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Writer, editor, voracious reader, techie, Paritosh Uttam wears many hats. His first novel, Dreams in Prussian Blue was published by Penguin India under its Metro Reads banner in January 2010.     He has also edited Urban Shots, an anthology of 29 short stories.  While his latest offering, Urban Shots hits the shelves this week, we get talking about his first novel, Dreams in Prussian Blue, writing and much more. Read on...      &n...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
Samit Basu, novelist, screenwriter, writer of comics and local monster, talks about his latest book Turbulence and writing among other things. You wear the crown of India’s first SFF genre writer.  Eight years down the line, how do you feel with that title on your head?  Ambivalent. It’s not a crown in particular, and I don’t particularly believe in book categories. I don’t see myself as a genre writer – if I did, I would be ...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
  Faraaz Kazi, a new age author with a passion for the written word recently graced Sympulse 2011 (the annual fest of SCMS (UG)) with his presence, to interact with the young crowd, judge the Creative and Poetry Writing Competitions, and to promote his new book, “TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY”.   Faraaz caused a flurry of excitement amongst eager fans as they awaited an opportunity to interact with him; and ask him questions related to his book, his wri...
Post by: Sanya Kaushik
We’d been planning the interview for over a month, but time and other constraints kept coming up. It has been my experience that most authors prefer to do a “quick one” over email and sometimes take an awful long time to revert. It was thus a pleasant surprise when Faraaz expressed his wish to do a proper interview instead of answering an email questionnaire and what’s more, was easily accessible and quite accommodating. We finally met up on ...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
  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
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni who has authored celebrated works of fiction, such as, The Mistress of Spices, The Palace of Illusions, Sister of My Heart and her latest, One Amazing Thing,  is known for conjuring  up a world of fantasy in her novels. Her works have been considered a welcome relief from what writers of pulp fiction come up with these days. Her subjects revolve around Indian migrants settled in the US and their immigrant experience. With these intere...
Post by: Bookchums
Manu Joseph – a renowned name in the field of journalism seeks no introduction. But we shall tell you a tad bit about him anyways. Formerly Features Editor of the The Times of India, Manu Joseph has also written for Conde Nast's wired.com, and the UK Independent.  He was shortlisted for Society magazine's Young Achiever Award and in a website survey among Indian journalists, he was voted 'The Most Stylish Writer'. In 2007, he was a Chevenin...
Post by: BookChums
Former Miss India turned author Ira Trivedi was in the city to launch her latest novel There’s No Love on Wall Street at Crossword Store, ICC Towers. The novel is about a pre-med student Riya Jain who decides to shun the unglamorous ‘spirit and the dissections’ to become a ‘banking babe’. Ira Trivedi, the author of this bestseller, shares, "I have worked on Wall Street myself and have seen the world of investment banking closely. T...
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
All ye aspiring authors around…lend me your ears. I need to share with you a bubble of thought that burst in my head. It derailed my cognitive train and killed about a million brain cells in the vicinity. Investigation is on and I know serious damage has been done. But that story is for another time. What I want to highlight today is the present situation of our nation. Nope, not the political one. We have other flag bearers and upholders of truth, honesty, etc. ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Book Launch - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter by Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram Friday, April 29, 2011 Pune.   Crossword, at ICC Towers, saw a houseful of audience gathered for the book launch of Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram's latest book of illustrations - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter. A book of illustrations, Indira Gandhi - The Last Chapter, lampoons the political figure through witty cartoons. It draws a satirical portrait of the Indian leader while ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Last week BookChums got the opportunity to moderate the launch of Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram's latest offering- Indira Gandhi – The Final Chapter. A book of illustrations, this, it lampoons the political figure through witty cartoons. It draws a satirical portrait of the Indian leader, while humorously depicting certain behind-the-scenes political and social affairs in our country. The book launch was a wonderful experience and so was the interactio...
Post by: Sonia Safri
What is it about fiction that attracts more readers as well as writers? Is it the whole idea of "making up" things or the liberty of "exaggerating" normal ideas/scenes of daily life to add more color, flavor and spice to it; or the limitless possibilities of creating a whole new world to explore with words and imagination? Why is it that not many new-age authors venture into the world of non-fiction with that ease? Does the presentation of actual fa...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Anurag Anand, a marketing professional by day and a passionate writer by night (wait…does that make him sound like some “pseudo Superman/Superauthor”!??!) – recently launched his fourth book –The Quest For Nothing. It is a contemporary love story, tracing the trials and tribulations in the relationship of a young working couple in light of the never ending career aspirations and the zest to succeed professionally. And for those who still...
Post by: Sonia Safri
After Vibha Batra’s grandfather passed away, she chanced upon his work Ishaavaasya Upanishad, which combined philosophy, mysticism and spirituality. Intrigued and fascinated by what this book had to offer, Vibha began translating it, and despite working as a full time copy writer she stayed at it. Though this task got too time consuming and hectic she feared, feared that she will never be able to complete the task.     So to ensure that this book saw t...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We all love going through the small comic strips that appear in newspapers. There is something about them that always catches our attention. No, it not just about the instant smile that they bring, but the satire on certain socio-political or other critical issues that hooks us on to the graphical representation. The works of R.K. Laxman and Suraj ‘Eskay’ Sriram are cases in point. Come to think of it, amongst the first things a baby is taught or shown...
