But before any more writers decide to take the plunge we would like to tell you the qualities you need to make it big as a well-read writer.    Discipline: For every writer to...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We have all fallen in love when we were 17. We have all experienced the happiness, positivity that first love brings in our lives. But when the same love fades away, we have all cried, felt extreme sorrow and vacuum. But when Pune-based teenager Shrenik Mutha, fell in love with ‘his angel’ and things did not work out for them, he choose to write a novel Broken Hearts based on his diary. The book was released a couple of months ago and has been praised liber...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
I’m sure (almost) everyone can write a nice piece of fiction. But ever thought about presenting a story in less than a 1000 words? That my friend, is Flash Fiction. Yes, I know it sounds a bit…weird? But just so that you know it is one of the most sought after practices in writing fiction currently.   Writing Flash Fiction is an art. Though it has been around for quite a while, it has become popular recently with contests and enthusiasts spreading...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Why steampunk fiction: Enter the zesty and uncanny world of steampunk fiction that is a rich assimilation of alternate history, fantasy, sci-fi elements, and speculative fiction. It forms a cult of its own with a backdrop of steam power and Victorian England. It is defined by a Victorian sartorial style, architecture, and culture. It was a time when people dreamed of submarines when none existed and let alone deep-sea exploration! Therefore a touch of illustration and cr...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Reviewers claim that Chitralekha Paul’s writings are similar to Jhumpa Lahiri and Anita Desai’s treatment and writing style. The dilemmas, issues and small pleasures of the protagonist of Delayed Monsoon, Abhilasha, has given critics and reviewers enough reason to applaud this lawyer-cum-writer’s debut venture. The way in which Abhilasha and Arvind fall in love, the anticipation of meeting her beloved for the first time (she fell in love with Arvind onl...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Romance, Love, Passion. What more do you need on cold winter days as you snuggle up in bed, enjoying your vacation with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a lovely romantic book?! Sometimes I feel the characters have come alive with each line of intimacy and desire, making each romantic read an unforgettable one.  The sometimes unconventional settings, the moods and the description of the scene evoke the senses. The hero, I believe, is all out to get her lady love. ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
Continuing the list of romance novel, here are a few more to keep you engrossed this weekend!   A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux Vacationing in England with her lover, Robert, and his spoiled teenage daughter, heroine Dougless Montgomery is abandoned by them in a remote country churchyard near the tomb of Nicholas Stafford, an earl who died in 1564. Almost immediately, an armor-clad swashbuckler materializes--Nicholas himself, reincarnated in the ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
Good children’s books have wooed many adults. The story, well-etched characters, marvelous imagination have compelled many individuals to stack their classics and chick-lit right at the bottom and pick up the rich collection by revered authors like Anant Pai, RK Narayan, JK Rowling, Christopher Paolini and Ruskin Bond. Interestingly Dr Louise Joy, a Cambridge University academic, had reasoned that traditional children's tales are popular among older readers ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Rightly said, “never judge a book by its movie” stands tall and true with so many books and their weird movie versions. Here’s a list of some books that ruined the reading experience of the books.     The Time Traveler's Wife   The Time Traveler's Wife was the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
All it really takes to hook a person to a good book, is the opening line. Though they are stand alone sentences, they lure and entice (sometimes quite literally) the readers to discover more.      I recently happened to glance at the opening passage of Gary Shteyngart’s forthcoming novel, Super Sad True Love Story and it read,  “Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
Debutant author Parinda Joshi is one talented lady. Armed with a Masters in Computer Science to an MBA in marketing and working in Analytics along with being a blogger for GQ and a professional photographer, she has entered the world of fiction by penning an urban, young romance set in two very vibrant cities. Needless to say that she has been able to play all these roles with élan. BookChums caught up with this young author to know how Live From London ha...
Post by: BookChums
Rajeev Ranjan, who has been serving as an Indian Coast Guard Officer for the last 15 years one fine morning began scribbling his thoughts and ideas in a secret little notebook that lay by his bedside. Slowly he started finding this activity de stressing and he continued to write. After a gap of some days when he opened the book, to his surprise he felt that the book had some potential. After his brother seconded his opinion, Rajeev developed his work and thus was born A ...
