Tag Archives: books

My interview on NFReads

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I published a book or spoke anything about my books on this platform. So it was quite a pleasure when Tony Eames from NFReads.com reached out for my interview on their website. For those of you who are not aware of NFReads.com, it is a general interest website with an emphasis on articles and interviews about books, both fiction and nonfiction.

Here’s a link to my interview. Do check it out and show me some love! ❤

Love and peace,



How to keep your hobbies alive, or, how to keep being who you used to be?

A big part of growing up (read graduating college and joining the workforce) is learning that we are very different people that we thought we were. Or, coming to terms with the fact that we could be very different person a year from now. In a way, I guess a lot of us feel that there is something eternal about us, something unchanging.

I’ll give an example: growing up, I had been an avid reader. I used to be among those bookworm kids who hid storybooks behind their coursebooks and got caught and chided by their parents. I used to gobbles books by the day!

Cut to mid 2017 – I have been working for almost two years. Work pressure is high. I am struggling with relationship issues, poor sleeping habits (I had always been a morning person, and just can’t figure out, how on earth my sleeping patterns changed). I rarely read books – can’t remember when was the last time I visited GoodReads or reviewed a book there or on this blog. Only in 2015, I had promised myself I would read a lot, and in turn focus on publishing my own books. Na-da! Nothing of that sort is happening.

So, what filled the gaps of time in 2017? I watched a lot of TV series, some movies. That seemed like an easier way to entertain myself. Investing myself to go back to reading was hard: it is just so easy to see things when a motion picture is playing in front of you. So hard to imagine stuff when you have to make out all the motions from reading words! I could not remember that part of myself who used to stay up in the nights to read books. Did that person really exist? Who had I become?

This resulted in a bunch of guilt trips, and did not help with my depression. Not being able to identify with yourself, struggling with an identity crisis, is probably the hardest of all struggles. In your mind, there is a person telling you non-stop that you are not living your life the right way, the way that you have always known as right. You should do something about it, but somehow, you are not sure how and where, you lost that element of willpower which made you do things in the past. What is the cause? Is it work? Is it the pressure of dealing with adult life: living alone, interacting with strangers every day without having any family to go back to? Could be.

Yet, it could also be that what you are going through is a phase. People evolve. Most often when we say so-and-so has changed, we mean it in a bad manner. As if, people are always supposed to remain the same person who we knew. Our cells grow, die and new cells regenerate – that is the law of nature. We change our habitats, adjust to new surroundings. So, it is quite natural that our emotional and mental evolution will be impacted as well. There will be years in which we won’t be able to find ourselves. But the good news is, a small part of us which makes us us, never really dies. It might be sleeping for a while, trying to cope with all the changes that we impose on it, but it is always there.

So, if you really loved painting, really loved reciting poems, chances are, after this rough patch is over, you will get back to it. You just have to wait it out. And what should you do meanwhile? Explore other things in life, go out with people, watch some great movies, or maybe just sleep! Do whatever your current situation needs you to do. Maybe, one of them will become a new hobby! The key is to live life guilt-free. If you cannot spend time doing the thing you loved most right now, it is likely that there are a thousand other things which needs your attention at the moment. Have faith that, this phase will be over too – there will come a time when you have learned to manage those thousand things within reasonable amount of time, and there will be a glorious slice of ten minutes in which you have nothing to do: well, pick up that book lying on your coffee table and read it!

It is 2018 and I am again back to reading and reviewing books. Maybe my routine does not permit it to be as frequent as it used to be, but guess what, this is what life is all about: making way for new things while sustaining the good habits of the past. There has to be some compromise, somewhere!

Taste in books – Short review of Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon

This Monday, I was travelling back to Bangalore from a week-long vacation at home. I had about half an hour to kill at Kolkata airport before boarding, so I decided to check out the book-store.

I picked up two books: Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon and A Train to Pakistan by Khuswant Singh. I had not bought a book for myself in the longest time – thanks to the online library facility, Kwench, that my company provides. Besides – I had not read something really interesting that would make me want to invest financially and space-wise. But this time I wanted a good way to spend the two and a half hours flight (too used to having internet, and flight mode basically sucks), so ended up purchasing these two books.

