Monthly Archives: October 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Operation India One


TITLE: Operation India One
AUTHOR: Shiv Kumar
PUBLISHER: Om Books International
GENRE: Fiction (Mystery- Adventure- Thriller)



The cover design with a man in battle fatigues holding a gun and the title i.e. ‘Operation India One’ depicted in the tricolor is enough to make one realize that this one has got something to do with the Nation’s security. It fits the story-line.


Operation India One

Dedicated police officer, ACP Gautam Dhaliwal, takes it upon himself to root out the MAF, a major Naxal organization based in the remote village of Bhagatpur, Bihar, as part of the central government backed, ‘Operation India One’. As his investigations on the ground progress, however, he uncovers behind the official facade of development that he had set out to defend, an ugly nexus of unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen feeding off the oppression of the underprivileged. Torn between his commitment to the Indian State and the sympathy he begins to feel for the miserable plight of the people of the area and the supposed terrorists fighting for them, an agonized ACP Dhaliwal is forced to rethink his earlier views on the meaning of one’s responsibility towards one’s fellow countrymen.



Plot: Wonderful and realistic. Deals with a socio-economic topic and the Naxalite menace. One can easily relate with the emotions of the displaced those whose land is acquired for developmental purposes, their agony and anger on not being given adequate compensation or being rehabilitated properly, the apathy of the State towards these poor beings and how muscle-power often forces simpletons to take up arms. ‘Operation India One’ also gives us an insight into the dirty politics played by politicians just to feed their ego, at the expense of the safety of the common man, the security forces and the Nation.

Language: Language is simple, crisp and lucid.


Story: Inspite of having a wonderful plot I felt there was something missing in the book or should I say it felt incomplete. That feeling of satisfaction that one feels after having read a fast paced action- packed thriller or a mind- boggling mystery was missing.

Characterization: A little under- developed. A story especially a thriller, is complete only when the characters are able to connect with the reader. Here that was sadly missing. I also felt that the Swamiji could have been given a bigger role in the story to make it more interesting.


Overall a simple read which one can finish in just one sitting I give this 3 on a scale of 5.



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A commercial tax officer in Government of Bihar(India), Shiv Kumar was previously an engineer in BHEL(A government of India Undertaking). A voracious reader and passionate writer, Mr. Shiv Kumar is interested in subjects that provide an insight into issues concerning contemporary Indian Society. He is also fond of travelogues, thrillers and crime fiction.

To make contact with him just mail to –



This is not a paid review. I was provided a copy of the book by the The Readers Cosmos under their Book Reviewing Programme, in return for an honest review.


I’d like to have your views on the book and the review. Do leave them here in the comment box below.


Spotlight: Only Wheat Not White By Varsha Dixit

Only Wheat Not White 
Varsha Dixit 

The Blurb

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can’t! Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, ‘out of caste, and out of color’. Elia soon realizes that Sheela’s marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela’s household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or ‘blue-eyed ogre’ as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor. As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila’s refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward. Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate? Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit’s latest and humorous and steamy love story.

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Meet the Author

I’m the author of four books and the genre that I write is contemporary romance. Penning stories defines and completes me.I thinks of myself as a borderline obsessive-compulsive dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true ‘feel good’ junkie seeking quick fixes, I love a good laugh and a good book. A voracious reader of who dunit mysteries and legal dramas, I did sit down to pen a book on serial killers but finding it impossible to maim or kill anyone, even on paper, I penned a romantic story instead. Thus, I found my true calling – at least for the time being.Even though creativity is gender free, I feel blessed and enriched to be a woman.
Currently, with my family, I’m settled in the US.
You can her @



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The students’ diligent teacher, the nation’s gifted scientist, the humble ‘People’s President’ – an indefinable name he is Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. A man who dedicated his life and work to the betterment of a nation, and his time and energy to the billions of young minds he wished to ignite. He has left back dreams in everyone, and the undying inspiration to make those dreams come true.

A surfeit of contents has been interwoven to give this book a shape. To read through the pages will mean a journey through his life in entirety. Besides Kalam’s own speeches and quotes, it also contains literary tributes by scientists, academicians and students, the interviews of his family members, and a real-time anecdote of his interment ceremony at Rameswaram.

This isn’t just a tribute, but a world beyond it to be read, explored and discovered.


