CalcuttaScape : Kulpreet Yadav

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Kulpreet Yadav is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, and Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, one of Asia’s leading literary magazines. Shortlisted in various writing contests, his short stories and essays have appeared in over 30 publications. Kulpreet is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, and his latest novel, The Girl who loved a Pirate, is India’s first thriller based on marine piracy and hijacking. Passionate about Creative Writing, Kulpreet also mentors aspiring writers at schools and colleges and has spoken at many literary festivals in India and abroad. He lives in New Delhi.

Connect with Kulpreet at Website | Blog | Magazine | Startup

Kolkata Sets You Free

Called the ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata’s charm has had a profound impression on me. In fact, I attribute my becoming a writer on the two-year stint that I did about a decade ago in a place called Haldia, about three hours from Kolkata.

But you might ask how can one experience joy in a place that is so overcrowded and almost always on the brink of violence motivated by volatile political parties? The answer to this can only be found if you visit Kolkata.

I began to write my first novel while I waited for my train at the Howrah railway station in 2006. Until that point, I had no idea that I wanted to become a writer. I had been a regular reader, someone who enjoyed reading books for leisure. But something snapped in my head that winter morning at the Howrah railway station. I had eaten machher-jhol as a late mid-morning meal I remember and was waiting for my train which was running several hours late due to fog. As time went by, I found myself scribbling furiously in a small diary that I was carrying with me. By the time the train arrived, I had written the initial chapters of what was later published as my first novel.


Hilsa at Gariahat Market.

I think there is good reason why Kolkata is called the City of Joy. To my mind it’s because the city motivates you to be creative which in turn makes your life joyful. I’ve a few Bengali friends and I have found them to be friendly, kind and helpful. From meeting them and eating Hilsa at their homes in Kolkata, to shopping at the New market and the Gariahat market, and eating rosogullas and phuchkas, Kolkata has the kind of energy and vibration that always fires up my creative side.

If you want to do something imaginative like paint, write, or create music, you should consider heading for Kolkata. This city will set you free. Like it did to me.

Bhalo thakben



#ExpressYourself at Freecultr

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

I think we all love tee-shirts with unique and superb designs. And what better than being able to design your own tees and sell them as well! Freecultr is the store that gives you an opportunity to upload your designs on their website, where they can be sold and you’ll receive a portion of the profit. Insanely easy steps lead you to showcase your designs before the world.

I have no talents for sketches, doodles or cartoons, sadly. But if you’re adept at these, do try your hand at Freecultr. It is great to be able to #ExpressYourself through your creations. Be innovative, create your doodles that will convey your message and let people wear your expressions! I’ve drawn inspiration from nature and uploaded few of the photographs that I’ve clicked. They express tranquility, peace, add colour to our lives and comfort us through nature. You’ll wear a piece of nature if you pick up the tees designed by me!

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CalcuttaScape : Kiran Manral

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Kiran Manral is an Indian writer, blogger, media consultant and the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network which works with disaster victims. She has also worked with several publishing houses as a features writer and journalist.

A self-professed school gate mom, she lives in Mumbai with her family. She has written books like Reluctant Detective, Once Upon a Crush, All Aboard and Karmic Kids. 

Connect with Kiran on Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Instagram

Her books are available on Amazon


I first visited Calcutta as part of a school trip which took us on further to the beautiful Darjeeling. We stopped for a day in the city, and specifically Howrah railway station. An entire bogie of the train which comprised us students and teachers from two different schools who were part of the trip spent the night at the station. Calcutta hit me like one of those waves you don’t see coming, are incapable of defending yourself against and end up getting swept away unresistingly.

Howrah Station . Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Howrah Station . Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

It was perhaps, the start of my infatuation with Calcutta. So far, my equation with Calcutta had remained that of the onlooker who saw the city through the gaze of the cinema that was set in it, the stories I read based in it. This though, was different. This was the city, live, pulsating, and irresistible.

I visited it next, as a guest of dear blogging friends who had become a sisterhood. I stayed at one’s lovely home, was taken around the city by them all, hosted for a lavish Bengali home cooked meal at another’s and this was when, I realised, as John Green famously said, that I had fallen in love with Calcutta, “like you fall asleep, slowly at first and then all at once.”

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Book Review : When Our Worlds Collide

Blurb View:

Image Courtesy: Amazon

Image Courtesy: Amazon

Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life.
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up.
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines.
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.
They meet each other quite by chance.
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives:
For Zayn, it’s a ‘Partner-In-Crime’.
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…
When their worlds collide,
It is not what either of them expected it to be.
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.
What happens these two become friends?
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak?
What happens when two completely different people collide?
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?
‘When Our Worlds Collide’ is the story of two twenty-three-year olds,
Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world.
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances,
Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!


