Posted in Author Interview

Author Speaks: Durriya Kapasi

Hello guys! This is my first author interview on this blog. Today I’m in conversation with the brave author of the fantasy Djinn series – Durriya Kapasi. Born in Tanzania, marriage brought her to the beautiful city of Udaipur in India in 2007. She was diagnosed with  Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer in 2013 at stage 3. She has been through 12 rounds of chemotherapy and after a tedious struggle she has come out a champion in this fight.

Durriya started her writing on the online platform – Wattpad with two novels which were highly appreciated by the reading community. Her first paperback – Once Upon A Genie – is the first book in the Djinn series and has garnered a lot of appreciation from the readers. Her second book in this series – NEVERFOUND LAND released in the first week of December. Both these books were published by Delhi-based publishing house – Half Baked Beans which is known for their interest in young and budding writers.

Durriya has a very warm and charming persona. It was a delight interviewing her and here are a few tit-bits from our conversation:

  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm, I think I am a very hardcore writer, I don’t have any particular tantrums, show offs and habits to describe my quirks. And by hardcore writer I mean that I write only when something strong comes in my mind and when I start writing I don’t see time, hunger, household work or anything, I just keep on writing until I get drained. That’s my writing quirk.

  1. What do you do when you are not writing?

I love food, both cooking and eating and I love to read too when I do not write.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

There are many elements to make a good story but a strong plot is most important one.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Like I said in my previous question that I am a hardcore writer, It’s not easy to distract me while writing but since I work-from-home then it happens sometimes that a doorbell turns into my kryptonite.

  1. What does your family think of your writing?

They support me. My son and husband listen carefully to me when I talk about my book’s characters. They get amazed often, and also share their views. All over family support is a big motivation.

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? I mean a lot of readers want to know if it is absolutely necessary to read ‘Once Upon a Genie’ to read ‘Neverfound Land’?

Neverfound Land is a book that can be read on its own. It has new characters and a new angle. It’s just a part of Djinn Series.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing for the second one?

Writer grows mature with each book he/she writes. I learned many things from my first book, mostly the frail part of my writing, which I tried to improve in my latest book Neverfound Land. Everything from research, plot writing, character formation and I was very particular to make it best and better.

  1. What did you edit “out” of this book?

Not much but still many because of the word limit, my quench for writing cannot be satisfy but the editor and publisher and forced to edit out, that’s their job.

  1. A writer is always a reader first. So what is your favourite under-appreciated novel?

    Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. I loved reading it.

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this tiny interview. If this has piqued your curiosity, get yourself a copy of Durriya’s latest book – NEVERFOUND LAND. 

Buy here: amazon.in

Posted in book reviews

Book Review: Scattered Constellations by Ankita Singh

Book Title: Scattered Constellations

Author:  Ankita Singh

Format: Kindle

Total Number of pages: 78

Language: English

Genre:  Young Adult Free Verse Poetry Collection

Publisher: Amazon Direct Publishing

Publishing Date: July 31st, 2018

ASIN : B07DSXLHQZ

Blurb:

Words tumble out, with no pause;
From the pen, my anelace,
That I hold so graciously,
(In awe of its majesty, its power)
In my hand.

They form thoughts, hopes and musings;
Reflect my soul, my entire being,
And spread across the page,
Like scattered constellations
Across the sky.

(Scattered Constellations is a YA Free Verse Poetry collection.)

 

My Take:

The book consists of 50 poems broadly divided into three sections:

SPRINGING LOVE

SCATTERED HEART

CLUSTERED HOPE

The writing is simple, lucid and crisp. The subjects of the poems range from young love, all the heartbreak that comes with it, emotionally abusive relationships, parents, pets and everything in between.

The poetry does not use extravagant and flowery language and the simplicity of the language is what gets to the heart. It has something for everyone. It is not one of those extraordinary books that come along to change your lives. It is one of those books that give voice to all those emotions that everyone experiences in their ordinary lives but fail to express in words.

Teenage romance and heart break are dominating themes for most poems. It’s a beautiful attempt at poetry writing and comes as a beautiful piece of work from a 17 year old poetess.

Overall a good casual read.

