The Readers Cosmos is in the list of Top Indian Blogs since 2012!

My Book Shelf

Readers's books

A Love Life so Painful
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Those enchanted four and half years
One and a Half Wife
The Bankster
Love You Forever : Only In That Way
Nine Lives
The Mistress of Spices
The Fortune Hunters
I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
The Krishna Key
Mumbaistan: 3 Explosive Crime Thrillers
Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
Dreams in Prussian Blue

Readers Cosmos's favorite books »

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Experience at Publishers Training Programme Organized by The German Book Office

On 2nd and 3rd December 2016, The German Book Office conducted a Young Professionals Programme for mid layer of the professionals in the publishing industry. This year YPP primarily focused on new product development strategies for publishing and content industry and saw participation from 30 publishing professionals from the Editorial, Design, Operations and Sales & Marketing streams. It was a two day, hands on workshop where the participants from the publishing houses plugged in their entrepreneurial streak and worked on a business idea generated as part of the new product development process at the programme. The objective was to train them in skills relevant to the changes in the publishing industry and to fill the huge gap of training and development in the publishing world. 

Another purpose of the programme was to bring Indian and German publishing industry together by way of mentorship and idea exchange. Ms. Katja Splichal, an expert of product development was invited from Germany to co-facilitate the programme with Mr. R. Sriram, who is one of the pioneers in setting up the Crossword retail bookstores in India and is currently the trustee of Pratham Books.

                                                               The Participants

The Day 1 was action packed and challenging for both the mentors and the participants. While the participants were grilled and drilled and challenged to come out of their mundane routine and think of problems that exist in the publishing industry.  The mentors on the other hand had a more challenging job with making everyone come together on the same platform, break the ice between participating contestants and let them think about problems that exist in the publishing industry today and find solutions to them which in turn are also profitable businesses.

                                                                   The Mentors 

On Day 2, the teams were given a task to make a business plan around the problems they had identified on day one. The philosophy was to look each lacunae as an opportunity for business. As the teams began working the mentors constantly went to interact with each to help them get over roadblocks if any and to guide them to a right direction as for many this was a first time experience of a full-fledged boot camp. The teams were constantly kept at work by the mentors who would keep rotating between them to check their progress, to ensure they deliver a perfect pitch at 4:00 pm before the shark tank of the publishing industry.

After rushing through lunch and consuming sumptuous amounts of coffee the participants used each minute wisely to improvise their presentations before the first pitch round. The second was the grand finale to be held before their CEO’s. On each presentation the audience and the mentors asked questions and gave feedback to enable polishing of what was the first rough draft. The mentors were constantly engaged in positive critique and suggestions. The session was interactive with participants from other teams bombarding the presenting teams with questions. A lot of alternative thinking, strategizing of business model happened in this session as each team was forced to think closer to real life situations. Each team had a different idea of solving problems of reach, distribution, book reviews and marketing, encourage children and blind people to read via various interesting concepts.
                                                         Pitch till you are perfect!!!

At sharp 4:00 the CEO’s Vivek Mehra and Neeraj Gupta put on the judging caps and heard each team. This session was a true Business Pitch event where the CEO’s heard each team out and were critical to the core. While some got great improvement feedbacks on their plans, a few were discarded outright. An experience that enabled every participant to evaluate their thought process and improvise. This was a session even the organizers agreed was fiery grilling and the best.
Interacting with the mentors I realized that they were as excited and enthusiastic about bringing forth innovation in the publishing industry via such boot camps. While R. Sriram cited the example of Meru cabs going old school with the same service while Ola and Uber coming up with out of the box thought process to manage logistics for the same service differently and providing better solutions believed that it provided a line of thought for participants even in the publishing industry. An entrepreneur looks at the situation through the eye of the problem. Today we have readers more than ever, if you look at the broad spectrum called "reading". With the literacy, consumer power and quality of life going higher, the market is lively more than ever. Moreover there are writers coming up with a spectrum of writing that is available to the reader. Therefore the problem lies not in content but visibility to the reader. The seed of a successful enterprise is a product that people need, a solution. At this workshop we have focused on professionals understanding the problem itself. For every problem again should be looked as an opportunity to cater to. This is the best time ever for a publishing industry, they shod just grab it with new ideas. We don't expect the participants to come up with complete business models in a two day time frame but it's igniting the spark to keep thinking and evolving.