I can’t remember if I have read other Sheldon books, but needless to say, he’s a popular author. Even if I have not read his works, I remember reading such fast paced, mystery thriller books growing up – I was quite a fan of the genre at the time. I loved Gone Girl when I read it in 2016. However, when I revisited the genre through Memories of Midnight, I can’t say I was quite excited. Some of the key traits that jumped out for me are:

  • The fast pace of the writing, which is characterized by more telling than showing
  • While the character development is not poor, it does not feel like a priority, but more like a secondary requirement
  • The primary focus is on mind-boggling actions, bringing people back from the dead, showing larger-than-life (and in my mind, sometimes quite impossible) victories in business deals or courtrooms
  • Lastly, there are multiple scenes which leave nothing to the imagination on the reader’s part – with too many obvious paragraphs which can easily be dropped to make the narrative stronger

While I have nothing against the writer or people who enjoy such writing (thrill is always exciting), from a writer’s perspective, a lot of the book felt like poor, lazy writing. I realize that over the years my taste has changed towards more muted, and closer-to-life narratives. I am interested in the story of the common man, the trials of regular life that s/he faces. Which is why I avoid most of Bollywood flicks, unless I am really in the mood for some drama.

However, I must credit the writer for his research on how different professions work: from information on oil fields to courtroom dealings to a psychiatrist’s clinic – this book covers a lot of ground.

All that said, I guess each author has a specific audience. In fact, even though the writing was poor, I did end up finishing the book, because I wanted to see it through to the end. Moreover, even though I had another book to choose from in the flight, I started with this one, coz, well, I was looking for a popcorn style book, made for light read! 🙂

How do you feel about these popcorn-style books? Should publishing houses continue to publish such books? Which are your favorite authors in this genre?

Sickened ramblings

Yesterday I wrote a post and let it remain in the drafts. It was the first day of the month and for the last few days I had been feeling poorly. It has more to do with my health. That made me question everything that was happening in my life.

I have questioned my work, my lifestyle – whether it is really worth staying so far from home, all by myself. There was just so much negativity around. Add to that the stubborn Bangalore rain, which doesn’t bother to stop.

Thankfully, it is a bright day this morning. I have feeling more positive.

Unfortunately, my blogging habit has taken a hit. I am hardly ever on the Reader. After I write something, I wonder, would it make any difference if I did not post this? Does this post add any value to the reader? Most often, I find the answer in the negative. And hence, the pile of my drafts increases.

As to the book front, I am close to 11k words in my book. For those who are new, my second book is a non-fiction account on Fear. I have been pretty much a timid person all my life – with my energy level being perpetually low when doing new things, which inspired the need of a self-help book on Fear. I am hoping to complete the first draft by the end of this month (which was July 31st before, on account of Camp Nano – which unfortunately, I could not complete). Having a day job indeed makes things hard at the creative end. You are so exhausted  by the time weekend comes, you don’t feel like doing anything on the two precious days. It doesn’t help that I am not as disciplined about my health and hobbies as the other aspects of my life (read work). I am not the first one to struggle with this, and I won’t be the last. Yet, I stop myself from feeling guilty because I don’t need the added guilt to weigh me down. As it is, it is pretty bad.

Last night when I went to sleep, I was feverish. Random thoughts kept crawling into my mind and forcing me to work my mind. I had no means to stop the flow of thoughts. The thoughts were like dreams that are too real – I found myself talking to people in my mind and thinking hard before I formed my replies. I guess some of the people might have been from the client side. I have experienced this often when I run fever.

But thankfully, it is somewhat a bright day today. I can see the sun from my work window. That is cheering me up for now.

What about you? How is life at your end? How do you deal with the clouds in your life? Let me know in the comments.

Have you ever been repelled by the main character in a book?

