Posted in bookreview

The Woman Who Saw the Future

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Book : The Woman Who Saw the Future
Author : Amit Sharma
Pages : 276
Price : 149/-
Publication : Readomania

A science fiction that will grab your attention right from its blurb.

Story

The book is story of many people focused on our protagonist Sapna Vaid.
Born in a middle class family, Sapna lives with his parents and younger brother Vikrant. Their life was going good, until the mishap happened. Vikrant died by falling off the train, while returning from his trip. A happy family, turned sorrow overnight.

What more can happen to a sorrow filled house, Sapna started having weird dreams. Dreams filled with accidents, blood, disasters which later she searched and found was all REAL. She couldn’t believe herself that she could see the future, future of people who were about to die. The range of dreams weren’t just India they spanned whole wide WORLD. She used to be in the dream when the person next to her died in front of her house. Sapna parents couldn’t believe her that she was seeing these things. They thought she needed medical attention, until one day she saved her Father from an accident where he lost his legs.

The dreams turned happy-go-lucky girl Sapna to a gloomy ghost, with her family and (boy) friend Saahil believing her trying to keep her Happy. She turned inward and thought why the dreams didn’t happen before Vikrant. She could have saved him too, she wrote letters to Vikrant stating all the dreams, all the fears, all the faces she saw in her dreams.

Her fate changed when she met Kapil, a well-known businessman. It was one of those 20 dreams that showed Kapil’s mishap that was about to occur due to bomb in his car. Her move saved Kapil and many of his employees. When Kapil asked, Sapna tolw him about her dreams that turned reality. Kapil took all the information from her and did a detailed background check, when all details came out clean he was bound to trust Sapna and her dreams.

A business mind is never out of idea, and same happened with Kapil. Contacing Mehak, a TV reporter who was also a very good sketch artist. Kapil and Mehak went to Sapna’s house with the proposal of having a show based on her dreams, where she can save 1000 people from dying. It was the first time Sapna felt that her dreams can help people.
Her parents were sceptical about it, but she was sure to do it. Anupama come along the show, and she is the main lock that connect Sapna’s earlier dream victims, to saved people. 12 YEARS, go by and the show is hit, Sapna is now Goddess for many who she was able to save.

Did Sapna herself got into trouble ?
Will these dreams remain forever with her?
Will Saahil be part of this fierce journey Sapna is taking?
Is she really a Goddess, that can save ANYONE?

To unanswered questions, you need to READ this one!!

Writing

My first book by the Author Amit Sharma, and it was such a good read. Loved how the story is presented with different characters perspective, each character taking the story ahead and adding their own touch to it.
The experts from Sapna’s diary to Vikrant had the major effect on me, the way she shared the same bond with his brother even after his death. The pain of seeing people die was aptly covered in her diary.
Even though their were many characters, my favorites are Sapna, Kalpana (Sapna’s mother) and Mehak. All three ladies have a strong image attached to them, each living their own hardships.
Even though the blurb tells us almost everything from the story, I wanted to see how Amit keep the thread going together and he did it pretty well.
There were many such thrills that were guessed, I wished they were kept as thrills.
At some point I thought there were things, that were left mid way but it was later that those loose ends met and gave end to that mid way.
Om-Anupama were certainly played a great part in the story but there were things that I felt were extra elaborated.

Things that worked out for me :

> It was like a perfect read, mostly everything worked out fine. From language, to story, to character building.
> The book divided in parts ‘The Rise’ & The Fall, were made equally important and kept reader in their grip.
> Loved how every chapter/character’s story is started with a related quote from famous book. This just gave me kicks to read those famous books *again*
> The cover is minimal, but it says a LOT. The Eye, and the Yin-Yan of a woman from present to future, I loved it.

Things that didn’t worked for me :

> I wish the blurb was a little less descriptive, after reading book I was like it almost gave everything.
> Somewhere I felt the story was dragged and it would be same if the things were kept to little.
> The story sometime became predictable, I wish the author had kept the thrill till the very end and not given clues about WHAT HAD HAPPENED *talking about Kabir* *spoiler may be*

Words that touched

Her mind turned into this healthy salad of emotions with loads of serenity, a handful of fervor and a pinch of ferocity.