Katja Splichal acknowledged that it was a mammoth task to bring each one on the same page within a single day to making the teams do business plans around them. She acknowledged the participants hard work over the two day period with her words, “you failed miserably yesterday, you succeeded today.”

While most of the participants were delighted at the certificates each one received for the 48 hours work, majority of them were of the opinion that the workshop made them think harder and better and grow their inhibitions to present ideas that they were delighted to understand could be businesses. They further aimed to improve upon them based on the suggestions from mentors and look at future circumstances with the eyes of a problem solver and that precisely meant-mission accomplished! 

Pictures courtesy: The German Book Office

Friday, December 9, 2016

Dont Just Be an Author, Be an Authorpreneur

A lot many people read today. More than ever before. If you see we are all constantly reading something or the other as we spend more time on our gadgets. Right from news to jokes, whatever it is that pleases us, the content is readily available to the reader, thanks to digitization. The literacy rate has increased and so has consumer power. Everybody today wishes to be wiser and smarter. Books are a great way to heal and improve the quality of our personality and lives. If you have a flair for writing, and you wish to be a published writer, now is the time better than ever to realize it! You don't have to even knock a publisher's doors and get approval or convince somebody to publish your work. It is a time, when all these variables are in your  very hands.

In such a world there is also more to be done than just writing or publishing it. As thousands of books come out, it is critical for a writer to also ensure its reach to right kind of audience the one for whom he /she wrote it. Therefore keeping all this in mind and the fact that we live an extremely competitive world, Notion Press - a brain child of Naveen Valasakumar Bhargava A and Jana Pillay, a name well known in the publishing industry since its foundation in 2012, now encourages its writers not to be just writers but also add an entrepreneurial zing to their exercise of writing and publishing a book. They want the entire experience for a writer to be entrepreneurial and successful thereby making one not just an author but an "Author-preneur".

Notion press provides a one step platform that prevents you from wasting all the time waiting for a response from publishers. Even if you do get the response sometimes the dates are more than an year away. As a young writer when the idea is fresh out of your mind this can be boring and even disheartening to some extent. A few middle to bottom range publishers, non- creamy if I may, also provide options that enable one to self-publish but while doing so they charge for it and offer minimum market royalty. While with notion press you publish for free while only paying nominally for the basics such as copy editing, printing, book distribution etc. Best of all, you retain the rights to your book and post its performance in the market pitch it better to traditional publishers, if that is what you desire at a later stage. Your royalty is maximum and best of all you can calculate it all for yourself before jumping into it. To understand the complete process watch this video...

Personally the quality of most books that came to me from Notion press were fine. Some of them also received excellent reviews and have been the best books I have read in 2016 grabbing 4-4.5/5 rating from me, who is in general a difficult to please person. Check the review of Sangeeta Mahapatra's book "Wreath & other Stories" The book has been a huge personal favorite and I have recommended it to everyone who loves reading. The book has grabbed more than 4 stars from every critical reviewer and if you disagree with the rating post reading the book let me know.

Books like these are an example that if you believe in your writing, let not the opinion of others stop you. For even J.K.Rowling, one of the greatest fiction writers of our times would have not been known if it was not the child of an editor that read her manuscript, but those were a different time. I am sure if we had a Notion press like platform back then, she wouldn't have been an unknown for a long, and we would have had Harry much before and many such immortal characters who lie in a comatose state on a publishers desk would be breathing and living a healthy  normal lives in the hearts ad minds of readers they were created for.

To be the master of your own writing career, log on to now!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Crossword Book Awards 2016

On 29th Novemebr 2016 many epic writers waited as it was time for Cross Book Awards 2016. A battle of epic proportions has been underway, over the last month, as authors found themselves part of an electoral process, to  win the coveted trophy of the Raymond Crossword Book Award, India’s oldest and most prestigious award. Over the years, the Award has been equated to the Pulitzer and Booker and is a definitive,veritable platform for Indian Authors. The Raymond Crossword Book Award not only recognizes and rewards Indian literary talent but actively promotes the same to a wider audience.

