Leave a comment

Guest Post by Jayant Kripalani…. The story behind Cantilevered Tales

The name Jayant Kripalani is enough for anyone to say ‘Yes!’ to a guest blog post by him, and it is my utmost honour to host and present to you the story behind his upcoming book which is edited by the ace editor Indrani Ganguly, and is Published by Readomania.

Jayant Kripalani is an artist, writer, director, and a renowned film, television and stage actor, so automatically the question arises what made this brilliant multi-talented man pen this book? What’s the story behind it? So he answers the question himself in the post below.


Why Jayant Kripalani wrote this book?

Cantilevered Tales.jpg

Why did I start writing this set of short stories that became one long story? I don’t really know.

I was on way my back from somewhere by train and at Howrah Station a group of taxi drivers tried to extort a higher fare from me.  This was before the time of pre paid taxi booths.  Rather than shell out five times the fare I thought I’d take a bus. It was peak hour in the morning and though I did get a seat since the bus started from there, I hadn’t calculated the length of time I’d be sitting in the bus on the bridge. Forty five minutes of inching along later I heard a voice behind me say, “Aitaki Haora Bridge na Laora Bridge?”

I knew exactly what he meant.

I knew then that I had the beginning of a story.

“Where are you getting off?” I turned around and asked.

“High Court,” he replied.

By now we had reached the East end of the bridge. It still looked like we’d be on the bus for another 45 minutes.

“Walk?” I asked him.

“Let’s,” he said.

And that as they say was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

His name was Khokon. He lived in Santragachhi. And because of that immortal first line, I called the protagonist of my story Khokon. In the book though, the line belongs to his colleague Ashutosh.

Some time later, I overheard a group of people talking about saving a water body from some unscrupulous builder. Arun Lal the cricket player might have been a part of the group but I’m not sure.  I started keeping tabs on them. Not because I was interested in saving the environment or even that small little lake.

I am not a crusader.

I hate getting involved with issues.

But if you live in Calcutta, even for a short while, trust me, you’ll get involved.

More power to the builder I thought after I first saw the lake if you can call brackish acres of sludge a lake.

What did interest me were the disparate lot of people, and some desperate ones among them, who were determined they were going to save a stagnant water body from becoming an office complex.Frankly in my opinion that lake had outlived its usefulness to be anything at all.

I didn’t give a damn what happened to the lake.

But over a period of time I did start worrying about the people. And of course fell hopelessly in love with them. Their wellbeing and their good health became a matter of great concern to me especially since I saw the array of ‘villains’ lined up against them.

So rather than concentrate on Builder v Helpless Citizen – enough stories had been written about them, I concentrated on their stories and their histories.

This is their story or should I say these are their stories.  Some of the people are real; some of the people who come to their assistance are thinly disguised caricatures of people I admire; some are just people I met on buses and trams in my journeys across the bridge who wormed their way into the book.

And that is how this book got wrote.

Jayant Kripalani


Book Blurb


I overheard a group of people talking about saving a water body from some unscrupulous builder and started keeping tabs on them. Not because I was interested in saving the environment or even that small little lake. What did interest me were the disparate lot of people, and some desperate ones among them, who were determined that they were going to save a stagnant water body, which in my opinion had outlived its usefulness as anything at all, from becoming an office complex.

This is NOT a Builder v Helpless citizen epic. In fact that is the least important part of the book. This is about a group of inept people who you want to reach out and protect but you discover are more than capable of taking care of not just themselves, but of you too.

Author Bio

Jayant KripalaniJayant Kripalani is an Indian film, television and stage actor, writer and director. Known for his work in TV series like Khandaan, Mr Ya Mrs and Ji Mantriji, he graduated from Jadavpur University with a degree in English Literature.

He has played character roles in movies like Heat and Dust, RockfordJaane Tu. . .Ya Jaane Na, 3 Idiots and, most recently, Hawaizaade and The Hunger. He has directed and produced a number of films and is actively involved with theatre. He wrote the screenplay for Shyam Benegal’s film Well Done Abba. He is the author of the heartwarming and nostalgic New Market Tales, set in the historic New Market area of

Kolkata in the 1960s and 1970s. His recent foray into writing performance poetry has brought him acclaim in poetic circles around the country. When he is not in Calcutta, he is either fishing in Himachal, pfaffing in Bombay or being a beach bum in Goa.


