Writing, in particular, content writing is a gradual process and needs a lot of polishing. Writing has been my life long dream, which I overlooked in search of a more sturdy career.
Lately, I have been feeling this built-up kind of a thing. You know how it feels, when you have been ignoring a very essential thing in your life. You feel like your entire existence will come crashing down if you don’t do ‘the thing’ or take ‘the decision’ to go after it.
The other day, a friend of mine shared a link of a Content Writing Workshop (Expertise level 1) in our WhatsApp group. The moment I read it, I was like I’m in. I booked the tickets and I was impatiently waiting for Sunday i.e. the day workshop was to be held.
I had been up most of the Saturday night, scribbling something and duh I woke…
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A new mythological fiction title is doing the rounds in the market, Yudhisthira – The Unfallen Pandava by Mallar Chatterjee , published by Readomania and it is making people sit up and notice. Why? The subject or let’s say the protagonist is unusual and the perspectives are also something we didn’t actually pay attention to in a detailed manner.
How does this book cover look like?
So what’s this book about?
Let me present a blurb to pique your interest….
Though the Kuru family survived on Vyasadeva’s seeds, he never belonged to the house. Moreover, being an ascetic, he was even exempted from obligations of the complicated dynamics of human relationships. This armed him with a ruthless dispassion and he could go on telling his stories with stoical detachment, free from any bias and uncontaminated by quintessential human dilemmas.
But had any of his characters given his own account of the story, would not that have lent a different dimension to the events seducing ordinary mortals like us to identify, if not compare, our private crises with those of our much celebrated heroes?
The Unfallen Pandava is an imaginary autobiography of Yudhisthira, attempting to follow the well-known story of the Mahabharata through his eyes. In the process of narrating the story, he examines his extremely complicated marriage and relationship with brothers turned co-husbands, tries to understand the mysterious personality of his mother in a slightly mother-fixated way, conducts manic and depressive evaluation of his own self and reveals his secret darkness and philosophical confusions with an innate urge to submit to a supreme soul. His own story lacks the material of an epic, rather it becomes like confession of a partisan who, prevailing over other more swashbuckling characters, finally discovers his latent greatness and establishes himself as the symbolic protagonist.
Ok! Here comes an extract to get you into the whirlpool of reading this book.
After Pandu’s death, the only person who could have doused any curiosity about my mysterious birth was Mother Kunti herself. But I never dared ask her. Meanwhile, when I heard that gods like Vayu, Indra and Ashwini brothers fathered Bheema, Arjuna and Nakula-Sahadeva respectively; the mystery only deepened. It was an evidence of my
adulthood that I felt embarrassed rather than proud of the fact that my mother could entice gods at will to bear their sons!
It is difficult for anybody to analyse the woman his own mother has been. Kunti’s profile was such that the possibility of extramarital union seemed awkwardly juxtaposed on her virtuous persona—if not a slander on her image. She fit into every role with silken grace. She was an elegant queen-consort, a devoted wife, a more than perfect mother and an inspiring mother-in-law.
But Kunti had a demure, yet addictive sensuality that men could find irresistible. Her extraordinary femininity came as a boon in a sad Pandu’s life. When I was about twelve years old, I once became privy to a very private conversation between them. I heard Pandu say, in a voice unsteady with emotion, ‘You have saved my lineage from certain extinction, Pritha. I don’t know how to thank you. Please do forgive me, if you ever can.’
I could not hear Kunti’s reply as it was lost in the noise of sudden torrents of rain—nature too seemed to have erupted in a catharsis perfectly capturing the mood of the couple.
Why did Pandu have to ask Kunti for forgiveness? Was it because of his second marriage to Madri? But multiple marriages were very much common in the Kshatriya society at that time. Now I suspect that Pandu actually wanted to be forgiven for his futile
manhood. He did not need to be forgiven for his bigamy, but he felt guilty for sending his wife to different men (sorry, gods!) just to carry forward his line of descendence. My mother must not have enjoyed this.
Kunti felt her so-called chastity—both physical and mental—had been lost. Moreover, her marriage with Pandu was based on suppression of the crucial fact of Karna’s birth before their marriage. Worse, she lost her firstborn forever. Kunti fell in her own eyes. The pious lady might have felt violated, and badly needed to redeem herself. Probably that’s why, she chose Lord Dharma ahead of any other gods in order to get me, her first
Thank you Mother, for getting me such a noble father!
A strange thought would occur to me much later. Did Kunti consciously want Draupadi to be married off to all of us? Did she want to establish a polyandrous custom within our family which she herself had unwittingly, or perhaps reluctantly, started? Perhaps Kunti wanted to get rid of a perennial discomfiture of remaining the solitary woman in our family with that dubious distinction and tried to extend the culture to the next generation
too by using a clever, little deception.
‘Divide it equally among all of you!’
We might have been too naive to suspect her real intention and accepted it as an act of mere carelessness. Kunti was never known for saying something without weighing it properly. Today I doubt that perhaps Kunti managed to see Draupadi standing outside through the door kept slightly ajar. Her ignorance might well have been a ruse. She probably feigned it to get done what she had wanted.
