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Archive for the tag “Ravi Subramanian”

DIG THE WELL BEFORE YOU’RE THIRSTY – Making your money work hard and smart

Some years ago, a well-known, award-winning screenplay writer visited our writers’ group for a tête-à-tête on writing. At the end of it, I asked him if it was possible to make a living through writing. He just shook his head-full shock of white hair and said, “I also work in advertising.”

In recent times, best-selling author, Ravi Subramanian, continues in his banking career even while producing best-selling novels year after year.

Lately, there has been a spate of articles about the husband’s hefty salary making the wife’s writerly life possible and even easier.


If one has a well-paying job or a flourishing business, it is only a matter of harnessing whatever time one has and utilizing it for attaining the writerly dream. But what if you fantasize about throwing up your job (that sucks out your soul, daily) so that you can devote your time and energy to bringing to life all those stories gestating within you? Also, down-sizing and salary reductions are more the norm than the exception these days.


Wealth generation becomes important in such a scenario. Passive income, the money that comes in from investments, is the key to the freedom of time.

But there can be leaks in the well that could harm the return on your investments.

If you’re a High Net-worth Individual or a Financial Institution, you might not need to worry about it as your hordes of legal counsels would do it for you.


  • paying too much and often unknowingly for their investments in the form of commissions
  • not diversifying the investment optimally and
  • a portfolio that does not support their risk preferences/goals.

Smart investing advice, then becomes the decider between creating wealth or just making money, from one’s investments.

Yes, yes, I know. We are writers and all that financial jargon can make some of us go all glaze-eyed.

I was lucky, a few years ago, to meet a financial advisor who suggested some amazing  mutual funds to invest in which gave me good returns  but sadly he left the company he was working for and joined another  industry. I could have made the same investing decisions if I had studied the mutual funds and their performance, etc. But then, I’d rather be doing what I do best and love most: yes, writing.


I’d leave these decisions to trust-worthy professionals:

ORO Wealth is an online investment platform which is pioneering a new, honest approach to wealth management for retail investors.

ORO Wealth

ORO Wealth aims to provide an enhanced investing experience to retail investors.

According to ORO Wealth, most people invest in the Regular Plans of Mutual Funds. These regular plans have inbuilt expenses in the form of commissions for distributors and in the long run, they provide lower returns to the investor (the leaks in the well I mentioned above).  Buying Direct Plans of the same funds give you greater returns and this is what HNIs and financial institutions do.

But so far, retail investors have not been able to take advantage of Direct Plans for two reasons:

  •  Lack of information
  • Hassles in buying Direct Plans as compared to Regular Plans

ORO Wealth comes into the picture, here:

  • They are India’s first platform for transacting in Direct Plans of mutual funds from multiple AMCs in one place.
  • They are investor-friendly portfolio tracking etc.
  • They provide investors access to valuable data on Direct plans and on commissions in different Regular plans through the user-friendly ORO fund screener (

Investors can enjoy these services by paying a small convenience fee (Rs. 50 for transactions below Rs. 1 lakh and 0.1% (one time) of the transaction amount for transactions above Rs. 1 lakh).


Like how an editor/writing coach can make your writing shine if you are a writer with advanced skills, in the same way, retail investors with a portfolio greater than 1 lakh can avail of ORO’s Premium Account. This account is a handholding of sorts, with specialized advice on making your portfolio provide you greater returns commensurate with your goals and risk-preferences (find out more about the Premium Account by signing up here)

Go on, check out ORO Wealth: ” Invest with ORO and experience the difference that truly low-cost investing and good, unbiased advice can make to returns.”

The only thing that can happen is that you become wealthier, with more time to write.




BOOKMARK THE WORLD with TATA LITERATURE LIVE! – Mumbai’s favemost litfest

Because the Constitution of India confers on its citizens the Freedom of Speech and Expression does it mean that:

  • You can abuse anyone whose opinions are different from yours?
  • Ask for books/plays/movies/other events to be banned just because you consider the content to be objectionable?
  • The media can sensationalize certain news items to grab eyeballs while downplaying the others?

And so it was that on the 20th of this month, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian, cultural curator Deepa Gahlot and Literature Live! founder Anil Dharker interacted with a bunch of bloggers on “Is Freedom of Speech Threatening Democracy Itself” in which the above questions and more were dissected and discussed.

This event, held on a sultry evening, at Café Zoe, was a run-up to THE SIXTH EDITION of TATA Literature Live! Mumbai’s fave literary fest.


Ravi Subramanian was for complete personal freedom, be it religious or sexual and for strong punishment to be meted out to the key perps involved in curbing others’ freedoms. Deepa Gahlot gave the example of “Agnes of God,” a play that had to be held under police protection because a person objected to its content.

