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Writing is an enjoyable exercise, for most. It is a great way to express your thoughts and feeling with words.   And to garner appreciation for it just adds to the charm, doesn’t it? Further, the thought of “earning” a bit through your work sounds intriguing enough…true? The number of bloggers turning into writers speaks for itself. But not many writers/bloggers find it easy to promote their work. The key word here is “driving traf...
Post by: Sonia Safri
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
When one refers to Speculative Fiction, it usually dates back to ancient Greece. It is a work of historical invention. As the phrase suggests, dramatists, poets, and authors speculated and usually caught the ire of the audience. Take the instance of Euripides’ Medea. He wrote a dramatic version of Medea where she murdered her own children in a fit of passion and avenged herself. Euripides displeased the Athenian audience with his dramatic tragedy. A lot of previous...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  LET us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreat Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question…. Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our vi...
Post by: BookChums
For all the feminist talk and liberal ideas, it continues to be that we all crave for the fathers and father-figures in our lives. As kids, with our unprejudiced minds and in our ideology free worlds, we look up to our fathers with a different respect, an adoration that we do not grant our mothers. The role of father -figures in a child's healthy mental development has long been recognized by science. The father-figures are found to lead to emotionally rounded and h...
Post by: Manasi Kulkarni
The theme for this week may seem odd and even puzzling for many of our readers. We have thus embarked on an elaboration through this article. We live in an age of short, concise communication. Abbreviations used in cell phone SMS’, online chats, the ROFL’s and LOL’s, the 140-character limit on Twitter – all signs of getting the message across in the least possible time. Rapid urbanization and the resulting homogeneity can be attributed as reason...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
The rain brings out the best in poets, especially among the poets of the subcontinent. For in countries where the winter means desolation, snow and staying indoors, the rain is often seen as another form of desolation. The monsoon in India, on the other hand, is a much awaited phenomenon. Its arrival after a burning, humid frying of summer is considered as a blessing, a calming coolness over scalding tempers.   Many poets have waxed eloquent over the monsoon; le...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
People known, identified, feared, honoured, respected and loathed for the uniform they wear makes for interesting reading.  The great British writer W. Somerset Maugham starts his classic novel The Moon and Sixpence with a discussion on greatness. He speaks about how a policeman post retirement was found to be a boastful, proud man whose aura disappeared with the uniform.  Greatness, he goes on to elucidate, is something else, within a person, real and natura...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle made its appearance in this magazine and gained fame among the reading public. This is where Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes get to know each other. In the year 1878, Dr. Watson, recuperating from the wounds he received from a bullet in Afghanistan is looking for cheap lodgings. It is through an old friend of Dr. Watson that the two people meet: &ld...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
It was a time for turmoil, a time for new ideas, a time for change. European literature was at the zenith of its popularity between the 14th and 17th century. The impact was distinct, rooted in reality. Of course it all flourished with the coming of the printing press. Gutenberg's historic and momentous printing press brought out the publication of works of literature in the local language and thus lead to the widespread reach of ideas related to renaissance.   ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Apart from our family and relatives, friendship is the bond that enlivens our lives. The years may fade away, but our best memories will always concern the ones that involve our friends. The best books that we have ever read in our lives feature characters who share this unique, jovial bond. Take for instance the famous friendship between Sherlock and Watson, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, or Robin Hood and Little John.   The book After Twenty Years by O...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Even before the wails and bloodshed of partition had subsided, India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stood in front of a newborn nation with the memorable words,  "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."  He went on t...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Science Fiction as a genre has much to do with the future. The question- 'What will happen next?' often gets our attention. How would the world be a hundred years from now? How would life change, what would the world look like then? As sci-fi (as the genre is popularly called) takes imagination to new heights, there is no dearth to what could occur in this world. Time-travel, aliens, parallel universes, robots, rocket packs, telepathy - there is no end to...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
      Indian mythology is a treasure chest of stories. Even as Lord Ganesha blesses us with his presence all this week and the next, we at BookChums delve into many of the great mythological tales from around the world. To begin with, there is the story of the birth of Lord Ganesha himself. How many gods have had the fortune to be molded into life by their mother and then the misfortune of dying at the hands of their father?   As the legend goes,...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Kashmir has always been the eye of the storm as far as political and military matters are concerned. A beautiful, natural destination that is said to have the best colours that nature has to display; Kashmir has been embroiled in an extended, bloody turmoil for over six decades. There have been several works of literature that have celebrated this disputed piece of land in all its tragedy and beauty. One of the most notable of the works of fiction is Salm...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    We do not know when the idea of a country first came into origin. We do know that in the history of human evolution, tribe and territory have always received paramount importance. Regions have been outlined, barb wired fences have come up, millions have fought and died, and along with them advanced weapons of slaughter have been obtained to be lined up along the borders. With countries threatening to bomb each other during peace time, we can certainly not...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