Please note: This is a guest blog post and the views expressed are author’s own. 

Leave a comment

Paulami DuttaGupta…. A Conversation…



Paulami, When you first started writing, what was the reason behind it? Why writing?

I started writing because I had a day job, eight hours at a desk and actually nothing much to do. I wonder why the company was even paying me all the money. And then on one bored weekday I switched on the TV, saw Gurmeet Choudhary, fell in love, started writing and wrote about fifty plus fan fictions in a year. There were a group of friends, the supportive sisterhood nudged me to write my first book.

You are the scriptwriter of two national award winning films, has that in any way affected your writing? Do you think people expect more from you now? Does that scare you?

I think people need to know me to expect more from me. They don’t and therefore I live in my world of laziness and follow my pace in creating things. What scares me is the inner voice that criticizes each story I write.

How has your upbringing in the North East affected your way of looking at the world?

My stories do have little takes from the North East. I am emotional about NE, however I wouldn’t say my formative years there have made my views what they are today.

We know you are one of the very few writers who openly express their political views, have you ever faced any problems due to that?

Not directly, but I realize I am not very popular because of the kind of views I share or the ideology I support. But if I were put a gag on my views, I would have to give up writing and expression completely. There are ‘well meaning’ friends that inbox, reminding me to not make political posts, say I might lose out on opportunities , not get invited to events. But that’s what my battle is against. So I send emoticons in reply and move on to the next political post.


At the Kolkata launch of Onaatah

Tell me something about your new book, Onaatah. How did the journey begin.

The decision to adapt the film into a book was taken after the film had released in the theatre and had run housefull for a few weeks. I wanted more people to know Onaatah’s tale.  Onaatah a rape survivor takes a journey that ends unexpectedly. The tale questions class polarization, and is about the new relationships that Onaatah develops as she begins to heal and leave the sordid past behind her.

How difficult was it to turn a script into a book?

There are lot of supporting characters in this story that could not be given screen space. So this was my chance to write their story. After thirty plus drafts of the screenplay and forty plus views of the film, I would be lying if I say it was difficult to write the book. I was only worried about doing justice to the plot, since the film was lauded for the performances of the actors. I am still worried.

Now let me ask you some light hearted one liners…

 Paulami as a girlfriend is…. cranky, opinionated, emotional

Favourite writer… currently Suchitra Bhattacharjee

What makes you angry… ah this will be long. Hypocrisy mostly of our anointed liberals and intellectuals, pretending terrorism doesn’t exist or will go away with a placard, selective feminism, aping the west blindly, people who judge others by the quality of English they speak, waste of public money etc etc etc.

Something that is very dear to you… self respect.

Latest celebrity crush… Rajyavardhan Rathore.

A book that you hated… The God of Small Things.

Best way of taking revenge… Uff now don’t inspire me to take revenge on people. I don’t forgive and particularly never forget.

Going back to writing, we all know it’s a lonely job and without the support of you family it can be extremely difficult, tell us how important your family has been in your writing career.

A writer or any creative person, anybody who wants to build a start up etc need space and peace to work. That is where the family comes in. It is not that I do not have heated debates at times with my parents due to my cranky lifestyle. But at the end of the day they support me, and have been doing that for five years now.

Before I let you go, share some of your favorite writing tips for aspiring authors.

I am somebody who has never been to a writing school, never attended a writing workshop. For me writing is about looking around, picking up real characters, research on geography, socio-political scenario, and of course eavesdropping, watching a lot of films, reading books and articles.  In short anything that supplies fresh plots to me.  I may be the wrong person to share writing tips with aspiring authors, but I would just say this- each author has a unique style of writing and never be ashamed of the way you write. And of course the initial days are all about rejection slips and judgmental people, scathing criticism etc. Just keep writing.


12694743_770122263119715_5437675306764414861_oAuthor Bio: Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screenwriter. She has worked as a radio artist, copywriter, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Tmes Of India- Guwahati-Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines.

