Friday, October 19, 2018

Sales Copy of As I Lay Waiting: As An After Thought

Dear readers and friends,
On this mid-October day, I sat down to do what I love more than a lot of other things in life-writing. Although what I was penning down presently was “just” a sales copy, I still enjoyed the music of keys being pressed following the strings of thought in my head. I felt like I was back in an old art gallery where every painting was once familiar in all its beautiful subtlety.

Sorry, I just had the realization that this was not how a sales copy should begin. So here is the truth: I have lost some of the techniques of my craft to time. Unused, every craft, every tool, and every intellectual muscle would wear away, sag, and finally rot.

It was too painful to acknowledge the fact that I had lost some of my skills to time. That meant I was ageing. It wouldn’t do if I stood where I was. So I decided to move on. Here goes, dragging his feet, a new man with his old soul in a gunny sack on his shoulders. Pain, everywhere I see pain. A hurt ego aches more than a hurt body. Due to my gigantic ego, I had kept this story of a mysterious entity hunting people down to take vengeance hidden for several years. Well, to say hidden would not be a proper expression since I had shown it to many editors and publishers. Everyone loved it.

I also sent the story to many writers from across the world. All their responses came back great. That was in December 2014. At that point in time, the story of As I Lay Waiting was part of another anthology. All those writers I approached were busy writers, international in the scope of their work, deep in their conviction regarding the power and presence of fiction. Their response letters were longer than I had expected. In two common points, I could draw a connection among all their responses. One point was their own views on writing fiction. The second point was how they liked this particular story in the collection and they all added in the end that before I go for self-publishing this book, I should wait for the best opportunity to present this one story better. That meant I hadn’t presented it well, making it part of that anthology. I decided to change it.

I took all the stories in that anthology at that point in time and rewrote most of them. This process of rewriting gifted me with a lot of new ideas and better ways to emulate on the page what I saw in my mind while conceiving the story. Then I sent this particular story out to many editors, editors of horror magazines, mostly. I thought that As I Lay Waiting had a horror element in it.

To my disbelief, response letters from editors of international horror magazines were very good. They wanted me to take time and publish the content wisely, by which they meant that I should make sure it reaches the maximum number of readers.

I considered many options. I could make it available to the reading public for free of cost. But that did not help the idea of being an author. It’s a known fact that I am incorrigibly in love with books. As I Lay Waiting was a long story. I wasn’t as long as a novel in no way. The story demanded that it should be written in a very taut prose style that created the necessary tension in the reader. This could be a book, I thought. This was four years later.

Those who read Wall of Colours and Other Stories, Prabuddha: the Clear-sighted and You Should Know How I Feel, might have formed a picture of my writing style. In this new book, your idea about my writing style would slightly shift, I am sure. There are more stories that are yet to be published and surely, change is on its way. But As I Lay Waiting would be the opening scene of such a change.

As I Lay Waiting appears more politically and culturally relevant than when it was initially written. So I welcome the delay I encountered in getting this story published. Fear, as an emotion, is particularly contemporaneous in Kerala. The uncertainties in nature are one reason. I wrote about it in a blog in I tried to take that fear out of the collective consciousness and fill it with confidence and motivation. Motivation is just the other side of fear.

In the post-flood Kerala, religious sentiments are hurt through a Supreme Court verdict on women entry in Sabarimala temple. Fear resurfaced in the collective consciousness, this time, it was the fear of losing the secular footing of the culture. Devotees are also in fear of their holy shrine being torn apart by ruptures in the rituals of the temple. For them, the intervention of the court is the cause of these ruptures. This time, the writer’s mind is not ready to give a motivational speech. That story, that was written in 2013 appeared to be the best mirror to reflect the horrors of mindless manipulation of ethics, values, and reality.

I was writing a sales copy. I ended up writing an article on the book. Forget about techniques. Please tell me I didn’t bore you.

Due to the fear element in the story, As I Lay Waiting, I decided that Halloween is the best day in the year to release it. That’s the reason I tell everyone. But mostly, it was because I needed a day to release the book anyway. After all the publishing-related works, it was October when I finished the project, finally. I started looking for a day to release the book internationally. October 31 happened to be Halloween. This was just a coincidence.

The book is released internationally by BW Books, and are independently published through Amazon. In India, Notionpress is the publisher.

In the book, As I Lay Waiting there is not just one story. There are two.

I have a very personal request to you all. If you happen to read my new book, please write a book review on Amazon or any other shopping site where you buy it from. Or just email your review to me and I will frame it and hang on the wall of my study. Trust me, the world values your feedback very much. I definitely value the person behind the words. I hope I conveyed the urgency of the matter.