Many bloggers too shared their opinions and experiences. The interactions were exciting and thought-provoking and after a thorough discussion on trolling, the session came to a close with Mr. Anil Dharker pronouncing that too much freedom is as difficult to tackle as too little freedom.

Ravi Subramanian signs books for his fans.

Ravi Subramanian signs books for his fans.

After the talk: Nidhi and I pose on either side of Ravi Subramanian

After the talk:
Fans pose with Ravi Subramanian

But for lovers of literature there can never be such a thing as too many books or too much talk about books.

From 29th October to 1st November, Mumbaikars will be treated to a plethora of cultural offerings. 120 celebrated writers and thinkers from 14 countries across the world will converge on NCPA, Nariman Point and Prithvi Theatre, Juhu with panel discussions and book readings and conversations and debates and book launches, and performances and workshops which make Lit Live a truly international event.

Some not to be missed events:

Can we please agree to disagree?

If the discussion on freedom of expression interests you, catch this debate happening at Lit Live on the 29th of October:

Topic : Freedom of Expression Is In Imminent Danger
For the Motion: Shobhaa De and Sudheendra Kulkarni. Against the Motion: Nalin Kohli and Anupam Kher. Chair: Nik Gowing Sponsored by: Kalpvriksha

But how important are writers to a society? Can books change the world? If you ever pondered these questions then join Germaine Greer and Vikram Seth in the opening ceremony, as they too ponder and discuss these weighty matters.

And how important is it for your voice to be heard?

Topic: No time for silence
Highlights: Why writers feel the need to speak up
Nayantara Sahgal, TM Krishna Chair: Anuradha Sengupta

In this age of ‘Sansani Khez Khabrein’ how much of what we read in the media is true and how much is fabricated?

Topic: The Genuine Article
Highlights: Uncovering the truth in an ocean of headlines
Avirook Sen, Lorraine Adams, Rajdeep Sardesai Chair: Sidharth Bhatia

A writer is foremost a documenter of the time she lives in and love is the most documented emotion. Engage in this discussion about the depiction of love:

Topic: From Chughtai to Chick Lit
Highlights: The depiction of love through the ages
Anuja Chauhan, Poonam Saxena, Sandip Ro Chair: Paromita Vohra

Check out other interesting discussions too: about the position of women in Indian society, whether fiction is the best way to tell the truth, what makes one authentically an Indian.

Making a song and dance of stories

Check out: Comedy of Horrors
An interval-free hour of hair-raising stories of Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe.

And: The River Runs Deep: Rhythm Divine II (Manipur, India)
Astad Deboo’s delicate and lyrical reimagination of Saratchand Thiyam’s poetry.

And, even this: Schlock, (UK)
Performance poet Hannah Silva rips up Fifty Shades of Grey, followed by short talk-back. 

A not-to-miss, especially for poetry lovers: Blank Page (India)
A celebration of contemporary Indian poetry through theatre, music & movement directed by Sunil Shanbag

And this: When it Rains (Canada)
A blackly funny social satire told in the form of a live-action existential graphic novel

And many, many more (Do check the link to the schedule, given below).

Learning is so much fun

A confession: I am a glutton for learning. Last year, the workshops at Lit Live conducted by international writers and performance artists provided some absolutely crazy learning.

This year, too, the lineup of workshops is as amazing.

Robert Sullivan will help us cross the threshold of a poem.

Lorraine Adams will take you through the different aspects of war that a writer might want to write about, even if he has never been in a war-like situation.

Jon Turney will introduce us to the difference between science writing and non-fiction writing.

S J Laidlaw will demonstrate how to create a compelling YA Narrative.

Exciting workshops for children include a Harry Potter Workshop by Arunima Roy while in an interactive workshop for children Karishma Attari will help to harness the imagination and urgency with which they tell stories and introduces them in a formal way to the elements of storytelling, respectively.

To register for the workshops, call on 9769145101 or send an email at

Yes, Seven of them

One of the most significant writers of postcolonial India, Kiran Nagarkar’s invaluable contribution to writing ranges from a riveting trilogy to landmark works in Marathi literature. The Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 will be presented to Kiran Nagarkar at a glittering ceremony on the 1st of November.

“Kiran Nagarkar said, “I have spent half my adult life doing what I enjoy: writing. But it can just as often drive me round the bend. Laughter is the most serious weapon I have. But I would also hope that I can provoke my readers to question received wisdom and reject the dogmas that fuel violence and deadly intolerance. The Lifetime Achievement Award from Tata Literature Live! means a lot to me. It’s also a big responsibility.”