Paulami also writes on Politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright, NElive, The Frustrated Indian and Mumbai Mom. Paulami’s first film as a screenwriter, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty, was awarded the National Award for the Best Khasi Film at the 61st National Film Awards.  A Thousand Unspoken Words, her fourth book, was published by Readomania. Onaatah -Of the earth is an adaptation of the National Award winning film by the same name. Onaatah was awarded the Best Khasi Film at the 63rd National Film Awards.

She is currently writing the screenplay of Iewduh, a khasi film, and working on a couple of short films.


Leave a comment

Thwarted Escape – A Review

Thwarted Escape : An immigrant’s Wayward Journey – A Review


How do you review a book that is so close to your heart that you feel a maternal pride just looking at it?

How do you review a book that you have seen grow from a manuscript to a print edition?

How do you review a book that is written by an author, who is like a sister?

I guess there is no other way, but to be completely, utterly, honest about how I feel. I have been deferring writing a review for a long time now even though I finished the book about two months ago, the reason being every time I sat down to write words failed me. The book is so powerful in content, language, imagery, emotions that I felt that I will never be able to do justice to a piece of work like this.

The manuscript had been a Journey Awards recipient (2014), hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media, and also very recently been placed as Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival 2017 (Category: memoir/autobiography)


There is a beautiful foreword written by Dr. Santosh Bakaya, which impeccably describes the spirit of the book, which I would like to quote here, “We are there with her in her inner sojourns, and also there listening to the rumblings of her pent-up thunder.”

Lopamudra Banerjee’s Thwarted Escape is a memoir of her journey from a girl into a woman, from her own country to an unknown land, from being a mother to a motherless daughter, from a lover to a wife, all blending into one another. Her dreams and realities merge into this enchanting narrative to tell us about how she made through it all.

Her language is lucid, poetic, interspersed with a vocabulary that is both poignant and mesmerizing. Every line she writes feels like has been dipped in the ink of her soul and put into paper. This book is not for someone who is looking for a light and easy read. This is for the serious reader who is willing to invest time into the voyage of a woman’s life. It is for the readers who like  to search their own soul for the answers missing from their lives.

Banerjee in her preface says, “Eight years later, when I look back at the day I started to shape this journey, I am overwhelmed by how reminiscence, self-interrogation, anger, hopelessness, despair and a childlike surrender to hope and empathy has given birth to this wayward journey.” and you can feel as you turn the pages the amount of hard work, pain and faith has gone into this book. this book is literally made from the blood and sweat of the author. Each chapter can be read as an individual essay from the author’s life or you could read the book in it’s entirety and be spellbound at the magnificent job the author has done with it.

It is a memoir, you have to read it yourselves to find how well you connect with it. I would recommend it to all readers who love beautiful language, poetic verses, the themes of alienation, immigration, feminism, adaptation, motherhood, womanhood, defiance against patriarchy to name a few.

I will leave you with a few lines from a favourite portion of mine, from the chapter Thwarted Escape

“I return to the chaos and bickering inside the quite confines of my parents’ home in Barrackpore, to see a broken fragment of my own being, still lurking behind the dark corners of the rooms I had left behind. I return as the dutiful daughter-in-law to a broken and scattered home of in-laws emerging in my life time and again, as a river with secret tides I am obliged to navigate. I return, time and again, to the absurdities of a Bengali household I had so despised and escaped years back. I come back to them, not as as the restless, rebel woman, simmering with existential questions, not as a demure bride who didn’t understand shameless traditions of adaptation in a strange family of people who spoke less, felt less. I come back, as a traveler in time, to feel my frazzled self, and to pick up my own scattered pieces and recognize the weightless limbo of a world that inhabits me now.” 


I dare say this is not a book, it is a piece of art, own it.


Please Note: This is not a commissioned review

Leave a comment

Mock, Stalk and Quarrel – A Review

download (48)

29 stories

29 Authors

29 issues that have been dealt with excellent dose of satire, sarcasm and wit!