The awardees have always had, or risen to stature in the world of literature. And it was a star-studded shortlist this year. Kinjal Shah, CEO Crossword Bookstores says, “It’s that time of the year when the whole publishing industry in India comes forward as one family to recognize its own stars. It’s exciting that the voting numbers have been heartwarming this year.”

                                              Kinjal Shah: CEO Crossword Bookstores

A bevy of glittering stars were present at the Award, including Shekhar Gupta, Mynoo Maryel, Anupama Chopra , Twinkle Khanna, Piyush Pandey, Roopa Pai, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Durjoy Dutta, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Hrishi. K,  Subashree Krishnaswamy, Annie Zaidi, Mohd. Asaduddin, Naresh Fernandes, Kalpana Sharma, Harsh Sethi, Ira Pande, Prof M S Sriram, Prof Sukanta Chaudhuri, Aravinda Anantharaman, Sujata Noronha, Siddhartha Sarma, B S Nagesh and many more authors and guests.

Social media maven Miss Malini was the host of the evening. Major publishers present at the Award included Penguin Random House India, Harper Collins India, Hachette India, Scholastic India, Niyogi Books, and Westland Books. This year, the Award has gone through a makeover, with ten categories and a lifetime achievement award. A total of 11 awards were given away, in the following three categories.



Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award – popular - fiction category 


Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - popular award – nonfiction category


Playing It My Way by Sachin Tendulkar (co-author Boria Majumdar) wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - popular award for best biography

Business and management

Chanakya in You by Radhakrishnan Pillai wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - popular award in Business and Management category

Health and fitness

Body Goddess by Payal Gidwani wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - popular award in health and wellness category


Gita: For Children by Roopa Pai wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - popular award for Children’s writing



Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - jury award for fiction


Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India by Akshaya Mukul wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - jury award for best non-fiction


The Sun That Rose From the Earth by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi is the Raymond Crossword Book Award - jury winner for the best translated book


Our Nana was a Nutcase by Ranjit Lal wins the Raymond Crossword Book Award - jury award for the best book for children’s writing.

     Awardees of The Crossword Book Awards 2016


India’s finest lyricist and poet, Gulzar Sahab bestowed the Lifetime achievement award to beloved author Ruskin Bond. Speaking on the occasion, Gulzar Sahab said, " Bond sir and I share a deep friendship that goes a long way back. I would like to say, "Cheers" to Bond sir, for winning this award."

About Crossword Bookstores....

With the tagline ‘educate, entertain, enlighten’, Crossword Bookstores is India’s largest retailer of books that endeavors to spread knowledge & inculcate the habit of reading.

Crossword Bookstores stands by the objective to promote 'Reading and Writing' through 95 stores across 33 cities in India. The Book Award is a mega event, organized every year, to award Indian Authors to promote readership and recognize the best of literature.   

Crossword Bookstores also launched a short film, “A Book Never Runs Out of Battery” to mark the 14th anniversary of  the award.

The event was attended by over 100 authors, prestigious guests and customers,all at the Tata Theatre – NCPA.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Unique Publishers Training Programme Now in Delhi!

Since digital media is proving to be a disruptive technology, the one that has changed everything from knowing the happenings of the world to buying your toothpaste, it has also become the most effective marketing and publishing medium. In India though majority of readers still prefer reading the old school way.i.e. a hard copy, the merits of reading on a single tablet like device which fits into your bag and can carry hundreds of books on a single device is not lost on the younger generation. You cannot create a bookstore in every village but with a mobile phone you can access every reader, no matter which corner. The importance of evolving isn't lost on the publishing industry and many have started developing their soft media content greatly.

