Posted in bookreview

Letters to My Ex


Book : Letters to My Ex
Author : Nikita Singh
Pages : 138
Price : 135/-
Publication : HarperCollins India


Story revolves around Nidhi and Abhay who are in love with each other since five long years. They can’t think about anyone else other than themselves. And the sudden announcement of their engagement and involvement of their parents. Put’s Nidhi in a disturbed place, where she can’t find what and why is this happening. Until the very end on the day of engagement, she runs off without giving any reasons to Abhay.
This is where the Letter’s comes in. Nidhi starts writing letters. Letters that are kept with her, but she write it for Abhay and herself to understand why this happened.
Then the emails starts.
Will Nidhi and Abhay ever be together again ?
Will Nidhi realize the reason she left Abhay ?
Who is Simran ?



This was probably my first reading in terms of letter/emails structure. I quiet liked it. The narration was easy, but sometime got me confused from whose eyes are we looking into the scene.
The first half of book, where Nidhi just wrote a LOT about her feelings and fears and her apprehensions why she left from engagement was the most things I could relate. Being a person who keeps a personal diary for big things, the letters made much more sense than the other scenes.
The book has a okaish kind of pace, and end is just KNEW THIS WAS COMING. And while I applied for this book, I thought it will be different that other love stories, but umm *spoiler* it’s not.


Things that worked out for me :

> Being a female writer, Nikita has made sure to bring that emotional and sensitive touch in Letters by Nidhi
> Pages from 63-74 , are PURE BLISS. That conversation shows how deeply they knew each other.
> Loved the cover, how those letters are wrapped in and kept with flowers. LOVED IT.

Things that didn’t worked for me :

> The narration sometimes confused me, like from whose point of view am I seeing/reading this?
> I wish the book was Big, so that there could have been more characteristics attached to the characters.
> After first half, I guess I knew what the end was. And it’s kinda disappointment because it turns out to be same Lovy dovy story.

Words that touched

My head is foggy, my heart is sore, it hurts everywhere, all the time.

And then,today, my autopilot took me to you, and I was jolted back to reality. After the initial shock of coming face to face with you. When my eyes met yours, and we stopped dead in our tracks. All my thoughts halted. The entire world came to a pause. It was just your eyes holding mine. There was no sound, no movement, no air. And then I was flooded with feelings all at once.

That’s the problem with following a gut feeling, instead of your brain, or reason. Because these gut feelings can abandon you at any given moment and switch sides.

You were my anchor in the little storms I seem to face constantly in my life. You grounded me when I was all over the place….
I wish you were here.

Final Note :

If you are looking for a light, romantic novel. This novel is for you.
If you like to see how people feel for each other, when they are not together. This novel is for you.

 Cover: 4/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 3/5
Story: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Overall: 3.2/5

**Book was provided by Writersmelon, in return of an honest review.**
Posted in bookreview

VANYA – Collection of stories and poems


Book : VANYA
Author : Multiple Authors
Pages : 66
Price : 199/-
Publication : Artson Publishing House

Compilation of poetry & stories on theme grace, courage and strength of women.

Poetry are not very easy to read and understand. Some are simple, some are deep.
This book contains both in equal mixture.

The book is contains words from 23 writers who understand a woman in their own ways. Yet all the poetry and story can show case one common thing, the Courage woman has shown.


There are 21 poems by multiple writers. And I being one of them, are so amazed how we all think so differently and all have a unique way of writing. But the theme of book is not lost in any of the poem.
Apart from my own poems (2 poems are written by me), some of my favorites are (Rhapsody of a woman, a journey from childhood to adulthood, and SHE)

Poems having simple language, but the effects go in deep.


There are 9 stories in total written by multiple writers. While some stories gave me chills, because I was terrified when I read ‘The Night Not Less Than A Nightmare’ . It is the very first story, and I had to take time off after this one. Woman go under so much and we are thought to keep silent and be patient MORE.
Another story to mention is ‘The Men Of A Woman’, as the name suggest the story revolves around a lady and men in her life. A husband, a son, after marriage they are her life.
Last but not the least, ‘Colour’ showed how easily colour in a women’s life can be taken away. It’s sad that society and emotions of a woman never give justice to her life. And that’s exactly what is shown in this story.

Stories are written in a way, that show struggle of a woman in everyday life. The sacrifice, the fear, the little things that bring her happiness, all are spread across wonderfully in these 9 stories.

Final Note :

If you haven’t read any poetry, this one is perfect to start with. As it is simple, but it also has depth. If you like mini-short stories, well this one has 9 🙂
Go Grab it. 23 Author (including me) will be grateful to you.

