Thursday, April 24, 2014

SHAKE and then STIR

Sometimes things should not only be stirred but shaken good and strong. 

I am happy to say that I'm back in writing mode. The only thing that's not making me happy, or rather is confusing me is the telling of this particular story.
I am a linear writer. I write in sequence, page by page, chapter by chapter. It has worked for my 3 manuscripts so far, making up almost 600,000 words in total. It is not working for LUHU, this  particular story. Is it because LUHU differs from the other 3 in narration? Is it because I'm using 1st person POV for the very first time? Is that why I find LUHU a hard story to sink my bones into? 
If I'm only writing from the heroine's point of view, I'm limiting the story to her and her understanding of the world and events. Or is it because this story is different from my usual happy tales of romance and myth? It's almost a tragedy...almost...and I am first and foremost a happy writer. A happy person too. 
But I want to write this particular story...have to write LUHU how I've imagined it. Surprisingly, the heroine of LUHU must learnt to step out of her comfort zone too. 

So, wish me luck on this endeavor, Good Readers. And I will wish you all a good day :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014



It's a universally accepted truth (finally) that India is not just a version of Slumdog Millionaire. Parts of India are slum-doggish...I cannot lie...but then there are these other ostentatious and opulent parts that make it a land of such diversity and magnificence that it sometimes leaves me speechless. Bereft of speech and words, I thought I'd show you my tiny passage through a tiny bit of India this past week. 

Honestly, would you complain if you were woken up by a pair (in this case it was a mmf threesome) of coo-hooing peacocks early in the morning?

Neither did I.

Didn't complain about the window-shopping either...

Or the wedding I attended that gave me swollen feet and skin streaked with zari-itch and mehendi. Ooh! I feel I must mention that modern India has a solution to the uncomfortable pleat problem in saris...

I present to you the Pleat-less Sari!

There can be no wedding without mehendi...or a groom's horse, can there?

Then there are the days and days and days of celebrations...

You can't blame me for having fun...

Did I mention the brand new airport in Mumbai which takes opulence to another level?

Tempted yet, to see the city of my birth?

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it...

Diya Mathur, the heroine of my new romance, Bootie and the Beast, is a die-hard believer of all things whimsical. She smooches frogs, rescues dudes in distress, bawls her eyes out as often as she gets a Swedish massage and, above all, dreams up wishes every day and wishes her dreams come true. And if desperate enough, she invokes the help of Lord Vishnu or Allah or Buddha...depending on which part of the world she is in or which side of the family she feels "good feels" for at the fulfill her deepest desires.

Which brings us to the topic of this post: WISHES. And why we must be cautious of what we wish for.

So, what is a wish?

  1. Definition of wish (v)

    Bing Dictionary
    • wish
    • [ wish ]
    1. have strong desire: to have a strong feeling of wanting something to happen or wanting to have something
    2. want something: to want something or want to do something
    3. express desire: to express or feel a desire that something is true or will come to pass
    synonyms: desire · aspiration · hope · yearning · longing · craving · fancy · inclination

Wishing is one of the most basic traits of being human. Without wishing, there is no progress, no innovation, no evolution. Without the desire for something, we will not strive and therefore not achieve that something, however small or large, benign or extraordinary. Could be why most of our cultures and societies around the world have myths and folktales dealing with wish fulfillment. Even ethical or moral tales are nothing but the desire, the wish of a human being to be good.

Let's innumerate a few:
1. Kissing a frog to turn him into a prince.
2. Throwing coins in fountains or wishing wells.
3. Wishing on a falling star or a fallen eyelash.
4. Prayers are nothing but wishes...for safety, for sustenance, for a happy life.
5. Wishing on Aladin's lamp or a genie's lamp.
6. Blowing candles from birthday cakes.
7. Loves me/loves me not flowers.
8. Voodoo

I'm sure there are lots more. Do write down if you know any interesting ones in the comments.

Anyway, there are a hundred ways to wish and while most fulfilled wishes bring us untold joy, there will be times when we wonder why in hell did we ever wish for that! 

Which brings us to me and my last week's wish. I am reading tomorrow at Lady Jane's Salon in NYC. My first reading ever and I am suitably frazzled about it. I have been practicing aloud and even taped myself. OH wow. I sound like Minnie Mouse. I squeaked and...don't ask. Just don't. So, I wished I'd get a cold...a small one and hopefully my voice would get a bit huskier and sound nice and sexy at the reading. Boy. Has my wish backfired, People. I got said cold and now I can't hear myself talk, much less gauge whether I sound sexy or not. Did I mention my migraine?

Ah. We humans get ourselves into unnecessary pickles, don't we?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Authors, especially published ones, get asked a lot of strange questions. Anywhere from, How do you come up with a story? to Do you write by hand or type or shout out words from your rooftop till someone hears and records them all? All relatively normal queries from those fascinated by the writing process and more or less benign, in terms of annoyance ratio (to said author). But by far the weirdest question I have been asked, several times now, is whether my romance novels are based on my own life experiences and is my main character me? 

It is true that an author brings some of his/her self into his/her book/s, into the plot and in the characterizations of the characters, in so far as his/her understanding and knowledge of the world goes. But, to answer your question, Dear Non-Reader (clearly such persons are non-readers) NO! My "fictional" novels are not "memoirs." When I write a memoir or an autobiography, I will call it such and not "fiction." 

Think about it. So far, I have completed 3 manuscripts, of which 2 have been published already. In those 3 manuscripts are 3 male protagonists, 3 female protagonists and dozens of secondary characters interacting with each other and living in their fictional worlds, surviving their particular set of trials and tribulations to get from the beginning of the novel to the end. Agreed, all of which have come out of my head. But, all characters and situations, I hope to hell, as per my research and double-double-toil-and-trouble cauldron boiling skills are unique in their own ways and equally scintillating to read. 

Now to address your question again, while I do not lead a dull life (not by a long shot) I couldn't possibly base or even identify with,all those dozens of characters or even the 6 main ones. Or have the energy to get into the hair-raising escapades that some of them get into and still live to write it all down. Sorry, shout it from the rooftops!

Dear Non-Reader, get this, fictional novels are just what they claim to be. Fiction with a capital F.

(source of GIFs: random search on web)
OH! Lest I forget, have you partaken in the Bootie and the Beast Sweepstakes yet?

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