Besides this, there are six other awards which will be presented at the LitFest: Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for Fiction and Non-Fiction, Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award for Fiction and Non-Fiction, Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award and Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate Award.

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to dig into this exciting annual feast for the mind and the soul, from Thursday 29th October to Sunday, 1st November, at the NCPA and Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai.

The Schedule:
The Participants:
TATA Literature Live! On Facebook, Twitter and Youtube


1) To WritersMelon for a wonderful evening of tasty food, both for the body and soul, and with return gifts too.
2) To Ravi Subramanian for the personally signed copy of ‘The Bestseller, She Wrote.”
3) TATA Literature Live! for the pics used in this post).

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.

Buy @

Watch It 

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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“Sweeten thy soul,” they say!

“Devil in Pinstripes is semi-autobiographical,” said award-winning author Ravi Subramanian aka The John Grisham of Banking, but there was nothing devilish or even pinstriped about him on that rainy Saturday afternoon in the delightful, first-ever OPEN BAR( Blogger-Author Rendezvous) at Chocolateria San Churro in Bandra.

What’s your good name?
This event was an outcome of the unceasing persistence of the Signora of Style, Vinita Bahl aka BlogwatiG aka The Indiblogeshwari Head Honcho. Now, one of the characters in The Bankster is Vikram Bahl so it was amidst hoots of laughter that Ravi negated the idea that Vinita was the inspiration behind that name. In fact, Vikram Bahl was named after his boss. This set all the enthu bloggers present there thinking after whom they would name their characters.
Talking of names, Ravi has a penchant for using brand names in his books, most obvious ones being those of well-known banks (so that readers know that the bank in the story is not any of those banks, he clarified) and that of Café Coffee Day® (the one in Vienna, in a stellar cameo).  Can this create any problems with the brand? Apparently, it hasn’t so far, and in fact, it could be good publicity for them. Talking of Vienna, yes, Ravi has been to that CCD outlet, but what if you want to write about a place that you haven’t been to, someone asked (I think it was me).  The chorus reply of the other bloggers was deafening, “Google it”.



What do the numbers say?
Between bites of nachos, one re-learnt the basics of writing a novel. Yes, you gotta write a lot and write it regularly. Yes, you also have to revise and polish your manuscript even if you have to do it more than twenty times before you submit it to a publisher.  And since you cannot take computation out of a banker, here are the stats for writing a 75K-word novel. Thousand words a day, 4K on Saturdays and Sundays each, you can easily finish a book in three and a half to four months. With five best-sellers under his belt (If God was a Banker being the first), this is advice that apparently works.

Why write?
Nobody said it is easy. So why do it? Ravi is a successful banker. So why take up writing? He wanted to do something with which he would be remembered. Yes, writing has given him recognition and fame. But more than that, it has sobered him, he said. There was a thoughtful pause then, as we bloggers took a moment to go within and seek our reasons for writing.

The Bankster and The Bloggers

The Bankster and The Bloggers

Have you bloggered (yup, new word and quite an important one) your book?
You can’t put bloggers down, especially those who are also aspiring authors. And Ravi believes in the power of bloggers to help promote a book.  He does attribute the success of his latest, The Bankster, to bloggers reviewing and writing about and promoting it.  And err…umm… social media presence is important, too. Whether you are traditionally published or self-pubbed.

Words of wisdom


Gold and Silver


Better to have enjoyed and made a mess than to never have enjoyed at all
This was the message printed on the tissues at that fantastic place, Chocolateria San Churro. So, we enjoyed and we didn’t even make a mess (I think *eyes screwed up in thought*).  Delectable sandwiches and rolls, desserts and shakes, superlicious (not supercilious, ha ha ha) coffee. A veritable feast. Networking with some awesome fellow-bloggers. Fascinating. And if this meet was about ‘The Bankster’ then could numbers and currency be far behind? An exciting game that Vinita had arranged was for all to judge the weight of a box containing a cake. The winner was the one who said the weight was 250gms (other answers included 275gms (most popular), 300 gms and even 265 gms)!! As Vinita enlightened us, the cake vendor actually told her to take the one weighing 250gms as no one would guess it. Hmmm! Group pics later it was time for thank-you’s even as Vinita thanked Ravi Subramanian for being such a generous host and we thanked Vinita for those cute pouches of gold and silver sweet coins.

Vinita says 'Thank you' to Ravi Subramanian

Vinita says ‘Thank you’ to Ravi Subramanian

When insightful words, fabulous food and scintillating company have sweetened your soul, the experience can only be called ‘priceless’.

Thank You, The Indiblogeshwaris and Thank You, Ravi Subramanian.

(A special thank you to BlogwatiG for the pics).

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