Post by: Sonia Safri
A large segment of our generation today dreams of being a published author. Well, that’s what it seems. And surprisingly it is not really difficult to get self-published, provided you follow systematic (and logical steps) towards getting known. And yes, let’s not forget the (small) amount of money involved. Not many budding authors, today, follow the path of traditional publishing. Given the delays and the snail’s pace of work being delivered, self-pub...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
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
We all have felt stressed out and emotionally exhausted at one time or the other. In fact, with stress becoming such an integral part of our lives, how can the health books being written these days shy away from speaking about this subject? So in the concluding week of our five-part blog series on health books, we would be talking about the several books that speak about managing, balancing, beating and surviving stress…   Stress: From Burnout To Ba...
Post by: Deepti khanna
The launch of Growing Up In Pandupur in Mumbai gave us a chance to interact with two very versatile and creative authors - Adithi and Chatura Rao.   Growing Up In Pandupur is a marvelous collection of 13 short stories for children. And parents alike.   The writing is mature and stable, but at no place does it feel commanding or overbearing. So kids will have no difficulty breezing through the stories.   Talking to the author-sisters would really ma...
Post by: Sonia Safri
The Macmillan Dictionary describes the word “controversy” as: a disagreement, especially about a public policy or a moral issue that a lot of people have strong feelings about. Now to think that a book can cause a disagreement about social or moral issues is not all that astounding. Don’t get me wrong, but the multitude of such books has only risen with time. I know we say we don’t need reassurance from anyone regarding our selection of reading...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Right from childhood days, most of us have grown up with stories of prince and princess’, of kings and queens, of fairies and witches and of God and his magical ways - of casting spells, swishing wand, riding dragons and brooms, and zipping-n-zapping people in to animals and vice versa. Most of us grew up reading (or listening to) stories from the desk of Enid Blyton, L. Frank Baum, Terry Pratchett, Rick Riordan and the like. The mystical land was le...
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
While some authors are synonymous with comic-fantasy fiction, it is worthwhile to spend some time looking for books by lesser-known comic-fantasy authors too. One could stumble into a book that is equivalent to a Thursday Next or a Nursery Crime . Such a book could be a pleasure to begin with and open a reader’s mind to a new frontier of imagination. It thrills the senses and leaves the reader yearning for more of such literature. Comic fantasies bring humor i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Some authors write after calculating how commercially successful a subject would be, while some write for the pleasure of expressing and sharing their feelings/observations. For some, writing is as natural an activity as eating or sleeping. And one such contemporary writer is Sweta Srivastava Vikram. Sweta began writing chapbooks titled  Because All Is Not Lost, Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors, and Beyond the Scent of Sorrow and has now released her...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
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
ASTON: More or less exactly what you... DAVIES: That's it ... that's what I'm getting at is ... I mean, what sort of jobs ... (Pause.) ASTON: Well, there's things like the stairs ... and the ... the bells... DAVIES: But it'd be a matter ... wouldn't it ... it'd be a matter of a broom ... isn't it? - Dialogue between Aston and Davies in The Caretaker, a talked-about Harold Pinter play. The Theatre of the Absurd belongs to a genre of absurdist fiction, writ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
BookChums chats up with the warm, friendly Sujata Massey, who has authored a series of 10 mystery novels including the very famous The Salaryman's Wife, The Bride’s Kimono, Shimura Trouble and The Flower Master. Her books follow the story of Rei Shimura, who in the author’s words is “half Japanese, half American and young enough to be brave and fun and romantic.” In the interview Sujata talks about how she came about etching Rei Shimura&rs...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
As the moment of joie de vivre has dawned, it is time to participate in and celebrate the festival of lights. On Diwali, most of us want to take it easy, let our hair down, just about vacation and chill out. It is also the approach of winter and we are already beginning to feel a nip in the air: the world seems to be so much of a happier place. There is the aroma of food wafting in the air, the smell of cracker bursts with a lot of litter bugs and litter all over the pla...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
As the moment of joie de vivre has dawned, it is time to participate in and celebrate the festival of lights. On Diwali, most of us want to take it easy, let our hair down, just about vacation and chill out. It is also the approach of winter and we are already beginning to feel a nip in the air: the world seems to be so much of a happier place. There is the aroma of food wafting in the air, the smell of cracker bursts with a lot of litter bugs and litter all over the pla...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” – Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)     The line quoted above by Ayn Rand explains the Theory of Objectivism. This concept is illustrated in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead sketches Howard Roark as the epitome of in...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Existentialism is synonymous with the futility of human existence, angst, ennui, alienation, uncertainty, and absurdity. These emotions in people were likened with the myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus, a cruel king from the Greek and Roman mythologies was punished for his crimes by the gods to carry a boulder up a hill and he miserably failed each time he tried to climb the hill with the boulder.  In the 20th century, a lot of intellectuals identified man’s hard wor...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
P.G Wodehouse endearingly called Plum by his family and friends is known for his so-called quintessential British humor. He wrote novels, plays, and short stories delighting readers with stories that were reminiscent of his crème de la crème upbringing, schooling, and society. And to top it all, his works are timeless! He wrote some of the most elegant prose in British literature and this is obvious in all of the Jeeves and Blandings Castle books. His chara...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
"Women, then, have not had a dog's chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one's own." – Virginia Woolf An avant garde who was far ahead of her times, Virginia Woolf introduced an entire movement of thought and of course highlighted the stream of consciousness technique. These works also highlighted feminism, bipolar disorder, post- traumatic stress disorder, and existentialism. A Room of One&rsqu...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
“Books make great gifts because… [they don’t] come in any particular size, so you don’t have to be embarrassed if you bought somebody the wrong size.” –Valerie Bertinelli, actor With Christmas and New Years being just a few days away, it’s time to show your loved ones how much you care. Be it a parent, spouse, child, friend, in-laws (yes you should gift them too!!! LOL) a thoughtful and useful gift is sure to touch everyo...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Gothic fiction is usually illustrated along stereotypical lines. A gothic story is usually imagined to have a medieval setting of a Gothic castle, a damsel in distress, a villain with blood-curdling intent, and a knight in shining armor. While all of these could be true while cohesively presenting a gothic story, it would be unfair to write off this genre as puerile or kitsch. It is not as unappetizing as it appears to be. It has evolved over the ages and surprisingly, s...
