about writing and other such passionate matters

The 3 things a travel writer must remember

(What is this about: Travel Writing Workshop conducted by veteran writer Dilip D’Souza as part of the Writing Workshops held in Asiatic Society’s Central Library by Avid Learning for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2015)

If you thought travel-writing meant just writing about your travels then you would be as mistaken as the hundred other participants that gathered one Sunday morning in the Durbar Hall of Mumbai’s Central Library to attend the Travel Writing Workshop by award-winning writer, Dilip D’Souza.

If this is a contrarian view then you would also find it unusual that D’Souza wore a bolo tie (a string tie with a moon and stars design, worn by the cowboys of Texas) because he hates ties but mainly because he wanted to hide a stain on his shirt.

And if you are a writer, you would be quite impressed with D’Souza’s empathetic nature as he set the ground rule that ever piece of writing read in that session was to be greeted by an enthusiastic ‘wow’.

So, what is travel writing?

How would you tell differently what hundreds and thousands have already told about the places you are visiting?

1) Travel writing is about ‘telling stories’

Aim of telling your story should be to get your readers to start thinking and exploring what your writing means to them. How would your reader walk or would he talk if he knew about your experiences? Let your reader make their own connections.
At this point, we had to turn to the person next to us and tell them our travel story (which made me realize I need a lot of practice in oral story telling).

2)Travel writing is about ‘sweating the details’

Observe details because these are the things that make your story unforgettable. We were asked to look around the room and observe the details we might not have noticed earlier. A question about the builder of the place got a lot of affirmative replies but my mind had remained glued to the majestic stairs at the front of the Library.

Some examples from various texts:  “We rushed to the man who sat in the office drinking a warm Coke, feet on his desk, and he told us that the pool was dirty so they had decided to drain it.” This sentence gives us a good look into the lackadaisical attitude of the man in the office. Another poignant example of a silent detail which speaks the words: In a house which has lost its young son to the war, the light switch in his room is taped over so that the light cannot be ever switched off.

3)Travel writing is about “doing the hardest thing in your life and that is making your story personal.”

Here a question was asked to Dilip D’souza (perhaps by me only): How much of the story needs to be fact and how much fiction? To which the reply was: Be true to yourself and only then can you be true to the reader.

Throughout the session travel writing excerpts of different authors were read out by D’Souza and a lot of learning took place as we analyzed the words and their meaning in that particular context. I was thrilled too that my deductions proved correct when I pointed out pieces which I believed were written by him.

At the end of the session, we had to write down our verbally told stories after making it more personal.


What I wrote in the workshop:

For someone who could get lost inside even a tiny, cramped office typical of Mumbai and need directions to the exit, it was foolhardy to venture alone towards the Metro Station after a memorable meet-up with friends.

But adventure beckoned and the road thronged with Sunday revelers added to the thrill of walking alone on a beautiful Delhi road. Till I realized that I was lost. A wrong turn, perhaps? Not a problem, I thought, taking out my phone to call the friend whom I was staying with, to ask for directions.

My Blackberry was dead. Completely discharged. It had been acting like a diva ever since I landed in Delhi. Dropped calls. Texts that could not be replied to because Madam BB decided to get ‘hanged’ at that particular moment and rendering futile all efforts at re-booting. I shook the phone, willing it to start. Nada. Suddenly, the revelers began to look loutish and the road looked like the path to hell. Where the hell was the Metro Station? It did not seem such a great idea to ask the people around for directions. In front of me loomed a large maidan which I was sure I had never seen before in my three or four trips to this side of Connaught Place. I did not remember my friend’s phone number.

I wanted to cry.

Mumbai’s First Safety Sprawl – Auditing the streets with Safecity and Badal Ja!


It was 8:30pm. The train had stopped at Kalyan station. Inside, 28yo Sujata sat as did an elderly couple. It being the evening of Holi the train was unusually empty but just before the train could move away from the station, three men boarded the compartment in which Sujata and the couple sat.

The weird way in which they looked at Sujata terrified her. Images of gang-rapes and murders she had seen on TV filled her with dread. Perhaps the fear showed on her face, because the elderly couple told her not to worry. They stayed with her till the train finally halted at Dadar and then accompanied her till Andheri Station.

At Andheri Station Sujata felt completely safe and any person, male or female, who dared to harass her now would not come out of it in one piece. She and her brother had even beaten up a 40yo ragpicker when she chanced upon him sexually abusing a five year old girl. She makes it a point, she told us, to train her 9 and 11yo daughters to take care of themselves in this city which she perceives to be ‘safe’.