The Mumbai rape case has again turned our attention to the disturbing number of atrocities that are being committed against women. What is it that prompts such events of unimaginable horror? What does it tell of a society?  There are several works of literature that have featured women at the receiving end of crime and their fight for justice. John Grisham's first book A Time to Kill was a heart-wrenching account of how a white lawyer defends the case of a...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Even as Raksha Bandhan was celebrated all over the country on August 20 2013 we at BookChums were wondering about the roles siblings have played in the greatest works in literature. Siblings have often been represented in literature either with their endearing intimacy towards each other or extreme hate. Then there are siblings who do not talk to each other those who always disagree and those who love being with each other.   As for stories featuring sibli...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
  Any mention of the word 'spy' brings to our imagination thrilling, tense moments of suspense, action and intrigue. The most famous of all is of course Ian Fleming's James Bond. It is not so much that we love James Bond; it is more about our envy of him, that we want to be like him. A man with a license to kill and a natural ability to hook in the girls, while decimating the enemy in an action-filled chase. Who wouldn't want to be like him?  It is not ...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    "A traveler is not intent on arriving," goes an often repeated quote. So is true for those who travel for no purpose at all but in curiosity and excitement for the world beyond. There are several writers who have dwelled on the joy of traveling, its perils, uncertainty and unexpected lessons. The early writers were the more daring ones, for they journeyed through new lands, not knowing of what may come their way. Writers in fiction and non-ficti...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    The sea has always been a favourite with poets and writers alike. Sea waves have been represented in several stories - sometimes as a tide of change, a background for quietly walking lovers and also for long lone walks of reflection. Ever since the first daring men discovered that the earth was not flat, sea expeditions and battles have made it to the realms of literature. One of the classic examples is Herman Melville's 1851 'Man Vs Whale' novel Moby Dic...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Animals have always tickled popular imagination in literature. If we were to waylay books for a while, Disney Films were blamed for creating the impression in the US that wild animals loved the company of humans. Several animal attacks on humans in the US in the last decade were due to humans trying to 'befriend' them. This is just one of the illustrations on how cinema and literature can influence their respective audiences.  Talking animals ha...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
By the end of this week, another festival shall be knocking at our doorstep. Diwali is the brightest and most gaudy of all the Indian festivals. A time for new beginnings, new clothes and family reunions, Diwali is the age-old festival of lights, and with the bursting of crackers it is also one of the loudest. Indians have a thing about festivals and it is ensured that ever year brings to us the feisty Holi, uproarious Janamasthmi, Ganesh Chaturthi drumbeats, the cresc...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Our theme for this week is religion. The festival of lights or Diwali is just over and so is Kali Puja that was celebrated with great pomp and show. Religion has largely influenced literature. In this blog post, the first book that comes to my mind is From the Holy Mountain by historian and travel writer, William Dalrymple. Written in 1997, this travelogue focuses on the Middle East that is the cradle of some of the world's greatest religions. In this boo...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    Children's literature has been popular since times immemorial. It has always encapsulated folklore, poems, lullabies and stories. With its humble yet captivating origin from the oral tradition of narrating stories, it has moved on to a grand genre of children's literature all across the globe. In the 1400s, it had a didactic theme. In the 1800s and the 1900s, a lot of children's classics were published and it is no wonder why this period is referred to as...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    The Indian cricket stalwart, Sachin Tendulkar retired from cricket this weekend after India beat West Indies at Mumbai. He was conferred with the Bharat Ratna this year. Playing cricket from the age of 11, he went on to play both domestic and international cricket and dominate the cricket world for nearly 24 years. The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack ranked him as the second best batsmen of all time after Auzzie player, Sir Don Bradman. We raise  a toast...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
   The BookChums theme of this week is Gothic Horror. The Gothic Horror or Gothic Fiction genre conjures images of melodrama, the supernatural, phantasmagorical, bloodied canine teeth, blood-dripping knives, dungeons, monsters, romance and damsels in distress – encapsulating all the necessary ingredients for spicy theatrical entertainment. While many readers would cynically label this genre as somewhat kitsch, it is not the real scenario; the reason is t...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  This week on BookChums, we feature Literature from the Subcontinent as its theme. Literature from this part of the world is expansive and rich; most of us are barely aware of the great works that have been produced from various regions of the subcontinent. What is very special about such literature is that its works are very different from each other and they also highlight the ethos of various periods of history: both past and present. There is a strong presen...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal


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