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
People know him as "a Chartered Accountant and Management Consultant by accident, a civil servant by day and a writer by night. A voracious reader and a lover of cinema. And of course the Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers." But this barely sums up the personality of author Ahmed Faiyaz. Those familiar with his previous work will vouch for his insight to observe and meticulously jot human emotions and relationships. And with his latest offering Scammed: ...
Post by: BookChums
The store was full of literary banter. The people on the dias were discussing about books, new trends in publishing, and how crime stories are truly entertaining. All this and much more happened at the book launch of Salil Desai’s second literary offering, Murder on A Side Street, at Crossword Store, Senapati Bapat Road on a balmy Friday evening. Dharmendra Jai Narain popularly called D. J. Narain, director of FTII, and Abhay Vaidya, Resident Editor, Daily N...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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’s Journey is the debut novel of Rashmi Singh, a freelance Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer at Faridabad. From talking about her personal and professional life to her take on love, Rashmi gives us an insight on present day society woes and much more. Read on. Tell us a bit about your professional background. How did you steer towards becoming a Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer? I had been quite active during my school/colle...
Post by: Sonia Safri
I recently read about some cult literary traditions for literature fans. And I wish to share those with you today. But before I begin with the traditions and their essence, let me give you an idea of what literary tradition is. As I tumbled upon recently, literary tradition is a collection of works that have an underlying interconnectedness and coherence. It is not simply a group of works sharing geography or group. Writers may not belong to a particular place or er...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
Acceptance is something we all desire. To be appreciated and loved obviously comes after that. Queer writers R Raj Rao and Hoshang Merchant reflected upon how this very basic desire (that is often taken for granted by others) is something that does not come easy to queer writers. All this and much more was discussed at one of the sessions called Whistling In the Dark at the recently concluded Jaipur Literary Festival 2012. Hoshang Merchant threw light on the dile...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A graphic designer and copywriter by profession, Vibhuti Bhandarkar began blogging a few years ago and ended up churning a fast-paced and delightful collection of ten short stories, Not Totally Unbelievable. Talking about her life and her passion for writing, Vibhuti told us upcoming work as well. Read on.     Tell us a bit about your professional and personal background I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I was a student of G.D. Art at The Sophia...
Post by: Sonia Safri
    The threat of a ban, the artist’s dissent, self-expression, it was all there, in between the uttered words, at the inaugural session of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012. The session was aptly called, Bhakti Poetry: The Living Legacy.   After an introduction and welcome by Festival Producer Sanjoy Roy; poet, literary critic, academician and activist Purushottam Agarwal spoke on bhakti poetry over the ages. He talked about the element of G...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Now we all want to access Facebook, Twitter and our personal email accounts from office. But in most organizations our kind bosses and even kinder management, put these websites in shackles. But Ankit Fadia’s new book, How to Unblock Everything on the Internet, which was recently launched in Crossword store, SB Road, explains how one could break open these virtual chains and access all the information you want.   Ankit Fadia, is a cyber security expert a...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
      You have got only three lines to say it. You have lesser characters than you have on twitter to write it down. To be precise, you shouldn’t be exceeding more than 17 syllables. The traditional number of syllables for the three lines is in this order respectively – five, seven & five. We talk here about the ancient form of Japanese poetry called Haiku.   The origins go back to 17th century Japan, where the form was then cal...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
From discussion on varied writing styles, hike in divorce rates and writing about sex, the Pune book launch of Preeti Shenoy’s third book Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake had it all. The blogger and writer, a Bangalore-based writer was in town to promote her third release, Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake. Preeti Shenoy was in conversation with Sonja Chandrachud. The event began with Chandrachud complimenting Shenoy on her writing style. Chandrachud commented th...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  What makes a man turn to crime? I’ve often asked myself this question. Why is it that I commit murders and revel in dead bodies?   Well you could blame it on my upbringing – I was brought up in circumstances where crime was a way of life. My mother devoured Agatha Christie, my father adored Alfred Hitchcock. As a school boy I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes and the Hardy boys and in college I fell into the violent company of James Hadley ...