My rating: 3.5/5

Grab your copy here:

https://www.amazon.in/Scattered-Constellations-Collection-Ankita-Singh-ebook/dp/B07DSXLHQZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544373980&sr=8-1&keywords=scattered+constellations

Posted in book reviews

Book Review : DareDreamers by Kartik Sharma & Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma

daredreamers

Book Title: DareDreamers : A Start-up of Superheroes

Author:  Kartik Sharma and Ravi ‘Nirmal’ Sharma

Format: Paperback

Total Number of pages: 288

Language: English

Genre: Fiction/Adventure

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Publishing Date: 14th August, 2018

Blurb:

India’s first start-up of superheroes with a mission of saving lives is here to kick ass.

Rasiq is riding the highs of life thanks to his successes as an investment banker. But his arrogance soon gets the better of him and he ends up losing everything he holds dear.

Managing to salvage only his grit from the wreckage, Rasiq reboots his life and teams up with five uniquely talented superheroes to start a rescue venture DareDreamers. These superheroes Nick: a crazy inventor; Halka: an inhumanly strong man; Arjun: a champion shooter; Natasha: a Bollywood stunt-double; Dr. Vyom, a medical Sherlock Holmes; and, of course, Rasiq: the mastermind combine their unique talents to deliver spectacular rescue operations. Their skyrocketing success, however, comes at a price an enemy hellbent on tearing down their fame and reputation.

Will DareDreamers defeat its wily adversary? Or will it become yet another failed start-up?

Treachery, action and adventure come alive to make DareDreamers a page-turner.

My take:

The title gave me the impression of a repeat plot of some start-up story, but as the story progresses you realize what is different about this one.

The initial chapters focus on Rasiq, an IIT alumni who pursues investment banking from IIM and gets placed as an analyst in a reputable firm during his campus interview. Rasiq feels like all his dreams have come true. This dream soon turns into a nightmare when the job costs him everything that is precious to him – his sleep, his social life, his girlfriend and when that wasn’t enough, it slowly starts taking away a piece of his soul too, turning him into the kind of man he despises. It brings him a handsome reward at the end of each month, but is that enough?

One fine day Rasiq decides that he has had enough and tenders his resignation. He faces the music from his parents with a brave face but eventually the arguments get to him causing him to leave home on his bike in a fit of fury. He meets with an accident which sows the seeds of his new venture in his mind.

Over the next few months, Rasiq assembles a team of unique assortment of people who possess a distinct skill set but are either outcasts or dissatisfied with their lives or wish to do something more meaningful. They want to do something larger than themselves.

Their start-up is a novel rescue service whose USP is the immediate response and unique skills of the team members that tailor the rescue plan according to the circumstances at hand. A few struggles and impromptu rescue missions later, they manage to bag a handful of contracts which attracts attention not only from public but competitors and rivals too.

The story takes you through an interesting turn of events. How do the DareDreamers save themselves from the nefarious schemes of the rivals? Do they manage to salvage their start-up and their reputation or is the end a sour one for them? Read on!

The authors manage to weave an engaging tale. The interaction between characters is relatable, although I would have loved to see more depth to characters other than Rasiq. At no point the book makes you feel like it has been written by two authors, father and son, no less. The idea and writings amalgamate beautifully. The concept is interesting too. The writing simple and lucid and the story flows with an ease.

My Rating: 4/5

Thank you @thebookoholics for the review copy.

You can get your copy here:

https://www.amazon.in/Daredreamers-Start-up-Superheroes-Kartik-Sharma/dp/9353040876

Posted in Uncategorized

Comets

This one was inspired by Jinesh Bagadia during a casual conversation!

—–

I am but a speck of sand

I can’t compete with the stars

But I can make a wish upon a passing comet

Stars just stay there in the sky and twinkle

Comets blaze across the sky

Leave behind a trail

A legacy, a wish to see it again

Chase comets

They’ll take you places!

-Meghal Naik

Posted in book reviews

Book Review: On the Open Road by Stuti Changle

Book Title: On the Open Road

Author: Stuti Changle

Format: Paperback

Total Number of pages: 182

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Invincible Publishers

Publishing Date: February 2018

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Myra wishes to break free of her cubicle.
Kabir wonders what life would be to build on his own.
Sandy drops out of college to work on the next big startup idea.
Ramy inspires millions of his generation on his travel blog – On the Open Road.

On the Open Road – Three Lives. Five Cities. One Startup, revolves around the lives of these restless and dreamy 20-somethings as they battle their inner demons and the societal taboos to live life on their terms. It is an emotional journey of following one’s heart. The journey entails undying friendship, love and loss, happiness and depression, fear and conquest, dreaming and achieving.