Sometimes it takes a long time to understand that life is not just about a single relationship. It has much more to offer. If your life is a circle then no one but you should be at the center of it.

Happy families are all alike; even unhappy family is unhappy in its own ways
– Anna Karenina

I have always believed in a supreme power but I have my doubts. Sometimes I wonder if he is just a child who loves to play dangerous games. He comes across as someone who is extremely compassionate and ruthless at the same time, just like Nature. Sometimes, he scares the shit out of me.

Final Note :

A science fiction with mystery and drama packed you should definitely read this. In middle of my personal life, I took time to read this but a bibliophile will be too eager to finish it off as quickly as possible.
So if you like to read an INDIAN author, who can ACTUALLY deliver the fiction, mystery and supernatural thing all in together GO GRAB IT (what are you waiting for !!)

Cover: 4.5/5
Title: 4.5/5
Blurb: 3.5/5 *because it gave it ALL*
Theme: 5/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 4.4/5
Rating: 5/5

**The book was provided by Writersmelon in exchange of an honest review.**
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Posted in bookreview

Story of Sita

 

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Book : Story of Sita
Author : Nabeena Srikanth
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Pages : 306
Price : 345/-
Format : Paperback

Another Mythological retelling, and people who follow me knows I am a DIE hard fan of Mytho retellings. I picked this book, off course for the reason it’s based on Mythological, and thought why not give the writer a chance to retell the story I have heard from my childhood in a different way.

Story

Story is a retelling of Ramayana the great epic battle between good and the evil. Where goodness of Rama is prevailed over the evilness of Ravana.
As the blurb says, was Rama a real hero ?

Sita, is a daughter of Mother Earth, adopted by King Janaka, king of Mithila Rajya. Brought up with all the leisure of life, and taught the art of . Fell in love with Rama on her first sight, when she saw him helping a poor lady. Winning Sita in Swayambar by breaking the Shiv Dhanush (bow) and marrying her was what was destined for Rama. Becoming Princess of Ayodhya rajya was her destiny. But leaving all luxuries behind, she accompanied Ram his husband for 14 years to the exile to forest.
Kaikeyi demands Rama to be exiled into the wilderness for 14 years, while the throne passes to her son Bharata. The king under addiction by her third wife Kaikeyi to control him, gave in to her demands. Rama accepts his father’s decision in absolute submission. He is joined by Sita and Lakshman.

His travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, build cottages and live off the land. At the Panchavati forest they were visited by a Princess Surpanakha, sister of King Ravana of Lanka. She tries to seduce Rama and failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshman stops her by cutting off her nose, and they felt it was all over. Until few more men, came back to Pachvanti to avenge their Princess lost prestige. Everyone lost against to brothers Ram and Lakshman.

When one fine day, Ram goes off to collect deer for their food. He doesn’t come back for a while, this upsets Sita. And she asks Lakshman, to go after him and check may be the Lanka men are back to take their avenge. Lakshman puts across about the fact that she came to exile to take care of Sita, and Ram can look for himself. Sita curses him with words that cut through Lakshman’s heart. She says, that Lakshman is doing this intentionally, so that he can go back to Ayodhya as he is feed up with this wilderness. After lots of argument, Lakshman gives in and leaves Sita in the hut. Saying not to come out, or open door for anyone for her safety.

Ravana appears outside Sita’s hut and tricks her into talking about her, Ram and Lakshman. After knowing it was due to Sita, that Lakshman and Ram has refused his Sister Surpanakha’s proposal. And due to Sita, her sister roams around in veil in Lanka, he forcibly carries Sita out of hut on her Vyaman across the sea to his kingdom Lanka.

At Lanka, Sita refuses all the leisure of Lanka kingdom, and asks to live in the Ashokavana. She is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis, who used to keep telling Sita about how great their King Ravana is and that she should marry her, and enjoy all the leisures of Lanka instead of living in this ashok vatika. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses.

Will Ram be able to win back Sita from Ravana ?
Living in Lanka around Ravana, and other Rakshas will Sita be still be considered pure ?
As it’s already 14 years, will Ram, Sita & Lakshman be able to make to Ayodhya for Ram’s coronation ?

Writing

This is Nabeena Srikanth debut book, and she has lots of scope to explore her writing. The language used is good, and pace shifts between slow and fast. It was an easy read, with some new words to be added in vocabulary.