Post by: Salil Desai
Investment has been a reluctant favourite with several of the general public; it has been looked at as a risk, but no longer. People are now investing more than ever, be it in shares, property, mutual funds, or just at the pretext of saving taxes, but they are certainly doing so. So here is a list of books that are to do with investment.   ...
Post by: Bookchums
“What is the victory of a Cat on A Hot Tin Roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...” ― Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof   Tennessee Williams was born on this day in 1911. He stooped to conquer it all; his writings were all about passion, love, promiscuity, explosive emotions, tenacity, and compassion. And there would barely be anybody else who would capture human emotions the way he did. Cat on a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Magazines for Entrepreneurs Niche business magazines offer great advice, business tips and throw light on all that is happening in the industry. People in the fraternity should ideally subscribe to all these magazines and go through the publications to keep tabs on what’s buzzing in the world of business.    Forbes Forbes magazine is certainly the big daddy in the magazines being brought out for entrepreneurs. The first issue of Forbes was brou...
Post by: BookChums
Payal Dhar is one of the few Indian writers in English who have succeeded in creating a whole new parallel world; a world, where she is God, where she gives birth to so many characters, and dictates the situations and their reactions. In her four novels, Dhar also creates her own cultures and laws of physics. The author of Satin and Shadow Trilogy speaks about what it takes to write good speculative fiction and what editors would love to see in a finished manuscript. ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Steven Lyle Jordan focuses on sci-fi literature. He has worked as an illustrator, writer, graphic artist, and a web designer. He publishes his own books. Some of his most-prominent writings include Evoguia, Verdant Skies,  Verdant Pioneers — Sequel to Verdant Skies, The Kestral Voyages: My Life,  After Berserker,  The Kestral Voyages: The Lens,  The Kestral Voyages: The House of Jacquarelle,  Chasing the Light,  As The Mirror C...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    April 30, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Sci-fi author, Steven Lyle Jordan whose writings include Evoguia, Verdant Skies,  Verdant Pioneers — Sequel to Verdant Skies, The Kestral Voyages: My Life,  After Berserker,  The Kestral Voyages: The Lens,  The Kestral Voyages: The House of Jacquarelle,  Chasing the Light,  As The Mirror Cracks, Worldfarm One,  and Despite Our Shadows. In this buoyant interview, ...
Post by: BookChums
Food and family mean the world to Mita Kapur. It’s no surprise that both her passions found her way into her first book,The F-Word, which is a part travel, part recipe and part memoir. This book should truly be bought and reread by every foodie, as it is multi-dimensional and a textured read. We talk to this freelance journalist, founder-CEO of Siyahi, a literary consultancy, who apart from providing creative and professional help to new writers believes fi...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
                          Thrilling conspiracies, espionage cover, and speedy literature: Robert Ludlum lived and wrote some of the most exciting and enthralling piece of action literature in which a reader could immerse. And a lot of his literature translated into films. Today, he would’ve lived to see decades of his popularity arising from literature. He certainly lived to tell severa...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
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
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
Friday evening, the 20th of July 2012, saw the launch of the Marathi edition of The Immortals of Meluha at Crossword, S.B.Road, Pune. The writer of the English original - Amish Tripathi; noted journalist and chief guest Anil Dharker; translator Dr. Neena Shetty; and Westland Chief Executive Gautam Padmanabhan were present at the release of Mehulache Mrutyunjay.   After the mandatory launch of the book by Dharker, an engaging banter ensued between him and Amish...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Many of us would remember Premchand's priceless stories that we were introduced to us way back in school.   His works, sometimes humourous, used literature for arousing public awareness about grave national and social issues. He wrote about topics like corruption, widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and India's freedom movement.   Premchand wrote over 300 short stories, 14 novels along with a number of essays, letters, p...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
                                      "I have lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle to destroy for nothing." - Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights     Specializing in Gothic writing, Emily Bronte spent a major time of her life creating fantasy worlds and so did her siblings. While she and her sisters, Anne and...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  We owe a certain part of our childhood memories to Lee Falk, for he was the one who gave us two comic legends - jungle vigilant The Phantom and the illusionist Mandrake the Magician. Born Leon Harrison Gross, Falk saw a day when more than 100 million readers read the comic strips. Falk was also a theatre producer and director, having worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Charles Heston and Chico Marx of the Marx brothers.   Falk was born a...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
    Many writers put pen to paper because they have a story to tell. However, author of four bestsellers,If God was a Banker (novel), Devil in Pinstripes (novel), The Incredible Banker (novel) and I bought the Monk's Ferrari (nonfiction), Ravi Subramanian wrote books for a rather unusual reason. He wrote books for posterity, for leaving behind a legacy.   But once he began writing and did a good job of it, his aim changed drastically. He becam...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  This week we celebrate poetry and poets on BookChums, and on the discovery of my status as a published poet, I have been asked to present some of my stuff in one of the blogs. While I received the request with a masked carelessness, I must confess it excites me to the point to delirium to type these words. After all poetry is an exclusive art form, as we pseudo-humble poets like to believe.   This is how I see it. Poetry is the koel’s song, uttered...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  The last day of August 2012 saw the hosting of a little special event on the BookChums Twitter page. Our followers were given the first line of a poem and asked to come up with their own lines. The results were interesting, as is displayed below in summation:   Where there is love, there is a song, Guiding us on the path along!                     &...
