31 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Only The Good Die Young by Akash Verma (Book Review: 4.75*/5) !!!

1913th BLOG POST

10th Book of 2021


As people following my reading journey must be aware that I have slowed my reading process this year because I want to spend time with every book I read so that it stays for a lifetime with me. But there are few books which makes you break your resolve and finish them in a single or as less sittings as possible. This happened with me yesterday with Akash Verma’s latest book named “Only the Good Die Young” which has been released recently by Penguin publication in around 280 pages. There are few authors who win your heart right with their first book itself and Akash is someone I really look forward to read whenever he comes with a new book. This time I was doubly excited as this book is a sequel of “You Never Know” which I had read in October last year and gone crazy with the story. This time, author has just done wonders which again made me get up all night and only sleep after reading the very last line of the book. Such is a magic of Akash Verma’s book/s!


The 1st book was complete in itself but the way author took ahead the story makes you believe in each and every scene mentioned right from the 1st chapter. This time again the story is narrated in first voice of all the three main characters- Dhruv, Anuradha and Sid; wherever needed author has narrated in the 3rd voice too. All of this has been done so naturally and cleverly that you don’t feel that there’s anything fictional in it. You relate with all the three characters and even the others who are playing a kind of supportive characters here in this book such as Aman, Ash, Anna, Ram, Shalini etc. It is not easy to make you aware of what each character is going through in their minds when the focus is mainly on protagonists but Akash manages to do it very well. The party scene where all the characters play Truth and Dare is defined so beautifully that you will feel you are watching all these characters in front of you and know them very well.


Writing thriller is the most difficult art for an author, I believe, as you have to decide it very well how you want to take your story ahead – on the 5th gear right from the 1st page itself or gradually accelerate or keep on changing the pace throughout the book in order to win the attention of the reader. Akash has excelled this art very well as he takes it very comfortably at the 4th gear and keeps shifting little bit here and there that you are at comfort as well as enjoying the adventure in your ride. I like how the book talks about office politics, family lives, new crushes, old-reunions, multiple affairs, marketing meetings etc. but yet doesn’t stop the flow of the story even once. Author knows it very well how to write a perfect page-turner where a reader is not getting bored with these sub-plots or overwhelmed with too many twists and turns. I have very rarely read such thrillers where the story is paced at a convenient speed yet keeps you on your toes due to the shift the characters are going through due to unnatural happenings in their life – which is already scary due to their grey or black past.


I liked how author convinces you with the way the killer is executing his task with the technology being used in Hollywood movies as generally, using any of those ways used in movies to define your stories in a book, doesn’t work out but here, it has been very nicely presented. Even the pre-climax and the climax is written so wonderfully that you can’t deny of how things end for the characters. Not to be ashamed of but I really almost ended up crying in the end. When a love story is also being included with all the thrills and killings happening around, the romantic human in us get involved with the tale of love before getting associated with anything else. And when it is discussed with such extremity, depth and sacrifices of characters for each other, it really makes you happy but at the same time, extremely emotional and broken too. Akash really knows how to touch the nerves of his readers who expect the love story to be as impactful as the thrilling part of the book.


Talking about the last point, I must say, it is not easy to present a societal taboo or a thing considered as a sin in a different perspective. 1st of all, there is a big fear if the audience will accept this representation or not. Secondly, how you write and define this in each of your words when you speak of it makes you extra-conscious while drafting the story. This is a very big mental fight for an author to represent something-coined-as-wrong as an okay-stuff for a character. As represented in the 1st part of this book, the extra-marital affair has been presented so very well in this part too that it might confuse many who are reading if this is a right step for a married or committed partner or not. I have heard many such tales hence going through this was something which made me realize and relate with what author wanted to convey. I hope all the readers get the message behind why author has taken a bit side of it and why it isn’t always wrong.


Okay, one more point – writing a story in parts can make a reader’s life hell if both the books are kept very closely integrated without any touchpoints in the latest part which discusses about what happened earlier with these characters. Akash has written this book in a way that you can read it as an independent book itself. This is not very easy to execute but I think there’s nothing impossible for Verma when it comes to writing.


Now talking about the drawbacks which this book doesn’t make you find many. I must say because Sid had come back in this book in a psychotic manner, I wanted more of him to be written which would have given us more insights on how such characters think who now wants to take only revenge and nothing in spite of knowing that they have themselves been wrong in the past. I felt author just didn’t cover him as much as he could have. Other than this, there is nothing I felt that this book missed.


I give this book 4.75 stars out of 5. I don’t know how long it has been since I rated any book as high as this much but this one really deserves to be in the list of one of the best books I have read in this decade or my whole reading journey. Highly Recommended!