After I finished Gone Girl, I decided to give the other novels by Gillian Fynn a try. The book that I am currently reading is Dark Places. To be honest, I did not really like the names of her other novels: Dark Places, Sharp Objects. The names sounded very generic to me. Flynn’s books seem to have simple naming convention: Adjective+Noun. Interesting!

The point, however, is,this: I am not enjoying Dark Places as much as I enjoyed Gone Girl. I am not someone who enjoys murder mysteries so much – I am not really into that genre. Whenever I think of murder mysteries I think of motives. And how many motives can an author ideally choose from? The seven sins, probably? And once you learn the motive, the story becomes water-simple. It is until the motive becomes clear that the mystery is really a mystery (Do correct me  if I am wrong!).

A part of my disinterest in Dark Places can be attributed to the characters. In Gone Girl, I was really interested in both Nick and Amy. Nick is the handsome boy from not-so-rich background, and Amy is someone who’s both beautiful and rich. What happens when you put these two in a mix? That question interested me. In Dark Places, the main character, Libby Day, is depressed, lazy and really has no redeeming quality. She is in a bad position in life financially – and starts taking steps in life out of the basic need of money. To me, she is pathetic. And I feel no interest in her POV, whatever that is. I like her brother’s POV better – I want to know what life was for that fifteen year old boy before he was convicted of slaughtering his own family. Libby’s mother’s POV also did not interest me so much.

But of course, as I moved in the story, the structure of the narrative started to pull me in. The story moves back and forth between present and one day before the murder. Flynn masterly puts in place the pieces of the Day family’s life before that fateful day, which, of course, strokes your curiosity in a pleasant way – you want to know what happened in the lives of these people that dragged them to such an end.

Reading this book, I realized that no matter how uneventful somebody’s life is from your perspective, every life tells a story. As does every death. In death, nostalgia sets in – how would these characters’ lives have been, had they not been killed that day? Already they were in a bad position in life. Would something better have happened to the Day family which, in turn, might have lent a healthy touch to Libby’s life – such that she would not grow up to the the pathetic person that she is?

I’m curious – how does the basic traits of a character pull a reader into a story? As for me, I like characters who are trying to do something with their lives, someone who has the will and the character to bring changes in their lives, someone who is striving to become a better version of himself/herself. For me, Libby Day has no such value. In the same vein, Amy of Gone Girl is a masterpiece, if I may say so! Even though she is venomous, she is brilliant. And that attracts me like a insect to the fire.

What about you? What qualities do you like in the main character (MC) of any novel? Tell me about a story you read where the MC did not at all appeal to you at first. Did you end up finishing the story?

Let’s gift a book this Christmas!

Christmas celebration, all these years in my Bengali family, was cutting a chocolate fruit cake and watching Christmas celebrations on the TV.

But this is my first Christmas after I got a job, and I wanted to do something special! So, when I saw this Facebook post, I knew what I had to do:


Abhijit is a friend from college. I contacted him and he sent me the address where I was supposed to send the book as a gift. The address was of one of my college senior’s. Thanks to e-marketing giant, Amazon, it took me a few clicks to send the gift-wrapped book on the way!

As the next step, I was to publish the same post on my Facebook Wall and wait for book-lovers to comment. A few asked me questions via message. They kept wondering how this works. Well this is how it is:

Say you see my Facebook post and comment on it saying you’re interested, I give you Abhijit’s address and you send a book to him. Then, you copy my status and post on your Wall. When someone interested, say X, comments to your post, you share my address with that person and and s/he sends a book to me . When Y comments on X’s status saying s/he is interested, X shares your address with Y and Y sends a book to you and the chain so continues.

So, will this work? Of course it will, if you take part in it and send a book! You don’t know the person who you’ll send it to, but that’s the beauty of this! You send a book to a stranger, but a fellow book lover, and hope that s/he likes what you send. It feels like I am back in the old days when people used to have pen friends and wait for each other’s letters to know each other better.

So, this Christmas, if you’re in India, will you gift a book to a fellow book-lover and help me complete a chain? I’ll be waiting for your response. Please comment on my Facebook page to let me know if you’re interested:



P.S: From now on, I will share all the stories of my personal growth on this blog: The Lady in Making. Be sure to check out the latest Christmas post I shared over there! If my personal stories do interest you, feel free to follow The Lady in Making!