Post by: BookChums
   Who is a hero?  What makes a superhero? What if you had all the superpowers but just had no purpose in using them (think Hancock)? What if you did use them but it amounted to nothing (like the Hindsight Lad)? More than the word “super”, the weight lies on the word “hero”. Trying to define a hero has been a favourite pastime of the media, general public and comic book artists. The more you search for a hero chances are that you...
Post by: Pratheesh Nair
Bloggers share a part of their lives with you. After having followed a few bloggers for months at length, I have known people, got acquainted with their interests, passions and quirkiness. So after following Bishwanath Ghosh’s blog for a year now, I was delighted to do this interview. His blog posts had already told me that he loved poetry, Bollywood and old movie songs. Plus, his blog had these lovely, sometimes naughty short stories and travel stories that gave...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  "I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could do. In doing so I have sometimes erred and learnt by my errors. Life and its problems have thus become to me so many experiments in the practice of truth and non-violence." – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)   In his little sessions of writing, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
When I first met Lila Poonawalla, I was a young mother of a 4-year-old struggling to balance my roles as mother and career journalist, while she was managing director of a multi-national company. I watched in fascination as she went from strength to strength, setting up joint ventures, new companies, taking on additional responsibilities till she retired, around 2 decades later.     And then the corporate diva returned to the limelight in a new avtaar that...
Post by: BookChums
  “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -    Jawaharlal Nehru   Children’s Day in India, annually celebrated on November 14 is a day dedicated to children. This day is also the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and thus, it is also commemorated as Children&r...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its lovliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. - John Keats, Endymion   We come to the third act now, as Keats immersed himself in verse and brought out a first collection called Poems that his publishers were much ashamed of, though a few critics saw promise in him.  Keats promptly chan...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  There are some people in this world who do know what they want to do, the question of choice, hesitation or dilemma doesn’t rise. Such is the happy case of Charles Schulz, an American cartoonist who spent 50 of his 78 living years in drawing daily comic strips for his creation Peanuts. Born in 1922, Minneapolis, Schulz was Carl Schulz and Dena Halverson's only child. He was nicknamed 'Sparky' after a comic strip character by his uncle. Sparky grew up to b...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
                “What happens when a group of young international students in the U.S. face a life altering situation? What is it that weighs heavily on a young married woman’s mind while living in the U.S.? What hurdles does a young graduate student face while adjusting to his new life in America?”   - Desis, Dilemmas & More! by Ruchika Mathur   Ruchika Mathur’s quote above is ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
A day after attending the Pune book launch of her latest short story collection – Love Stories # 1 to 14, Annie Zaidi promptly agreed for an interview with BookChums. Zaidi talks about when she began to take writing seriously, the difficulties of publishing the first book and on her chances of writing a novel. Read on. How and when did you take to writing seriously? Was there any particular trigger that made you do so?  I began writing in college. By t...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
              “I have always believed that the real history is made by ordinary people. I constantly come across the reappearance, in various forms, of folklore, ballads, myths and legends, carried by ordinary people across generations....The reason and inspiration for my writing are those people who are exploited and used, and yet do not accept defeat. For me, the endless source of ingredients for writing is in these ama...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
              Ritu Lalit is an Indian novelist and short-story writer. Her short stories, titled My Daughter’s Stricken Eyes Haunt Me and Hidden were featured on Ripples: Short Stories by Indian Women Writers. In this exclusive interview with BookChums, she discusses her inspiration behind the short stories in Ripples, her novels that are slated for release this year, her fascination for the human mind and her advice to a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
      “Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us.”   -    Al Gore, An Inconvenient T...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                        On January 19, 2013, literature lovers, friends, family and the APK Publishers (who included Prashant and Anagha Karhade) met at the book launch of Mr.Ramakant Kapatral’s novel titled Certainly Uncertain: The IT Rush. It was a confluence of repartee, socializing and fun interactions at Damle Sabhagruha at Law College Road in Pune followed by high tea.    Mr...