Unnoticed, Kunti controlled the course of the future of the Kuru house, more inadvertently than deliberately. It was my docile mother who inconspicuously held the key, perpetually lurking behind a haze of mystery. She was not at all happy about it—I knew that. She sadly got ensnarled. My poor mother! She never aspired to be special, but destiny had other plans. The realisation helped me develop a more intense fondness for
It helped me in a different way also. I discovered something that almost no men of my time ever bothered to care about: a woman’s quintessential identity rests in her private feminineness, not in any of the roles she plays to perfection all her life.
Interesting…. isn’t it? Now its time to get to know the author, Mallar Chatterjee
Born in a suburban town in North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, in a family of academicians, Mallar Chatterjee’s childhood flame was mythology, especially the Mahabharat. The Unfallen Pandava is his debut novel. Mallar is a central government employee, presently posted in Delhi.
Here’s the link to buy it!
Yudhisthira – The Unfallen Pandava is available online at Amazon.
When the world knows that you are mad about coffee, they especially remember you when they have something new to try. That’s what happened yesterday. Celebrating World Beverage Day had its perks with the amazing time we had with Ashish Jaiswal of The Nest Cafe, Indore who invited Kaffeinated Konversations to try out their new coffee that had molecular twist.
Before we tell you what we experienced, we are going to give you a brief history of the molecular gastronomy. In molecular gastronomy, the food takes up new forms. The combination of science and art of presentation both combine to create spectacular foods. The result of the blending of both science and arts leads to the infusion of technique, taste and chemistry to form new ways of creating food.
Coming to the experience, here’s what we got – Air-O-Frappe. It was coffee compressed with air leading to a frappe recipe that had lots of positives to it. Watch Ashish in action….
Now the garnishing…
Here’s the finished creation!
And then another one too…
Ashish loves getting into the experimental mode in his cafe kitchen and this avante-garde coffee is the outcome of his various exploits.
We had told you about the positives of the coffee in the beginning of this article right? Well, they are:
- It is frothy and extremely light coffee
- The consistency being light, it is as dense as the normal coffee frappe during consumption
- It leaves the coffee taste long after it has been taken
- It can be made in hot as well as cold temperatures
- It can be mixed with other flavors too
So why wait? Head to the Cafe now… for this is the first time in Indore this kind of coffee is available. Isn’t it cool?
KK: This is your second book after getting high praise for Exit Interview. Where did you get the idea to do a collection of short stories instead of a full-length novel?
AM: There were always so many ideas swimming around in my mind. Short stories were the obvious outcome.
KK: Are the stories old or new?
AM: I started writing the stories after the publication of my first book Exit Interview in June 2015. So that way the stories are new.
KK: Did you have any goals for this collection when you wrote it—to get published, or just to finish, etc.?
AM: I had written a post in my blog titled ‘My boss is always touching me’. It was written in a very misleading way but in the end the reader could understand the boss was my then 4-year-old son who lords over his work-from-home mom. The reactions to that post were very positive. That was for the first time I realised I could probably write short stories. Then I wrote around 4–5 and sent to Readomania. Publisher Dipankar Mukherjee immediately asked me to finish the collection. That motivated me to finish the stories.
KK: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
AM: I always wanted to write but my full-time job in journalism never allowed me the time to write a novel. I quit my job in 2011 and started writing my novel Exit Interview. I am glad I moved from full-form to short form in my second book because I could show my readers that I can write in another format. I want each book of mine to be totally different from the other and hook the reader with its own essence.
KK: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
AM: I read anything that interests me. Apart from the famous ones, I do read a lot of new authors and I find it really sad that so many relatively unknown authors are such fulfilling reads in comparison to some bestselling ones who just churn out trash.
From Jeffrey Archer, Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri, Stieg Larsson to Haruki Murakami, my reading list has been varied. Rabindranath Tagore and Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay have also influenced me immensely.
KK: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
AM: I write on my laptop which invariably crashes when the book is going through edits. But since I keep the book in various stages of its making in my email, I haven’t landed in big trouble so far. But on both occasions when my book was published, I had to buy a new laptop.
My writing schedule is very erratic. I usually write at night when everyone in the house is asleep. I try to keep a diary where I jot down my thoughts and a basic structure of what I intend to write.
KK: Do you write every single day?
AM: I can write continuously for a week if there are some ideas in my mind and then for days I might not write at all.
KK: Any writing rituals?
AM: I guess I need my 7-year-old son around me to write. I started writing after he was born and I had quit my job, and now it’s his immense pride in me that makes my creative juices flow.
KK: Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?
AM: I am very fond of gel pens. Keep buying them.
KK: Will you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events?
AM: It is always a pleasure to meet your readers and take their feedback. I will definitely do that.
KK: What’s the worst job you’ve had? Has it influenced your writing?
AM: As a journalist I have held jobs at various newspapers and magazines. None have been bad jobs, but my experiences at workplaces and my brush with both good and bad people definitely influenced my writing. In Exit Interview most of the characters were based on real-life people I had met in the workplace.
KK: Tell us some more about your book.
AM: Museum of Memories is a book where each story takes off from a memory and delves deeper into social perceptions, often challenging them. All the stories are based on real-life experiences.