What book do you want to write?

This year one of the to-do things in my monsoon list was to read five different authors. I am happy to announce that I have not only met the goal but overshot it! Since June, I read these books:

  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  5. Deadly Fantasies by Kelly Miller
  6. Precocious by Joanna Barnard
  7. Nice Things by Jimmy Norman

I loved each of these books in its own unique way. Some raised questions and challenged my views/liking, others I could do nothing but agree at each point. But so far, none of the books made me feel: Yes, I would have loved to write this one! One of my favourite writing-related quotes is:

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

There are so many books that I want to read. Some because I have heard so much about them. Some because I want to taste different genres. Others merely because I love to read.

Unlike many of you, I have only recently watched the Game of Thrones. But like most of you, I have absolutely loved it. I haven’t read the books yet, but I was amazed at the sheer complexity of the characters created by George R. R. Martin. I respect him for that. If I were to write a book, I would love to be able to create those complex characters, but would I want to write Game of Thrones even if I could? Probably not.

I have always been scared of people and relationships. I understand neither well. People intrigue me, their motivations fascinate me. By the time I make sense of certain actions by certain people, they do something contrasting altogether. Over the years, I have lost friendships without having a proper explanation as to what went wrong. I have become stranger to people who were close once and sometimes I was the one who was responsible.

In most cases, you can not choose the people around you. As I grow and am around other grown people, I constantly worry if I will offend them or would be judged for who I am. So, this masterpiece that I intend to write will probably have complex characters. I want to take a small set of people and look at their life with a powerful magnifying glass. I want to capture the subtle changes that are happening to us every moment, with every breath we take. At what moment does that strand of hair start graying and the skin start to shrivel? At what moment does liking change to love and love to dislike? Can we really isolate events to pinpoint an exact starting time? I want to capture these minor changes at an atomic level. Only, I am yet to figure out how to put this general notion into an actual book. But I think I am getting there!

What about you? Which book do you think you should write? Let me know in the comments below.

bbllP.S: Though I am yet to pen the greatest masterpiece of all times (LOL), I would love you all to read my first self-published ebook, Bound by Life. It is entirely FREE on Kindle on the 9th and 10th. The free promotion starts approximately midnight (Pacific Standard Time) of the 9th, so be sure to download your copy after. Also, Bound by Life is enrolled in KDP Select program until September 20th, so if you do not wish to buy the book, you can simply read it through Kindle Unlimited or borrow it from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Happy reading! 

The 777 Challenge

I was challenged by Leanne for the 777 Challenge. Thank you, Leanne! It was sweet of you to remember me!

The 777 Challenge is a fun challenge to take part. Let me tell you all about it.


  • Find your latest work in progress (whatever it is!)
  • Scroll down to the 7th page
  • Find the 7th line
  • Share the next 7 sentences 
  • Are you done? Great! Challenge 7 buddies to do the same. 

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

The challenge was a little daunting for me at first as I thought I did not have any long work in progress at the moment. Then I found the novel that I had started earlier this month (Note to Self: Get back to it, ASAP! *screaming*). Luckily for me, I was eight pages and about three thousand words into it.

The story is very random at the moment and hence the seven-line excerpt that I share might seem a little random as well. But please bear with me:

Suddenly, the neighbourhood plunged into darkness as power went off. “Awww geez!” her brother shouted and punched the bed.

After a few minutes, he came over to the balcony. Sampriti was sitting on a plastic tool, with her chin perched on the iron railings.

“Damn this power cut, Federer was playing so well.”

Sampriti couldn’t help but smile. Some things never change.


Now, get ready to meet my 7 challengers!








I am so eager to read your pieces! Have fun with the challenge!

P.S: My book, Bound by Life, is now available on Kindle for $0.99 instead of $5.99! So if you haven’t bought a copy before, make sure you buy it  by the 19th. That’s when this promotional offer ends!

Bound by Life is available on Amazon.