This then was the paradox of women’s safety revealed in an audit conducted during the Mumbai Safety Sprawl held on Saturday, 14th of March, 2015.

Conceptualised by Elsamarie D’Silva, co-founder of Safecity (an online platform created to map areas of sexual abuse) as part of their ‘Pin the Creep’ initiative and implemented in co-ordination with Caitlin and Nilima of  Badal Ja! (a group working proactively to bring about a transformation in gender justice) this sprawl threw up some surprising facts and perceptions.




It was a motley group of about twenty: students, professionals, graphic designers, social activists. From Bhayander, Marol and some staying near Nana Nani Park in Andheri, which is where we all gathered to play icebreaker games which involved answering questions such as: Do you agree a woman should beat up the person who has groped her in a public place? Do you agree a woman too has a right to pee in public when no public toilet is available? Depending on the reply, one joined the Totally Agree, Neutral or the Totally Disagree group. From the questions you can imagine that a lot of vociferous discussions took place.



From there we broke out in groups of two, to go over to pre-designated streets in Versova, Seven Bunglows and Four Bunglows to conduct the safety audit. This involved checking out the conditions of that particular road and the civic amenities such as streetlights (existence and condition) and safe walking spaces. Also, three persons of apparently different demography had to be interviewed for their perceptions and actual experiences related to safety issues.


  • Safety has different meanings and perceptions for different people. Older women had the fear of their chains being snatched while younger women were often subjected to groping and sexual exhibitionism.
  • The presence of working streetlights was a major factor in enhancing the safety factor of a street. During the audit it was discovered that 14 streetlights on one of the roads was out of order. Calls were made by the volunteers to the BMC and RELIANCE. The pole numbers (printed at eyelevel on each pole) were given to the company. For the poles that didn’t have a number, the location was given. BMC said relevant action would be taken in 5 days.
    LATEST UPDATE: Reliance fixed the streetlights in 24 hours.
  • Sexual harassment often took the form of men masturbating in public. In one such case, the man who witnessed this incident said he felt mentally harassed while the girl accompanying him observed she felt sexually harassed. Different responses to the same heinous act.
  • It was also noticed that most citizens do not raise their voice against injustices and harassments. Many housing societies had a frontage with a well-made pavement but just beyond the pavements, dilapidated cars were parked by the neighbouring garage owners and this posed a huge safety risk, forcing people to walk on the roads in the face of traffic.
  • In another case of public apathy towards women’s safety, a couple of men daily stood in front of a housing society, twice a day from 10-11am and 5-7pm, fondling themselves and indulging in sexual exhibitionism. Shockingly, NO-ONE raised a voice against them. Inspired by this audit, the volunteers, realizing that they can make a difference have complained to the police and the BMC to get rid of this menace.
  • 1091 is the national helpline for WOMEN. Any woman in distress can call this number for an immediate response. 1098 is the National helpline for child safety. The BMC Number is 1916 and all relevant complaints can be lodged here. Save all these numbers in your phone.
  • It is the duty of each and every citizen to hold the existing systems accountable and this sprawl is an activity to test if the systems are fully functional. Every individual in the city might feel safe but when the surface is scratched, stories of sexual harassment, terror and abuse spill out.






    If you are keen to organise a Safety Sprawl in your locality, please get in touch with Safecity. 

(All pics courtesy Elsa D’Silva and Safecity).


The advertisement flyer said “We will use stolen quotes and stupid games to create our writing. This is not about being precious; it’s not even about being good – it’s about finding ways to begin writing, to stop being scared of it and look at it as a collaborative practice.”

I HAD to participate in this workshop so I registered immediately.

The next step was to pay the fees to confirm my participation. And then disaster struck. Saskia from Thespo called to say that the workshop had been filled. There were only 10 seats because Rachael Clerke who was conducting the workshop (at Prithvi House) wanted to keep the group intimate to facilitate easier writing and sharing. Alas, my procrastination in paying the fees (I vacillated between online payment and paying by cash, which would mean travelling to the Thespo office) had cost me a seat at this workshop.

I was devastated and requested and re-requested to be allowed to attend. Many emails were exchanged which mainly consisted of me asking to be added to the group and Saskia trying to interest me in another workshop. But I had now become like that adamant child who refuses any other brand of chocolate except the one he’s set his mind on.
Finally, Rachael read the email communication and decided my keenness was genuine and I merited a seat and yayyy, I was at the workshop (on 16th December, 2014).

Therefore, LESSON NO.1 – Persistence pays.

