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! 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading their interview and loved how interesting and worth a read this is. Everyone should read this interview it will really pass your time.

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