Saturday, January 14, 2012

Off To the Jaipur Literature Festival I Go


I'm off to the much talked about Jaipur Literature Festival this Friday and I'm really looking forward to it, since I had a fabulous time at the festival last year. This year there'll be speakers like Salman Rushdie (the man's caused quite a stir with the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband), Amish Tripathi, Amy Chua, Fatima Bhuttu, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Prasson Joshi, Kunal Basu, Mark Tully, Oprah Winfrey and many more. I'll be missing day one of the festival but hope to enjoy the rest of the four days. The festival, which is more like a large carnival, is colourful, lively and is also known as the Kumbh Mela of the literary world, thanks to the crowds it draws.

The venue of the festival is the beautiful heritage hotel Diggi Palace and more than anything else I'm looking forward to taking a break and just sitting in the sun with a kullar of chai and eavesdrop if I can't get into any of the talks (the crowds are massive,you need to be there to know what I mean) and take plenty of photographs with my newly acquired DSLR camera (yay!)

The photograph you see above was taken at the festival last year in the Mughal Tent, it was the purple that caught my attention and I loved how they had decorated all the venues. 

A short post for now, stick around here for more on the festival (including photographs) when I'm back! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Urban Tales from India- Told By Both, New and Seasoned Voices





The three brand new Urban Shots collections- Urban Shots Bright Lights, Urban Shots Crossroads and the Urban Shots Love Collection are wonderful anthology's of urban tales set in India. These collections have also given a platform to fresh, new writing voices from India, who come together with accomplished writers like Ahmed Faiyaz, Ira Trivedi, Paritosh Uttam, Rohini Kejriwal and Sneh Thakur, among a host of others who are making their debut as authors (including myself).These carefully put together stories trace the kaleidoscopic lives of amusing and entertaining characters in urban India, intriguing and amusing us with their tales as the pages keep turning. We hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we've loved writing them and look forward to your thoughts and reviews soon.

The books launch in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore on the 19th, 20th and 21st of January 2012, followed by launches in Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad in February, including the launch of the Urban Shots Love Collection.

So go on, pick up a copy each and let us know what you think!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Urban Shots Crossroads- My Debut as an Author!


A couple of months after my return from Canada I attended the Jaipur Literary Festival in January 2011. The atmosphere at the festival was electric and alive with literature, books, readers, writers, celebrities, wannabe celebrities and people who had a love for the written word (or wanted to be seen!). I was positively in awe of writers whom I had hear speak and with whom I got an opportunity to have a brief chat. It was after attending the festival that my (otherwise dormant) desire of writing seriously and being a "writer" really kicked in with renewed vigour .I have been writing for quite a while now, since I was in college; and not many people know that I had actually written my first full length novel at the age of twelve.But it was now that I felt the need to tell those stories to others- to be published and share those stories with a wider audience. Writing has been the only thing that ever made sense to me, the only way in which I can effortlessly express myself and that said I truly wanted to do something that I enjoyed from the bottom of my heart, something I felt passionate about and could put my heart and soul into. All this probably sounds cliche and fluffy, but one of the biggest reasons I wish to be a writer is because I have stories to tell! It's really as simple as that.

I got this opportunity a couple of months later in the form of a short story competition by publishing house Grey Oak Westland. I submitted two stories I had written and one of them got shot listed and has made its way into this wonderful collection of urban tales, called Urban Shots Crossroads.The stories in this collection, contributed by various authors, follow the lives of interesting people you'd come across in urban India, like the guy next door who you'd probably rub shoulders with on the bus to work.The book will be out on stands in mid to late January- launching in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, and I eagerly look forward to its launch and thoughts of readers once its out there.

The book is also available for pre order here. Stick around for more information on the book and more.