At the workshop

At the workshop

It was an eclectic group of theatre/performance artists, literature students and even an advocate. The ambience was cozy, the warm wooden floors offset quite well by the black walls and the bright white circles shining down from the spotlights on the ceiling. We began with my most fave activity. Writing the Morning Pages. And so, even though I’d already done them once in the morning, I joined in with enthusiasm. And it was at the end of the writing that I had a couple of epiphanies: 1) I did prefer a particular ambience to do my writing in and 2) I re-discovered my love for teaching.

And so, LESSON NO.2 – Varying one’s place of writing once in a while can yield delightful results.

Rachael, Saskia and my fellow workshoppers

Rachael, Saskia and my fellow workshoppers

We played word games. Then we selected interesting words such as blues, stirrup, puck, sea-biscuit (my most fave) and used them to write story excerpts. We formed groups of four each. On one sheet of paper (per group), each one of us wrote a piece but the twist was that the previous writing was hidden so one just wrote whatever one wanted to, continuing from the bridge words: and then…; meanwhile..; but…. While writing a couple of pieces, I realized that my writing was following a particularly staid path. So, keeping the original intent of not being precious or even good with the words I jumped in with a playful attitude and really had a lot of fun. And when the pieces were read together as a whole, they made for quite interesting reading.

The next assignment was even more interesting. A new piece of writing had to be developed from a given excerpt. Some had to make a list from that while others had to make a poem and or even a letter. Finally, one had to edit another’s piece to make it different from the original while still retaining its essence. The environment was supportive enough for all of us to read out what we had written. At the end of the workshop we had written about a 100 pieces in all.

Finally, LESSON No.3 – Writing in collaboration with other writers can give a much higher and more interesting output.

Merchandise at the Thespo Tamasha

Merchandise at the Thespo Tamasha


Thespo at Prithvi

Thespo at Prithvi

So, what are the writing lessons you’ve re-learned lately?


I might have been living under a rock since the past month because it was late last night when I heard for the first time about the #1000 Voices Speak for Compassion #1000Speak blogging initiative which aims to flood the blogosphere with the goodness which still exists in this world.

Today was a hectic day from the work perspective but deep within my mind the thoughts about compassion kept on churning and the words of a young girl kept on reverberating: Thank you so so much, Aunty. These clothes are perfect for wearing to college.

It all began two years ago, after the ALM (Advanced Locality Management which consists of residents who are active in making their locality green and clean) conducted a Pre-owned Clothes Collection Campaign for a national NGO called Goonj. We, as part of the ALM, collected almost a dozen huge gunny bags of clothes (including blankets and bedsheets, besides garments). Seeing the tremendous response, the ALM members decided to organise one such collection every year and distribute the clothes amongst the underprivileged members living in the slums in our locality.

Strict instructions were issued that the clothes had to be washed and ironed before they were handed in. As one volunteer mentioned: Think that you are giving away the clothes to your brothers and sisters. All the donors followed the diktat and we had a fairly large collection of clothes: for tiny tots, for men, women and young girls though the choice and variety in young women’s clothing was unusually large.

After helping out in the collection of garments I had gone away home and then come back later, in the evening, to help in the winding-up.

A slightly elderly woman was intent on collecting as many men’s shirts and pants she could stuff into a pillowcase. It was very obvious she planned to sell the clothes to the “bhaandi-wala” who, depending on her choice would give her either money or steel vessels in exchange for the clothes. The other volunteers were insisting she take just what she needed while she kept on countering that she needed all those clothes.

Even as this heated but funny banter carried on, two young girls came towards us and with a grateful smile said: Thank you so so much, Aunty. These clothes are perfect for wearing to college.

And that is what made the whole exercise so worthwhile.

It is often said, Clothes maketh a man. Without going into a deeper significance of this saying, it would be still correct to say that an appropriately-dressed person is more often than not, a confident person. And this is especially true in the case of the young adolescent crowd that joins college and has to transition from the uniform to trendy clothes.

That these girls could find clothes that they would feel comfortable to wear to college was a blessing not just for them but also for their parents who  being unable to afford good clothes for their daughters would be tempted to stop them from going to college. These clothes would save money which could be ploughed back into the college tuition fees/books/conveyance fund.

Compassion….made a loving difference.

SPOTLIGHT: God Is A Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

Someone once said that readers love to read stories that involve the workplace. The truth of this arguable statement has been proved by Ravi Subramanian from his very first book, “If God was a Banker”. People devoured his stories which were set in banks and revealed the hitherto unknown and unrevealed aspects of the inner workings of the different facets of banking services.