See you on October 31, 2018. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984

Recently, in Indian literature in English, the riots of 1984 in which the Sikh community was targeted, found its conspicuous expressions. A set of books namely, The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur, 1984: India’s Guilty Secret by Pav Singh, Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi's Last Battle by Mark Tully, Operation Blue Star: The True Story by K. S. Brar, The Punjab Story by Amarjit Kaur et al., When a Tree Shook Delhi by Manoj Mitta, I Accuse... :The Anti-Sikh Violence of 1984 by Jarnail Singh, and 1984: The Anti-Sikh Riots and After by Sanjay Suri venture to foreground the massacre of Sikhs, the pain of one’s own home territory becoming hostile, the transformation of trust into bigotry, and the political correctness of all that which caused these riots. These books become the shining mirror held against the memory of the fratricides. One may see every shade of the events that took place before and soon after Mrs Indira Gandhi’s death. 

Vikram Kapur’s book, The Assassinations is a novel. It’s short in its length. Clothed in a crimson cover, the book invites readers to face a haunting series of unsettling events. Deepa and Prem are about to cross the most important threshold of their life. They start dreaming and planning their beautiful life. Their marriage is nearing. Deepa’s mother, Savitri is in frenzy. She wants everything to be perfect on the wedding day of her daughter. But life has something else to offer them. Through the story of two families, the novel unravels the harrowing experiences of the Sikh massacres that occurred in 1984, after the murder of the prime minister, Ms Indira Gandhi. 

The news of the death of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister shakes the world they inhabit. The cosy lives of the characters we meet are shattered without prior notice. The novel has four parts: “Delhi, 31st October 1984”, “Before”, “After”, and “Delhi 2004”.

Amarjeet and Kishneet, parents of Prem are also excited about their son’s marriage with a Hindu girl, Deepa. Being a Sikh family has not affected them in any way in making that decision. However, when the darkness of bigotry changes the society they inhabit, even their family has to make decisions they never thought they had to make.

On the day of the assassination of the prime minister, (India’s first female prime minister), Prem visits one of his Muslim friends who is new to the city of Delhi. While Prem is at the house of Imran, the news of the assassination of the prime minister broke. The act was committed by one of her bodyguards who happened to be a Sikh. This was in retaliation of her decision to raid the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Prem could see chaos brooding in the neighbourhood. As he was about to leave, his car was stopped by some goons. He was dragged out of his car and beaten up. This episode is at the centre of the novel and serves the purpose of heightening the tension in the story. 

The death of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, was a historic event. This event was connected to a series of events that played out earlier in the history of this nation. The raid of the Golden Temple was an attempt to subdue the Sikh-terrorists who were using the religious place, the holy shrine of the Sikhs, as their ground of operation. However, the operation had wounded the spiritual sensibilities of the Sikh community. The feelings of intolerance had developed like a storm gathering.

Prof. Vikram Kapur
Both the older male characters in the novel, Amarjeet, Prem’s father and Jaswant, Deepa’s father had undergone the harrowing experiences of India’s partition. For them, the riots seemed to eclipse the present and foreground the past all over again. Here is a strand of thought that passed through Amarjeet’s mind: “Now, in the blink of an eye, he had been flung back thirty-seven years, once again contemplating flight, as the city that had given him refuge shrieked for his blood” (129). Thirty-seven years before, Amarjeet had reached Delhi as a refugee from of partition. From there he had worked his way up the ladder in the society to become a respectable doctor. However, his elite status in the society hadn’t been able to save his son, Prem from being beaten up near Irfan’s house.

The stream of consciousness technique is used in many areas to narrate the feelings and thought processes of characters with a great impact. The storytelling of Vikram Kapur is simple, direct in style, and lucid in language. Vikram Kapur has authored two novels previously namely, Time is a Fire and The Wages of Life. He works as an associate professor at Shiv Nadar University.

The Assassinations stands as a novel that clears the mist over one of the darkest episodes of Indian politics. There is no question that the novel will haunt us for days and months after reading it, with its thought-provoking narrative style and compelling events of human transformation.  Published by Speaking Tiger Publishing, this book is priced in MRP INR 299. The design of the book is ideal for comfortable reading experience. The size of the book and its weight stands out in support. The font size is large and therefore The Assassinations could be read while on train or bus, and/or in bus stations or railway stations as well as in your libraries.

The questions raised by this book will surely raise your sensibilities about inter-religious interactions in India. The moral rights of the author are asserted in the copyright page. Therefore, any attempt to make a film or a screenplay out of this book will have to go through the author’s consent in all matters regarding creative freedom of the other party. In other words, no tampering of the content will be allowed, once the moral right of the author is asserted. Indeed, this novel requires such careful handling of subject matter. The tone of the story as well as its focus is fine-tuned to regulate the expressions of the lessons we learned as a nation from the bad episode of our religious bigotry. Vikram Kapur is an author one must watch for. He is surely the torch bearer of Indian fiction in English, enlightening the path further down the road shown to us by the likes of Ruskin Bond, R K Narayan, and Salman Rushdie.    

