That Which Must Not Be Named

spicysaturday

This piece was pending since long. No, it isn’t about a blogging contest or a product/book review. I don’t believe in creating a Utopian blog that oozes paradoxes in the paradise of blogosphere. You’ll find them aplenty and you’re free to hop off in search of gayer blogs. Each of us has secrets, including writers. And since most of them are shy people, it is often exemplified in their works. A line here or a passage there, opening up small attics of memories and secrets in the stories they write.

But this isn’t about writing. This is about – not writing. I think the last time I wrote fiction goes back to two years ago. Well, I have plots brewing in my head but they haven’t been converted on paper since long. There’s a reason why not, and that is the whole crux of this article. I have diagnosed myself with what I call LD (Literary Depression), and I’m already tired of it. I know friends, people, writers, bloggers, who have serious LD but are ashamed to admit it. It is definitely considered downmarket. In our country, you’re still not allowed to talk about any kind of depression – be it literary, personal or professional. While we still don’t come out about personal reasons for depression unless we’re celebrities/film stars, LD is probably worse. If you are diagnosed with LD, you’re doomed as a writer. The publishers would trash you (sooner), your family would abandon you, readers would steer clear of your blog, and friends/fellow bloggers (the worst part of it) would PITY you.

Let me make it clear in the beginning – LD is not what we call Writer’s Block. It’s worse, the worst, actually. In the latter case, you are just unable to write. There are stories and characters swimming in your head, and you can’t catch them to make a good stew. But in LD, you lose everything – your confidence, conviction of being a writer, plots, characters, stories, twists, sentence construction – all of it goes on a toss. And you’re left with naught. The very feeling of naught, void, of being unworthy of a single printed word. Every article you read, every book you touch, every newspaper you pick up, every film you watch gives you a dump. A well constructed sentence in an otherwise poor article makes you realize that you probably can’t write better than them. You read nincompoops and feel it in your bones that you haven’t written in eons, they have books and you don’t. Trust me, LD is all encompassing. It affects your writing, your reading, your perceptive abilities and your sensibilities. You not only can’t write, you can’t even read. Every book makes you feel inadequate, every article invokes that sense of loss (of writing) inside you and you take solace in staples – like I have, in reading Bangla books, my childhood favourites.

LD is a slow killer. It takes eons to even detect it, and when you’re done, it probably gets too late to recover. I’m not ashamed of LD, just tired of it. But, there is hope, always, that someday you’ll be able to write again.

I’m certain that I will write again.

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Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote

Blurb View: 

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

He was a bestseller… She wanted him to make her one.

Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor’s life is straight out of a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak.

Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful, and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author.

What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protégé.

The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

Review: 

What do you expect when you pick up an overtly hyped book for review? Obviously, the best. When a bestseller author like Ravi Subramanian shifts gear from banking/finance/gaming to supposedly romance as a genre, readers have to be eager to know how he fares. With that much anticipation, I too wanted to know how differently or similarly he wrote this book. Romance-thrillers are picking up pace slowly in India and it’s not darn easy to balance both.

As I’m sure most of the readers are acquainted with the plot or blurb, the story is about an author (and a banker, there’s no respite from those jargon here too) and a fan who plots a diabolical scheme. Let me not get into spoilers, rather try the character sketch of the main characters. ‘Aditya Kapoor’ has drawn inspiration from a certain bestseller author, whom everyone loves. There are very blatant bits taken from his life to build the character, either with his permission or in plain humour. Shreya Kaushik is the one who probably gets more attention in the book as the ‘fan’ who becomes much more than that. I liked the way her character is shown evolving from her IIM days and the plot she schemes.

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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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Un-blogging and Other Stuff

downloadSo, I’ve been neglecting my blog since long. For work, yes, and a lot of other inexplicable stuff. It’s sad and funny at the same time. Funny, because all the work I do now originated from blogging at some time, and sad, because I miss my blog!

I don’t know when it all began. I’d open the ‘New Post’ page on my blog and sit blank for minutes, hours at times. I wanted to write about a lot of things apart from book reviews. I’m not a ‘Personal’ blogger, don’t like to rant about mundane trivia hand-picked from my daily life for random readers. Hence, I had reservations on what to write. Perhaps, when you have surplus topics at hand, you lose out on your priorities. I debated with myself whether a particular piece should be posted here, on my ‘Free’ blog, or somewhere else who’d pay me. That’s one of the core dilemmas of many bloggers who’d be ashamed to admit the fact. Ashamed, of what? Of the fact that bloggers need money for what they write. Oh yes, these words are our sweat and blood because we are capable of churning them out.

Don’t be ashamed if you charge for your articles. “There’s no such thing as free lunch.”

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Co-writing a novel for Team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’ #CelebrateBlogging

So this BlogAdda came up with this novel idea of writing a novel as teamwork. Pretty usual for them to harp on unusual ideas and throw them at us, bloggers. This is definitely a challenge to the blogging community, co-writing a whole novel with 8-9 strangers. But it is indeed a great idea to bring the community together, let bloggers from all over the country know each other, support and co-work as teams.

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

They have provided us with five core characters to build our story upon. We can and will add three more to spice up the story. They will be judged by a jury panel every week and they will keep eliminating teams. At the end of three weeks, three teams will survive. The best one will be published as a book by BlogAdda. Isn’t it great?

Our team is ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’, comprising  DivyakshiPriyanka VictorArpitaDattaNupurSulekhaMariaRoshan and Priyanka Roy Banerjee. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Though we have come together by sheer luck and BlogAdda’s permutation, we have gelled so well as a team that I don’t recall not knowing these people a week ago. We have brainstormed, argued politely, given each other space, stood by when any of us is busy and working, helped each other with blogging technicalities as well as nitty-gritties of writing.

I believe we can make it to the top, so does my team. Do read all our chapters, follow our Facebook page and show us some love!

Week 1: 
Chapter 1 – Princess’ Day Out
Chapter 2 – The Weekend Brunch
Chapter 3 – The Journey
Chapter 4 – The Phone Call
Chapter 5 – Through the Eyes of a Stranger
Chapter 6 – The Princess and her Pied Piper
Chapter 7 – Shadow play turns real
Chapter 8 – Mysterious Tattoo
Chapter 9 – The Confrontation

Week 2:
Chapter 1 – I’m coming to get you, Princess
Chapter 2 – The evening before
Chapter 3 – A Good morning
Chapter 4 – Trigger happy
Chapter 5 – The Calm before the storm
Chapter 6 – What lies beneath
Chapter 7 – Pandemonium
Chapter 8 – Whodunit?
Chapter 9 – Divulgence

Week 3:
Chapter 1 – Shadows in the Night
Chapter 2 – Taken
Chapter 3 – Truth and Pretence
Chapter 4 – The Perfect Crime
Chapter 5 – Standoff
Chapter 6 – The Return
Chapter 7 – Catharsis
Chapter 8 – The Reunion
Chapter 9 – Epilogue

  • You can tell Blogadda what you think of our story directly here. Best comment wins a prize from them, we believe 🙂

 

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

Image Courtesy: Divyakshi Gupta

Our Facebook Page is here

Books for life: Celebrating #IAD

 

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

Image Courtesy: b00kr3vi3ws

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Writing is not everyone’s cup o’tea, but reading is, or at least it must be. It’s not onerous to read – a book, a magazine, an article, a paragraph, or even a single sentence. Reading is a habit that will take you places, through magical universes and realms you have longed to visit, through the past and future while you read them in present. “I have been an avid reader” – I bet many of us must have begun their #IAD blog posts with this claim and they are very well so. Debdatta of b00kr3vi3ws has been extremely prudent in conceiving the idea for International Authors’ Day and a blog hop. We’ll write all about books, reading, writing and more – for you.

Few favourites.

Few favourites.

I can’t recall how long I’ve been reading, but it has been nearly three decades. And now when I introspect, I haven’t even read a sensible portion of everything I ever want to read. My parents had been kind enough to hand me books along with food from a very tender age. The rhyme and picture books have slowly graduated to fairy tales, mostly translated in Bangla/English from Russian and Ukranian folk takes. I’ve been lucky enough to scourge through those books in the Kolkata International Book Fair for a few years and enhance my collection. Shelves started spilling books and my father had to find me a study desk with bookshelves beneath. As my trips to the Book Fair increased each year, the bookshelf started shrinking. Innumerable Bangla and English books spilled over to my bed, the dining table (except for lunch and dinner times), the television stand, a piece or two inside the almirah, on the fridge top, and even inside my school bag.

I couldn’t buy every book I wanted, as I have been taught to respect and judge the value of money. I used to wait for gift cheques and solid cash from my grandmother(s) on birthdays/Durga Puja/Saraswati Puja/Poila Boishakh (Bangla New Year). My first Tintin (in Tibet) was courtesy maternal grandmother and I still cherish the copy for a handwritten note from her. I would demand for books rather than dresses on each occasion and it certainly made my relatives wonder if I were feminine enough. My father wasn’t worried, he built huge book-almirah with four shelves for me. For us.

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31536000 and More Minutes

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

One and a Half Minutes has turned One today. I do recall this day exactly a year ago, sitting at a desk in a temporary accommodation, just arrived in a new city, aimless. I was lost in the maze of various writing assignments and perplexed to a huge extent. Surfing intently, I came across a few book blogs that grabbed my attention at once. Studying them for a day or two motivated me to revamp my blogs which lay orphaned in the virtual universe for the last few years.

I collated all previous posts in English and clamped them up to One and a Half Minutes. 14,200 views later, I don’t think I’ve done that bad a job for a non-commercial personal blog. I don’t write my heart out here, I don’t much write about personal stuff, but I weave my stories mostly on this blog. I’ve tried to put in my best effort to gift quality reviews and articles to my readers and I’m too glad when people come up and laud them.

Hang on, readers. I have a many more words for you, just keep reading and let me know if you love ’em or hate ’em.