With every book, Ravi Subramanian has pushed the boundaries of financial fiction and with his bold narrative taken us into the world of foreign banks and high finance. Intrigue and mystery, lust and deceit make for a thrilling read in all of Ravi’s books in which many of the ‘Gods’ of banking suffer a downfall.

In fact, his characters are boldly etched and depicted, especially the woman characters. During a tête-à-tête  with him at a blogger meet when I expressed my angst at the way a certain female character was depicted his succinct reply was that many women in the field of banking did behave that way. (Fact over fiction?).

In the current scenario where the virtual world seems to hold a stronger sway than the real, Ravi Subramanian’s latest book, “God is a Gamer” is ‘the world’s first bitcoin thriller’.

Yes, this latest offering from Ravi Subramanian promises to be yet another page-turner.

God is a Gamer 
Ravi Subramanian 

The Blurb

Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.

Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

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Meet the Author

   Described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal, Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, is the author of five bestselling commercial novels—If God Was A Banker (2007), Devil In Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012) and Bankerupt (2013)—based on financial crime. His latest book God Is A Gamer was released on September 12, 2014.
   Having been a banker himself, he has a unique insight into the industry he writes about and a flair for spinning intricate plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats. 
   His debut novel, If God Was A Banker, won the 2008 Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award and, more recently, The Incredible Banker won the 2011 Economist-Crossword Book Award in the ‘Popular’ category. He won the Crossword book award for The Bankster in 2012.
   Ravi lives in Mumbai with his Biotechnologist turned banker wife, Dharini and his fourteen-year-old daughter Anusha.

You can stalk Ravi Subramanium 




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SPOTLIGHT: Full Circle by Yamini Vijendran


Full Circle 
Yamini Vijendran


The Blurb
 Outwardly, Malini is a contented, sixty-something grandmother with a loving family and everything a person could wish for. But Malini has lived her entire life with a secret confined to the deepest recesses of her heart.

Haunted by the past, she travels to Kumbakonam, her native town, which she had left years ago. There, she comes face-to-face with her long-lost love.

After forty years, will Malini be able to reclaim her own life, when love comes knocking at her door once again?

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Meet the Author


Yamini Vijendran (@saimini) is the author of ‘Full Circle’, a romance novella published by Indireads. After being a Software Professional for 7 years, Yamini has been freelancing from home for the past 3 years. She loves to dabble in fiction and romance and drama are her favorite genres. Her short stories have been published in ‘Love Stories That Touched My Heart’, an Anthology published by Penguin India, New Asian Writing and Six Sentences. Yamini also likes to pen poems when inspiration strikes, and her poetry has been published in The Indian Review, Contemporary Literary Review of India and ‘A World Rediscovered’ a poetry Anthology by Cyberwit Publications. Yamini draws material for her stories and poems from the world around her. When she is not converting her experiences to stories or poems, Yamini reads, plays with her toddler, and fools around her laboratory, that is, the kitchen.
You can stalk Yamini Vijendran @




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How not to be afraid of taking a selfie: Garnier’s BB cream shows you how

It was a phone group of friends formed recently. Messages flew back and forth. And goodmornings and goodnights with pictures  were wished regularly.  But phones with cameras invoke the creativity of the owner of the phone. The dare came out of the blue. Post a selfie ‘as you are’. And the green inbox in the phone was filled with pictures of faces of these friends. But what is this? Dry, flaky skin.  Pigmentation. Uneven skin tone. All demonstrated in various degrees in the faces in the inbox. Why were we not taking care of our skin?

“No time” was the most common refrain. And it had nothing to do with the amount of time one spent on social media.

Taking care of the home. Taking care of the kids. Taking care of one’s own business. Running behind the hired help.  And in case they bunk, running to one’s work after finishing their portion of the chores too. And then running back home after work to take care of the never –ending duties. This is the routine of most women in India.

Dermatologists and skin–care specialists recommend the following routine for the ideal care of the skin:

CTM – Cleansing, Toning, Moisturising. Followed by sun-screen. And then make-up (optional) which includes a foundation to even out the skin tone followed by powder to set and mattify the foundation.

One gave a wry laugh because there was no time for this “self-pampering” when so much work remained to be completed.  There were days when even a proper cleansing seemed like a luxury one could not spend time on.

Only a miracle could give us the time to do our chores as well as take care of our skin in the best possible way.

And then Garnier introduced the Miracle Skin Perfector called BB Cream. This cream provides beauty benefits which are no less than a miracle.

Garnier's BB Cream

Garnier’s BB Cream


This is a time-saving cream which takes care of the moisturing, sun-protection and even the make-up part of the skin care.