Informative , inspirational and exhaustive this book is sure to keep the reader hooked till the very end. “Pupil’s President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam is in every sense a collector’s pride. The book an edited compilation of articles, media reports, speeches, tributes from scientists and academicians across the globe, etc. touches each and every aspect of Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s multifaceted personality and gives the reader an insight into the metamorphosis of an ordinary but brilliant, village lad into a world renowned figure. We also get to see shades of the child in Kalam, here and there. The articles by various people bring live the friend, philosopher and guide in Dr. Kalam. Each one of them is tribute to the great soul.

As one digs in deeper and deeper into the book, one is amazed at the way one single soul swayed over the hearts of his people. Each page is a revelation about the man who by his bold decisions upheld the dignity of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

There are several places in the book where one gets overwhelmed with emotions. The book a piece of work brought out to commemorate the life of the man who worked tirelessly for the betterment of a nation and devoted his life and energy to ignite the young minds begins with an ‘Oath for the Youth’ and ‘The Students’ Prayer’ both drafted by Dr. Kalam and administered by him on occasions when he interacted with them. The two speak volumes of the man and his thought process.

The prologue by Satyam Roychowdhury, the editor of the book is well crafted and is an enjoyable piece. ‘From Paperboy to President’ enlists the phenomenal growth of Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam from an ordinary youth to one of India’s most adored sons.

‘Rameswaram to Raisana Hills and Beyond’ by Aryani Banerji is a firsthand account of the most difficult moment the Nation faced i.e. Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s last moments on the surface of earth. The love and respect he commanded from all quarters is beautifully put across in just a few paragraphs. Aryani has also skilfully presented the journey of the man. The chapter compliments the first chapter i.e ‘From Paperboy to President’. The photographs at the end of the chapter add value to the book.

‘Amorous Eulogies’ a compilation of interviews taken by Aryant Banerji on 31 July 2015 i.e. a day after Dr. Kalam was laid to rest, is touching and inspiring. It helps us understand the moulding of the great soul.

‘The Silent Veena’ by Rajib Chakraborty brings forth the humane and unassuming side of Dr. Kalam with finesse. It also gives us an insight into the kind of rapport he had with his staff.

‘ APJ- The President’ has articles by S.M.Khan, Press Secretary to A.P.J.Abdul Kalam from 2002-2007 and Shyamal Biswas. While the article by S.M.Khan is a tribute to the visionary in Dr. Kalam, the article by Shyamal Biswas reflects the free and frank demeanour of the great soul. Both are touching and inspiring.

In ‘They Who Crafted Me’ Dr. Kalam speaks of those who moulded him, made him the Kalam the world knows, with a sense of pride and gratitude. They are Dr. Kalam’s tribute to the ones who ensured he converted his dreams into reality unmindful of the sufferings it entailed them. There are parts here and there in this section that are sure to moisten one’s eyes. There are also lessons of perseverance and patience to be had here.

‘The Last 27 Days’ is a compilation of speeches that Dr. Kalam delivered in July 2015. It also has the complete text of the last speech of Dr. Kalam. Unfortunately Dr. Kalam was able to deliver only the first few paragraphs of the same. Caring as he was, his last words were, “The topic I have selected today is: Creating a liveable planet earth. Dear friends.” The speeches in this section best bring out the visionary, philosopher and guide in Dr. Kalam. They also reflect his uneasiness at the growing conflicts and his belief in the need to work unitedly for sustained peace and harmony. In these speeches Dr. Kalam touches upon the various threats facing humanity, his vision for the future, his experiences on the technological front, the power of education, harnessing the latent skills in the individual for the betterment of the human race, etc. Himself a teacher he speaks extensively on the role of a teacher, the education and value system, etc. This section of the book is not only thought-provoking but is inspiring and motivating too.

‘Dream, Dream, Dream…’ contains excerpts from Kalam’s speeches to students. It touches in detail the challenges facing the world and ways and measures to overcome them. Here we see Dr. Kalam exhorting teachers and students to develop leadership traits with an aim to empower them and thereby the Nation. He is also seen speaking on the greatness of forgiveness , the power of performing arts in binding the six billion people of the earth and the need to plant trees. In these speeches one often gets a glimpse of the story-teller in Dr. Kalam. Each speech is a nudge to the youth to not only dream but to set in motion a plan to achieve that dream. In this section the dreamer, the visionary, the motivator in Dr. Kalam is very much evident. This one is a serious yet enjoyable and inspiring section. It brings out the multi-faceted personality of the former President of India’ beautifully.

‘I Will Fly’ is a collection of excerpts from Kalam’s writings to the youth. In these excerpts just as the title suggests, Dr. Kalam is seen igniting the young minds and making them aware of their strength. He is seen exhorting them to believe in themselves. Some wonderful stories/ incidents too are narrated here as part of this exercise. His belief in youth is very much evident in this section.