Post by: BookChums
  21st December 2011, Pune.     As I walked in to Landmark for the book launch and reading session of Judy Balan’s debut novel - Two Fates: The Story Of My Divorce, I looked around to see if I could spot her. Amidst the crowd she easily passed off as a kid...alright a teenager! Yes, you read me right. A teenager. A young, chirpy one (and I’m tempted to add bubbly too) at that. Her smile, definitely infectious…and her book – o...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  As I walked in to the bookstore for the launch of Judy Balan’s debut novel, Two Fates: The Story of my Divorce, I was greeted with a sweet smile and a hint of a rollicking time! I managed to get Judy’s time and attention before the launch and indulged in a candid interview. On enquiring about the ideation of the story, she was quick to respond, “I happened to be in a store and noticed Drink, Play, F@ck, the parody of Elizabeth Gilbert&rsqu...
Post by: Sonia Safri
“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.” George Santayana     When Francis Fukuyama wrote The End of History and the Last Man, most people wondered about the phrase in itself: that with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it literally brought socio-cultural evolution to a standstill. Most debate on the infamous time when the iron curtain was pulled down in the rest of Eastern Europe. Yes, the Eastern Bloc was disintegrated; however his...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
The first time I met author Manasi Vaidya was at a book launch event in Pune. She happened to tell me that Penguin was releasing her romantic comedy No Deadline For Love under the Metro Reads section. As soon as I got back to office, I read her blog, I fell in love with her writing style. Her topical subjects, situations and reactions were incredibly funny. From how she ran to the loo to key in her novel or how she came across a group of daughter-in-laws who faked linger...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Not so long ago, Barbara Cartland wove history, fiction, and romance to set a stage of really popular romantic fiction. Although it carried a lot of mushy romance, to the keen reader or observer, it also shed light on the prevalent society and history. It set the ground for future writings on historical fiction. A largely noticeable chunk of Mills & Boon literature from the yesteryears also has settings of romance against an exotic milieu of historic locations and th...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
One of the comments on the back cover of Kankana Basu’s books - “With Basu around, you don’t really need Jhumpa Lahiri” – is sure to raise the bar about what you expect from the work, but her writings definitely meet all the expectations.  Cappuccino Dusk (novel) and Vinegar Sunday (collection of short stories) offer a very interesting take on Bengali families, their lifestyle and culture, and the way they these people have adapte...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Love is an emotion of exultation, of extreme happiness, bordering on delirium and superficial onlookers may term it as insane, as many things of the heart are so readily termed. As far as books are concerned, the most popular of the love stories are the oft-repeated boy-girl romance sagas. Look at the most downloaded book of love st...
Post by: Bookchums
Love stories continue to stimulate us, and if we go by the number of times Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s Rivermouth Romance has been downloaded, you would get an idea of the hold love has over us. The book has been downloaded 394 times within a month of its availability on the BookChums eBook section.  Aldrich (1836-1907) was an American poet, novelist, traveler, and editor.   ...
Post by: Bookchums
    Some weeks ago, I attended a retrospective on Amma (Kamala Suraiya nee Das) at which Suresh Kohli screened a video interview of hers, where she spoke of her grandmother and her great-grandmother. I told Suresh that this was typical of Amma, for to her by far the most important influences in life came from the maternal side. She never let me and my brothers forget how disappointed she was that all her children were male, or how happy she was in being bor...