There were many words that were printed like a single word, which were difficult to understand sometimes.

Things that worked out for me :

The relationship shown between Sita and Lakshman, they are like best friends. Whenever Sita had something to say, Lakshman was there to listen, and he understood her and knew that she was pure even after living in Lanka.
Some of the situations handled and gave them a new look, for example in Mytho telling I heard so many times that Manthara was the one who had suggested Kaikayi about sending Ram to exile, where as in this retelling its shown that Manthara was innocent and it was all Kaikayi but as Kaikayi was queen it was spread in the kingdom that it was Manthara.
Another situation, is showing that Dasharatha was under drug influence by Kaikayi. So he makes the decision to sends Rama to exile, which in actual mytho is not shown. This might be very thoughtful of Author, as Kekeya is located in North Western, which in earlier India was source of all these practices.

Things that didn't worked for me

The tittle said ‘Story of Sita’, where I couldn’t get much of SITA side of things. A retelling is great, when we add imagination to things, and show readers the aspect which they haven’t heard of. I being a believer in mythological, I know the stories by heart, and so this was same as what I was taught/saw of Ramayana, with a bit of twists.
I would have loved to see, more of Sita’s perspective. Like the author could have added Sita’s life before marriage. Showing her growing up years, the bond between sisters was another things that could have been given more emphasis. As I being growing up with all sisters, I know there are lots of things that can be told in a story.

Final Note :

If you don’t know the story, you can pick this up to know the Mythological telling of Ramayana. This will definitely open your thinking towards somethings which original mytho has different perspective.

Cover: 4/5
Title: 3/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 3/5
Story: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Overall: 2.8/5

The book was provided by Leadstart Publishing in return of a honest review.

Posted in Cover Reveal

Our Phenomenal Love – Garima Khurana

Our Phenomenal Love By Garima Khurana

 

Hearty Congratulations To Garima Khurana For Her Upcoming Debut Novel!

Love is the most beautiful feeling in this world. But it springs in with infinite phases. Rarest of rare manage their journey through all ups and downs. Same electrified feeling was experienced by Aman and Anvi, two different personalities sharing their initials also planning to share their lives.

“Break up simply means to be with the other person and create new beautiful memories to replace the former ones. But the moments created with your first love cannot be replaced by anything in this universe”. Does break up really means to never see each other again?

“Love is above everything” we have heard this phrase for a million of times by now. But there are certain mistakes which cannot be healed by.

‘Garima Khurana’ is from the land of battles, Panipat, India. She believes in spreading love around her. She is a fun loving person and loves to live in the moment. She has done her graduation from Chandigarh and is pursuing post graduation from Chandigarh itself. She loves to observe nature and her only purpose is to serve humanity.

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Posted in bookreview

Adventures in Farland

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Book : Adventures In Farland
Author : Moshank Relia
Publisher : Rumour Books India
Pages : 70
Price : 141/-(discounted)
Format : e-book

A children’s book, that adult will enjoy too.
If you loved Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland well here it is another story with the magic of both. There are witches, wizards, happy gnomes, fairies, mermaids and many more to keep a child glued to it.

Story Line

Story starts on a misty Sunday, where Mira and her friends Bira & Vira (twins) were excited to go to top of Gunhill for shooting balloons. Until a loud BOOM ! BANG ! got their attention and Bushy came out of the bushes. He lived in bushes, surrounded by ladybugs on his head, he got an invitation for Mira to Farland on order of Princess Harmonica. There was a New Moon Party tonight, and Princess wanted Mira to be part of it.

Mira, as a seven-year old child, has heard about stories of Farland from her mother. She gets excited for it, and leaves home at before midnight for Gunhill. Meets Starhead, night pilot to take Mira to farland. And while traveling Starhead felt the plane wasn’t flying right, the wind wasn’t flowing right. Their plane bumped on to land with broken wing. Mira met the Windman, who was responsible for this powerful wind flowing. And Windman told Starhead & Mira about Queen of the Witches, who has come to Lost-Forest for freeing up Dragon of Underhill.

Will Mira, Starhead, Windman make it to Princess before Queen of witches looses Dragon of underhill ?
Will Mira be safe in the Lost-Forest alone?