This book literally takes you on a roller-coaster ride, one story after another keeps you on the edge. Every time you finish a story it leaves you amazed at the craftsmanship of the people involved. The sharp editing makes it a pleasant read, not once does it feel forced. Every story has been given a flavour that carries the author’s signature style on it. Ganguly is present in all stories through her classic touch of perfection, yet never does she lets her presence overshadow the author, which is the mark of an excellent editor.

Of course when there are 29 authors involved in a book, you are spoilt for choices. Each narrative is different from the other; each writer brings in their own style of language. Satire is the spine of the most stories, with a dose of humour and wit. The stories force the reader to pause after each tale finishes to think about the truth that has been served to them wrapped in satire and humour. Not all stories are light, some are slightly dark and some have elements which will make you slightly uncomfortable. But that’s the purpose of the book, to make you think about the things that are wrong all around us. A portion of the blurb reads as, “From domestic violence to red-tapism, from reservation to religious fundamentalism, from scams to godmen, our authors have captured it all, creating stories that prick the conscience and challenge the powerful, gently ridicule absurdities and follies of follow humans, not to enrage the reader but to bring on a wry smile.” and true to the blurb, the books serves exactly that.

Reading this book has been an experience, and since it’s an anthology of short stories, it would be quite natural that I have some stories which I liked more than the others.  Without divulging their plots, I would like to mention few stories here which I loved, in no particular order Girl Talk by Kirthi Jayakumar, The Almost God by Ramaa Sonti, The Revenge of the Darbaris by Paulami DuttaGupta, Darkness Reigns at the Foot of the Lighthouse by Radhika Maira Tabrez, The Little Princess by Deepti Menon, The Hero by Esha Chakraborty, and The Whistleblower by Dr. Santosh Bakaya. 

I would like to applaud the publisher for taking up the challenge of publishing a collection of satire, which is quite rare these days. While most publishers play safe, Readomania comes up time and over with themes which are not only unique but socially relevant. Overall an excellent reading experience, I would completely recommend the book to readers who love short stories and enjoy a dose of sarcasm and wit while reading about issues which are plaguing our society.


Please note: This is NOT a commissioned review. 

Leave a comment

The Moon Tattoo

The moon tattoo.jpg

Dressed in moonbeams and inadequate hopes of life

She steps out

Her smudged kohl, stolen from the darkest clouds, lines her eyes

With the agony of the unfulfilled promises

They had named her desire, as a child

Of which she had none left, all she had in her were

An inferno of broken glorious pieces of her beliefs

Her madness was her sworn in loyalty to the magnificent moon

Who she had given her heart to

As a fifteen year old, underneath the big banyan tree

On a clear cloudless night

Before they had stripped her of her childhood and turned her into a woman

But no, tonight, she is not going to think of that

Tonight she will sink in to the pleasures of

The night turning into dawn

The moon turning into an illusion

The moonbeams turning into her skin

Tonight she will sip every drop of falling dreams

From the sky above

Tonight she pays the moon back for her lunacy

With her magic, taken from her blood

And tattooed into her soul


Leave a comment

Bonobology Review


Hello Friends! I found a wonderful treasure trove online, for those fond of reading and learning about relationships. It is this page called Bonobology which carries (and accepts) stories on diverse aspects of relationships. So while there’s something on being single, dating, flirting and falling in love on one side; we also have extramarital affairs, divorce, heartbreak, happily married, in laws, and abuse addressed on the other. The inclusive space that they are; it warms my heart to see them welcoming write-ups from and about LGBT as well. As I read through some of the diverse articles on the page, I remember a few of them making me pause and reflect, some leaving me misty eyed and well, some had me laugh out loud! You all must visit it at  http://www.bonobology.com/.



Leave a comment

Confessions with Author Ayan Pal


Ayan thank you for agreeing to this interview, First of all congratulations, your debut novel is a best seller and gaining accolades from all over, how does this feel? Did you anticipate this success?

While I obviously wanted the book to be successful, I did not anticipate the level of positivity it has gained in just 7 months. With over 60 reviews on Amazon, 50 ratings on Goodreads, with an average rating of 4.9, ‘Confessions on an Island’ has already turned into a critically acclaimed bestseller. It is also the highest rated novel of its genre over the past few years. It has already been picked up by a major Hindi daily as the best book of 2016, across languages. I hope it can reach greater heights and become a national bestseller in the future!