Post by: BookChums
Deepti Naval is a celebrated actor, photographer, poet and painter. She made her cinematic debut with Ek Baar Phir and has done more than 60 films since then. She has starred in Chashmebaddoor, Kamla, Mirch Masala, Ankahi, Main Zinda Hoon, Panchvati, and more recently in TV serial Muktibandhan. She has authored Lamha-Lamha and Black Wind & Other Poems and a short story collection The Mad Tibetan that was released last year. We talked to her about how she gives...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
This week we interviewed Annie Zaidi who has consciously experimented with various forms of writing. From short stories to non-fiction to scripts to poetry to blogs, she has pretty much done it all. Annie Zaidi takes a break from her constant bouts of writing, improvisation and experimentation to answer questions about her books Crush, Known Turf Bantering with Bandits & Other True Tales and The Bad Boys’ Guide To The Good Indian Girl along with her views on bl...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Short Stories are a beautiful offering. In a few pages these quick reads tell so much about characters, their lives and the relationship between them. When compared to the full-length novel, the short stories too are packed with all the necessary elements. Be it Roald Dahl’s drama, Guy De Maupassant’s social comments, Manto’s strange and shocking turn of elements or Jhumpa Lahiri’s study of relationships, the world of short stories are e...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We celebrated the World Environment Day (WED) on June 5. WED was celebrated for the first time in 1973. This day is celebrated with a different theme every year. This year, the theme was - Green Economy: Does it include you? In our own way, we are trying to cause awareness on getting environment friendly. The task is daunting; however, one must carry on.     Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth is one such attempt at educating the world o...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Anita Nair is one of the most popular contemporary writers in Indian Writing in English. Her novels, The Better Man and Ladies Coupe have been hugely applauded and translated into 21 languages. Nair reveals how good stories and character driven narratives compel her to put pen to paper. Critics have appreciated your works for delving into the “deepest recesses of man's psyche”. Where do you look for inspiration and how do write about feelings so deep?...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A fiction writer can write about candy floss romances, innocence associated with childhood, issues plaguing the society or simply be a how-it-is writer. This week we speak with Palash Krishna Mehrotra, the author of Eunuch Park (short story collection) and The Butterfly Generation (novel) who chooses not to “write polite books which can be discussed over tea in drawing rooms”. In the interaction, Mehrotra mentions that he likes exploring gray areas without ju...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Jeevan Verma is a freelance writer whose hilarious story 'Mortified' features in the recently released litizen.com short story collection Labyrinth. Jeevan has been writing since his childhood and is inspired by anything unusual, including people, hobbies and places.Here is our interview with him.   Thank you for the interview. How long did you take to write ‘Mortified’? How did the theme for this story emerge? Actually two days. I am quite ...
Post by: BookChums
      They made me invisible, shrouded and non-being A shadow, no existence, made silent and unseeing Denied of freedom, confined to my cage Tell me how to handle my anger and my rage? -- Zieba Shorish-Shamley – ‘Look into my World’ published on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights     The Red Wrath by Hatef Mokhtar is a love story set in the macabre throe...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
              “You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”   -    Jack London   Born as John Griffith Chaney and popularly known as Jack London was born on January 12, 1876. Synonymous with literary works such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Burning Daylight, Lost Face, South Sea Tales and The Leopard Man’s Story among others. He was a multi-faceted i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                    On January 27, 2013, Jason Burke will introduce William Dalrymple’s latest book titled Return of a King at the JLF. This much-discussed book concentrates on the history of former Khurasan (current-day Afghanistan) from the days of Dost Muhammad and Shah Shuja ul-Mulk, the grandson of the emperor of the Durrani Empire, Ahmad Shah Abdali. Return of a King highlights the British interest...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Stanley Karnow was synonymous with war journalism and his coverage of the Vietnam War placed him on the master list of Nixon’s political opponents. He covered Asia working with Time, Life, the Saturday Evening Post, the London Observer, the Washington Post, and NBC News. He was chief correspondent for Vietnam: A Television History series which won several awards and accolades such as six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                              On February 2, 2013, former American Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in American Military history was shot dead at Glen Rose in Texas. He was Chris Kyle. His autobiography titled American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (co-authored with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) is a revelation of the number of p...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Vampires have invaded the human mind for centuries in various forms, but one thing has been consistent: They haven’t stopped sucking. Fictional history has been witness that vampires crave for blood, preferably human and fresh. In the last decade, this particular disgusting habit has been deemed to be attractive and romantic, such that we now have a barrage of vampire stories, starting from the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series to the True Blood TV series. ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  It has been great answering your queries and recommendations. Reading is such a fun activity. It is always good to hear from you. Here are the answers to this week’s queries from our readers. Please suggest some good autobiographies by women writers. Thank you. Anita Agarwal, Guwahati Thank you for writing Anita. Please check Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Come Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie, Over my Shoulder by Jessie Matthews and Rosa Parks: M...
Post by: BookChums
        Christmas, is obviously celebrated as Jesus Christ’s birthday. Lord Jesus Christ was born on this day in Bethlehem, and also this was recorded as the beginning of modern day calendar.  Post that as the story goes, as predicted by the Wise Men, the Messiah was born. He spread the eternal message of peace, harmony, love which still remains relevant now and will remain as time comes.   Earlier, celebrations of Christmas is...
Post by: Kamalini Mukherjee
"All history is contemporary history." - Benedetto Croce, Italian Philosopher and Politician The world today and all the events that we are are a witness to right now are history in the making: civil strife, occupation, political hegemony and chaos. In Greek, historia or history refers to an inquiry or information learned after an investigation. It is a study of the past, especially in terms of human history. It is also a very popular and interesting academ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal


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