Purchase the book here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

From the Big Family of Writers

Below is the blog of my beloved friend, guide, and one of the companions of my literary life, (if you say all writers are just one big family). She is now retiring from her duties as a professor after forty years in service. It's a great honour to have befriended her. 

That's how it is for me. 

In this blog post, Hülya N Yılmaz shares, in a very terse, objective, and unromantic language her immediate thoughts on retirement and how important she finds this juncture. Underneath her words, one could also sense a jubilation on the liberation at hand from the pressing concerns of a career, to use time and opportunities as a writer, her deeper calling. 

I wish her a good day. May her words bring blossoms to our hearts. 
Go Hulya! Thumbs up!

Let me also remind you that she has written a guest post for this blog. Here is the link to that post

Monday, June 18, 2018


Where is Dhauladhar? The first question anyone might see rising slowly in their mind is this one. If you are missing this question, you are missing the point. You ought to read Men & Dreams in Dhauladhar by Kochery C. Shibu in order to savour the words by the new avatar of Indian literature in English. “The Dhauladhar range (lit. The White Range) is part of a lesser Himalayan chain of mountains,” says Wikipedia. The White Range hides in its shimmering façade, many dark truths of our times. One of these dark truths is the exploitation of nature and men.

The story opens through the account of Nanda, the protagonist who elites from an auto rickshaw. He wants to go to the Dhauladhar range to find work. Later, we learn that his intention is also part of a self-crafted exile. An exile has many faces and sources of inspiration. Nanda’s exile is forced by his desire to live. His story starts in a flashback and takes us to the north of Kerala. The Kalari tradition of the north of Kerala is often cited as the core reason for the violent political killings that happen there even now. The same passion for blood and vengeance is cited in the novel as a reason for Nanda’s journey away from his home.

Nanda reaches the Dhauladhar and the reader is taken on a journey of sightseeing on the area where the dam construction is going on. Only in chapter two, which is marked by the name of another character, Nanda’s mother do we learn about Nanda’s past and connections with the land of kalarippayattu—Kerala. Titled Indumati, this part of the story takes us into the family of Mathathil Madhavan Nair. You can read this part of the story, feeling nostalgic about a literary background that existed in the times of Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer, M T Vasudevan Nair’s early stories and novels, Thakazhi, and the many other stalwarts of Malayalam literature. This gap is presently filled by writers like Benjamin and all. But the essence of the culture and its roots still remain lost in the deluge of literary mediocrity that this culture has been bearing with. 

After Indumati, we meet Mangu Ram and his son who aspires to be a part of the dam project rather than helping his father and strengthening his family’s farm. For Mangu Ram, “It was a good feeling to be treated with a little respect.” The whole village area that surrounded the Dhauladhar range was bought over by the corporation by tactics. Mangu Ram is a replica of the mind of the villager on a cellular level. His desires, needs, and worldview are in alignment with the life of the village.

Khusru “had no idea what awaited him on the other end.” He too is on an exile. He begins his work at the dam site. His life turns and twists in a series of events that change our perspective of the innocent-looking boy from the valley of Kashmir. The chapters realign themselves as we are taken back the story of Nanda where we left off.

Like a magnet that pulls materials with the same frequency of vibration, these indelible characters move towards the dam. The dam is built in the Dhauladhar. This novel is significant in terms of how it negotiates the presentation of nature in literature. On several occasions, one may even feel that Kochery C. Shibu has traced the steps of authors like Ruskin Bond and RK Narayan in his storytelling style. A truly Indian tale, Men & Dreams in Dhauladhar deserves multiple readings because it is also a self-published book. Self-published books deserve to be read and analyzed in their own league. Self-published authors do not get the same privileges and facilities as those authors who are published by established publishing houses. The huge capital that is at hand for an established publisher leaves the field undulating and unstable for the rest of the publishing entities (authors as publishes and small publishers).

The paperback version of the book is released through Niyogi Books. I reviewed a Kindle EBook version of the novel. The print book is 284 pages long. The cover of the book smartly portrays the central character, the Dhauladhar range.  Priced 395, Men & Dreams in Dhauladhar is available with a large discount on various online shopping sites, including Amazon. Men & Dreams in Dhauladhar can boast of a sprawling narrative that includes the stories of many generations and multiple landscapes. The language and the stylistics are unique and unlikely in a self-published work. Men & Dreams in Dhauladhar certainly deserves major attention. Mainstream, don’t miss out on this one! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

TRUST ME NOT: The Music of Romance and White Knuckled Suspense

Ankita Verma Datta
A thriller is a distinct genre. It does not work like a regular form of art. A thriller excites the reader by entangling the reader with its tentacles of suspense. It also carries forward a mission to provoke thoughts in the most unexpected occasions. Trust Me Not does everything mentioned above. The success of Trust Me Not is that it’s labelled a thriller and it delivers what it offers. This is unlike what usually happens in the Indian market, whether it’s books or grocery. Delivering what is promised is a unique art. Ankita Verma Datta has done it.

