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 CafĂ©.