26 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

It ends with a dream by Medha Nagur (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

1912th BLOG POST

9th Book of 2021

I have shifted my reading interest towards non-fiction and spiritually related books but still, for nostalgia and knowing what kind of love or romantic stories are being written these days, I order a book or two and go through them. Mostly I get disappointed but some of them really surprises me even now. One such book which has made me very happy as a reader is Medha Nagur’s “It ends with a dream” which comes with a tagline that says “The Farther You Go, The Closer We Get”. Even though the book is available only in the Kindle edition currently, the whole aesthetics of it – right from the cover page to the synopsis of the book makes you enough convinced to pick it up for your next read.


The writing style of Medha is just too perfect for the genre she has chosen to write her first book in. Right from the 1st word, the way her story keeps you intrigued with its narration makes you aware about how well the author’s drafting skill is. It also shows the clarity with which the book has been written which is not for just telling a story, but to make you live with it and also think about it after finishing it. Initially, I had thought that it must be the same mushy-mushy tale of two lovers but while reading I realized, it is far more than that. Even when the romance between both of them is talked of, author ensures that you learn a philosophy or two from it and not just read an intimate moment and forget it like any other book.


Author plays with the timeline of the story initially which was confusing after a time but once you get to understand the characters and plot, it becomes entertaining to find the shift. Even though I was reading and had no other reference with which the story sounded similar with, I still kept feeling that I was watching some web-series due to the author’s command on her storyline. Once you understand the points at which author takes you back in both the character’s past, you start enjoying it more as you know something much unexpected or bigger is about to happen.


When it comes to romance novels, either authors keep it confined to only 2 characters and their 2 close friends or add so many college or office friends that reading a book with so many characters become painful. I am glad how Medha have characterized her personas in the book where they are neither less nor many but you remember them well the way their background is defined and introduced to you. Also, because of the genre and synopsis, I had only expected love-tale but the way book takes a shift in between and the whole plot becomes quite thrilling and adventurous shakes you off your seat as a reader. I was very glad to find how author played with the suspense and changed the whole scenario of the story.


To add few points further, the locale of South India and Coorg is so very well embedded in the story that you can feel you are visiting that part of the country. The conversations between all the characters are written very beautifully with right tone and context. The emotional and egoistic turmoil that goes between both the characters every time they meet is nicely portrayed. The intimate scenes are written with a very fine balance where author has not shied away from writing things yet didn’t make anything sound vulgar.


Author has added other social messages like how girls are often seen and treated in our country, the political environment, the taboo of having sex at the wrong time and bearing the consequences of it, the importance of organ donation, the philosophical, spiritual and religious part of what happens to a human being while living and death etc. Reading these concepts through a story makes you go into the mode of self-realization and self-introspection. You will learn so much about your thought process and personality that you’ll start changing things about yourself from next minute onwards.


Now talking about few drawbacks – I must say that the timeline-shifts initially sounded very confusing which could have been executed in a better way. The male character’s name sounds like a female name which keeps confusing you somewhere throughout the story. The pre-climax is not very well-handled as after a major event happens with one of the two main characters, story should not have been extended for so long. It kills the whole excitement you have of reading what happens in the end as you feel it’s not coming at all. I also felt that author could have added some extra-emotional scenes in the conversations of two main characters which could have made this story more memorable and touchy. Lastly, I believe that the book could have been edited well in the 2nd half and closed down by trimming at least 30 pages there.


Overall, this book will make you look at your love relationship in a better way here onwards so this is not only a love story but ends up giving you many lessons and advices. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.






24 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Of Beasts & Beauty : Short Stories By Bindu (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

1911th BLOG POST

8th Book of 2021

Writing short stories is an art which is very difficult even for the writers who think and write continuously. Even the authors who publish full-fledged novel say that writing short stories are a different game altogether as you have limited words to define your character, make their situation familiar to the reader and also craft a moving story around it. I have read many compilations of short stories and anthologies but very few have made their mark in order to make me recommend them to my readers. I have just completed reading “Of Beasts and Beauty” written by the authoress, Bindu. The book consists of 13 short stories where each of them is distinct and unique and says something which will make you move uncomfortably in your seat. This is one anthology that I must say can get the due for the short story writers.


The short stories mentioned in this book plays basically on the theme of the title of the book which has two keywords: Beauty and Beasts. In some of the stories, you will find beauty and beast in two different characters whereas in other stories, you will find both of them imbibed in a single character itself. Either the beauty is turning into the beast or the beast is turning into the beauty. Many stories are women-oriented and I liked the way they are been handled where they don’t scream feminism and women-empowerment in your ears but speak it in a way that you understand a tough life that a woman in India has to go through.