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
          “I was a has-been before I’d been a been.”   Richard G. Stern   Richard G. Stern was a writer who was more popular among writers than he was among readers. A reviewer had once referred to him as – ‘the best American author of whom you have never heard’. He authored Golk, Europe or Up and Down with Baggish and Schreiber, In any Case, Stitch, Other Men's Daughters, Natural Shoc...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
       This article by Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited has been earlier published in the author's blog, eclipse and PLR IM.   I am a voracious reader of the most convoluted and lexiphanic texts - yet, there is one author I prefer to most. She gives me the greatest pleasure and leaves me tranquil and craving for more when I am through devouring one of her countless tomes. A philosopher of the mundane, a...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Needless to say, JLF each year has been an assortment of diverse writings. Day 5, this year, saw American author, Madeline Miller (winner of the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction) discussing The Song of Achilles with Indian poet and author, Anjum Hasan. The Song of Achilles is a reconstruct of mythical Greece and describes the love affair between Achilles and Patroclus. Miller drew her inspiration from Homer’s Iliad about the r...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                              Vikram Karve is an Indian writer, former naval officer, human resource leader and trainer, instructional designer and blogger. He has authored Appetite for a Stroll and Cocktail (published by APK publishers). In this exclusive interview with BookChums, he discussed what triggered him to write and his experiences, his observation of the human mind and ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
February 4, 2013 is World Cancer Day. It is celebrated on this day and month, every year. It is a day to dispel all myths about cancer and take a moment to pause and educate ourselves about cancer, its causes and how to take preventive measures and seek remedies. Today, cancer is curable too; what is required at this moment is the appropriate information to battle and eliminate it.   The Emperor of all Maladies by physician, researcher and award-winning writer, ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  It is great to hear from you once again. This week, we have Ammara Chaudry, a reader who has recommended a book for us: ‘Meri Zaat Zara Be Nishan’ by Humera Ahmed. Do check it out. If you have any recommendations, do share these with us. We have also added the other questions that our other readers had for us.   ‘Meri Zaat Zara Be Nishan’ is a really great effort by Humera Ahmad to express the social problems of these days. The di...
Post by: BookChums
            “What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.” ― Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), popularly known as Tennessee Williams has been synonymous with some of the most remarkable writings from the twentieth centu...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                    It is that part of the year when love is in the air. While the world is getting geared up for Valentine’s Day, I’m happy to suggest and recommend books to you. Wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!   Hi, I’m an 18 year old from Ajmer. Could you send me the titles of some really nice romantic poetry collections please? - Niharika Anand, Ajmer Thank you, Niharika f...
Post by: BookChums
          Vikram Karve, the writer of Cocktail - Short Stories about Relationships and Appetite for a Stroll has exclusively written the following article for BookChums. He says, "Relationships are like Cocktails." Read on.   Which was the happiest moment in your life? Do you remember?   I do. The happiest moment in my life when I saw my first story published in a magazine. I cannot describe the emotion I felt as I ...
Post by: Vikram Karve
Quite contrary to common practice, I, for one, find it extremely difficult to pen down a travelogue immediately after concluding an adventure. It is perhaps the level of unadulterated wonderment (something that I am very prone to) that almost automatically and unscientifically converts every rational description into an incomprehensible babble in excitement.   The year 2012 concluded with a trip to north China, where my first stop was Beijing. The temperature up...
Post by: Madhurima Duttgupta
  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
          Thank you for the queries and as always, I look forward to your questions.   I’m looking for some racy short stories and novels. Thrillers will do. Thanks. - Govind Saraogi, Jaipur Thank you for writing. You can try Jeffrey Archer’s works such as A Prisoner of Birth, A Quiver full of Arrows, As the Crow Flies and Honour among Thieves. Or you could also take a look at some of Lee Child’s novels such as A ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Our interview here is with Kala Ramesh; the well known haiku poet. Haiku is a four hundred year old art form of Japan but kept fresh and live both in Japan, and now in India, the West and other countries.   Kala also writes tanka (five line poem), haibun (tight prose embedded with haiku), senryu, and renku (collaborative linked verse). Apart from winning numerous awards and recognitions, Kala is also part of the editorial team for various magazines that publish ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
          On March 1, team BookChums attended the book launch of The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish. It was held at Landmark in SGS Mall in Pune. Amish read from the first chapter of his latest book before he began the interaction with his readers. He said that this book took much longer than  he expected to complete it. It was published by Westland Press in 2013. The other two books from this trilogy include The Immortals of Meluha ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
            Thank you for the questions this week. It’s nice to answer varied queries. Have a great time reading and do write.     Could you send me the titles of some quick reads – thrillers? - Nidhi K, Bangalore Thank you for writing, Nidhi. Ruth Rendell’s psycho thrillers such as The Bridesmaid, The Killing Doll, and Adam and Eve and Pinch Me are really quick reads. Enjoy!     I need to...
Post by: BookChums
    This week we feature our chat with banker turned author, Amish Tripathi, the author of the famous Shiva trilogy. In this exclusive interview with BookChums, he discussed his call to writing, writing the trilogy (The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras), the film adaptation of the books, the challenges in publishing his first book and a lot more.     What triggered you to change your 14-year old career...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Jack Kerouac was all of 47 when he passed away in 1969. His death had occurred due to a life spent in heavy drinking; it was a damaged liver that abruptly did him in. Kerouac is unarguably considered the face of the beat generation – but who were the beat generation? For starters, they were a group of writers who started writing post World War II and gained fame in the 1950’s through their documentation and depiction of the cultural changes that inc...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  I was turning thirty this year and found that it was a great excuse to plan the seemingly greatest adventure I had had so far, and so the idea of celebrating a +30 under a -30 degrees Celsius greatly appealed to me. The pictures of snow, like the ones you find on Christmas greeting cards, immediately won the attention of the snow-starved me. I learnt from an in-flight magazine that Harbin hosted one of largest international ice and snow festivals that started o...