A story without twist isn’t a story. Read it, for all unanswered questions 🙂

Writing

The writer Moshank has used imagination at its best, to fill children’s head with magic and creative thoughts. I loved the pace of book, the surprises waiting at each page. New characters came to life with those magical words. I love character building of some characters, as a child can Imagine what the character looked like. However, there were certain characters which were in story but also weren’t actually needed. I would have loved to see what Vira-Bira would have been capable of doing in this situation. Their notorious behavior would have been added to the story more.
Queen too didn’t have too much of influence in the story, same plot could have been done using Princess instead of introducing Queen.

The illustrations are more like rough sketches, and I wish they were colored (I am praying that in paperback they are colored). This will add more to children’s excitement while reading.

Final Note :

Children, pick it up for your imagination go wild to meet the Wizard, Witch, gnomes, fairies, mermaids.
Adults, pick it up for breaking your real life bored life. Bring some magic to it, revisit Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland kind of feeling.

Cover: 4/5
Title: 4/5
Blurb: 3.5/5
Theme: 3.5/5
Story: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Overall: 3.75/5

The book was provided by THE BOOK PLANET PR in return of honest review.

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Thank You – 100 Followers

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(pic taken from google)

Thank you to each one of you, who follows me to make it 100 followers of my Blog.

My first blog post is dated April 2013, when I started this blog with a theme of bringing smile on everyone’s face whoever reads it. Hence the name ‘smileaturself.wordpress.com’.

In 2013 I used to post my writings, as it was a period when I was away from my home. And I had too much to express which came out in my poems. Then later, I got too much busy in my work so blog got quiet for a while for 2 years around.

I was back on my blog this year June, and then its quiet some times. I have started using my blog for my favorite pastime/passion to Read and Write ❤

I am always open to people who wanna connect, I love meeting new friends and talk about their reads.

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Happy Blogging everyone..

^_^ mpsn aka nehuu ^_^

Posted in bookreview

…all five… a true story

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Book : …all five… a true story
Author : Karolina Robinson

Publisher : Michael Terence Publishing
Pages : 144

Story Line

Story revolves around life of Dorian living with his mother,step-dad and little sister. Always waiting for her elder sister, Iva to visit home. Their twisted relationship more that brother-sister is what I couldn’t digest. *Indian’s are very conserved in this type of things (not all)*
My stomach got a twist, when I first read they kissed each other *on lips* , I thought it’s their way of showing how much they care, how much they missed each other. Until few pages down, Iva gets pregnant, and then is detected with terminal illness. While living at home for illness, Dorian’s step-dad and mother finds out the bond Dorian-Iva share and are not so happy. Sending Iva away to her Grandmother, and asked Dorian for special camp for thinking such a relation could exist between a brother & sister. Dorian wasn’t happy to hear about these things, so he took STEP towards it. The blurb tells so much about the story, for that only I got intrigued about WHY would someone do this.

Writing

It was a fast read, I read it in one sitting *which like very less happens in my case*. The writing is easy and simple to read. English not being author’s first language, a reader can see it through out the book. I so wish the author had an editor, or some solid proofreading before publishing it.

I also wish, this could be a bit lengthy, because it doesn’t give us insight about Dorian mental state. He looks like a cold-blooded person after so much has gone happened in the family.
But everything is well concluded by the letter Granny wrote to the public press. This one just made me in tears, a letter 80 years writing about how her Happy family, got her to No family at all. The title also isn’t concluded until the last words of granny’s letter.

 

Cover: 4/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5 *it revealed almost everything*
Theme: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 3.9/5

Before I enter any giveaway, I check the Blurb. And …all five… I knew what has happened, but was intrigued to know WHY it has happened.
I won the giveaway.. **YAYYY** This was my first giveaway winning at goodreads *I know I am a bit late in posting this review 😦 *
The Book was signed by Author Karolina Robinson herself with lovely note ❤ I love signed books 🙂

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Find me at my Bookstagram page @night.bibliophile

Posted in Reviews

Whispering Flames : Bookish Candles

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Whispering flames, is the FIRST bookish candle store in India. (as far as I know) 😉
The candles are made with love by Afia Vasaiwala, a 17 year kid. And its INCREDIBLE, that she at this young age had discovered such a wide variety of scents. She started doing candles for just friends and family, and after successful product she started it shipping all over India.