Will they be able to embark on the hard yet empowering journey to startup a company? Or succumb to the hardships on their road to freedom?

My Take:

Stuti Changle weaves an engaging tale of three twenty-somethings whose heads are full of dreams and ideas to make it big into the world of entrepreneurship. The characters are well portrayed and honest.

It is too easy to connect to Myra, a 24-year old IT professional with entrepreneurial dreams since her college years who finds those dreams squashed by the harsh reality of the IT industry. Myra is expecting a promotion that would take her to the US to her boyfriend of eight years who doesn’t seem to understand her anymore. Add family pressure to get married into the mix and you have the recipe for depression. The sudden demise of a colleague pushes Myra to introspect her life decisions, following which she embarks on a journey on the open road to figure herself out.

Kabir is a talented lad from an affluent family who is used to the lavish lifestyle that comes with it but is still restless inside. He has ideas that could change the world but the disproving looks from his uncle and his current girlfriend keep him from stepping out of his role as the CEO of his family company. Kabir lacks the warmth and comfort of family having lost his parents at the tender age of 5. The only person who seems to understand his dilemma is his school friend Sandeepan aka Sandy.

Sandy projects as the hippie of the gang whose fuel is cigarettes and marijuana. But you find him to be the most grounded and collected of the lot during crisis. He is a coder by profession and has been a part of a few small startups involving gaming apps ever since he dropped out of college. He is looking for his big shot.

Kabir and Sandy meet often to discuss startup ideas but these ideas always stay on the tissue papers of the cafes they meet at until one day they wake up to the news of a startup idea similar to Kabir’s being funded with millions of dollars by a Japanese company. This gives them their much-needed wake up call. Kabir resigns from his position as the CEO thereby effectively losing all stake in his family business and his girlfriend in one hard stroke. Kabir and Sandy realise the hurt that comes with a sacrifice like this as they hit the road to trek through the Himalayas with hardly any money left.

The picturesque Himalayan landscapes witness their inner turmoil as they struggle incessantly against family pressure, social mores and most importantly themselves. They fight the raging storms in their hearts, find peace, fall in and out of love, stumble and fall and pick themselves up through their journey on the open road. The book is more about perseverance and loyalty to your dreams more than anything else.

The writing is simple, lucid and crisp. The story moves at a good pace, keeps you hooked. Stuti has done a fantastic job describing the various locations through the journey with such few words. The book is funny and inspiring. It is not one of those life-changing books, rather one that compels you to change it yourself. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and loved reading it. Looking forward to her next one.

Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to @thebookoholics for the review copy. 🙂

buy here: amazon.in

Posted in Uncategorized

Dory’s the way to go!

You think you know what you want to do in life. You have been soo sure about it. You have been planning for it since ever. One day suddenly everything goes poooofff!!!

You dont even know whats going on but you have already landed yourself in a soup. You are more confused than you have ever been.

What to do? Where to go? Is this what i want? Can i live with this for the rest of my life?

Your sleep is filled with worries and nightmares. Your thoughts are hijacked every waking moment by doubts of the future.

Will you make it??

I HAVE NO IDEA.

So what am i going to do?

HAVE HOPE. HAVE FAITH. AND PATIENTLY WAIT!!!

Like Dory said– JUST KEEP SWIMMIN’ JUST KEEP SWIMMIN’

Posted in Uncategorized

–Around You–

Everything seems to move

differently around you.

My quiet heart stutters

and butterflies rise

in the pit of my stomach.

Your crooked smile that

seems like a smirk

to the oblivious world

does wonders to my heart,

kinda makes it flip.

All logic flies away

from my witty brain.

Words seem to lose

their way out of

my chatter box of a mouth.

My eyes forget to

blink and look at

you instead like a toy

in an expensive shop;

all bright and shiny.

My feet turn to lead

and sometimes jelly.

Neither helps as I look

like a fumbling idiot

who trips on a flat floor.

I walk on the sidelines

to save the embarrassment

hide behind the glasses

and read my Shakespeare

invisible as humanly possible.

Didn’t turn out that well

Oh, did it? Hardly.

Sonnets that were supposed

to be my dear distraction,

turned me into a magnet.

Couldn’t believe my eyes

as you very slowly

and somewhat reluctantly

walked up to me and said,

“You like Shakespeare too?”

I think it was

the start of something new…

-Dr. Meghal Naik