‘Be a lamp’ has excerpts from Dr. Kalam’s speeches to teachers at its core. Here Dr. Kalam is seen touching upon the role of teachers, the value of education,etc. The section draws to a close with an eleven point oath for teachers. These eleven points serve as a constant reminder to teachers about their responsibility both towards their ward and the nation. This section highlights the noble being that Dr. Kalam was.

‘Extraordinary Ordinary’ brings out the humane side of the former President beautifully. It talks of how Dr. Kalam saved HIV infected siblings, discussed literature with his personal security officer and other security personnel. It also gives us an insight into his concern for the mothers, infants, ordinary citizens, his staff and those guarding our borders. This section touches a cord within.

While ‘Tributes’ sums up the great soul perfectly ‘Media’s First Citizen’ sees leading media houses both within and outside the country, highlighting his achievements. BBC ends its report by saying that, ‘the former president was proud of his Indian education and liked to describe himself as “Made in India”, having never been trained abroad. Yes, Dr. Kalam was a proud Indian till the end, one who never forgot his roots, he was well aware of the role his motherland played in shaping him. His humility, his generosity too finds mention in this section.

‘Words of the Teacher of Teachers’ is a collection of some wonderful quotes by the man himself, while ‘Radiant Reading’ has his favourite quotes. ‘Tunes and Verses of Immortality’ is a collection of poems penned by ‘The Pupil’s President’ himself. Read them and you sure will understand the depth of his thoughts and feelings.

‘Reverence’ from the people Dr. Kalam loved to be surrounded with i.e. students and teachers and ‘Homage’ by the ‘Who’s –Who’ sum up the ‘Missile Man and The Peoples’ President’ perfectly.

Overall an inspirational,motivating and exhilarating read, this one is as I mentioned earlier , a collector’s item, one every fan of the former president would want to have in his/ her library.



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A man of assorted interests Satyam Roychowdhury co-founder and currently Managing Director of Techno India Group the largest educational conglomerate in Eastern India, is a prominent member and an active participant of the Art and Cultural milieu of Bengal. He has contributed to the society in multifaceted ways with his unstinting support and persistent patronage. He is one of the top educationalists of the country, and is a voracious reader by passion and a writer by ardor. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and draws inspiration from great minds by imbibing their philosophies.

Satyam Roychowdhury’s ‘For You’ tribute series commenced with Tagore, got enriched with Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The latest addition to the series is a literary offering to Thakur Sri Ramakrishna. He owns many other titles to his credit, and his books have time and again inspired hundreds of young minds. A firm believer in hard work and sacrifice Satyam Roychowdhury believes that there is a spark in everyone to create a miracle.

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I’d like to have your views on the book and the review. Do leave them here in the comment box below.



Cover Reveal



A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. The story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how a businessman may just be minding his…err…business and the ‘Invisible Hand’ can cause unexpected consequences to arise out of his innocent actions. There is no point blaming the tale for being exaggerated because that is precisely what it seeks to be – an ‘exaggeratio ad absurdum’ of some facets of the world. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of:

Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and, later, sought more dogs to feed.

Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter behind his uncle Spike in the latter’s careening pursuit of commercial success and gets sandwiched between Spike and..

Tyke who was Spike’s resident genius on enticing dogs with their wares. He also has to help Spike in his rivalry with..

Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of..

Jasper Rich who would rather be partying than chasing cats with cat-foods.

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Meet The Characters

Spike Fortune, who, being unable to justify his existence by making money, is obsessed with justifying his existence by spending all his inherited wealth. Lead into the paths of commerce, he discovers that, while it may seem attractive to set out to lose money, the natural consequence of having people consider him a loser was indigestible. Having set out to feed dogs, Spike becomes obsessed with feeding more dogs and, later, having more dogs to feed.

Jerry Fortune, who discovers that there are perils to having your livelihood depend on a benevolent uncle. Tied to his uncle’s coat-tails by a need for sustenance, he is dragged helter-skelter behind Spike in the latter’s careening progress in pursuit of commercial success. Having first been a mere interpreter between his uncle, Spike, and the resident marketing guru, Tyke, he later finds that being in the middle can get very uncomfortable, indeed.
Tom Rich, who had never realized that the easy contempt he had for his schoolboy acquaintance could prove so dangerous. Spike’s meteoric rise in the world of Commerce puts him in a position of either having to prove himself better or have all that contempt come back with usurious interest. He drags his nephew, Jasper, along in pursuit of teasing the palates of cats.