  • Made mostly of natural products: Vitamin C and almond extract and minerals


  • Brightens the skin and evens out the skin tone and even minimizes the fine lines on the face.


  • Has a SPF of 24 and provides UVA/UVB protection.


  • Keeps the skin moisturized for 8 hours.


It sounded like a miraculous product when I first heard of it. And miracles can only be believed in when one sees it. So, when the small-sized tube came out of the box, I had my face all cleansed and toned, ready to see the magic work.

I took a small bit of it in my palm and applied it in dots all over my face, not missing the nose and the T-zone. And then I blended it well into my face especially around the edges.

I did not see much difference. Hah! Miracle indeed! It had sounded too good to be true. Well, there was not much time to ponder over it as I had to take care of sundry matters.

After a couple of hours I happened to pass a mirror and couldn’t help glancing into it ( yes, it is a habit. Sometimes, I even smile at the mirror). The patchy look I had noticed while I applied the cream had been replaced by a face that looked one colour all over. But more than that, there was a healthy sheen to the face. This made me smile. The miracle had worked. My time was saved and my skin was taken care of.

BB Cream did do what it said it would.

Now, only if the new government too does what it said it would do.


This post is part of the Indiblogger Garnier BB Cream Campaign.







SPOTLIGHT: Helpline by Uday Mane




by Uday Mane


The Blurb
 Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life. As his story reaches its conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary service. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things: 

What is The Helpline? 

Who is Rachael? 

What is Samir’s own identity? 

Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parental pressure or the competitive world. This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

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Meet the Author


Uday Mane was born in Pune and raised in Mumbai. He works as a marketing professional during the day and a storyteller during the night. He is an avid reader, and loves to collect classic books.

The Helpline is his debut novel that was launched in March 2014 at the hands of Padma Shri Paresh Rawal.


You can stalk him @
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“The Equals” needs your love and support, dear Reader

NEED  YOUR  LOVE AND SUPPORT,  DEAR  READER  (more details ahead)

Every writer keeps a journal because there is always some writing that is meant only for the writer’s eyes.

But there is also that writing which the writer sends out into the world with the unexpressed hope that it will be read by others and even help to make a difference in at least one reader’s life if not of many. There is of course no knowing whether it has achieved its aim unless the reader herself mentions it to the writer.

Sometimes the writing is read by a host of people who decide that the quality of the writing and the content merit more attention and perhaps even an award.

And so it is that one of my short stories has been shortlisted in the Indireads’ Second Short Story  Competition. It is among the Top Five stories selected in the Paranormal genre.

On Twitter, nvrao @dls2015 commented: “Liked the depiction of a futuristic world with the surprise at the end.” And Indireads tweeted: “A fascinating sci-fi tale from futuristic world – read ‘Equals’ by @soniaraowrites”.

 HERE is where I need your love and support. Please read the story and then if you like it, click on the little red heart at the end of the story. This will help to register your vote and the more votes I have greater the chance of me winning a top prize.

Today is  the last day, so do hurry up.

The Story, then:

Priyam Kumar, Inspector-in-charge of Dholpur CFJ (Centre for Justice) smiled into the cup-shaped receiver of the communication device when she heard Sheena of MoonCell Remand Centre say hello at the other end. A scowl settled on her face, though, when she remembered the reason for her call.

“Sheena, I’ve a juvenile here. 16 years old.”

“A juvie? I thought criminal activity in that category had ended three years ago. At least that’s what I read in the Mandala report just last week.”

“Perhaps the Khap-Anth Doctrine hasn’t sunk into the heads of all the young emms yet. And speaking of Khap-Anth… Read the rest here.

SPOTLIGHT: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman

MEGHNA by Sundari Venkatraman


The Blurb
     The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why…. 
     Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago. 
     Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them. 


But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes. 
     Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears…will they find love? 
A FRIENDLY WARNING: This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn something or improve your lives after reading this work, then this book is not for you. I am not trying to get into competition with the Author Biggies of this world. I wrote this simply for the fun and joy of it. One thing I can promise the reader though: Well proof-read, perfect language that I feel is very important for every book that’s written in any tongue. 
Yours truly, 
Sundari Venkatraman
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Meet the Author
The Author’s Thoughts


Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.
While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.
Now it’s all about self-publishing her books on Amazon. She has published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition) and Meghna so far while planning to publish her fourth book – The Runaway Bridegroom –  in September 2014. 
You can stalk her @
This spotlight is part of the Blogtour conducted by The Book Club
See other spotlights on the right under ‘Spotlight’.

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