Reeva’s life is quite ordinary. Nothing out of the box happens to her. She works in an advertising agency. Her daily affairs mostly linger around the office and home. Reeva’s small family consists of her parents and younger brother. Reeva’s gift is the energy she possesses. She is feisty and creative. She also has fears, many forms of fears. This latter part makes her more adorable and relatable to ordinary people like us who live extraordinary lives due to what we fear.

One evening, Reeva’s mother reminds her of a wedding party they have to attend on the weekend. Reeva knows that the underlying currents are. When her mother asks her to attend a nuptial gathering, she knows it is to nudge her find a perfect groom. Her mother believes that Reeva is of marriageable age. Reeva feels passive towards this proposition by her mother. She is bored of the thought of her potential encounter with gossip and snobbery at the occasion. She does not want to mingle with some of her mother’s friends who would be there at the function, most certainly.

Like every perfect Indian mother, Reeva’s mom too knows how to initiate her offspring into action. It was hard for Reeva to deny her mother’s argument. So she complies. On that weekend, the whole family reaches the wedding celebration, in their sedan. Reeva finds it difficult to find a parking space. Then a young handsome man appears and helps her park her car. This was the beginning of a series of extraordinary romantic encounters in Reeva’s life. she discovers in the days to come that the young handsome man, Kunaal Kabi was able to trigger a romantic pulse in her.

The story progresses in a romantic tone until an impending election. The major contestant in the election, the JBP finds in Kunaal and Reeva’s advertising agency, their Public Relations team. However, a group of shady businessmen do not want the JBP to step into power. The seek the help of the dark figure, portrayed efficiently by the author, named The Fixer.

Soon, through Reeva’s office attendant, she is involved in a major social problem, which brings her team straight to the churning forces of evil in the Indian political spectrum. This novel moves with a pace that would not let you put the book down. Trust Me Not is a good read for those long train journeys, waiting rooms, bus stops, and boring class hours. But trust me, if you find this novel in a library, it can effortlessly take you into the intertextuality of a political narrative. One can read between the lines to locate, identify, and transcribe the present-day events and persons in the novel. These multiple layers of signifiers imbue Trust Me Not with relevance unmatched in the English novels written by Indian authors.

Trust Me Not is Ankita Verma Datta’s debut novel. For more than a decade, she is part of the advertising industry. So for those who look for personal elements in the novel, the novelist’s professional experiences prove to be a reason for the association. Ankita Verma Datta is an Economics graduate from Mumbai University and is trained in advertising communication and marketing at the Xavier Institute of Management and Communication. She can be contacted at

Published by Jaico Books, Trust Me Not is 378 pages long. Jaico Books is popular for their spiritual titles. This time, they have made a mark through a political thriller that combines the music of romance and white knuckled suspense. The book’s MRP is INR 450.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What's New in Facebook?

This is what I wrote in Facebook this morning.

Advertising my author page. 

I would like to shift straight to this new page. But I cannot afford to lose my touch with the virtual Colosseum here in this page, where we fight out our peaceful battles, without shedding blood. Gradually, slowly--is the mantra for change. So gradually, slowly, I will shift all my posts to this page

Perhaps, I may even delete this profile page. 

Have a great day. Remember, every day is a new beginning.

Here is what I would like to share with you here on my blog:

I have been trying several methods to publicize my new books: Those Tales Called Blue, Rani of My Daydreams, BuJi and the Indian edition of You Should Know How I Feel.

I have come to my most important platform now, the space of this blog, where it all started. I started out as a writer in the comfort zone of this blog.

As my readers, I would like to inform you that these books are out through online shopping channels. You could get a copy of any of these books through two channels: Amazon and NotionPress store.

The new Indian edition of You Should Know How I Feel is available only through NotionPress store. This is a revised edition too. So only after seeing what response I receive through the Indian store, I can make this revised edition available internationally.

Monday, April 9, 2018


Yasser Usman’s newly released non-fiction book has a subtitle that marks the essence of the narrative: “The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy.” Sanjay Dutt, one of the major actors in Hindi Cinema has always been at the centre of many political and personal controversies. Yasser Usman’s book unravels all those elements.

Sanjay Dutt is Usman’s third book on Bollywood’s most celebrated personalities. His first one was Rajesh Khanna: The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar and the second one, Rekha: The Untold Story. Apparently, Usman is not new to life narratives about glittering stars of Bollywood. We read books for what not they are but for what we see in them.