All that Spike and Tom had wanted was to be a winner in their respective businesses and, more importantly, in their own private game of one-upmanship. They had no idea that their humble quest would redraw the contours of Society and set in place principles that both businessmen and Society would live by.

Meet the Author

Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession – in 2014 and 2015 – by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.

He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

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Book Review:Made in India


Title: Made in India
Author: Biddu
Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing LLP
Genre: Autobiography


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‘Made in India’ is the journey of a musical icon Biddu. It is an insight into his dreams, his aspirations and the path he follows to live his dreams, achieve his aspirations. Told in first person, the book takes us on virtual tour of Biddu’s life right from his school days till the point he decided to pen this book. Spanning over a period of over five decades ‘Made in India’ gives the reader an insight into not only the making of Biddu the singer, lyricist, composer and producer but also into the changes that have taken place over the years, in the lifestyle, culture, nature and tastes of people both in India and abroad.

The Calcutta and Bombay (now Mumbai) of the 60s are put across well in just a few pages so too the spirit of brotherhood of the people of the Middle East of those times. Neither jobs, nor money were easy to come by then. If ever someone made it to the top, it was only through sheer hard-work. Biddu’s indomitable spirit is very much evident throughout the book. Laced with anecdotes here and there, ‘Made in India’ is not only an interesting read but an inspiring one too. And yes, there is also this little thing that impressed me- the naming of Biddu’s children. While the son was named ‘Zak’, the daughter went by the name ‘Zaza’. Wondering what’s so special about that? Well it’s not the names but the thought that went into it that impressed me. Biddu tells us that “the reason for giving the kids names beginning with ‘Z’ was to teach them patience. In school they would have to learn tolerance as the teacher called out the pupils’ names during morning roll call, usually in alphabetical order beginning with the letter A.” Now isn’t this truly ‘zen of an idea’ as Biddu puts it?

‘Made in India’ is in every way an account of the ‘roller-coaster journey of a young man in his quest to become a success.’

LANGUAGE & PACE: The language is simple and easy to digest. The pace is perfect. Nowhere during the entire book did I feel my interest wane.


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Born in India, Biddu started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to move West and enter the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing “Kung Fu Fighting”. The album went on to become a hit all over the globe. Biddu also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.

Biddu’s tryst with Bollywood saw the birth of “AapJaise Koi” for the film Qurbani. His pop album, “Disco Deewane” with Nazia Hassan became the largest selling pop album in Asian history and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album “Made in India” featuring singer Alisha Chinai.

RECOMMENDATION & RATING : A wonderful read, one that’s sure to not only feed the reader’s curiosity regarding the making of Biddu the music icon but also the making of some of his hits like the nine million selling “Kung Fu Fighting” and the iconic youth anthem of “Made in India”, I give this book 4 on a scale of 5.


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Book Review: Crumpled Voices 2: Innocence Lost


TITLE: Crumpled Voices 2: Innocence Lost
COMPILED BY:Pulkit Gupta
PUBLISHER:Gargi Publishers



Gives an insight into what is in store for the reader within the covers.

Cover Design

Expressive. While the picture of a boy sitting cross- legged with head hanging in shame, brings forth the trauma and inner turmoil of the characters in the book, the back cover with a young girls mouth held shut by an adult, tells us how the tormented are silenced with the threat of dire consequences thus leaving them scarred for life.


Within the pages

An anthology on a highly sensitive issue i.e. Child Abuse, the book begins with a poem by Naisargi Bhatt. Titled ‘Eighteen’ it brings out the strength of a teen, his/ her determination to overcome hurdles and live on his/ her own terms. ‘Eighteen’ is followed by 16 powerful stories each one different from the other, each one bringing forth the trauma of the young one who finds himself/ herself in an unenviable situation.

‘Pang of History’ by Pramit Sarkar brings forth the mental agony of a young boy who loses his innocence post a fall. But is it the trauma of the fall or something else that has snatched away the smile from his lips and left a vacant look in his eyes? A thought- provoking story and an eye-opener, this one is a must read for all those ambitious parents who put their dreams before their child’s desires. ‘The Unheard Cry’ by Brinda Tailor too has the unreasonable attitude of the parents and the sorry fallout of the same as its core.