However, the world of digital content creation is a complicated one with so many different platforms and consumption patterns. In India, there is currently another shortfall in the area of short term hands-on training modules. Understanding the lacunae in mentoring needed at this stage to come up with this mega-revolution and utilize it to create more business in 2014, The German Book Office (GBO) launched a training programme called Young Professionals Program to impart skills needed for the same. This year the third event of this initiative,  a two day workshop is scheduled for training on content/product development for professionals from the publishing, media and content industry, on from 2nd-3rd December 20-16, India International Centre, New DelhiThis program is aimed at young professionals who are already working in the industry and wish to acquire expertise in new techniques in publishing and allied sector. The two YPP training workshops that have been organized in the last two years have catered to the learning needs of 136 participants from more than 30 publishing houses.  
Need for a training event for young professionals in Product Development
By virtue of the fact that professionals in the content/publishing industry are engaged with certain specific aspects of the industry, it is not uncommon for them to lose sight of a bird’s eye view of their respective organisations. At the heart of this year’s YPP training programme on product development is the belief that developing a new product/service is similar to developing a new enterprise. The programme, therefore, aims to inspire the participants to cultivate an entrepreneurial approach, enable them to execute an idea and refining it continuously.

Focus of Young Professionals Programme 2016
With new product/service development strategies for publishing and content industry as the theme, the two-day workshop addresses a major need felt by the young professionals by offering a platform for generating and cultivating ideas as well as by providing access to networking opportunities, new methods as well as inputs and mentoring support from the most renowned industry specialists.

The two-day workshop is based on a hands-on exercise format led by experts intimately involved in the development of new products and services in the content sector. The participants will work in cross-functional teams to work through the stages of product development and present the product pitch at the closure of the programme. The teams will engage with their ideas using the design thinking method that is relevant for customer-related creative projects. Issues of licensing will also be touched upon.

Publishing/ content professionals from the Editorial, Design, Operations and Sales & Marketing domains.
·         In order to witness the outcome of the workshop, the CEOs/MDs of the participating publishing companies will be present during the idea-pitching session that is scheduled towards the end of the second day of the programme.
·         Input on Consumer data by Mr. Vikrant Mathur, Nielsen India
Participating CompaniesBajaj & Co. Oxford University Press, MBD Group, Agamee Prakashan, Scholastic India, Harpercollins India and others.
Young Professionals Programme-Mentors/Speakers

R. Sriram co-founded “Next Practice Retail” in 2006 and is an advisor to Seedfund. He is an Independent Director on the Boards of Kokuyo Camlin Ltd and Kokuyo Camlin Alphakids Ltd. He served as President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Mumbai (2010-12). He serves on the board of advisors of the non-profits Pratham Books, Junoon Theatre and Toybank.  He established the Crossword Book Awards (now Vodafone Crossword Book Awards) to annually recognize & reward the best of Indian writers & books that he continues to oversee. He has curated the Kala Ghoda Literature Festival from 2005 to 2010. He’s a visiting faculty at IIM A & a guest lecturer at IIM L & other business schools. He is particularly interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, business strategy & incubation, purpose & culture, leadership & next practices.

Katja Splichal(Germany)
, is head of online, software and new product development at Stuttgart based publisher Eugen Ulmer since 2013. Since April 2014, she is also heading the online publishing department and is member of the Executive Committee. Her main fields of work include the development of the CMS, the development of digital business models, the implementation of solutions for digital publishing in e-books, apps, e-papers and databases, as well as support for the e-learning business segment. Prior to that, she was the Head of Media Relations & Product Development at PaperC from 2011 to 2013.

Consumer Insights by Nielsen India, Vikrant Mathur: Vikrant Mathur was appointed as Associate Director of Nielsen BookScan in 2010 and currently heads the India operations of Nielsen Book. He and his team are also responsible for the development and sales of Nielsen BookData information services and instrumental in educating the book industry about the importance of metadata to both publishers and booksellers and the benefit and value to their businesses. With more than 13 years of experience in the Market Research Industry, Mathur has worked across verticals including information, technology and consumer markets.
Check the pictures from the previous sessions and see the intense discussions:

I am sure by now you truly wish to be a part of this! So hurry there are only a few seats left! Click on the link below for registration and other details:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Review: Glory At Dawn by Sidhanth Majumder