Link To Buy : VANYA

 Overall: 5/5

Huge Thank to Artson Publishing House for trusting these budding authors, 
and giving them chance in this amazing collection.

This book was read for a readathon #femmeMarchFest
Posted in bookreview

Pimp in the Pulpit


Book : Pimp in the Pulpit
Author : Thomas McRae
Publisher : Eber & Wein Publishing
Pages : 35
Price : 335/-
Format : Paperback

Story of a dysfunctional family, where each one is having issues with one or another person.


Story is narrated keeping Edward Jones as the main character. Story starts with Edwards mother calls him and jokes about how his grandmother called and asked about if Jones family was going to attend her 95th birthday.
Well the story revolves around that birthday, and characters come in and go to make story going. There are unsorted things between family.

Does Jones family goes to the birthday party?
Did the birthday party happened?


The book is not for people, who are easily offended. There are words that come around as harsh sometimes.
The story kept on going, it was a constant graph and not a dull moment. As there was something or the other thing happened in family, with relatives, or with each other.

The narration of story went a bit of haywire, because it regularly shifted tenses, from past to present. Leaving reader a bit in haze what was happening, when.

Final Note :

Perfect short read, if you like to know how a dysfunctional family is. Some readers would definitely identify with some characters in the story, while some will be like ‘Does such people exist’?

Overall: 2.5/5

I would like to thank Author Thomas McRae, for providing a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

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 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 ?


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 bookreview

Then The Doorbell Rang

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Book : Then The Doorbell Rang
Author : Capri Jalota
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing
Pages : 395
Price : 206/-(discounted)

The title and the blurb of Then The Doorbell Rang is very intriguing, as it made me feel like it’s a thriller or mystery read. Instead it’s emotional and touching story of Jane’s life and her different relationship. The story revolves in different country and state Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai.

Story Line

Story revolves around a single child, Jane. Her mother is British and father is Indian. How her parents fell in love, and her years growing showed different side of her parents. Her strict mother always wanted her to be an Independent women, and she didn’t like it because reading took her whole life and she couldn’t enjoy being a child. Until on her birthday 31 Dec 2005, she woke up and found her mother’s letter revealing many truths she never knew existed in their life. Was she wrong through out her childhood about her mother? Will she became an Independent women, that her mother wanted her to become?

Years apart…
One not so fine day, Jane finds diary written by his husband Uday. The diary contains secrets, Uday has never shared with Jane in their married life. She is confused and takes off to find the truth. Will she be able to find truth? Was their marriage a lie?

The story is moved to Mumbai, as Jane travels to India for first time to unravel the truth about Uday and meet his best friend Rahul. In the path of finding truth she meets Mahesh a broker who helps her to find Rahul. Will she be able to find him ? What will the meeting would be like ?

As the stories goes, there are comes multiple stories intervened with Jane’s life. Steve and Leena, her relationship with her in-laws (in Delhi), Rahul and his social services, who are Pinky and Shallu?

New Year’s Eve, 31 Dec also Jane’s birthday holds a very special/horrifying place in Jane’s life. This date has many a times mingled with her fortune. All things that we think shouldn’t happen on one’s birthday happens to Jane. To find about what events I am referring to, you need to read the book.


This book is a debut novel by the author, writing was simple and the pace was good. Though there were parts where story felt like too descriptive and could have cut it short. Uday’s dairy, felt it can be made into a separate story of a book. A background of Jane’s life, and her life as a whole is shown beautifully. It’s like How can someone not fall in love with her, she has her own flaws still she own it beautifully.

I loved how Author has shown Jane, a beauty with brains girl. An independent women, going through rough phases of life yet not feeling dishearten. Until …. (let me leave it open end) 😉

Sometimes, the sentences where too short, and there were few grammatical errors.

The first chapter gives us a LOT of information, and I felt like what author wanted to write. Until the very end, IT all made sense. And I was like WOOW, that’s what I am talking about. I love this kind of writing, writing some and leaving it till almost end to weave back those words into beautiful memories.

Author has played very well with human emotions and relationships. Feeling happy, sad, anxious for a character in book is what Author makes us do.

Some quotes and poems are really heart touching

Instincts work better than plans, You have to keep your eyes and ears open!

It was a beautiful night,
the lights were bright,
walls were shinning white,
yet, no one could see my plight.

“90 centimeters below the ground,
Is all that I long for now,
To be born again,
And restart our story one more time.”

My heart won’t stop beating until it has you in it.

Final NOTE :

I would surely recommend this book to anyone who want to experience Life’s journey through Janes hardships. She was a successful Independent women, yet there were MANY things that were missing in life. ‘Everything at the end will make sense’, is what book has taught me.