As we all bibliophile knows how we love the scent of candles when reading and going into that aura but shipping and customs were always issue for Indian readers. Whispering Flames made this possible for every Indian bibliophile with a very nominal prices.

What more attract Bibliophile is that we get the scents of our FAVORITE FANDOM’S (YES, HP … and many more ACOTAR, SOC etc)
The sizes of candles ranges from 8oz to 4oz and are 100% Vegan candles.

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I recently bought special edition of Sun-signs special edition candles. I ordered one for me, VIRGO 😀 and it SMELLS GREAT Coffee scents… And other Aries, its JASMINE in scent (it’s for a friend but I KEEP SNIFFING it until I send it to her address 😛 )

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Recently Whispering Flames had their 6months anniversary. Do visit the Whispering Flames Website

Posted in bookreview

YOU NEVER KNOW

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Book : YOU NEVER KNOW: Sometimes love can drag you through hell…
Author : Akash Verma
Paperback price(discounted) : 122.00/-
Pages : 240

Story Line

Story revolves around life of Dhruv, a happily married man with children’s until Anuradha is recruited in the his advertisement company. She leaves impression on Dhruv on first day itself. Dhruv fells attracted towards her. They work together on a product’s advertisement, for which various company are competing. On the D-day of presentation, International team asks questions that whole of advertising team isn’t able to answer. At that right moment Anuradha with her confident attitude, and sticking to the campaign presented brings the project to her company.
Everyone is impresses, and Dhruv is more attracted to her. He knew its wrong to have feelings for someone else for a married man, still he can’t control his feelings.

As time goes, Anuradha reciprocate the same feelings. Like new love birds, they start seeing each other under eyes of everyone. Dhruv feels, he has started spending more time with Anuradha than her wife and kids. But Anuradha has a past, her ex Sid died few months back. And she is coping with the past. Till the past, comes and threaten her new life, & Dhruv. Dhruv’s marriage, his work is under threat. Will Dhruv be able to cope with everything? Will Anuradha make peace with her past? Sometimes Love Can Drag You Through Hell, what Hell is author talking about ?

Writing

Author has narrated with perspective of Dhruv & Sid, which keeps on binding the readers to know the characters personally. The series of event are weaved in an interesting way, that keeps readers on edge sometimes, and sometimes readers can look through what next is to happen. Language used is easy and nothing much to add up in my vocabulary.

What I liked most is the Cover & Title of book that keeps readers wondering about the HELL that is referred. And it isn’t exposed to readers until the very end, in last 20 pages.

Cover: 4.5/5
Title: 4.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 3/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Overall: 3.6/5

I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Find me at my Bookstagram page @night.bibliophile

Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview – Ananya Mukherjee

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People who follow me know how much I loved reading Ardh-Satya The Half Truth & Other Stories by Ananya Mukherjee. I wanted to conduct this interview for learning something from the Author both as a reader and a writer, and I learnt quite a few things. She has beautifully used words to paint beautifully in her book.
Do check out the review here Ardh-Satya The Half Truth & Other Stories

Thanks to Leadstart Publishing for connecting me with the author. And a big thank you to the author Ananya Mukherjee.

About Author

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Ananya Mukherjee is a former business journalist and the ex-editor of HRM Asia, a leading business title in the Asia-Pacific region. Ananya is acclaimed writer with more than 1000 publications to her credit. Before moving to Singapore, she had amassed years of experiences in the Indian print and television media. Her journalistic acumen covers a whole gamut of subjects including politics, lifestyle and business.
Born in Jammu, India and having lived across several states in her childhood and youth, she has had very rich cultural experiences through her interaction with the diverse population of her native country.
Ananya is a regular columnist with Bkhush.com and her column Shuddh Shakahari Desi is widely read and appreciated by an international audience. Ananya has also recently edited Amazing Africa, a Corporate Journey, a collection of short stories, written by two of her colleagues.
A passionate columnist, blogger, poet, theatre artiste and trained dancer, Ananya currently spearheads internal communications in a multi-national company. She lives in Singapore with her husband and daughter.

Q/A

Q. Author, observer, dreamer, rebel and thinker; a juggler of corporate life and performance art (as you say), which of these do you love doing the most?