KK: Are you planning to adapt any of your stories into drama or to the screen?
AM: Some short-filmmakers and advertising professionals have shown interest. Let’s see what happens. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
KK: What’s more important: characters or plot?
AM: Both. If any one of them is weak the story slips.
KK: How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?
AM: Even an Amitav Ghosh or a Jhumpa Lahiri keep regular jobs. I think it’s hard to survive only by writing fiction; one has to do something on the side to earn a living. I work as a freelance journalist.
KK: Are you going to keep writing and doing only part-time work, or do you see yourself eventually going back to a full-time, corporate-type job?
AM: I don’t see myself doing full-time work anymore. I will be expanding on my part-time projects.
KK: Any last thoughts for our readers?
AM: Museum of Memories is not just a book, it’s meant to be an experience.
About the Author:
Amrita Mukherjee has worked in publications like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Asian Age in India and she has been the Features Editor with ITP publishing Group, Dubai’s largest magazine publishing house.
An advocate of alternative journalism, she is currently a freelance journalist writing for international publications and websites and also blogs at http://www.amritaspeaks.com
Amrita’s debut novel Exit Interview earned the tag “unputdownable” from reviewers and readers alike.
Praise for Museum of Memories
The prose flows, emotions evolve and narrative quickens with the best form of surprise—the small surprise that is credible, human and moving. Amrita Mukherjee is a fine writer.
Minister of State for External Affairs/
Rajya Sabha MP/Veteran journalist/Author
Always a pleasure to see an ex member of the Hindustan Times editorial team turn to creative writing and to show such sensitivity in her fiction!
Ex Editorial Director,
Hindustan Times/TV personality/Author
Each short story of Amrita’s is a reader’s delight. Be it the element of surprise which is the soul of a short story, vivid etching of characters, construct of plots of varied themes, inimitable story telling style, language lucidity, food for thought, Amrita has mastered them all. I have no hesitation in saying that Amrita is a reincarnation of O. Henry.
Thirteen soul-stirring stories gathered from the experiences of a senior journalist
A surrogate mother narrating her emotional ordeal; a house-husband telling his side of the story; an innocent girl talking her first brush with the not-so-innocent world; a woman judging her friend for her Facebook posts…and many more that chronicle the journey of discovering life.
Amrita Mukherjee, a journalist, realised over the years that every story had an inside story; interviewees actually opened up when the Dictaphone was switched off. Apart from meeting people for interviews, she collected these stories at the office cafeteria, at drawing room conversations, during interactions with strangers while travelling on the metro-rail or talking to fellow moms while waiting for her son at the school gates.
What emerges is a work of gripping fiction based on real incidents.
Published by Readomania, Musuem of Memories is available for purchase at bookstores and on Amazon http://amzn.in/42K6szM.
The Immersive Project Litfest – Day 2
While the temperatures soar Indoris gather indoor and have a stimulating time from April 1 to April 2 with The Immersive Project. Organized by the Kaffienated Koversations & Indore Diaries for the benefit of bloggers, writers, readers, content writers, etc, today’s eclectic LitFest promised to bring in lots of opportunities to think, ask, discuss, debate and reflect on multi-pronged aspects of literature and arts.
This event is part of 5 day series of The Immersive Project. This event is ideal for students, bloggers, writers, readers, reviewers, copywriters, content managers, etc.
The Introduction Part!
And I am so glad that a lot of people had shown interest for today’s event. They were more interested in knowing the perspective of writers who are already published, and no doubt all of us could understand what they had to teach all of us.
Neil tries to explain…
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The Immersive Project Litfest – Day 3
Creative writing is always considered as a writing which expresses a writer’s thoughts in a creative and unique way. It is always important for a writer to express his/her feelings easily which can be conveyed to its readers. To develop your protagonist plays an important role in writing any kind of stories.
The founder of Kaffeinated Konversation, Kavita Singh and Richa Saxena(left)
Half Baked Beans is a verified publishing house with lakhs of followers on Social Medias, it provides you the platform to get published your work. They have been actively working with hundreds of writers; pushing them to discover new frontiers of creativity.
The Immersive Project along with Kaffeinated Konversations, Indore Diaries, and SumitOfficial is excited to collaborate with Half Baked Beans to bring to Indore, India HBB Creative Writing Workshop today on April 3, Monday.
Today’s event was facilitated by Richa Saxena who promised to equip all kinds…
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The Immersive Project Litfest Day One covered by Sumit Official
Cinema is playing an essential role in our day-to-day life. There are so many different kinds of films which release every week such as real life story based, documentaries, romance, erotica, history, and of course comedy.
The excitement it gives is amazing!
Importance of Cinema
Each kind of cinema has its defined audience which has different effects on the audiences. I think films are not made to just entertain us but it surely tells us a lot of things which we can implement in our lives. It has a lot to teach us.
With the pretty girls. Hehe!
The knowledge we get from movies is commendable. It depends on what kind of a movie you are watching because each movie wants to tell you something, it is you who is going to take the good part from the movie to implement that in your life. We all do that, don’t…
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Source: The Immersive Project