My intention was always to get a kick out of novels, fictional narratives with some drama, action, mystery, and suspense. That is what I always try to achieve as an author as well. Whatever creates these elements within my psyche while reading, that works for me. Being a nonfiction book, at first, I wasn’t all positive towards Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy. As the pages turned, I paused and said, “Oh man! This is incredible. This is a super awesome book.”

I was reading this book on a train. I forgot how time flew by. Though this book is a work of nonfiction, the writer has infused it with all elements of a thrilling narrative. There are tragedy and humour. There are areas where one is awestruck at the hidden layers of events that made tremendous changes to the history of Bollywood. Backstories of several iconic stars and their films are also discussed in this book, like the actor Madhuri Dixit, Kumar Gaurav, etc. Films such as Sajan, Munna Bhai MBBS, etc. There is mention of the stories related to many films that are iconic in their status when the history of Bollywood is concerned. For example, the film Ghulam is a remake of the Kabzaa, which many of us do not know. Kabzaa was a flop, but Ghulam marked the coming back of Amir Khan and a super hit.  

In 25 chapters and an “Introduction,” Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy explores the character of Sanjay Dutt and the lives of the other members of the Dutt family. The book also delves into many shadowy areas of Indian politics, like Babri Masjid demolition and the Mumbai bomb blast case. Sunil Dutt’s rock-like stance in the turmoil that the Dutt family faced was remarkable. This includes how the man stood by his son during his time in the jail and the related controversies. The strong father in Sunil Dutt is one of the major attractions of the book. The hardcover edition of the book has 201 pages and the final chapter is aptly titled “The Road to Freedom”. This chapter includes the story of Sanjay Dutt’s release from prison after the Supreme Court verdict that he should be convicted of illegal possession of arms.

The story unravels as he comes out of the jail and finally visits his mother Nargis Dutt’s grave.  Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy is a well-researched book with notes occupying several pages at the end of the book. However, unlike other researched books, Yasser Usman gave Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy a very impressive voice. The book is entertaining and the narrative style is spicy.

Yasser Usman is an award-winning journalist. His experience as a successful journalist reflects in the writing of the book as well. He has included shocking real-life stories behind some major controversies that shock. He has also added a layer of humanist thought that inspires through showing the several downfalls Dutt family had encountered. 

For anyone who is interested in a nonfiction book on Bollywood that could be as good as a read as the top thriller book in the shelf, then Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy should be your first choice.

Juggernaut publishers dressed Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy with a cover that is as dashing as a 1990s film poster. Sanjay Dutt appears on the front cover as well as the back, in both instances, photographs of his younger self. The book also includes some images from major events in Sanjay’s life.

One might also find a rare element in Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy. This element is that of an inspirational narrative that I mentioned above. Even after being known as one of the major families in India, the Dutts were never strangers to disasters and family feuds. There are tragedy and stupidity that intervene in the life of the Dutt family. This would rise to the foreground as one is reading the book. Despite the fact that Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story Of Bollywood’s Bad Boy is about a star-family in India, the most common of its citizens would identify with the tragedy, the crudities, and the final redemption the family seeks for as these elements are all part of the ordinary human life. The element that makes the book a remarkable achievement is not the information it presents. It is the element of humanism that Yasser Usman incorporates into the narrative that makes Sanjay Dutt a phenomenal read.

Discover more about Sanjay Dutt and the family by purchasing a copy here:

You will now receive a very good discount offer! Buy it here

Thursday, March 29, 2018

THE MAHABHARATA SECRET: A Commendable Achievement by Christopher C Doyle

The Mahabharata Secret by Christopher C Doyle: A Book Review
 The Mahabharata Secret is a thriller that affirms the fundamentalist notion that sophisticated electronic, aviation and scientific technology existed during the times of the Mahabharata, in ancient India. That said, The Mahabharata Secret deserved to be appreciated for the lengthy unfurling of suspenseful events in present-day India that foregrounds its history. Tradition and modernity coexist in Christopher C Doyle’s thriller. This book could be categorized as a historical thriller because Emperor Ashoka and his stone edicts appear as crucial characters in the story. They are part of the quest to unlock the mystery surrounding the cryptic emails from Vikram Singh, a north Indian aristocrat to his nephew Vijay who works abroad. 
Christopher C Doyle brings home a highly effective landscape with his narrative strategy based on detailed descriptions and adeptness in creating suspenseful moments. These are the two crucial points about the writing of Doyle. He is very adept at detailing a scene. Unlike many of his peers who write in the same genre, he could create moments in the story that hooks the reader so well that turning pages is not a difficult act. That was why I was able to read and complete the book at a relatively good pace.
The “secret” of the Mahabharata in the title does not represent something secretive about the Mahabharata. The term is used to postulate the attempts by a secret society named the Nine Unknown Men. Some of them become known as the novel progresses. In that area, you are in for a surprise at the end of the novel. However, I do have my reservations about how the novels could have ended.
Had the novel been eighty pages shorter, it would have even won a prize for its craft. However, a few decisions made by certain characters when the novel’s plot arches into turmoil seem rather odd. Also, something seems off in the way the research is conducted in the story. Due to its subtext of historical investigation, the story requires the displaying of many pieces of research into various historical facts. The research that is conducted by the characters appears below par. The reference to a library is nonexistent in the novel. This could have been done in a different way, like an ongoing investigation of events in various libraries and be meeting other experts rather than googling everything and taking a print out. Also, something else could have been done, like a curfew on a national highway at the end of the book in order to stop the terrorists, part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The language of the book is lucid, simple, and has a flow to it. Many Indian writers in English fail to bring this flow to their language. Only very few of them were about to impress me in this category. Doyle is one of them. This is a great compliment, Mr Doyle if you are reading this- do rejoice. You have earned it. The book is 382 pages long and seems to have 100,000 plus words. The suspense has been kept intact until the end, a commendable achievement by Doyle. The Mahabharata Secret is published by Om Books International. The cover design resembles another book in its colour scheme. The book I am suggesting is Ashwin Sanghi’s novel Chanakya’s Chant. Other than the colour scheme of the cover page, there are no connections between these two books. I wanted to mention this because it caught me the first time I took the book in my hands. 

Buy a copy for yourself here:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD 2018: Those Tales Called Blue

Tomorrow, on 8 March and day after, on 9 March my new book, Those Tales Called Blue will be available for readers across the world for free download from Amazon. The eBook is presently available in Kindle format as well as print.

Follow the link for a FREE Kindle EBook.

Please leave a review once you read the book. 

The eBook revolution caught on as the prices of eBooks dropped to an unimaginably low point. Those Tales Called Blue is available in print format at a price that is almost that of a kindle eBook.

Check it out here:

Yours lovingly,
Anu Lal        

Review from Amazon
"The stories of Anu Lal remind me of Jorge Luis Borges,"
Prof. C. Tharanathan
Author, Literary Critic, Thinker.

"Anu Lal's stories have the breath of ancient storytellers, the wisdom of old days, and the immediacy of our contemporary age. The intricacies of the human nature are delicately woven around us, trapping us inside the story, and leaving us wanting for more. An in-depth adventure into one's soul through the well-developed characters!"
Irina Serban
Author, Hiding the Moon

"His storytelling is unique and inimitable."
Siggy Buckley
Author, Next Time Lucky

Anu Lal has a fresh voice that emerges more clearly and deeply with each of his new works. Those Tales Called Blue  often reaches out to the readers with its sensitivity and power of sustain the emotions throughout. Anu Lal's prose is sensitive and kind. It has the musical feature of folktales and the mystical depth of parables. He is often referred to among our editorial team as the master of modern parables, a title that he truly deserves.

Readers of the book will attest that never before have they encountered in fiction the innocence of imagination so deeply engraved in the pages of a book.

How could the craft of writing sustain a theme like this so effortlessly? "The sentimental reader" to quote a phrase from the Turkish author Orhan Pamukh, would wonder.

This book, therefore, also offers the vista of a carefully constructed 'landscape' to quote Pamukh again that unveils through the perspectives of the protagonists. Another crucial aspect of the fiction by Anu Lal is that it never makes moral or ethical judgments. The characters do have their own preferences and priorities. They, however, do not indulge in dictating terms for moral living. The stories themselves offer a scenery rather than providing a code for a moral standard.   

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Rise of Sivagami At An Incredible Discount Price! A Book by Anand Neelakantan

The Rise of Sivagami: Book 1 of Baahubali - Before the Beginning
Anand Neelakantan is an Indo-Anglian author. His books Jaya, Rise of Kali and Asura had become very successful in the Indian book market. 

Image Courtesy: The Hindu
The quality of his writing, hold on language, and the craft of his writing is commendable. The reason for his success is not just marketing, as many authors attest to when the question is asked in interviews.

The definition of success in Indian popular writing, set by Anand Neelakantan is a standard that many would have to strive hard to achieve. His talents also lie in the creation of scripts for television series.

Now, his book The Rise of Sivagami, Book 1 in the prequel to Baahubali storyline is available at an unbelievable offer price at You could purchase this book for just 74 Rupees in India. The book's MRP is Rs. 299. This means almost 75 % discount is offered now. 

You can purchase your copy through the link given below. Please use the associated link below to make your purchase.

Enjoy reading a page-turning fantasy thriller.