The one that makes me forget pangs of hunger and sleep—writing! Therefore, I guess, the Author, which embodies and expresses the mind of an observer, a dreamer, rebel and a thinker.
 

Q. How did your journey of writing start?

With the autobiography of a broken umbrella! I was in Grade V and was tasked to submit a school homework. I had never written an autobiography before so I sought the help of my elder sister, who blatantly refused. She explained what an autobiography meant and left me to fend for myself. I had but no option than to give it a go. My English teacher was very impressed with what I wrote, though my family and I were quite surprised by her appreciation. However, the foundation of “write what you want to say, imagine and write freely” was established then.

Q. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

Being original, honest, expressive and simple. If you have ticked these boxes, there are chances that you will find a connection with people. And people in turn, will find your writing relatable. Readers like to find themselves in the words of others who can perhaps express better. When you ignore that connection, you are writing a private journal no one wants to read. Curiosity about anything that is remote weans over a period of time. It’s momentary in nature; whereas connections stay. Then of course, once you have found that audience/reader connection, you need to find a publisher who will see the value of all this in dollars.

Q. How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?

I write every day without clocking my time and then there are days when I just don’t feel like putting my thoughts into words at all.

Q. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Just let it be. Neither restrict the spontaneity nor the block. It happens to all of us. We just wait for that one moment of inspiration and hope that there will be a magical impact. And when the wait prolongs, we start looking at the white space in front of our eyes and get frustrated.

I usually spend a lot of time reading and researching when I do not feel the urge to write or my mind goes into a complete blank. It’s also very self-motivating sometimes to read my own work from the past or simply to edit what I have written. On some very bad days when the mind is not receptive to written words at all, I have these long conversations with myself where I randomly record what I am thinking on tape even if I cannot write.

Q. What does your writing space look like? (A photo, if possible)

I write from nearly everywhere. My bed and my writing desk

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Q. What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

I write not to sell, not to win awards. If I have touched you enough, rewards will come anyway. My greatest satisfaction comes from messages/emails from complete strangers, who have no obligations to be good to me, when they tell me that my writing has made a difference to their lives. Let me share some anecdotes. A reader once wrote to me sharing the news of her ailing mother and how she had read one of my stories to her sick mother in the hospital bed. The old ailing mother not only wanted the reader to read it to her again, but she had smiled through her pains after three months of being tied to a hospital bed. “My mother smiled after 3 months today for the first time after I read your story to her. With her, we smiled and cried too,” she wrote. In another instance, I got a call from an unknown woman who had been depressed. She said that she was unable to cope with anxiety and was feeling very low when she found one of my columns on being and staying happy. “I had to find you out because you have changed my life. After reading you, I am feeling so much better. I had to say thanks,” she told me. 

Readers tell me my stories make them laugh and cry. They are spontaneous reactions. But if I am able to inspire at least one woman to feel stronger, teach one man to forgive, influence one child to be kind and brave, I think I would achieve what I want to through my stories.

Q. Are you a methodical writer?

To be absolutely truthful, I am very restless when it comes to writing. I hear voices in my mind all the time and when I hear these voices, I write. I pen the dormant communication from my conscience and give it a life. I have often told friends that like love, words happen to me. They do. Every time I have this insane urge to jot down the scatter-brained ramblings of my mind, I rush to find a piece of paper or a note-book or my phone. I do not rehearse. I do not plot, script or direct my thoughts. I just take dictations from an inner voice expressing word by word till it all starts falling into a pattern of coherence, and begins to have a meaning. 

In my past life, as a journalist and editor, I had known what I wanted to write even before I began. I would compartmentalise my thoughts in columns and word counts. I would know the length of each line, even plan a kicker or be led by it, designing bullet points in my mind, mapping what is intellectually optimal to do justice to the piece.  They are called “stories” in our trade. I no longer do such “story assignments”. And trust me, my love for writing has only grown since I am not bound nor driven by a blurb, page count or managing barriers. I no longer restrict myself to mind maps. I let words embrace me before I embrace them and then together we play an indulgent spontaneous game of delivering an expression that comes straight from the heart. I just spend my thoughts in words.