Title: Glory at Dawn
Author: Sidhanth Majumder
Publisher: eBooks2go

Genre: Fiction(suspense)

Date:  2016

Price: INR 241/ Kindle-235

Pages: 264

Siddhant Majumder in his debut book comes up with an ambitious formula to create a suspense-thriller that is aimed at surprising you at multiple points. The story begins with the defense minister of India getting kidnapped by an aircraft in stylish and chilling manner with a plane crash and his successful rescue. On the other hand, as the country waits for ransom demands, there are none, the news of crash creating a verdict of his death. Restless his friend and chief of army Digvijay is unsatisfied with the findings and gets into action on his own. The CBI aids his findings with inspector Malik and agent Neha. They together employ the fugitive DON as their undercover agent to get to the roots of the mishaps. With lost agents, army men taking charge of missions a story emerges traversing through Somalia, Israel and ultimately having links with terrorists long before and Arabic fund raisers.

The story has a constant fast pace and a novel plot with sudden twists and turns which make the reader keep flipping the pages. The language is simple but there are some spelling errors and a lot of repetitive words which for a lover of words can be a little bit of discomfort. The writer has great ideas but need to work on writing to make it a perfect concoction that will serve its flavor perfectly. Hoping that would come up in his upcoming books. For this one, read it for the plot. 

Rating: 2.5/5

         About the Author:

Sidhanth Majumder is an Indian Author. Born on November 18, 1993, in Assam, India, Sidhanth Majumder always has a desire to become a writer. He is currently pursuing MBA in NIT-Silchar. In addition to writing, Sidhanth supports various NGOs. Being surrounded by the army and the paramilitary forces constantly, he has a sole interest in their lives and work. He keens in following various documentaries, especially war coverage across the globe. Apart from these, he plays various sports and loves animals. Glory at Dawn is a fiction work on espionage, written after meticulous survey on various grounds for about six years. Thus this book dedicates to the Indian armed Forces.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Author Interview: Vikram Balagopal

Once upon a time I read somewhere "too many talents can be a curse". But human race has placed people with multiple talents at the epitome, with each century we aim to be jack of all trades and masters of many. Today we bring to you one such upcoming artist, Vikram Balagopal. I wouldn't call him a writer alone as he uses various mediums to express his thought. Its films, graphic novels and currently a verbose book is how he finds satiety in his creations. His first graphic novel "Simian" published by Harper Colllins India won the best graphic novel award in the category at comic con Bangalore last year. Vikram is out now with a new novel "Savage Blue" published again by Harper. I was intrigued as to how a person of multiple talents selects a particular medium of expression from the many. To know more about him we conducted a chat session and we are grateful the author could take out time for the same. Here is all you are curious to know about the art-maker...

 Q. You sketch, write and make films, so what is your favorite medium of expression ?
A: I love these different mediums because they allow me to express myself in different ways. I enjoy film the most because it brings together everything I love doing, with so many possibilities. But it’s also the toughest to do, and do well. And even then, it doesn’t mean people will watch it, or enjoy it, because they have certain strong expectations from that medium. You’ll find that with every medium of course, in varying degrees, but it seems to be more so in film. It has its difficulties, but it’s still my favorite.

Q.     How did writing occur to you?
A: I don’t remember what motivated me to start writing, but I began writing poetry and stories when I was nine.I didn’t call them poems at the time because I thought I was writing song lyrics. Then I quickly realized that I can’t sing a tune to save my life, so they stayed on the page, and after a while a few people began referring to them as poems. They were very raw but I was thrilled when some of them got published.  When I turned 12 I got interested in film-making and steered my efforts in that direction (pun intended). I have been focused on it ever since.

Q. Are you a disciplined/ moody writer?
A: I can be moody, and I am very messy. I’ve been doing it for so long and every once in a while I get a rude reminder that telling stories is the only thing I know how to do.  Since I was 12, I didn’t bother learning any other real-world skills so I know I have to try to do a good job at it.

Q.     What is your most favorite story?
A: I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in school and I fell in love with it.