The writing style of Bindu is quite advanced which will make the people reading literature resonate with the language and the stories. Some beginners might find tough to understand the language due to the advanced way of crafting a sentence – sometimes actively and passively. Also, the stories aren’t straight-forward for the school-going kid to understand them but they are meant for matured audience who have read some incredible stuffs or understand the language in which the authoress is speaking on some really deep topics with elegance and patience.


Every story is of around 13-15 pages and some of them are written so beautifully that you’ll feel that you are reading a poem or watching a painting for a long time. Bindu definitely has talent that speaks in each and every word in her stories. She is very particular about the message she wants to convey through her stories and you can relate to it by the climax of every story. After completing the book, I could understand the cover page of the book where a girl’s image is blur. I am keeping this a secret for you to read the book yourself and decode it.


I would like to mention few stories and the insights from it:

-          “The Longest Night” talks about a girl’s struggle and compromises in her job as an air-hostess.

-          “Munimji” speaks of how a woman is capable yet society judges her at every stage- either in her marriage or even after she is again single after her husband’s demise.

-          “Ramratni and the Far Gymkhana” is about the patience and humiliations a woman can keep bearing for her children.

-          “Samer” is about what drug addiction can do to you – how slave you become of it once you start possessing it.

-          “The Leopard Diaries” is the story I believe author got the chance to show her philosophical and spiritual side.

-          “Sculpture” is such a unique writing piece where you meet with a character of girl who sculpts and surprises everyone around her. Also, how she relates the sculpture with her own body experience is something I liked to read a lot.

-          “Meeting & Mating” makes you think if what we teach our children is something we ourselves understand and follow. I liked the way whole story is kept very light and the hard-hitting message is given only in the end.

-          The last story “I Fell in Love with a Trippy Gypsy!” is a nice end given to the book which talks about so many contemporary and social problems.


Now, talking about few drawbacks, I must say that the language of authoress is little tough for the new beginners to read. I believe authoress could have written few stories in a light language whereas few in the way she has written to give the book the balance it needed for catering to all class of readers. Secondly, few stories are dragged a bit which I believe makes it boring for a while in between. Lastly, I feel that considering few stories in the book, I was expecting more spiritual or philosophical take from it but author keeps it limited to the story itself without taking that dimension into consideration which I feel could have given little more life to some stories.


Overall, I must say this book shall be a favourite in every reader’s shelf who likes reading good and matured short stories with some darkness in it. I give this book 4.25 stars out of 5. I wish to read a full-fledged novel by the author Bindu in future.






22 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Trigger Point by Douglas Misquita (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1910th BLOG POST

7th Book of 2021

There are instances when I have got a book due to its wonderful synopsis but later due to the same, I have resisted in picking it up thinking that the book is meant to be read in an environment which shall bring more effect to it. I think this is just Reader’s thing and not everyone will relate to this feeling. Haha! The same happened with Douglas Misquita’s latest book named “Trigger Point”. The synopsis is so Hollywood-ish that I felt I would read it when I would be in a mindset where I would like to live a life of a Hollywood Hero. I don’t know why I got the similar vibes this week and I completed this book in 4 days by reading 100 pages daily. Yes, the book is written in around 400 pages and published by Pencil publication.


Douglas’s writing style is just crazy- simply crazy. I remember watching Special Ops – a web series last year on Hotstar – it had several different things going on in different parts of the world with multiple characters playing their respective parts in their region – but all tied to one man. I got the same vibes while reading “Trigger Point” as it has sub-plots based in so many countries and continents that you will feel you are on a travel trip right after 50-60 pages of the book. While you will keep waiting for the main character - Luc Fortesque - to be introduced, you will be made to meet many characters of different country and cultures, that you will just start enjoying their plot and get lost in it.


The characterization is very strong in the book because the way the main character is given a heroic charm makes you fight along with him with all the opponent characters. Similarly, the other characters in the book are managed very well. It is not easy to involve multiple characters in your book and giving equal justice to all of them. Author has really managed to make a strong built-up for each one of them – let them be belonging to any country or background. You get to understand their mindset, agenda and approach very well. Unfortunately, you also end up supporting many of the negative characters in the book the way they get on their rivals intellectually. Haha! Another USP of these characters are that they are not only written from the point of view of above three factors only, but their background has been played very nicely which tells us why they are doing what they are doing or why they think the way they are thinking.


Another good pointer I would like to focus is author’s research on the topics he mentioned. Earlier, I thought that may be author visited all these places hence he has such kind of accuracy in whatever he is speaking. But once I completed reading the story, I found a list of references author has gone through to help himself write about so many topics without facing it personally. There are so many countries mentioned in the book – some of them I am mentioning here such as Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Iran, Columbia, UK, US etc. – that you can expect only a traveling book to have information about. But author’s profound knowledge has made it very easy for the readers to imagine those places, the culture around there and the political, religious and governmental view of the location.