Aditi Sahu’s ‘The lost and found self- respect’ is the story of a mother scarred when just a child and her fear for her young one, how she lives her nightmare through the years but finally finds peace in the loving care and understanding offered her by her husband. This one sends across a strong message. It tells us the need to offer care as well as support to the tormented ones to enable them over-power the demons within.

‘The lost dreams’ by Swati Shenoy brings forth the hypocrisy of our society which discriminates between the girl and the boy child. Who is to be blamed? Is it only the patriarchal system prevalent in our society or are women to be blamed too? What if they i.e. women decide to fight for their rights? The answers are there in the story.The story ends on a note of hope, hope that there is light shinning at the end of the tunnel.

While all the stories deal with child abuse in one form or the other, the ones that truly impressed me were ‘The Shadow’ by Dr. Sunil Kaushal, ‘The Loud Silence’ by Shreya Ganguly, ‘Tales From A Pit Deep Down’ by Vaisakh E Hari, ‘Just A Lucky Day…Or Not?’ by Shikha Kaul and ‘The Shade of Vermillion’ by Tanya Shrivastava. They scored well not only in terms of content but also in terms of style, pace and language.

What worked for me

The stories each mirroring the pains and pangs of injustice, are food for thought. They mirror the true face of present day realities. Each one of them is a cry for understanding, empathy and justice. One can easily relate to them. They are straight from the heart and hence hit one hard really where it matters i.e. the heart. While some leave us numb others leave us distraught.

What needs fine tuning

The editing needs to be tightened leaving no scope for those glitches that leave one rattled at times.

There are a few stories that need to be further worked upon to make them more complete and powerful.

Recommendation & rating

Overall a simple read that can be finished in just one sitting, I give this 3 on a scale of 5.

And finally

As mentioned in the back cover:

“Some things can’t be healed with bandages……”


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Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I was provided a copy of the book by the publishers in return for an honest review. Thank you Gargi Publishers and Mr. Pulkit Gupta.


I’d like to have your views on the book and the review. Do leave them here in the comment box below.

Spotlight: Coke


“Can you help me, please?”

Pradipta wheeled around.

Standing behind was an unusually attractive lady. She wore a dark blue, chiffon saree which set off her fair complexion even more. Other than a thin gold chain with a tear-drop pearl pendant on her neck, she wore no jewelery. Her lips were pale pink, with no lipstick. Only the dark make-up on her eyes made her look even more unfathomable.

 “You’re talking to me?”

Thus begins Coke, with this chance encounter at Kathmandu airport. But the plot thickens when the lady requests him to include her suitcase as part of his checked in baggage and then does a vanishing act, once the aircraft lands in Calcutta. What follows is a riveting page-turner, replete with unexpected twists as you encounter gangs warring over narcotics, policemen, functionaries, and a sinister master-mind who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The furiously paced narrative takes you from the sleepy airport of Kathmandu to the packed streets of Calcutta, a mysterious mansion on the outskirts of town and an unforgettable chase-sequence through New Market.

From the author of the acclaimed Bengali novels ‘Kidnap’, ‘Shaaper Jhaanpi’ and ‘Robibar’ comes a high-octane thriller that’s seriously addictive and keeps you hooked till the end.

The Author

In so far as the pursuit of any true vocation is a life in itself, Barun Chanda – advertising guru, actor and writer, may be said to have had three. Born in Dhaka, he did his Masters in English at Jadavpur University. Following a brief stint as a lecturer in English, he embarked upon a career in the creative department of advertising that spanned more than 30 years, won him numerous awards and culminated in his tenure as Creative Director at Clarion McCann.

Acting occupies the second of his three worlds. In 1971, he scorched the big screen as a high-flying executive, playing the protagonist in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Seemabaddha’, and winning a special President of India Award for his performance. After a hiatus that lasted over two decades, he returned to the screen during the 90’s, and has since then acted in numerous TV series and more than 35 movies. Tackling Bollywood and Tollywood roles with equal aplomb, he has distinguished himself in films such as Lootera, Roy, Chotushkone, Aborto, MIshor Rohoshyo, Nayanchampa-r Dinraatri , Bela Sheshe and Jogajog. Chorabaali, where where once again he plays the protagonist, is his latest venture.

Barun’s third passion is writing. A regular film reviewer and contributor of articles to major dailies, in the last eight years he has published four highly acclaimed and successful novels in Bengali. His work has played a major role in establishing the adult thriller genre in Bengali literature.

Coke is his first novel in English.