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

The book was provided by Leadstart Publishing, in exchange of chocolates, money, ice creams (NOTHING LIKE THAT) only honest review.

If you would like me to review your book, please feel free to get in touch with us Contact

or find me at my Bookstagram page @night.bibliophile

Posted in bookreview

Dharmayoddha Kalki: Avatar Of Vishnu


Book : Dharmayoddha Kalki: Avatar Of Vishnu
Author : Kevin Missal
Publisher : Kalamos Literary Services
Pages : 482
Price : 209 (discounted)

My mythological world craving heart, couldn’t resist this book. Once I read my fellow bookstagrammer @Tavleen’s review about this.
I love mythological retelling, that’s because born in Indian family we all have heard so much of Indian stories about God & Goddess. And it won’t matter, how much I age I will still love hearing every other interpretation of this stories
*But there are cases in my past, that I haven’t liked such interpretations*

But Kevin Missal author of Dharmayoddha Kalki has definitely given us great story on the warrior of Kalyug, Kalki with power pact action.

Story Line

Story revolves around two main characters, Kali & Kalki and is divided in two parts – The Battle of Shambala & Rise of Kali.
Starting with a scene of war zone, where Kali is leading all Tribal heads opposing King Vedanta.
Winning/Triumphing over King Vedanta’s army and war tactics with his cleverness and sharpness proved a great deal to Kali. He rose to become Lord Kali to Keekatpur after winning. Politics takes a roll, and all the leaders are questioning and making alliance with each other to remove others. Kali’s health detonates, and his sister Durukti goes out to Shambhala for a known-unknown solution.

In parallel book narrates the story of Kalki, living in a small village named Shambhala with his family. Knowing his extraordinary powers, but still questioning his abilities and why he got them. First fighting Mleechas (bandits) who kidnapped Kalki’s father. And then stood as a leader to his village, when news came ‘Commander of Indragarh wanted to excavate Lord Indra temple’.

The fighting/war scenes are described at a length, that we think we are amid of those plains.

Second part, Rise of Kali is about Kali’s regained strength and his mean ways to be the LORD of Indragarh. Kalki fighting for his freedom from prison of Indragarh. And the first meeting of Kali & Kalki was one of most anticipated scenes.

Many more people joined in second part of the book. Every character had a certain role, and each one impacted the story.

Everything ended with leaving readers a bit curious about WHO THAT WAS.
*Don’t question me, but I am still trying to figure out. If you are also thinking about someone, I am open to discuss it further*


The story had a good pace. As the story is in third person narration, it gives time for each character to create its significance and lasting effect. But also at the same time, second part of book had too many new characters coming which got me confused sometimes.
I loved how Women in the story are shown as strong as Men in the story.

As a mythological genre, I NEVER have liked those characters speaking of cheap kind of language.Some might argue with me, that characters are created for modern people. But its my personal believe, and I know I will never like when such characters say things like ‘Horse shit’ or scenes like ‘grabbing hips and squeezing’. But thank God these were few in the book.

There were multiple events to surprise me but some of them turned out predictable. Also there were many grammatical and typos. Looked like, book needed a good editing. But then its just first release, and first book by Author.

One last thing, that disturbed me was I kept on confusing Kali & Kalki and kept reading paragraphs until suddenly remembering it was other one instead 😦
Also Vasuki and Vedanta too…

Final NOTE :
I would surely recommend this book to anyone who loved Mythological genre, and is ready to wait quiet some time for another part. Also this is great start to people who haven’t read any Mythological retelling book. It’s action packed, with a Hero and a Villain ( or many Villain’s), politics
*I didn’t knew about its part, else may be I wouldn’t have read it*

You can buy from Amazon Here

“I know it sounds abysmal…” he chuckled at the mere thought of it, “but I just want to be happy and content”

“Do you not dream big? Do you not want to travel?”

Kalki rounded his arms around his little brother. “Perhaps I chose not to. Perhaps big doesn’t always matter. It’s also the little things, specks of happiness that we go through in a day that we should look out for. It’s funny how grief makes you realize the good things you have overlooked in life”

Cover: 4/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 4.5/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.7/5

I may be a bit partial, but whenever I read any Mythological read. I compare it with Shiva Triology, which I TRULY LOVE….

The Book was signed by Author Kevin Missal himself with lovely note ❤ I love signed books 🙂

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You can follow me at my bookstagram account night.bibliophile


Posted in bookreview

…all five… a true story


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.


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 🙂


Find me at my Bookstagram page @night.bibliophile

Posted in bookreview



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 ?


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


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 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. 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


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?

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