Q.     Your favorite writers/books?
A: There are too many to list without me leaving out a few, and I can’t have that. So I’ll name just a handful from the top of the pile. Catch-22, Tolkien, Salinger, Alan Moore, Philip K Dick. Discussing books and movies over tea/coffee/drinks is my idea of a perfect date.  

Q.     Do you find any shortcomings in your writing? If yes how do you try to evolve in your art each day?
A: Definitely, I keep a lookout for short comings in my writing, and I am very sensitive to them. I’m always changing and trying to fix them, though I haven’t found any one way to do that yet. This is only my second book after all.

Q.     How did your current book happen to you?
A: In a lot of ways it began the way the story starts in the book for Shyam. From a dream I had when I was very young. But the meaning of that dream has changed over the years as I matured. In Savage Blue, Shyam meets Akila, the little girl from his dream, after twenty years and now they are both very different people. Their lives have changed them. Their first date doesn’t go very well, but they are still drawn together, because of that strange dream. And soon Shyam learns that he has to peel past the layers to discover more about this person he is falling in love with. Akila is an enigma at the start of the book and as the story unfolds we learn of the crazy experiences and adventures she has had. But these tragedies and the dangers she has faced have all been on other worlds, and to get closer to her he has to experience these worlds himself.I wanted to write a contemporary fantasy that we could all relate to as adults who have had these experiencesin our lives, and in our relationships, and through it take the reader on a wild trip. The best part of a relationship is learning about the other person, but you can be certain that there is still a lot you don’t know about them. What is in Akila’s past? I want the reader to have dreams about the book.

Q.     What was the best and not so good experience at writing it?
A: I remember the writing stage of it going very smoothly. The most nerve-racking part of it was sending it in to my editor at Harper
Collins the beginning of 2015, and waiting to hear what she thought of it. I wasn’t yet sure whether my non-linear narrative structure would work but luckily she got it right away and was very enthusiastic about the book from the start.

Q.     Is there a message you are trying to convey with “Savage Blue"?
A: I try not to make the book about a single message and it is a story meant to be read as a fantasy adventure. I am very concerned about many issues in our world like gender inequality, human effects on our environment, and conflict, to name just three, and I try to address these and others in new ways for the reader.

Q. The subject of your first and second book are widely diverse, is it an experiment to venture into different genre?
A: It wasn’t a conscious effort to make it different. The story just happens to be different,and I felt it suited a novel better than a graphic novel (Simian, Harper Collins Publishers 2014) in the way I wanted to tell it.

Q.     Are you writing your next book? What is it about?
A: I’m developing some projects but I’m taking a much needed break at the moment.

Q.     If you were to describe yourself in one line it would be…
A: I am a storyteller.

Q.     Apart from writing, what are your other interests
A: Film-making, illustration and photography.

Q.     In dark times how do you motivate yourself?
A: I spend time with people I love.

Q.     A few words for The Readers Cosmos…
A: Thank you for reading! Check out my new novel, Savage Blue.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Author Interview: Gaurav Sharma

In our attempt to showcase young writers we bring to you a candid conversation with Gaurav Sharma, a nascent writer whose debut book "Gone are the Days" has been recently published. Know his creativity, writing and upcoming work in the conversation that took place here: 

 Q.    What does writing mean to you?
A: Well…there is no simple answer to this question. I am reserved in nature and have very few people whom I can call ‘friends’. Not every person I know deserves to be my friend as some of them are dangerously stupid, some are over-smart, some have their own hidden motives behind their friendships, while some are genuine but not compatible with me. There are few others as well who, according to me are beyond my reach and are overqualified to be my friends. I often keep myself from approaching them as I know it will be hard for me to keep up to their expectations. In a nutshell, it is tough to get along with me. That is why I write. Writing is more of a need for me. It is the best way for me to channelize my thoughts, emotions, feelings and ideas into creating something. Moreover, nobody tells me what to do in my book. I can do whatever I wish and to whomever I want.