Aniesha Brahma has been a steady writer of romance. I’ve read all her books now, this one even before its release! Romance for young adults doesn’t need to be cheesy and Aniesha is one of those rare YA writers in India whom you can trust not making it cheesy.

You begin with an interesting line in the preface –

‘It’s not always about the happy ending, sometimes it’s about the story.’ 

I loved it, as I believe in it. Happy endings have cliche to such an extent that people have stopped liking stories that don’t have one. But it’s the story that matters at the end, not the ‘happy ending.’

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Book Review : Made in India


Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

He was the boy with gold in his hair.

As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca’s, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music. In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the middle Fast before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar.

What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling King Fun Fighting to the iconic youth anthem of made in India and the numerous hits in between. Biddu’s music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.

In this first public account of all that came his way the people, the events,the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a very sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending, Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.


Made in India and Biddu are synonymous with my teens. The name still invokes a lot of nostalgia when we used to go ga-ga over Alisha Chinai’s stylish version of ‘Made in India’. It was sensual, melodious and a revolution at that time with Milind Soman in the video. That’s when I first heard of Biddu and loved his music subsequently in numerous tracks.

Since music is interesting, the autobiography of a musician must be too. That was my idea when this book came for review and Biddu didn’t disappoint his readers. The story begins where it should, from his childhood in 1940s and ’50s. What struck me the most is humour, at times it veers to satire on various subjects. India, right after independence still allures me and I wanted to read an account from someone who’s lived in a different part of the country (having heard stories from my father who lived in Calcutta during that era). There was unemployment,  a new Government ruling the country, lot of British people still serving and living in India, and Bangalore was a serene, cute little city.

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Massy or Classy – Who Reads These Books and Why?

Writersmelon is proud to be a partner at the Tata Lit Live! Mumbai Literature Festival 2015. This is a guest article from one of the team members at Writersmelon who attended the litfest curtain raiser blogger meet in Mumbai. 

The Tata Lit Live is in its 6th year now and one of the best Literature Festivals in Mumbai. They organized a blogger meet ahead of the festival on 20th October and Writersmelon is proud to be associated with it.

Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

Ravi Subramanian, Deepa Gahlot and Anil Dharker. Image Courtesy: Zohra Merchant

After facing some bad traffic and munching upon super yummy snacks at Café Zoe in Lower Parel, I got on board with the discussion. The panel comprised of three diverse personalities – Ravi Subramanian , one of my favourite authors, someone I admire for his super balancing act between being a banker by the day & author by the night, Deepa Gahlot – author of King Khan – SRK and festival director Anil Dharker. For the curtain raiser event of Tata Lit Live, they had chosen a very relevant topic of discussion, especially for creative professionals – “Is Freedom of Speech threatening Democracy itself?”

From freedom to express political, social & creative viewpoints, the discussion headed to one of my favourite topics –

What is crappy but massy, classy but élite content for a book?

Why are so many ‘crappy/massy’ books being published these days?

Do they really deserve to be printed at the first place?

The answer to all this, again lies in that powerful word called ‘Freedom’.

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Books and Music…Music and Books… by Biddu

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Are they country cousins or blood brothers linked by a certain commonality?

Music came to me from a very early age. It came from an ambition to make a career from what I loved. To make something of myself. Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones etc, they were the soundtrack of my youth and I wanted some of what they were having. It was glamourous and sexy, fun and ego boosting, being up there on stage. It was also a great way of meeting girls!

The idea of writing novels came to me much later, when I was older, slightly wiser and because I needed to do something apart from music which I had been doing since the age of 13. I was sitting on a beach in Spain having taken a break from music and gradually boredom set in. I was pretty healthy for my age, my brain cells were still working, so I was thinking of what I could do that would interest me. I did not have to be passionate about it, but interested surely. I was thinking of opening a restaurant or writing a novel. I knew nothing of running a restaurant and even less on writing books.

But ignorance is a great motivator, so while mulling over these two ideas and as the waves lapped the shore line, I realised the discipline in writing books was very similar to creating music. You spend hours on your computer which is linked to your keyboard and you spend all day working a melody. Some days the music you create sounds like a dog’s dinner, on other days it sounds pretty symphonic and hot. Working on a novel is also a lonely gig. You look at a blank page on your lap top and then hope the words flow in sentences that are eloquent, dramatic and make for an interesting narrative. You can write a few lines or a chapter in a day depending on the groove of your feeling. In music and in writing books, there’s no point waiting for inspiration or you could be waiting for Armageddon! You just get on with it.


Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing “Kung Fu Fighting?” which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult “Aap Jaise Koi” for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.

  Kindle –  

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws