December 31, 2015

Musings: Oh, 2015!

Dear 2015, 

You were possibly one of the best years of my life. I don't know if I'll ever be able to tell you in words how much I love you. 

Let me tell you 10 Reasons as to why I have loved you so much. 

1. The Rajasthan Trip 


2. The Mumbai Trip


Meeting Akanksha after eight long years in Mumbai. 


3. Treading the waters for Self-Publishing 




4. Completing MPhil thesis on time and submitting it too. 


5. Getting featured in Times of India 

6. When Our Worlds Collide - the second work of fiction being recognized :)) 


6. Playing Secret Santa with Bibliobibulis 

7. Meeting some very amazing people too (look, you know who you are.) 

8. Not where I want to be, but so very glad I am not where I used to be. 

9. My life finally feels like it's headed in the right direction. 

10. I am still very much me. The essence of 'Aniesha' will never go away. I'll always try to retain what makes me, me. No matter how much I change...

Here's hoping 2016 is going to be as full of joy as 2015. 

Until next time, 
Love from 
Aniesha. 

P.S. - I met Ruskin Bond this year. So....that was the BIGGEST thing for 2015!!!











December 30, 2015

Musing: Year End Resolutions

Today is the second last day of 2015 and guess what...I still have 10 things that I need to do before I run of time. And as ridiculous as every single one the items are on the list I had my own reasons for penning them down: 

(Don't judge me.)

Thank you Diptee di, Subhro da and Ri for this very cute POST-IT note

I'm pretty sure the last one is going to make you all go, "Whaaaaaa------???" But before all your brains begin to device and concoct theories which in reality make zero sense, let me explain it. 

The love letter is for myself. I intend to write a love letter for my future self. You're probably going to roll your eyes at this statement and say, "Ha ha! Don't lie to us, Aniesha." The only response I have to that is, "I'm not going to waste my time explaining this to you. Moving on." 

But in case you guys want to do this, it's called writing a love letter to yourself. I know it sounds weird and borderline insane, but it's a really good idea to write about all the good things about yourself, all the things you've achieved and all the people in your life you are grateful for in the form of a letter. Because in 2016 on a day when things go wrong (because I promise you that on certain days things will seem bleak), when you stumble across this letter, it'll fill you with a lot of hope. 

Christmas Loot from Diptee Di, Subhro Da and Ri 
Now let's go back to my list again. BUZZ Magazine. Yes, I'm going to stay up all night if needed, but we're going to bring out that magazine before 2015 ends for sure. 

The letters that I need to write and I need to post. I located a Post Office closer to my home. Guess who's going to NOT work and write letters today? ;) And guess who is leaving her house at 9:45 am tomorrow :P

Father Christmas visited the wrong house!!!
5 to 7 are things which I believe I need to work on. Although to be honest, I have not been very angry in a long, long time. So maybe I'm so over all that rage that used to keep me a prisoner. I've learned how to let go... Or maybe I have just accepted life as it is and not as I think it should be...I don't know. (Okay, this is confusing. New thing on the list: 11. STOP BEING SO CONFUSED.)

Write a short story. That one's actually the easiest one on my list. Writing is second nature to me. So I'll post a story soon. Maybe it'll be my New Year's gift to you all. 

And the review of 2015. Umm...can this blog post count as it? Okay, no. No more being lazy. I'll do that as a special for 31st December. Focusing on only the good things of 2015. 

I got a lot of things this Christmas. But the best one was this: 

Bibliobibuli's Secret Santa Gift
My friend Esha was really surprised that I got a lot of diaries for Christmas, because to quote her, "When was the last time you wrote in a notebook?" 

(Writing down work lists, and planning out updates do not count by the way.) She meant writing journals, stories in diaries and maybe even poems. Well, maybe this time I'll do it. 

I did get a lot of diaries and it's time I put them into good use. I have begun to art journal. Which is actually such a brilliant way to relax...since you do whatever you want, without the whole, "Oh my God...this HAS to make sense. This HAS to go this certain way." 

And a friend of my requested that instead of a letter, I write a whole journal and send it to them at the end of the year. (Ha ha. So NOT going to happen.)

I've lost track of my train of thoughts now. But yes, I'll be back tomorrow with all the good things that happened in 2015. And what I think about New Year's. 

Until next time, 
Love from 
Aniesha. 

P.S. Do you guys have some leftover work for 2015? Are you going to race against time to get it done like me? Let me know in the comments section below. 


December 11, 2015

#Ask Aniesha: When Our Worlds Collide

I had asked the readers of When Our Worlds Collide that they could ask me questions on twitter, with the hashtags #AskAniesha and #WOWC.



Here are your answers!!! 

@sachinprabhu007 asked: (Sachin)

Do you have a travel diary like Zayn? 

Answer: No, I don't. But I do know someone who does. :))

What inspired you to write this book?

Answer: I wrote it to help myself think a little clearly about things. I was living vicariously through Akriti. 

What was the most difficult phase that you faced while writing this book?

Answer: The scenes with Akriti's dad. It used to leave me emotionally drained. It's not a nice thing, fighting with one's parents: even fictional. 

What are the themes you would most like to write about in future?

Answer: I want to write about deeper things than just romance. I want to explore things like drug abuse, depression, and bullying etc, with of course a little bit of romance. 

@sudeshnat93 asked: (Sudeshna)

Are you hopeful that guys like Ayoub exist? 

Answer: I know they do. You just need to keep your eyes open for them. 

@SarikaP8 asked: (Sarika)

I love how WOWC ended, but if you were forced to end it another way, how would you do it? Where would 'A' be? 

Answer: I had decided at the very beginning that no matter what happens, Zayn and Akriti wouldn't end up together. I find it funny how other YA novels always, always has the girl finally get the guy at the end of the day. In another timeline, maybe she'd end up with Ayoub and begin a war with Esha. But, she wouldn't have ended up with Zayn. That much I can guarantee. 

This just struck me: Akriti and Zayn are basically A & Z. What goes around, comes around type. Intentional? 

Answer: Originally, Zayn was called Piyush. Then I changed it to Zayn...it was done unconsciously but well, A to Z does have a nice symbolism, doesn't it? 

@booklovingnerd asked: (Nivedita)

When will I get my Ayoub story? 

Answer: I already shared a snippet from it with you, Nivs! :)) And, I don't know. I have two more ideas in the pipeline! 



November 23, 2015

An Excerpt From When Our Worlds Collide: Akriti Meets Zayn


The tinkling of the bell that hung over the café’s door made me look involuntarily at it. A young couple had come in who appeared to be deep in conversation with each other. Both of them had a vague kind of familiarity. I had a sneaking suspicion that I had seen them somewhere. As they approached the counter where I was standing, the girl tossed her head and her eyes met mine. For a minute, I saw the same confusion swim in her eyes. Then her face broke into a wide smile.

“Akriti?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said, slowly.

“Oh my God!” she shrieked, “It really is you! After you left school, I think we spoke over the social networking sites at least once or twice. I had a feeling I might find you in Kolkata.”

Then it hit me. “Nimmi?”

She nodded, ecstatic. I remembered the girl who had made me hold her wrist watch, who had dragged me away from trying to help the boy from ‘another section’.

“Do you like, work here now, or something?” she asked.

“Kind of,” I replied, “My mother owns the café. I have to help out here. Would you like something?”
“You are the heir to a café? No way! That’s super awesome,” Nimmi said, joyfully. Then she looked at the confused face of the guy who was with her and laughed. “Oh, I am so sorry, Zayn.”
“I was wondering when you were going to remember me,” he answered, but it was clear from his expression he was highly amused by our reunion.

“This is Akriti, she used to be in our school for like a month, and then she left,” Nimmi explained, “And Akriti, this is Zayn.”

“Hello,” I said, nodding at him, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You were in our school?” Zayn asked, completely ignoring my greeting, “Why did you leave?”

“I was homesick for my old school,” I explained.

“Well, you should have stayed. I mean the 12th grade was the best time of our lives, wasn’t it, Nimmi?” he asked, happily.

I gave him a wry smile. “So, what can I get you guys?”
---------------
If you liked the excerpt above, please do buy the book here: http://amzn.to/1N1fUiW
You can also check out the book's reviews at GoodReads.
If you want to help me spread the word about When Our Worlds Collide, you can do so by being a part of the Book Tour organized by b00k r3vi3ws tours here: http://bit.ly/1N2gnWj

Book Blurb: 
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 when 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!

A picture clicked with my old phone.
I was just figuring out selfies back then! :P


November 20, 2015

When Confused About College, Try College Dunia!

The transition from school to college has always been the toughest decision of one’s life. Because from here on out, no matter which direction you would like to go in – the journey begins. Gone are the days when you would have to depend on word of mouth references for good colleges, or visit campus fairs to know your options. You can now do that in one click of a button. By logging on to www.collegedunia.com

College dunia says, “We are an extensive listing portal , with information of more than 10000 colleges in India , a platform for students to come up and choose their institution , after being antiquated to all the aspects of it . We also give information about various entrance exams , events , college festivals etc.”

If you through the website you would know that searching for a college of your choice to study your dream subject or going to your dream college to study a subject, has never been easier.



Once you’re finished with undergrads, there is the decision that you might have to make about what you will do for higher education. Should you pursue postgrads from the same college, should you shift to a different university, a different state altogether? Once again, collegedunia proves to be your friend.

In particular if you happen to have completed BTech, and are looking for places to study MTech in, we’d suggest you take a look at Mtech colleges in UP  . If you do not live in UP, then perhaps the long list of attractions that UP offers might help you make up your mind to check out that state.

In a country where we are constantly fighting for the right to basic education, it is nice to see that portals such as collegedunia exist to help you make the right choice when pursuing higher education. Websites like these make life easier for students, racking their brains, trying to make the right choice to help them build their career.


So if you are a student, wondering which college and which course would be the right path for you to take, do check out www.collegedunia.com. You won’t be disappointed. 


November 4, 2015

Interview: Esha Chatterjee (BEE Books) & Anirban Saha (Kolkata Bloggers)

In Conversation with the Masterminds, ESHA CHATTERJEE, CEO, BEE Books, & ANIRBAN SAHA, Founder, KOLKATA BLOGGERS,  responsible for ‘Tales To Tell’ 

Have you ever been to Princep Ghat? It’s one of the attractions of the city of Joy. If you have not experienced the calm of the beautiful ghat early in the morning – you have missed out on an experience of a lifetime. While many people would sit and stare into the Ganges, people like us got talking about Tales To Tell, a collaboration between BEE BOOKS & Kolkata Bloggers.


With Esha Chatterjee and Anirban Saha, boat ride at Princep Ghat

1. How did you guys meet?

Esha: We met at a Young Authors’ Workshop that had been hosted at a school in Kolkata – and neither of us knew what we were supposed to be doing over there.

Anirban: I thought we had been called there to judge the program but it turned out, all we needed to do was sit and watch it.

Esha: It was highly uncomfortable because the kids were sitting on the floor and we were sitting on the chairs, with barely any space between us and the kids! My legs got cramped!

2. When did you decide to collaborate on Tales To Tell? 

Esha: It was in December 2014. We had been quarreling about the online/offline worlds.

Anirban: She scared me so much I literally broke my glasses!

Esha: Shut up! We had consecutive meetings and then decided to join the two worlds.

The Tales to Tell Team: Arjyak Bhattacharya, Asmita Nandy, Esha Chatterjee & Anirban Saha 
3. If you could tell us a little bit about Tales To Tell? 

Esha: Tales To Tell, like we said before, was a way to join our two different worlds. Before I met Anirban, I had no idea the online world could actually be this influential. But I told him he does not understand the offline world.

Anirban: So we came up with Tales To Tell.

4. So, who came up with the name Tales To Tell? 

[Anirban points at Esha] Anirban: She did. The entire credit for the name goes to her.

Esha: I did.

5. What is so different about Tales To Tell and the existing writing competitions? 

[As I ask this question, Esha proceeds to explain the details to me while Anirban decides it is better to stare into the horizon.]

Esha: For one thing, we never charge the authors any participation fees or ask them to help us when we go into publication monetarily. Our main agenda was not to generate profits but to help the young writers and illustrators. The books are price at pocket-friendly rates so that anyone who wishes to read the book can just pick it up.

6. But they are popular. So in five years do you think Tales To Tell will be as well known as the other existing  writing competitions?

Anirban: 5 years is a very long time. But in 2 years – we will have 5 books and 4 genres for sure.

Esha: Hopefully at both national and international levels.

7. Was it fun collaborating on this project? 

Anirban: Very much. I loved working with her. She is like a mother to me.

[Esha rolls her eyes before answering.] Esha: It was amazing. I loved teaching him so many things.

He’s just like my own father. Not a father figure though!

Tales To Tell Launch, The Team with the Panelists


8. We hear Tales To Tell got sold out even before the book launch event was completed and Flipkart was sold out hours prior to the event! That has to be some kind of a record. What are your thoughts about this? 

Esha: The entire credit for record breaking sales goes to Anirban.

Anirban: Any tie-up with BEE Books and Kolkata Bloggers is bound to be a hit. [Grins.] On a serious note, there was good branding and the messages were well conveyed for Tales To Tell. That went a long way in helping the book go out of stock and get sold out in record breaking time!

9. What is next for the Tales To Tell group?

Anirban: Our entire agenda behind Tales To Tell was to show people of the world what the youth can do. Unfortunately, we have a very negative image with all the “next generation doesn’t read and write”,  “My son/daughter only wastes her time on facebook”, ‘There are no opportunities in the literary field’, so we wanted to show them that we can do anything we want. We want more people to take part in Tales To Tell writing competitions; we want to do something positive.

Esha: I think we already did prove that the youth are not as useless as everyone thinks. We plan to further this stream of thought! We were amazed at the response it generated in the first installment nationally and we are hoping we get some international submissions too this time.

10. Why should young writers take part in Tales To Tell Romance? 

Anirban: Because we are very lovable and adorable, and to express their love for us.

[At this point this interviewer got exasperated and looked at the other mastermind for another answer.]

Esha: Because we want to grow with them. They can connect with us on a personal level. Something I am sure is uniquely our thing.

Anirban: Love really is important. It is steadily decreasing in the world – so we need stories that focus on love. Besides, we also provide an amazing launch! [Grins.]

Esha: Ok on a serious note, for Tales To Tell Romance we are looking for stories within 1200 words. We increased the word limit this time, so that people can express better. We haven’t decided on an end date so there is still a lot of time. I completely agree with Anirban but we are looking for stories which would not be stereotypical in their approach.

[And this interviewer gave up by then on getting any more serious answers from the founder of Kolkata Bloggers.]

11. Good luck with all your future endeavors. What advice do you have for those who really want to write but are afraid to? 

Anirban: Just write. Don’t think about it so much.

Esha: If you have an idea, give it to us. If it’s good enough – we’ll help you.  But you need to write it first!

Anirban Saha and Esha Chatterjee at the launch for Tales To Tell 

And with that our little rendezvous came to an end. By this time we had long abandoned Princep Ghat and were happily seated at Flurys. In perfect timing, the interview ended and our food arrived. 
If you would like to get in touch with either ESHA CHATTERJEE or ANIRBAN SAHA, their contact details are listed below. Drop them an email. 

I’m sure they’ll both reply. In one person’s case – eventually.

Hope you’re having a wonderful day. Keep smiling and stay updated with all of my latest musings by subscribing to Aniesha’s Musings. To read the review of Tales To Tell, click here

Contact Details:

Esha Chatterjee - Email|Facebook|BEE Books

Anirban Saha - Email| Facebook|Kolkata Bloggers 

Because I just had to show you what we ate for breakfast! 

October 15, 2015

Musing: Help A Child Create Happy Memories This Pujo!

I was brought up in a household with not one but two sets of parents: my mother, my father, my abbu and my chhotoma. It never occurred to me, until I was much older, that the latter were actually my uncle and aunt. In fact, they get pretty irritated whenever I call them my uncle and my aunt. They insist that they will never be anything else but abbu and chhotoma for me. The concept of a child being an orphan, to be without both a mother and a father, was alien to me…until I began to interact with the world at large.

Ashotmi Before Sunrise. A picture I had clicked in 2011. The lights had fascinated me. 
It was when I first read the fairy tale, Little Match Girl, that I began to realize not everything is rosy in our world. As a teenager, I read the novel, Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster but found myself unable to connect with the protagonist Jerusha “Judy” Abbott’s confusion about her own identity. She had grown up in an orphanage and her surname had been picked from a tombstone. When I asked my mother why the protagonist felt that lost, she told me something I will never forget.

Close your eyes and imagine you have no idea who your parents are, who your family is. You know nothing about yourself. Not even the day you were born.

That is the scariest thing I have ever imagined. And believe me, I imagine things and write them down for a living. I went back to reading the book with a fresh perspective, and this time I could empathize with Judy. She wanted to protect other little orphans from the fate that had been meted out to them. So she writes to the man who had given her the second chance at life, Mr. John Smith aka Daddy-Long-Legs:

“I think that every one, no matter how many troubles he may have when he grows up, ought to have a happy childhood to look back upon. And if I ever have any children of my own, no matter how unhappy I may be, I am not going to let them have any cares until they grow up.”

September 26, 2015

Musing: 10 Life Lessons I Learned From My Cats

Okay, so I have been planning to write this post for quite some time now. I have been sneakily photographing the little beings who help to keep me motivated and who have always shown me how to get back up again every time I crash and burn. They have taught me invaluable life lessons.

So here are the 10 Life Lessons I Learned From My Cats

1. EXERCISE

Pippo Darling 
Of course Pippo likes sitting on my static cycle, conveying the silent message of "healthy bodies and healthy minds." He likes to do numerous stretches too, just to show off how fit he is. And then stares at me - as though daring me to be able to follow in his paw steps. I used to glare at him initially. Then I gave up and now fit in 30 minutes of free hand exercises and 30 minutes of the static cycle. 
Guess what? He was right. I find I function better and for longer hours on the days I do exercise as opposed to the days I don't. 

2. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE 

Rambo (Motu) & Me
This picture clearly says it all. I really did not know how much I could love someone until I met these beloved cats. My love for them helped me realized the kind of love and the power of love my mother has towards my sister and I. I honestly never thought my heart could be filled with so much of joy, love and laughter - till the day Pippo walked into my house. I believe it is because of them I have learned to be kinder and more compassionate. I like looking for the good in people. Because my cats have taught me how most people are just severely misunderstood. 

September 15, 2015

Musing: Of wishes, realizations and Motivational Mondays

Dear People who believe I write really good advice,
This post is completely dedicated to you. :) 

I turned 26 this Saturday and I had at least 5 revelations that would love to share with you guys. Of course you might not agree with me. But remember I look at life through my personal experiences. I do not wish to see it the way you see it, and I would never allow you to judge life from my experience. 

Every single human being is absolutely different from each other.



1. Let It Go! - Whether it is a person, situation, memory, if it does not serve you and does not make you happy you have to just let it go. Holding on to things because they had been a huge part of your life once upon a time is just holding yourself back from growing. Time is not a measure of friendship no matter what the psychologists tell you. You need to surround yourself with people who will love you and help you grow. Not with people who are stuck ten years into the past. Neither should you entertain Negative Nellies. Imagine having won a freaking Oscar trying to share that happiness with a friend who only has something very negative to say. Do not listen to someone telling you about all the bad things that has has been happening to them and how they think they are victimized. If you believe in the law of attraction you already know that they are the root cause of all their problems. You do not need to get sucked into their pointless drama.



September 8, 2015

Musing: Things To Remember Part 2

The common misconception about life is that it's too hard, too short, brings too much trouble, and too much of unhappiness.

But it's not.

Life is honestly however you choose to look at it.

It's filled with little miracles throughout the day. But you are too busy to take any notice of it. Have you ever noticed the sunrise? Or the sunset?

Have you ever noticed the smell of the Earth before the first drop of rain hits the ground?

Have you ever noticed that some people love you enough to do anything for you? That they really care about you. And no, they do not necessarily have to say, 'I love you', to convey those feelings.


We do not seem to listen enough. What we do hear are people trying to be overly protective; or just too concerned. But life's a busy thing too. If someone makes the effort of making sure you're safe and sound, appreciate it. 

The problem is: we are so used to people telling us what is wrong with us, we never seem to hear the ones screaming themselves hoarse trying to make us see what is right. We believe the naysayers so much that when we finally meet someone who believes in us more than we do - we believe they must be lying. 

They are not. They are trying to make you see who you really are. Who you should be. And how you stopped becoming that person being surrounded by all the people who bring you down. Remember that these people are NOT fighting with you; they are fighting a battle with themselves and they might be losing. 

September 1, 2015

Musings: How Life Got Better Since 2013

COUP d’EAST

Back in 2013 when I wrote a year review I had mentioned how things had become ten times better when I’d discovered the world of blogging. There was this site called Write Up Café (which I am not too sure exists right now or not). Anyway – they decided to have a competition among the Indian bloggers by dividing them up into North, South, East, and West Zones. And we were a part of a larger group of bloggers who represented the east zone. Hence the name, Coup d’East. ( I forget who came up with the name. But we’d all voted and this name stuck.)

I used to not like talking to strangers and was not very comfortable with having to talk to people over the internet on a daily basis. To make matters worse, I got an eye infection right before the real competition started. Of course our points of contact, Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay and Sudeshna Thakurta, was not impressed by the lack of enthusiasm from other members. I still remember the scolding we got. And I still remember writing the first messages to them both explaining my silence.

With Debi Di & Diptee Di 
Little did I know that later on, Debi di (as I call Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay) would go on to become my go-to person for book recommendations, book promotion, fellow YA fiction lover, John Green fan as well as the woman who inspired me to take up Tarot card reading. She has also oscillated between teaching me how to bake to inspiring me to get myself an OTG and take up cooking seriously. She and I went pandal hopping last Pujas. I already adored her and that meeting made me love her even more. I’d gone to watch the screen adaptation of The Maze Runner with her before that. It was the first time I’d ever met her.

She would share little anecdotes of her life with us; and I always admired how she speaks her mind. It’s nice to see someone call spade a spade and when I’d voiced that I wanted to be exactly like her – someone close to her and remarked, “I want to see this girl. She must be mad to even consider becoming like you!” Debdatta di runs the extremely popular book blog, b00kr3vi3ws, and she’d helped me understand the Indian English book market when I had been working on my thesis earlier this year.

July 27, 2015

Motivational Monday: The Secret Shifters & PETs

It's another Monday again. And I know I've managed to get some of you lovely people to read my blog for these nuggets of positive wisdom. I realized over the last few months that your attitude is the key to your success. While I always encourage people to look for the bright side in things, I cannot deny the fact that we all have moments where all hope seems lost and no amount of chocolate in the world seems enough to make you okay again.

I know that it is impossible to change your feelings with the snap of your fingers. But I have also learned ways to shift my energy from absolutely foul to something with a better frequency. What I use have been dubbed as "The Secret Shifters" by Paul Harrington.

These could be anything: quotes that inspire you, songs that inspire you. Maybe making a list of ten things that you're happy about. A memory that you're particularly fond of. A person you enjoy talking to. A book that you love reading. Perhaps playing with your pets. (It has been proved that people who own pets and spend a considerable amount of time with them, are far more likely to be happy than those who don't.) This is of course not to encourage to go buy pets, shock your families and blame me for it.




Speaking of pets, I thought I should also tell you about the other PETs in our lives: Personal Emotional Trainers (PETs). These are people who come into our lives or are present in our lives to help us understand that life is not what happens to you but how you react to what happens to you. The very first memory I have of coming across such a PET was when I was four years old. I remember the girl's name and her kid self's face is etched deeply into my memory. She'd committed the unforgivable crime of stealing a bar of chocolate my parents had got for me, and making her group of friends (or rather followers share a single piece of toffee). I wondered later on why I'd let her walk all over me like that. I guess I just wanted to be liked. My four-year-old self did not know that she needed to like herself before anyone else could like her.

July 19, 2015

Musing: Things to Remember

We are all trying too hard stay relevant in a world which is completely irrelevant.

We go our whole lives trying to find someone who would love us despite our scars...

We never stop to think the only way to heal those scars is to love ourselves first.

All of us are inherently good people who make mistakes and slip up - and make complete messes.

What we need to remember is that everyone can be saved. No, you don't need a hero to rescue you. You are perfectly capable of being your own hero.

Learn to forgive yourself. Learn to accept you are only human. Learn to see the good in people.

Image Source: WallPapers


Realize that not everyone you meet will have the same heart as yours. Try not to be disappointed when you comprehend that there will be people who would not jump puddles for you - even though you've crossed oceans for them.

July 13, 2015

Motivational Monday: The Break in Faith

Hello Reader,

It is hard to write a motivational post when you're not feeling too inspired. And when I woke up this morning I was not even sure if I'd put up this post today or just skip ahead to next Monday. As the day progressed, I realized that no one going to be there to motivate you all the time. Sometimes you need to be your own hero.

One of the things that helps me get back on track is to remember one particular scene from Arrow, Season 2. When the Arrow falls down and hallucinates his best friend, Tommy, telling him to get up and fight back. If your imagination is not as wild as mine, you could always settle for setting a goal for the day that you look forward to. Indeed, you should always make goals that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

When I began the section of Motivational Monday last week, I asked a friend what she would like to read next. She said that when people embrace and accept the fact that the law of attraction does indeed work - people get excited and thrilled, and they experience beginner's luck. After awhile things begin to go wrong and they begin to lose faith. She wanted to know why that happens, and what she could possibly do to climb out of that place.



July 6, 2015

Motivational Monday: The First Limiting Belief

Dear Whoever Clicked the Link to Read this Post,

Have you ever secretly wanted to do/have/be something but put it out of your head because there was a voice inside your head telling you - "Are you crazy? That's never going to happen."? Well, maybe it's time to tell that ever persistent, insistent and rather annoying voice to shut the hell up. Tell that voice to go take a hike.

I became acquainted with the law of attraction back in the later half of 2009. However, it was not until 2013 that I began to understand it completely. As my interest grew, my life began to improve. :) And I am not here to preach at you and tell you how to live your life. I am just here to tell you I know what it feels like when your world begins to crumble away right in front of your eyes.



Instead let me just tell you the things that I've learned - the things that had actually held me back. (And sometimes still do: because after all, I am still human.) These things are called "limiting beliefs".

June 28, 2015

The Writing Desk: Before You Write That Novel

I just literally finished writing my new novel, Girl Code, and I because the writing bug has bitten me - I thought of blogging about what one should do when they have decided to undertake the task of writing a novel. (Also I need to space out going back and making edits.)

Screen shot of the Draft in its Early Stages 

Just like with the short story, there is no right or wrong way of writing the novel. I've tried to do the go-with-flow kind writing for my novels before. Unless you're careful there's a high chance of running into plot holes and making mistakes which hardcore readers might not forgive you for. However, completely fleshing out the story leaves little to our imagination. And makes one of favorite things in the world a very tedious exercise.

What I did was combine the two very extreme methods. When you try to send your writing to be evaluated by a publisher they always ask for the plot synopsis (and sometimes it is chapter-wise), the book blurb, and the first three chapters. But you will not have a story, if you don't have a cast of characters. Unlike the short story, the novel allows you to have as many characters as you want. And you can decide who you want as the leading characters and who you want playing minor parts. Sometimes minor characters are used as catalysts.

June 9, 2015

The Writing Desk: When You Write A Short Story

Some Thoughts About When You Write A Short Story

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Even a couple of months back, when someone would come up to me – tell me they read my work, congratulate and launch into the story of their own struggles with writing – it would irk me just a little bit. Writing was after all my comfort zone. The safe spot, as most of my cats would put it. But over time, I realized, there are more than enough stories for all of us to tell. There is more than enough ways to tell same tale too. In fact, it would actually be a crime on my part if I did not encourage these writing enthusiasts. After all isn't it a criminal offense to deprive the world of a perfectly good story?

Okay, this image belongs to me :) I just edited in the words into the picture I took of a diary of mine :) 

April 21, 2015

Musing: The Train

Image Courtesy: fb/The Idealist 
I used to be a quiet child. I learned to speak much later than was normal for a kid (it had worried my mother no end). But when I could make sense of what was going on in my head, I realized that I had the ability to think a mile a minute. I've perhaps taken myself on innumerable adventures as a child. I am pretty sure the on-lookers thought I was crazy. But I was completely happy in my world of make-belief. 

Being deeply influenced by fairy tales, I would sometimes pretend to be a Princess. However, I wasn't satisfied playing the damsel in distress. So I changed the story. The Princess ran away from the locked tower. The Princess walked out on the Beast (after stealing his whole collection of books too!) The Princess remembered to pick up her stray shoe when it came off. The Princess refused to kiss the frog. In other words, she had learned to be her own hero.

As you grow up you realize that world isn't just yours. It belongs to 7 billion other people too. But the world you choose to build for yourself - that will always belong to you and those who you want to be there with you. In this little world - you can take on any role you want. You can chose to be the lead character or you can choose to watch the show from the sidelines. But I digress...


"I wish the world was just you and me." - Riley
"Then it is." - Maya.
A still from Disney's show, Girl Meet World
Image Courtesy
The image that was shared by The Idealist page, reminded of the times when nothing had mattered to me more than sitting down and sharing conversations about love, life, anything and everything with people who had been very close and important to me. We did not speak everyday. But whenever we did, it felt like we started from where we'd left off.

April 2, 2015

Musings: Going Indie for The Guitar Girl

When I finished writing The Guitar Girl back in 2013, I was lucky enough to have caught the eye of Hachette India - for their Young Adult section. The woman who used to work in their department asked me increase the word count, think of new ideas...and within a week, my 20,000 worded novella had fleshed out in 40,000 words novel. 

But sadly she switched jobs and her supervisor didn't like the modern day epistolary format we'd both loved. I told myself it was minor setback and began hunting for publishers again. That is how I came across Srishti Publisher's sister publishing house, Bluejay Publishers, who after six weeks of back and worth (and quite a number of reminders), told me that although it captures an interesting story, takes away the reading pleasure from the readers...(after going through the whole manuscript, mind you.) They did tell me that they look forward to working with me on some future project. (That future project is yet to arrive, I assure you.) 

April 1, 2015

Spotlight: The Accidental Wife

About the Book:

From the author of Inconvenient Relations Simi K Rao!

If you enjoyed Inconvenient Relations, you'll love The Accidental Wife, a new contemporary romance from Simi K. Rao.

Some accidents are meant to happen…

Dr. Rihaan Mehta is a brilliant young neurosurgeon who has no inclination for love or marriage. According to him wives and girlfriends are annoying accessories that one can do without. But when his mother dangles the sword over his head in classic Bollywood style, he succumbs, and sets out in search of a bride who would fit his 'requirements'. But can Rihaan deal with what he gets instead?


Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon.in I Amazon.com

The Accidental Wife is now available on kindle for 99 cents Only! Go get it now as the offer is for a short period only !!

February 8, 2015

Musing: A Love Letter to My Sister

Last night I finished reading Ava Dellaira's novel, Love Letters to the Dead. I think towards the last half of the book tears had flooded down my cheeks.

Image Courtesy: http://www.7thpage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/love-letters2.png 

January 24, 2015

Musing: Childhood Dreams

23rd January 2015.

Picture Courtesy: Swarnali Das

I’d been looking forward to the day. Ever since the Kolkata Literary Meet, named Kalam 2015, had made their schedule for DAY 1 public. One name had reverberated through my mind the whole time: Ruskin Bond. I would finally get to meet the man who had given me my first childhood crush.

January 21, 2015

The Great Indian Litterbug

When I was first placed in my new home, the corner of a street, I heard the men mutter about how they were wasting their time. Of course, that got me really indignant. Why would placing me in a new home mean it was an utter wastage of time for them, eh? After all, I was prepared to do my duty.

How hard could it possibly be to eat up all the waste paper, the wrappers of chocolates, the discarded newspapers and the innumerable cigarette butts? I would keep them all intact, and I would proudly deliver it to my older brother, the Big, Bad Garbage Vat. He could scoff all he wanted about how a Little Litter Box wouldn’t be able to handle the corner of the road...but I was determined to prove him wrong.

January 16, 2015

Musing: Why We'll Perhaps Never Be Friends...

Today is a very important day for me. Besides this being my brother-in-law's birthday, it is also the day my 2nd published work saw the light of the day. I had been struggling to find a publisher post The Secret Proposal. I do have another novel coming out this year: but it was after a year and half of struggle that I finally landed LiFi Publications.

And once IndiReads came along, there was no looking back. I can see now how different my writing is now from what it used to be...and I'm going towards my goal of weaving stories out of words which would leave everyone spellbound.

'Writer' - that's who I always wanted to be. That's who I've told myself I am.:-)

My Writing Desk, The Diary, and the Frog Lamp 
The other thing that came home to me was the realization as to why I had - for the longest time - not really gotten along with someone. With all his over enthusiasm and a force of will which would put the average twenty something's to shame - he took something away from me: blogging.

I know this sounds absolutely absurd! How could anyone take "blogging" away from you? But he did exactly that.


January 6, 2015

Book Tour for B00k R3vi3ws: Fade Into Red Character Interview


Meet The Protagonist 

1. Hi, Ayra...first things first, what were you like as a child and a teenager?

I was terribly spoilt but nevertheless a good girl. Being an only child, all my whims were catered to and honestly because I could do everything I wanted, I think I did nothing at all. It was all very charmed and you wouldn’t have liked me too much. I wasn’t very interesting at all. As I child, I spent a lot of time with Kartik and we read and played technics. But as I became a teenager, my friends changed and I whiled my time away playing tennis and hanging out at the Madras Club. I don’t think you can be much of a rebel in Chennai really, but I wish I had been somewhat naughty. I remember preffering to spend Sundays in my dad’s study helping him with filing or gossiping with my aunts in the kitchen while they listened to MS Subhalakshmi. God, it was wonderfully boring.

2. When is your birthday and do you believe in Zodiac signs?

My birthday is on the 29th of July and I am a Leo with absolutely no Leo like tendencies. Well I am a little melodramatic, but not so vain. Which sign is the most paranoid? Well that’s the sign I should have been born under!

4. What does Ayra do on a typical Sunday?

Sunday mornings are spent cleaning Nila’s litter box followed by dusting the house and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy reruns. Fun fun. Dinner is almost always at Narina’s, her cook is wonderful. If Kartik is over for the weekend, then we head to Lonavala and stay at the wonderful tree house resort there.

5. Do you believe in love at first sight? ;)

Not really. I was always a very practical girl and still am. But there are sparks, lusty ones I think. Most definitely not love but lust, yes. There is lust at first sight, as I have recently come to realize.

6. And do you have any celebrity crushes?

Hugh Grant in Notting Hill.

7. What are the other places in the world you'd like to travel to? 

I have always wanted to go to Russia and the Napa Valley. I used to keep telling Kartik we need to travel more but his idea of travel is either to see Primal Scream scream at some strange music festival.

8. Do you plan to tell us about your next adventures? 

After all that has happened, adventure needs to come without the drama. But I have been gifted a small trip to Florence to do a course in Art History. I am very excited about that.

9. Have you added any more shoes to your collection?

Not really. Considering I am now unemployed, I am stock piling my savings for my trip to Florence. Once there, however, I am pretty certain window shop furiously.

10. Finally, what's next for you? Following your adventures in Fade into Red?


Well, Florence of course and a certain dinner date I have at a restaurant you might have heard of- The Bald Rabbit. J

Catch Ayra in Fade into Red: 




About the Book:

Ayra always wanted to be an Art Historian. She saw herself flitting between galleries, talking Michelangelo and Dali with glamorous ease. At twenty–nine, life has decided to make her an underpaid investment banker juggling an eccentric family, a fading career and a long–distance relationship that is becoming a light-year one. On a monsoon day in June, she is suddenly sent packing from Mumbai to Tuscany to buy a vineyard for a star client. What should have been a four day trip turns into a two week treasure hunt that finds her in the middle of midnight wine deals, dodgy vintners, rolling Tuscan hills, a soap opera family and one playboy millionaire who is looking to taste more than just the wine. Towards the end she finds that the road to true happiness is almost as elusive as that perfect glass of Chianti.

Book Links:




About the Author:
After finishing her A Levels at Bridgine School, Windsor, and getting a BA (Hons) at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Reshma started her career as a Journalist for India’s national newspaper The Hindu, Business Line but left mid-career to pursue an MBA at the Indian School of Business that led to a successful career in Investment Banking. After 5 years in Investment Banking she quit her job to travel for two years and visited Europe, China, and the US. She conceptualized the novel during her travels through the Tuscany wine country. She created the eccentric Ms Krishnamurthy, her precocious cat and her dog eat deal environment. Her deep appreciation for the south Indian family dynamic, experience as a freelance journalist and a passion for Italian wine helped create Fade Into Red. Simultaneously she also honed her skills as a Travel Writer and has contributed to India Today Travel Plus, SilverKris, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, National Geographic Traveller and The Hindu Business Line. She is also co-founder of the literary blog, The Caterpillar Café.