Happy reading, everyone.


Sridevi Accidentally Drowned In Dubai Bathtub, Says Report
Image Courtesy: NDTV

    In my previous blog post, I mentioned what is new about the news. My post was about actor Sridevi’s death. Media had reported that she died of cardiac arrest.

    Today, according to the latest information on various news media such as the ones given in the reference below, actor Sridevi died of accidental drowning. As per the news, she slipped into a hotel bath.

    This latest news is more saddening to all her fans. This incident even morbidly resembles the plot of many of those tragedies in Bollywood films.
May God rest her soul in peace.


Sunday, February 25, 2018


What’s new about the news. I think it’s our response to it that gives each news the space it deserves.

When the news came; I could not believe it.

I first saw the news on Youtube. Recently, I had also heard reports of the death of Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone. That was a hoax, and Sly Stallone himself released a video announcing that he was back from death. Considering this experience, my first response was to impose the sense of disbelief over the deluge of today’s morbid news.

I was finding it hard to cope with the news. The best way to cope with the situation was to find the truth out. So I googled it up. What else could I do? I do not have any personal access to her family members. I do not know their phone numbers of email ids. I am like the million or billion other Indians who have nothing to do on the face of this news but to pray for the health of their beloved film superstar. So we devour the news channels and online media.

Then I discovered that indeed, actress Sridevi passed away.

She seemed eternally young. Her recent movie, English Vinglish took the industry by storm, so to speak. This movie celebrated her return to the arena of Bollywood after a long absence. I was even expecting to watch her in some upcoming films.

She was fifty-four at the time of death. The cause of death is reported to be cardiac arrest. Her husband is Bonny Kapoor, the renowned Bollywood filmmaker.

Her debut film in Bollywood was Solva Sawan. Her pre-Bollywood career was very active with a number of south Indian movies.

One of her all-time favourite Bollywood classics is the film Mr India, which I watched in my teen years.

The news of Sridevi’s demise would be a dark one for all of us in India, especially for her fans and the admirers of Indian cinema.

The response that I have to the news is prayer. I pray for her soul. May her soul traverse to the stream of eternal consciousness and pass over to the next mission it has. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018



The Inheritors dawned on my radar as I was browsing through Amazon. The book written by Sonu Bhasin with a Forward by Anand Mahindra appeared to be a unique product about the Indian entrepreneurial setup. The term ‘Indianness’ arises often in the Indo-Anglian literature. Certain writers attempt to describe the term too. I doubt that anyone of those critics or writers ever defined the term properly. The Indian way of writing, along with the Indian way of performing various other cultural, political, and sociological activities is unique. It cannot be seen as a copy of or a direct oppositional force set against a Eurocentric system. The Indian way incorporates the best in every culture and social system. It also distinguishes itself from all those streams from which it drew inspiration. Sonu Bhasin’s attempt is to delineate the major Indian way of doing business. She does that by telling the stories of many family-owned businesses in India.

Sonu Bhasin introduces a unique project in the form of The Inheritors.  In six readable, lucidly written narrative chapters span a story that makes up the six pillars of the Indian market space. These businesses are family-owned. However, Sonu Bhasin sets a working angle to the story through the eyes of the decedents of these families.

The first chapter is titled “Dabur Group and Lit Bite Foods: Amit Burman”. This chapter moves through the life of Amit Burman the young entrepreneur from the Dabur family that took the charge as Vice Chairman at Dabur India. After his higher education abroad, Amit returns to India to work at Dabur, his family business.  After working in several departments with his company, he realizes that his calling lay somewhere else. So he ventures into the world of startups. This is the story of a young man who finally finds harmony with his family business, by adorning the space of its Vice President while at the same time initiates a path-breaking set of ventures in the food industry of India.

The second chapter is “Marico: Harsh Mariwala.” As the title suggests,  the second chapter of The Inheritors deals with the journey of Harsh Mariwala who feels at one point that he is in control of his future. He founded the company named Marico and you read about that journey too.

The third chapter “Berger Paints: Kuldip Singh Dhingra and Gurbachan Singh Dhingra” and the fourth chapter “Motilal Oswal Group: Motilal Oswal and Raamdeo Agrawal recount the tales of family-owned businesses that made it big even beyond the previous two entities in the Indian market. “Berger Paints is the second-largest paint company in India today” (113), Attests Sonu Bhasin.  In the hands of the fourth generation of the Rangwala family, Kuldip and Gurbachan keep on delivering their best in continuing the legacy of their brother Sohan Singh Dhingra who is the progenitor of the business. This chapter also focuses on how the interpersonal relations between the two brothers, Kuldip and Gurbachan help them grow the company.