Post by: Madhurima Duttgupta
        In our author interview section this week, we feature American children’s author, Rhonda Gowler Greene who has written over twenty books. In this highly-interactive interview with team BookChums, she discussed her first published works, how her background in music inspires her works, the auction among four major publishers for a picture book manuscript of hers, contract with Simon & Schuster/Atheneum with the Barnyard Song, fav...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                        Team BookChums wishes Mario Vargas Llosa a very happy birthday. Born on March 28, 1936 in Peru, he became famous in the literary world with his works such as The Time of the Hero, The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral among other works. He has also written The Way to Paradise based on the French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin; and Flora Tristan, Gauguin&rsquo...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is no more. She authored several popular novels and anthologies such as To Whom She Will, The Nature of Passion, Esmond in India, The Householder, Get ready for Battle, Like Birds, Like Fishes; A Backward Place, A Stronger Climate, An Experience of India, A New Dominion, Heat and Dust, How I Became a Holy Mother and other stories, In Search of Love and Beauty, Out of India, Three Continents, Poets and Dancer,...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  The death of Roger Joseph Ebert has brought an abrupt end to an era of brilliance in objective film criticism. Ebert lost his battle to cancer on April 4, 2013, he was 70. The first man ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism, Ebert also gained fame as a TV celebrity with co-host Gene Siskel, as they gave their trademark thumbs up and down to a movie.   It was Ebert's written reviews that brought his much acclaim, clear and precise as they were a...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
            American sci-fi author and illustrator, Steven Lyle Jordan recently released his latest thriller, Sarcology. In this exclusive interaction with team BookChums, he discussed the inspiration behind his latest book, the relevance of the book title to the plot, his creative-writing process and much more. He has also authored novels such as Evoguía, Verdant Skies, Verdant Pioneers, The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After Be...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”     Margaret Thatcher     Born in 1925 as Margaret Hilda Roberts, she went on to become the first woman prime minister of the U.K and also its longest-serving prime minister. She was born in Grantham i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
          Hope you folks have been enjoying yourselves. Do share your reads with us. Here are the questions and answers for this week. Keep writing and enjoy your summer reads.   I have read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Is there any other book by him that you would recommend? Thanks – Ashish Goyal, Bangalore You can read Glory by Nabokov. It is a great read that encapsulates brilliant narration, language and storytelling. ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
                   The Kama Sutra is a Hindu text which is widely considered to be the best and standard work on human sexual behavior. It was written by Vatsyayana in Sanskrit and a major part of it contains advice on practical use of the methods included in the book. Basically, Kama means sensual or sexual pleasure of the body while sutra means a thin thread or line which holds all of it...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
The Encyclopedia of Human Body Systems is a clear and concise guide to the greatest wonder that ever was the human body. It provides a comprehensive study of the systems of the human body for the layman reader in all of us. The book is filled with interesting little facts and trivia which can keep anyone engaged for a long period of time. For instance, did you know that there are 100,000 miles of myelinated nerve fibers in your brain or that the average human being s...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
An encyclopedia is a reference book which provides a host of information on a multitude of subjects. It is a compendium which holds together a summary of information about many subjects or a particular branch of knowledge. The entries are divided by their names or categories for easy usage by the reader. As said earlier, the encyclopedias might be on a variety of subjects or a single subject, similarly, encyclopedias might cater to any group of people or everyone i...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
An erotic massage or a sensual massage is the application of massage techniques to enhance sexual arousal. It also helps with helps medical purposes and also for erotic usage. Erotic massages are also used as a part of the sex act between people, sometimes as foreplay and sometimes as the final act. The basic aspect of erotic massages is the application of techniques in massage on several erogenous zones if the human body which is sure to arouse the person being ma...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
          It’s been great hearing from you during this while. Do let us know what you’ve been reading and share your summer reads with us. Today is the birthday of cricket stalwart, Sachin Tendulkar. Some of our readers wanted to know of some recommended books on him. These are as follows along with the other questions and answers for this week.     On Tendulkar: Sachin Tendulkar - A Definitive Biography by Vaibhav...
Post by: BookChums
          Robert Penn Warren was born on April 24 in 1905 in Kentucky. He is synonymous with his work All the King’s Men for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature in 1947. He was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic. He was one of the founders of New Criticism that highlighted close reading especially in poetry. Some of his works include John Brown: The Making of a Martyr, Thirty-six Poems, An Approach to Literatur...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Have you ever caught yourself wondering where did all the spice from your relationship with your better half go? If yes, then here’s something which might help you. Over the course of a relationship, it is only normal that one experiences crests and troughs. Though not entirely unexpected, it is up to the couple to think of interesting new activities that would bring back the old excitement. One of the books we are going to discuss about here is “Se...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
Suneetha Balakrishnan is a bi-lingual writer (English and Malayalam) who delves in poetry and fiction. A certified Creative Writing Trainer from the British Council, Suneetha has published her work in various anthologies, and has tried her hand in translating too. She is currently completing her debut novel.  In this interaction with BookChums she speaks about her writing life, the trigger for her stories, advice to budding writers and much more...   Than...
