In dialogue with Mona Mohanty

Mona Mohanty has led a life travelling the length and breadth of India. Born in Kolkata, she has studied in places as far spread out as Chandigarh, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow and Delhi.She passed out in 1987 with a B.A. (Hons) in History from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi.Armed with an M.A. and M. Phil in History from JNU, she qualified for the Indian Revenue Service in 1991. Currently, she is a Commissioner of Income Tax.

Writing has always been her passion . A love for words has been second nature to her. Finally, she decided to bring a semblance of order to all the jottings over the years and collate a minuscule portion of them into a book. *Betwixt Twists And Turns* was the result of this endeavour. This was followed by another collection of short stories titled, ‘ Volcanic Moments: Heart popping tales’. Currently, working on a novel, she has also contributed short stories for international magazines like Confluence.

 

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1) What does words mean to you?
Words , in my realm, is the equivalent of oxygen for living beings. For me, it is the be- all and end – all of existence. As a medium of expression, words convey thoughts, emotions and action; not necessarily, in that order.

2) As both of your works have been short story collections we would love to know little insights on how do you go about collecting them?

 My short story collections arise out of my observations of people ( and animals) in varying situations and places. The setting can be a high end hotel, a village waterhole, a crowded shopping mall , a dreary office… the list is unending.
3) Anything new you are or planning to work upon?
I am working on a novel. I don’t want to spill the beans now.. I love to keep people guessing.
4)What do you think is lacking in current generation with regards to literature work?
 It’s a bit sad, that the current generation doesn’t have the time or the patience to relax with a book. I see it amongst youngsters in my family too. Give me a book over a party. There is never a quandary regarding the choice.
5) A small message for our writers and readers?
I can only wish and hope that the love for the written word continues to soar and that each of us do our bit to keep this precious part of our lives immortal. For, words maketh the man!

One step at a time by Venkat Iyer

One Step at a Time by Venkat Iyer

One Step at a Time

One step at a time is a journey that takes place one by one. It’s a story with limited characters and how so many things revolved around so much.
The book has a deep sense of struggle and how one should over come it.

How life never really goes the way you want it to.
Somedays it just keeps spiralling down. It’s about the strength of all mental/ physical that needs to be needed mostly mental strength which will get you through tough times like these.

I loved how every character was given a sketch and it felt like a photo time line of sorts. And there were quoted to uplift.

The story was simple and had deep bravery kneaded within it.
So much to learn as always

Overall 4/5.

In conversation with poet Sakshi Walia.

AUTHOR BIO :
Sakshi is a university student pursuing her degree in English literature. She started writing at the age of 13 and writing has been her passion since then. She has published three books so far and has been a part of many anthologies. She has recently been nominated for 100 aspiring authors of India. Apart from this she is also a slam poet and a football player. 

Continue reading “In conversation with poet Sakshi Walia.”

Interview with Kavya Sharma.

 

kavya
Kavya Sharma is a womanist, a poet and a fiction author. She has two books to her name, a poetry book called The Carmine Memories and a recently released women’s fiction novel To Naddiyaa. Apart from this her poems have been featured in various anthologies including Ninety Seven Poems by Terribly Tiny Tales, A Map Called Home by Kitaab Singapore, The 7 Transgressions by Half Baked Beans, Being Chained to Being the Change by Muktha Foundation, etc. She is among the 100 Most Inspiring Authors of India 2018 by The Indian Awaaz and has been given Honorable Mention by Delhi Poetry Slam for excellence in poetry, she has also been interviewed/featured in various newspapers like The Asian News, Deccan Chronicle, Zoom Delhi, The Sunday Guardian, The Pioneer, BBC Nottingham Radio, etc. She works as a creative writing trainer for The Climbers, My Captain Programme, and as a commissioning editor for a publishing house in Delhi. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Verse of Silence literary magazine.

 

INTERVIEW :

1) How would you describe your journey so far?

Honestly, the journey so far has been exhausting and yet full of new experiences and amazing responses regarding my novel, regarding my poetry and I think that is exactly what keeps me going. It’s not easy making a name in this field, I know so many talented artists/writers and we are all struggling together. Over the years I’ve only grown and that’s the intention for times ahead. I think now, I’ve come to terms with my own art.

 

 
2) If you had to describe yourself in a poem which one would it be?

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. I love that poem and I find it very inspiring.

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

3) What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my 2nd novel and third book. Apart from that I am working towards making my magazine Verse of Silence a more accessible platform for artists across the world and editing a few manuscripts.

 

4)Which are your favourite books?

Oh! I like quite a few, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, In Custody by Anita Desai, etc.

5)Would you like to dedicate a poem/ or quote from your books for our readers?

“We all are trying to find some meaning in life, trying to find some sense of the life we are leading and that’s how we all die having arrived at nothing but memories of the past to hold onto.”

 

Oxford BookStore

 

buy her books from here.

Knotty Affairs by Dr.Chirag Bagadia.

 

BLURB

A land of countless customs, few things in India get bigger than a big fat wedding. A marriage is a celebration which brings families and friends together. And the ceremony ends with the tradition of the bride leaving her parents’ home and moving in with her husband. The groom always has a choice-he can either stay with his parents or stay separately. However, for the bride her ‘home’ is now a strange place.
Meet Aakash, a young dental intern, who falls in love with Kashish. However, what he doesn’t know is that winning her heart was never going to be easy. Kashish is resolute-nothing, not even their budding romance, will come in the way of her devotion to her parents.
Cut to four years later. Akash has fallen in love with Aneri, the only daughter of her parents. However, his father is clearly miffed by this development, and enlists the help of a psychologist friend to help Aakash. Furthermore, his father is also not surprised at the couple’s request of entering into a live-in relationship before the marriage. But is Aakash ready to challenge the existing customs for his love? Is he prepared to go to any lengths to see that his love does not shed another tear?
Take this tradition-defying journey with Aakash, Kashish and Aneri as they dare to delve deeper into the web of love and relationships. Warm up to their crazy antics which will leave you wondering-why can’t this be my story?!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Chirag Bagadia is a Mumbai-based dentist who runs his own private clinic, Moonsmile Dental Care and Multispecialty. He has completed his BDS from YMT Dental College in 2008 and holds an MA in Yogashashtra from Somaiya College. When he is not busy designing smiles for his patients, he works as a yoga consultant, catering to high profile clients on a personal basis.

His debut novel, Knotty Affairs is a powerful story questioning the roots of Indian marriage. A heart-warming tale about friendship, love, family, and everything in between, this book is a result of his long-standing aspiration and acute interest in creative fiction-writing.

 

 

REVIEW

I’d firstly like to comment on the grandiosity of the cover and how beautiful it looks! The title makes sense as to how difficult things are for marriage not just two people getting married but altogether two different mindsets as well. Loved it how it is based on a medical student which could be authors personal experience as well. Being a medical student myself and seeing the relatable places such as Nerul and other such incidents made it so very relatable to me. It’s a simple story with good narration. I really love how the description of every Incident is there. It’s a bit long read.
It’s the story of Dr. Akash and his ventures with getting married and having a happy life. All the ups and down of the roller-coaster has been condensed and tried to be out in the book.

Overall 3.5/5.