Spotlight: First Brush on the Canvas


About the Book

Graham, Daniel, their friendship, life and death.Vampires, guardians’ adventures at night. Coffee, love and a new couple. Imli and her mother in a complex web of darkness. A small town girl confused about virginity. Michael Jaikishen and his writing endeavours. Child adoption by a gay couple. Mahabharat – a modern tale in an epic form. The spine-chilling tale of Tina and Uncle Joe. A juicy love story by our guest author Sujata Parashar. These and many other unputdownable stories in this book.

First Brush on the Canvas is an anthology comprising selected stories from Melonade (2014), a nationwide writing marathon organized by

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Melonade Authors’ at a glance

Uttiya Roy – Nourished with Bangla literature, he aspires to change the world someday writing in English. His days pass blending Life Science textbooks with poetry. 

Upasana Bhattacharjee – We catch ‘em as young as they get! Our youngest writer is still a student, but that doesn’t reflect in the matured story she’s written dealing with inconclusive logics and paradoxes. 

Stuti Chandra – She writes because she’s alive. This lovely lady is from Patna and has dipped her nose in English Literature at Delhi. 

Shaily Bhargava – A photographer, a logophile and an Equity Technical Analyst – all in one. She reads and writes in Noida, accompanied by beautiful clicks through her lens and lots of Coffee. 

Arunav Chowdhury – Have you met this Proletariat Axomiya before? He’s a movie buff and a news junkie rolled into one, who writes wonderful modern takes on the age old Mahabharat. 

Rafaa Dalvi – A Mumbaikar, an engineer, a blogger and a prolific writer. He’s already made his presence in three anthologies and likes to experiment with different genre. 

Diptee Raut – A quilter, a blogger, a quirky mom, an amazing writer and our co-winner of Melonade’4. She’s one bundle of positive energy who can spin stories and weave quilts simultaneously. 

Abhishek Mukherjee – Have you read his blog posts yet? Though he likes to believe he’s only a Cricket Historian, you have to read his humorous takes on Mythology to believe he’s the best. 

Anwesha Ray – An amazingly sensitive writer, she lives and works in Bangalore with her family. 

Avishek Basu Mallick – He’s the winner of Melonade’4. If you wish to laud him for more, he’s an engineer and an MBA, working in Bangalore and a featured writer on Sportskeeda.

Arijit Ghose – Blend Carnatic music with exceptional satire and the result is Arijit Ghose. Cheeky, expressive and vocal – we hope he becomes a great writer someday. 

Amit Nangia – For those working in MNCs for years, he’s your inspiration. Amit’s first novel has just released after facing many rejections but that didn’t deter him from writing. Climbing the rocks, gliding in a parachute, bungee jumping or making cocktails; nothing could elevate his spirits as much as writing did.

Tnahsin Garg – Tnahsin often exercises his freedom by convincing other folks that ‘free will’ does not exist. His first novel ‘The Prophecy of Trivine’ is a science-fiction based in India.

Sujata Parashar – Author of the immensely popular ‘In Pursuit Of’ trilogy, and a wonderful poet. She contributes articles to various websites and magazines, and is a social activist. She’s a guest author in the book. 

Spotlight: Shanti & the Magic Mandala


Shanti and the Magic Mandala is an adventure in which fantasy and reality are mingled. The book tells the story of six teenagers, from different religious and cultural origins and different parts of the world, who are mystically recruited to form two groups – one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. They eventually gather in Peru, and through a single alliance, begin a frantic chase for the sacred object that can stop the black magician’s final plan.

Awards & Recognition for the Book

Winner of 2014 London Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards: Bronze Medal at “Young Adult Fiction – Spirituality” category
2014 New England Book Festival in Boston:  Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.
Winner of 2015 Paris Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
Winner of 2015 International Book Awards in the category “Fiction / Young Adult”.
Winner of 2015 New York Book Festival in the category “Young Adult”.
2015 Los Angeles Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
2015 San Francisco Book Festival – Runner-up in the category “Young Adult”.
2015 DIY Book Festival in Los Angeles: Honorable Mention in the category “Young Adult”.

About the Author

F. T. Camargo is an Italian Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An award winning architect and author, he also studied Arts and Media and has a post degree in Economics and MBA in e-commerce. He is a vegetarian because of his love for all animals and has been deeply involved in causes for their protection and freedom. He is a world traveler adventurer, outdoor sports lover, speaks 4 languages and has published a travel book “Rio, Maravilha!”
For many years he has been practicing yoga and meditation and studying the Kabbalah. His exploration of spiritual teachings motivated a commitment to self-development which in turn created a new path and goal in life. Shanti and the Magic Mandala was born from his inner journey.

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