Post by: BookChums
Triveni Goswami Mathur has had a sterling career as a journalist and is a freelance writer and teacher. She is presently a Visiting Faculty at the Alliance for Global Education, India, Pune and Contemporary India and Media Studies, Pune.   This interview is in light of the recent release in English and Marathi of the Assamese book ‘Mon Gongaar Teerot’, a powerful memoir written by Triveni's mother Sabita Goswami. The translated books are titled 'Alon...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. Even as summer promises to recede and monsoon looks all set to take over, here are the answers to your queries.   Which books are the best introductions to existentialist literature to begin? Thanks. - Renuka, Pune. Thank you for writing. You can begin with Albert Camus’ The Stranger, The Fall and The Plague. Or you could try Nausea by Jean- Paul Sartre.   Please recommend some boo...
Post by: BookChums
  There is something about dying early especially among writers and poets. In an ironical turn, we are not to see them grow old ever. We do not see what they have may ultimately turned out to be. Take for example the English poet John Keats; his passing away at 26 was a tragedy, but also gave us a body of work that was romantic and unaffected by what may have turned into the bitterness of old age.   Dear bookworms, we honour today one of the greatest of th...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Vibha Batra is primarily a writer. She is, among other things - an advertising consultant, author, poet, lyricist, and columnist. Her published books include: Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!), Seventeen and Done (You Bet!) - both teenage-centered books published by Penguin. It all started for Vibha when she translated Ishaavaasya Upanishad, written by her grandfather, Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri, published by Rupa Publications. There is more to Vibha as you shall see ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
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 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
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
Hello, bookworms! Welcome to the brand new edition of Ask Kabita. What a wet, wet monsoon are we having here! It’s been days since I last saw the sun.  Anyway, here is a pick from the umpteen queries we received during the course of the week:   I am a fan of English poetry. What would be a good collection of classic English poetry – Sharayu Jayekar, Pune Cool. Now, there are several books out there, but the one that stands out in its quality ...
Post by: BookChums
      Who could have imagined Lord Shiva the way Amish did in his record-breaking trilogy of books. Amish got there first, noticing that there was no definitive single book on the god with three matted locks on his head. He researched for the book, sourced the mythology and joined the ends. This resulted in three enthralling books - The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras.   Now that film maker Karan Johar...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Sidney Coe Howard (June 26 1891 – August 23 1939) was an American playwright and screenwriter who were largely responsible for bringing theatrical realism to the American stage. Howard graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1915 and later served in the American ambulance corps and was a captain in the U.S. Air Corps during World War I.   Howard’s most famous plays include They Knew What They Wanted (1924) a pleasantly smooth ...
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
     On BookChums Award Thursdays this week, we feature American writer Truman Capote. He is synonymous with his diverse literary works including In Cold Blood; Breakfast at Tiffany's; Other Voices, Other rooms; The Glass Harp; The Dogs Bark; Music for Chameleons and House of Flowers. He realized his calling as a writer at the age of eleven. He earned accolades in regard to his literary merit very early from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Here’s wishing all of you a very Happy Makar Sankranti. Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves as much as I am. Here are the answers to readers’ questions this week.   Q 1: Suggest some graphic novels that I can quickly read during a break. Thanks. Anindita, Pune Ans: Thank you for writing, Anindita. You can check Family Values by Frank Miller, and Chicken with Plums and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Hope you enjoy these.   Q2: I want s...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Cartoon strips offer comic relief, flights of fantasy and quick reading. As kids, we grew up on fun and rich doses of Chacha Chaudhary, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha, Asterix, Peanuts and many others. Newspapers have always carried strips of cartoons of a weekly basis arousing a lot of curiosity to read more. It is said that the history of comics dates back a long way. Scholars hint at the Lascaux Cave paintings as some of the first inspirations for cartoon writing...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves despite the summer heat. I have been cribbing about the heat pretty much as I can't seem to be too outdoorsy for my own good these days. Here are the questions and answers for this week: Q 1: Please suggest some cool poetry collections to beat the heat right now. Thanks. Renuka Sahai, Pune Answer: Thank you for writing, Renuka. You can try Charles Bukowski's collections including It Catches My Heart in Its Hands, At Terror ...
Post by: Kabita
 Remembering Thomas Hardy “A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”   “The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.”   ― Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840 - January...
Post by: Kabita
“And I love being a writer because I want to leave something here on earth to make it better, prettier, stronger. I want to do something important in my life, and I think that adding beauty to the world with books like The Relatives Came or Waiting to Waltz or Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea really is important. Every person is able to add beauty, whether by growing flowers, or singing, or cooking luscious meals, or raising sweet pets. Every part of life can be...
Post by: Kabita
 “If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.” Jean-Paul Sartre     Famous for challenging the social and cultural fabric of the French society in the 1930s, French writer, philosopher, playwright, screenwriter, political activist, biographer and literary critic, Jean Paul-Sarte was born on June 21, 1905. He was drafted into the French army in 1939; he served as a meteorologist. He was captured by the Germans in 1940 at Pad...
Post by: Kabita
 “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.”   - Hermann Hesse     Famous for his most popular masterpiece, Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse was born on July 2, 1877. He was also a poet and painter. His other works are Beneath the Wheel, Freund, Peter Camenzind, Demian, Der Steppenwolf, Journey to the East, Gertrud, Out of India, Narcissus and Goldmund, Th...
Post by: Kabita


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