Q. What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?

I am an incorrigible optimist, a romantic at heart, a curious learner and a tough cookie when it comes to resilience. I cannot say there was a challenge in writing the book. The real challenge was finding a publisher who saw its worth in dollars. In the publishing business, they say, you have to kiss many frogs with the hope that one of them will one day turn into a prince. I have faced rejection from over a 100 publishers and agents, some of whom found the book to be “too clean” and hence not commercially viable. I was asked to spice it up with all that sold. I knew I would not tread that path. I also knew I did not want to self –publish. I put my foot down and stuck to my belief that if you put your heart into something and are confident that it is the best you can deliver, it usually is. So, after nearly 5 years of rejection, I finally found a publisher who wanted to sign me up.

Q. If you were to describe yourself in one line it would be?

I am Ananya. You know what that means!J

Q. Your favorite place on earth?

Home. It’s where I feel most inspired, contented and creative.

Q. Working on something currently? Is yes, will it be short stories too?

Yes, another collection of short stories in English, some poems in Hindi and am converting some of my own short stories into theatre scripts. One of them will be staged in Singapore in a theatre festival in November.

Q. Last line in autobiography would be?

I am the evening melody of the temple conch shell, the slice of a crescent moon, the hop skip patterns you suddenly stumble upon on lonesome tiring roadways, the intricate motif on a blue baluchari saree, the flower that adorns your loosely tied bun, the sweet fragrance of the moist earth as rains sweep across your courtyard, the caress of a warm blanket on cold winter nights I am revolution, I am speech, I am my favourite me, I am Ananya, and I am invincible.

Q. Finally, if you could pass on a single piece of advice to authors out there reading this interview, what would it be?

Write not to sell, not to win awards. If numbers inspire you, select another trade. Writing is your calling when you write for the sake of writing, because you feel this inexplicable need to express.  Be sincere in your writing because there are a million stories in your mind waiting to be written, a thousand voices waiting to be heard. Once you have your soul in your writing, you will be able to touch a chord and connect with your readers.

Impressed yet?

Go get yourself, a piece of Ananya’s journey Ardh-Satya from here

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The 365 Days

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Book : The 365 Days

Author : Nikhil Ramteke
Paperback price(discounted) : 140.00/-
Pages : 178

Story Line

The 365 Days, is a story of a fisherman from Kerala whose life has been bounded-in by sea always. Shijukutty living with his beloved wife and son, is lured by the gleaming global hub of fortune, Dubai. Southeast coast of the Persian Gulf has changed fate and status of his fellow Malayali‘s in community. Shiju also dream of a life where he wants to uplift the status of himself & his family. With anticipation of leaving his wife Dhanya & his son, and dreams in his eye he takes heavy loan for traveling to the city of dreams.
On reaching Gulf, the words

“My dreams began to fade as reality stretched its scaly torso and wrapped itself around me in a bruising clasp”

make it clear what he thought it would be and what actually was there. No one is different their, the story of why they are here are same. All was attracted towards the dream city for money. But they never knew, they would be cheated, cheated by the agent back home, cheated by their employer here. By giving them less money from what they were promised. Befriending his fellow migrants and knowing their story is depicted in other pages of this 365 days journey.

Options of going back to previous life is not possible for all, as all that is left back there is a BIG loan and their shattered dreams in heart. All can’t take it.

Writing

The narration is very good, and the depth of author’s knowledge for the plot conceived is impressive. Author Nikhil has written novel from a malayali perspective, and have used certain malayali words which is apt for narrating the story from protagonist’s mind.
I found the plot to be a constant line, there were no ups and down that couldn’t be foreseen. Only last few pages, shook me.
Also there were certain things which weren’t anywhere supporting the plot.
For example : watching that bhojpuri film, or those random retold of Jabbar’s life stories.

I could related to book more, as one friend of mine is Malayali and is from Kerala. And her brother-in-law’s are working in Gulf for so long for the same reasons, as in the book. I loved the naration where author has given each day to day references of labour class working and life. However, I got sadden by the end. I loved the little cartoon animations at almost each chapter giving apt meaning to chapter. My little 2 yrs nephew used to turn pages of the book, and show me those cartoons and asked me to narate a story to them that included us the family members (yup, the book got personal to me 😛 ).

Also I loved how the Cover of book is given Matt finished. I haven’t seen any book with this finishing yet.

Cover: 4.5/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Overall: 3.6/5

Received a review copy from the author and publisher for an honest review.

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