Why did you chose to write your first book on such a theme? Authors always play safe with their debut, why did you decide to take this risk?

I believe in innovation and thinking out of the box, and wanted to simply be me when it came to my debut. I feel being safe is boring, hence I came forward with this rather unusual mix, which, based on the kind of books successful in India so far, was also a risk in many ways that might have brought an end to my fledgling career. But my instincts it seem were right, as was my faith in the readers. I would hence like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them, who has helped me reach where I am today. Thanks for accepting the story, and the unusual presentation, and through its success, Author Ayan Pal as well!

Okay now a fun question, if your book ever gets made into a movie, who would you like to play the characters?

While I have answered that question from a purely Bollywood perspective before, I feel this could also be an international project. If so, I would love to see Amitabh Bacchan, Irfan Khan, or Scarlet Johansson play the island. For the male lead, the abductor, Shahid Kapoor, Fawad Khan, or Dev Patel would be an excellent casting, provided they can get over their inhibitions to perform the bold scenes. For the feisty female lead, a bestselling author trapped on an Island, Radhika Apte, Alia Bhatt, or Priyanka Chopra would be perfect, I feel.

There are multiple short stories embedded into the main story, how did that idea evolve?

This ‘novel’ conceptualization of the novel arose from a need to tie up several co-incidental incidents of my life, as well as some short stories I had already written in the past. I had by then already contributed to India’s first composite novel, the ‘Limca Book of Records’ recipient ‘Crossed and Knotted’ and wanted to take things a step further. I hence decided to intersperse the main narrative (the odd chapters) with the short stories they tell each other (in the even chapters). The stories are a combination of fact and fiction, and is in the deciphering of which is which, and the way they are connected (if at all) that brings an unusual flavour to the novel, while also helping portions of it to exist by itself as a short story.

A book goes through multiple layers of editing, how easy or hard was that process?

I have often had issues with developmental editing and proofreading. But not this time! The presence of Indrani Ganguly as an Editor was the best thing that could have happened to either me or the book. Indrani’s belief in me as a storyteller helped me tremendously in telling it the way I wanted to. Her prowess as an Editor helped me turn the book into the best possible example it could have been. I am immensely grateful to Dipankar Mukherjee for assigning her to me for my debut. Having already signed up with Readomania before, but for a different novel, and having faced the brunt of a clash of ideologies with the Editor, this was a welcome relief indeed!


Ayan with his editor Indrani Ganguly, at the Kolkata launch of Mock Stock and Quarrel. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers on marketing their book successfully?

I feel when it comes to marketing, less is more. Especially if it’s a thriller, like ‘Confessions on an Island’. Instead of sharing snippets that might give away the story unwittingly, it’s better to get the book reviewed and highlight reactions to the book instead.

What would you say makes your book unputdownable?

A combination of sex, sense, and shock with (mostly) pitch perfect pace, unusual storytelling, and emotional depth.


Kolkata Launch of Confessions On An Island.

What was your childhood like? How would you say it reflects on your personality and writing?

My childhood was full of fun and learning, and the way I was raised – in a matriarchal joint family along with my grandmother and aunts, had a major role to play in me becoming the kind of person I am. Their influence on my life has gone a long way in the way women are portrayed in my stories, or for that matter, the way I react to women in general which includes my fiercely independent yet incredibly patient wife – Ankana. Even though I am naturally headstrong, I have come to easily accept her dominance and can safely vouch for the fact that she is the best partner I could have ever asked for (see what I just did?) I absolutely enjoy being guided by her in the areas where she is without a doubt way ahead of me, for example the way I handle my finances. I also do not mind being chided by her every time I make a mistake, to which there seems to be no end to! And now, with the birth of my darling daughter – Aadwrita, I guess my learning days are back again! Staying with four generations of strong, intelligent and highly opinionated women may seem daunting, but is actually a blessing in disguise. I am indeed lucky to have them rule my head, hearth, and heart!

One Liners….