The key players in the Motilal Oswal Group, Motilal and Raamdeo are not families but friends taking their friendship to new levels of productive meaning. Other chapters include “Keventers: Agastya Dalmia”, “Max Group: Tara Singh Vachani”, “Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas: Rishabh and Saloni Shroff”, “Luxor: Pooja Jain”, and the “Select Group: Arjun Sharma”. Author Sonu Bhasin has effectively tied the chapters into this volume. The Inheritors will leave a deep impression on the reader, for sure. This deep impression would make the reader picture himself or herself to be the inheritors of the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Portfolio Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House published The Inheritors. This book is sure to reflect what every budding entrepreneur of India expects.  It’s clearly a good package full of practical lessons and stories that could serve the launch pad for inspiration in the lives of wanna-be entrepreneurs.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Things have not been the same for me ever since my 34th birthday. On my 34th birthday, my wife, Dhanya gifted me with 34 books. Thirty-four print books, a backpack, and a brand new smartphone with facilities one could only imagine in a sci-fi story.
Today, on 4 February 2018, I must acknowledge how differently my life has changed. Although I cannot bring my complete feelings into words, I could at least node my head at the change of scenario. It’s difficult sometimes, to give words to deepest thoughts. That was one of the reasons why I always shied away from reviewing author Paulo Coelho’s books; also Richard Back, Brian Weiss, and many others. I could not bring myself to the point where I could talk about these people’s works objectively. There was not even the case of subjective bias. I was just spellbound after reading these authors. Same is the case with that wonderful moment when Dhanya gave a big box weighing a ton. I remember myself thinking how would I be able to express myself fully while I was taking the books out of the box one by one- one after the other; thirty-four different stories, thirty-four different lifetimes.
Imagine a flame that shines in front of you in the darkness. That moment when she gifted those books was like looking at a flame. The difference was that this flame set ablaze not just the darkness of lethargy surrounding me but the inner consciousness of my spirit. 
This event coincided with the publication of my new book Those Tales Called Blue. My publisher also discussed at the same time about bringing out a paperback version of the book. Initially, we were discussing only an eBook version. That was mostly because  Those Tales Called Blue includes selections from my first book Wall of Colours and Other Stories. We wanted our readers to have affordable copies of the book in their hands.
The idea of a print book initiated within me a new hope regarding the future of my books. Although I was not perturbed by the idea of the eBook, print version always captivated me. I felt fulfilled and satiated when I held the print version in my hands. The eBook version filled me with discontent. A feeling overwhelms me that the book does not have an existence. Perhaps, I was wired in an old-fashioned way.
I am hopeful that readers, old and new, would find my new book quite interesting. With Those Tales Called Blue my intention is to reach a new audience also who hadn’t come across my works.
Those who bought and read Wall of Colors and Other Stories might ask why haven’t I released the new book, the second book in the Hope, Vengeance, and History trilogy yet.
The second book in the Hope, Vengeance, and History trilogy is getting ready in the kitchen, by the way. The fruit of waiting would be sweeter. My dear readers have to wait for some more time.
I must reveal one thing. I am compelled to do so actually.
The book, the second one in the Hope, Vengeance and History Trilogy, is titled (as many of you already know) Clenched Hands, Bloody Nails. This book, even before its birth, has surprised me. In many ways, I was surprised. Mostly, I was caught by the way it evolved itself.
The final volume that will come to you would be a great new collection of short stories full of surprises.
What I want to reveal is that Clenched Hands, Bloody Nails changed in many ways from the initial way that I conceived it. All for the better, I could say.
But you have to wait for some more time. I will update the details on the Facebook page dedicated to Clenched Hands, Bloody Nails.
With my new book Those Tales Called Blue my attempt is to break up the big volume, Wall of Colours and take those little parts to new readers at affordable prices in both eBook and print form. As I mentioned, the idea for the print form (that too at an affordable price) came later.
Those Tales Called Blue will be followed by another selection from Wall Of Colours And Other Stories. This new collection will be titled Those Tales Called Red. This will be followed by another, titled Those Tales Called Yellow.
    My existing readers might ask me what is new about these collections.
I would say that these collections also include my “Reflections” on the various stories spearing therein, their origin, the process of writing, etc. For this reason, I have the firm faith that even those who bought and read Wall of Colours and Other Stories would find these little volumes full of new insights and useful tips for storytelling.
Eight books will come out of this new venture.
An important message that I would like this post to share with you is that books do not lose their significance. The concern is not about a particular format. Perhaps, my personal preferences could bias you towards print books. Let me warn you, these are personal choices. However, the pleasure, pain, and light that come through to us while engaging in the reading activity are irreplaceable. When someone replaces those ‘things’ that particular culture in which it happens become hostile places to live, a wasteland.

That is why I am still searching for a way to say thank you to Dhanya for she kindled in me the spirit that had yearned to shine through the darkness of the age.