      Q. Tell us a little bit about your current book?
A: ‘Gone are the Days’ is my recently published book. It has been published by Kalpaz Publications and Gyan Books Pvt. Ltd. Is responsible for its distribution. This is my debut novel (autobiographical fiction). Prior to this, I wrote three textbooks related to journalism and mass communication. Since I had no experience and exact idea about what it takes to write a fiction, I decided to proceed with my own story. After all, I could only experiment with my life and see how good I am at writing novels.

      Q. How did its characters, story etc. form?
A: ‘Gone are the Days’ is based on a true story fabricated with fiction. Its characters are inspired by the people who held remarkable (both good and bad) impact in my life. I recalled my memories form the past and spiced them up with some fictitious content.

Q. Were there any difficulties in writing the book? How did you solve them?
A: I wish I could say ‘No’ as my answer to this question. Sadly, I had loads of hurdles in my way. The most common and frequent difficulty was to keep up with studies, my job, other random stuff and writing, all at once. Another challenge was to keep myself motivated to write and keep my story proceeding in a way so that youth can relate to it.

Q.    How do you balance your day job with writing?
A: I live in Canada (as of now). Life has become quite challenging here. Despite being all by myself here, I somehow manage to withdraw some time for writing. The amount of time I withdraw for writing is becoming shorter day-by-day, I admit.

Q:  You have put a disclaimer at the beginning of the book about using inappropriate language, knowing it could be distasteful why did you still decide to go with it?
A: Oh yes! That disclaimer was a must for my book. I had to caution my readers. Even though the majority people think of ‘those’ words and use them frequently in their daily lives, it remains a taboo in our society. People should understand that swearing is just another way to release stress and frustration. The way and context in which it has been said should matter. It does not always demean someone or disrespect someone’s feelings. And I would not term it as inappropriate language. Rather, I would call it an appropriate language with some powerful slangs people fear to use openly so as to maintain their decent image in front of other people who do not care at all.

      Q: What’s your next book about?
A: My next book is a mythological fiction. ‘God of the Sullied’ will be the title. This book is centered around the evil happening in Kaliyuga and its impact on the world. The book portrays a story of a child who under the influence of Kaliyuga faces a huge turbulence in his life. This ultimately makes him an atheist and his search for the truth begins.
This book shall be published in less than a year from now in all likelihood.

      Q: Your favorite books/writers?
A: I always appreciate the works of my fellow ‘author’ friends, colleagues and teachers. I wish their skills and talent could be recognized on a larger platform. Somehow we all are in struggling phase of our writing career. Not exactly career, though, I mean who writes to earn money these days. It is becoming next to impossible to get published under a big brand like Penguin or Harper Collins.

‘Orphans of the Storm’ by Dr Ravi Dhar, ‘Blue Bangles’ by SomayaIqubal Khan and ‘Handbook of Print Journalism’ by Priscilla Paul are some of the works I admire. Apart from that, my own work motivates me to do more of it.

Q. Your favorite lines from a book?
A: “We middle class people are all same from inside. First things first, I logged into my Facebook account and checked-in there as well. You know what, it is more important to check-in on Facebook than it is to check-in for real at the airport. Let the world which gives zero fucks to what you are doing with your life, know you can afford a plane ticket for economy class. Right?” – Excerpt from ‘Gone are the Days’.

Q.    In dark times how do you motivate yourself?
A: It seems that my bad time is the only friend of mine. It stays with me always. To keep an edge over dark times I imagine the end result of my work, be it studying, working, writing or anything else. For example, to keep myself motivated to write I imagine how would I feel when I get my manuscript published and hold that book in my hands. This inspires me and rejuvenates my will to write.

      Q. Your hobbies…
A: I like to listen and keep as quiet as possible. I like to eat different types of vegetarian foods. Besides, I like to run and listen to the music. Travelling and writing are my hobbies as well. Not having enough money to travel and enough time to write is a different story, though.

            Q.    In one line you can be described as…
A: I am raw.

      Q. A few words for The Readers Cosmos…
A: It is a good platform for budding writers to learn from other writers and stay up to date with what is going on in writing world. Apart from that, one can promote his/her work. The creator of The Readers Cosmos is certainly doing a great job.