  • Favourite food: Any well-made Indo Chinese dish
  • First Crush: Sushmita Sen (she remains one even now!)
  • One embarrassing moment: None since adulthood (the ones as a child cannot be shared). I am a bit too shameless to be embarrassed apparently!
  • One regret: Not being there by my mother when she passed away. I was caught up in a meeting at work, and by the time I reached home, it was already too late.
  • A truth about you that we don’t know: I have a natural flair for dancing and bake excellent Pizzas!
  • A rumour about you that you wish was true: That I make a LOT of money.

Taking cue from the one liners, let me ask you this one, you seem to have been very close to your mother, and losing her must have been devastating, would you like to tell us something about her and how she influenced you to become the amazing person that you are today.

My mother has always been an inspiration for me. Be it her education (she was a double MA, BEd and spoke and taught French and German), her choice of career (she ran her own NGO – Socio Aid, and an Exports and Imports Business), or the way she perfectly balanced her home, profession, and passions (reading, cooking, singing, and devouring movies or TV shows), I was always an admirer. Though at one point of time I absolutely loathed studying Engineering because of her, I gradually came to realize that everything she did for me and her family came from a sense of wanting what she felt was best for us. With time she came to understand the need for me to flourish as a writer and stood by me in my various attempts to finish my manuscripts and get published. I wish she was here today to see what I have done, and am doing. But then, probably my being where I am right now, is also because of her. Not just because of everything she taught me when she was alive, but also post her death, due to her continuous presence in my thoughts, and as a guardian angel in my life. I hope I can continue to write and inspire others in a way that makes her proud of me, irrespective of where she might be right now.

Finally, tell us about what is next for Confessions on an Island where is this journey taking you?

I am currently researching material to be used for the sequel to ‘Confessions on an Island’, Book 2 of the ‘Trapped’ trilogy. I know what the books will be called, and the outline of their stories. I hope to write them in a way that makes them unforgettable, and am currently preparing for the patience, perseverance, and passion that is essential to bring them successfully to life.


At IIM Kashipur

Thank you so much for your wonderful and witty replies Ayan, I throughly enjoyed this round of conversation and confessions! Wishing your book a bigger success in the future.


You can read my review of the book hereReview of Confessions On An Island



Author Bio: Ayan Pal is an alumni of St Joseph’s College, Kolkata. He completed his Engineering in Electronics and Communication from Dr. AIT, Bangalore and obtained a degree in Education

Technology from SDSU, California. He has since accumulated over a decade of experience in the IT Industry across CISCO, Wipro, and IBM.

Ayan is an author known for his acclaimed short stories in the Amazon Bestsellers ‘Chronicles of Urban Nomads’, ‘21 Tales to Tell’, ‘When They Spoke’, and India’s first composite novel – ‘Crossed and Knotted’ – which garnered him an entry into the ‘Limca Book of Records’ under Literature. He has also contributed to ‘Upper Cut’, ‘Her Story’, ‘Rudraksha’, ‘Arranged To Love’, ‘Tonight’s The Night’ and ‘Long Story Short’ respectively. He is a columnist at Delhi-NCR based lifestyle magazine ‘ThnkMkt’ and blogger at South Asia’s leading literary magazine ‘Open Road Review’. He is passionate about public speaking & leadership and involved with Toasmasters International. He loves reading, listening to music, and binge watching his favorite TV Shows. ‘Confessions on an island’ is his debut novel.


Sweta Paul Vs The World

This world terrifies me. And at times, I break out in emotion, sarcasm and lame humour.


The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

Rob Powell Writes

Let's see where this goes, starting with some short stories and flash fiction.

Daily (w)rite



This is the site about life, people, highs, lows and all those blows.


Diary of a VAGABOND

Surbhi Sarna

The Pursuit of Writing

My Petridish

Imagination is the fire of life...

Heartstring Eulogies

Conjured by Sarah Doughty

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.

The Critiquing Chemist

Literary Analysis derived from an Analytical Chemist

Milly Schmidt

The Cat's Write

Preethi Prabhu

Exploring the world of Indian Home Decor

Aarti V Raman

Where Writer Gal talks about books, movies, hot men, TV shows, random poetry and why she cannot absolutely go on hikes longer than three kilometers.

Hard Book Habit

Reading classics and hard books, and spouting rhubarb about them