I liked how along with the story, author has managed to let us know about so many informative pieces which are true and matter of facts such as the operation of Swiss bank, Mayan culture and its beliefs, take on terrorism etc. Author has also not shied away from writing about religions and how it can be twisted – in fact all of them – in such a way that it can make anyone believe that it’s in favour of War. Also, author discusses how religious demographic twists the mindset of the people living in the particular region and can lead to devastation of the people living there. The way author goes into a descriptive way to let us know about how Muslims and Christians view their religions in respective region is such a bravo thing to do which author manages to do pleasingly. I hope no one finds any problem with it.


The pre-climax and climax of the book becomes little slow but yet keeps on getting exciting with each page. The last page makes you want to read more in this series. This is the 3rd book in the Luc Fortesque Adventure series – even though I haven’t read the previous two books – I didn’t feel that I missed anything. Though I believe that I could have got some help about knowing few characters mentioned in this book from the previous two books. Overall, this is a very fast and action-packed book. Anyone who likes watching Hollywood action thrillers and reading something on the same lines will love reading this book.


Now talking about the drawbacks – even though the book has very good vocabulary and editing, I don’t know why the editors didn’t justify the texts in the book as it looks so bad while reading. It becomes tough for reader to move from one sentence to another. Secondly, I feel that this book could have been edited well – currently the book is of 400 pages which I feel could have been easily managed in 300 pages itself. Author goes into describing action scenes in too much of details and description which is definitely not needed. It starts sounding like a movie script after some point of time and not like a book where some things need to left for reader’s imagination. You will start skipping sentences in between.


Thirdly, I felt that too many characters sometimes become a burden for the story to carry. I feel it is really hard for readers to remember all of them throughout the book and it also becomes irritating when you find characters getting introduced even in the latter part of the 2nd half of the book too. Author should manage an action-thriller story even with less characters from his next book onwards otherwise it might become a reason why people might not pick his books in future out of fear. The list of characters can be mentioned before the story starts so that readers can always refer to it while reading the book.


Overall, this is a good book which should be read in as less sitting as possible due to its complex plot and multiple characters. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.






16 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Your Best Day Is Today by Anupam Kher (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1909th BLOG POST

6th Book of 2021!

When I was learning spirituality, just before all of us in the meditation hall were about to perform the 21-minutes session taught to us, we were told that each one of us will have different kind of experiences hence we need not fear if how we are experiencing the silence is quite darker or lighter than others around us. And it happened exactly, where few of us were crying, others were laughing, some were just silent whereas few others started talking to themselves like a maniac. I sensed something similar when we were in complete lockdown during the initial days of the Coronavirus pandemic. I felt as if all of us were experiencing the same thing but were having different feelings about it. Everyone I talked to told me something that I hadn’t thought or considered before.


Anupam Kher’s latest book named “Your best day is today!” published by Hay House publisher speaks about the same. Kher has based the whole book of 270 pages on his experiences of pandemic and talks about what he went through physically, experientially and internally. He tells how he had to go through some extreme emotional situations whereas simultaneously, he met few people who made him realize the wonders of life and how we can be happy and excited during such tough times too. The concept of the book is great as people who are really feeling low due to self-isolation or fear of death can find some great tips to go through the phase. Many people who stay alone or share room with people in another city due to work or studies also find themselves in a cocoon of loneliness and silent pain. Even such people would find a way as in how to look within themselves and internalize their emotions to create something good out of this situation.


Anupam’s writing style is very simple which will make it easy to read even for the people who are not very good with the language. As far as my belief goes, the book is going to be released in other languages too so that is not going to be a challenge any which ways. The flow of the book is maintained very properly where you are first introduced to the situation and what consequences it brought to the whole world. Then, author talks about how he started getting personally affected by it due to which he finally came back to his home. He then talks about how the whole humanity got together in fighting this invisible enemy which was causing havoc everywhere. Even though we know all the details but the narration by the author keeps you interested as if you are reading it for the 1st time.


Author then talks about how his mother and brother’s family virus infection and the challenges he faced in admitting them and keeping all of them emotionally strong along with keeping his own senses in place. He has conveyed the difficulties of everyone who saw their closed one’s going to hospital all alone making us feel helpless and lost. In the 2nd section, author talks about how everyone started adapting to this change of being at home and how “change is the law of life” started making sense to many of us. In the 3rd section, author goes ahead and talks with several people belonging to different fields and let us know how they fought against this situation in their respective fields or situations. It was a good insight knowing how challenging this has been in a different way to the people serving different ground of work.


Later in the last two sections, author finally starts opening his heart about how he internalized and went within to find answers of fighting with negative thoughts and bettering himself each and every day. He tells how he started doing things he otherwise could have never done in his daily routine. This comes as an answer to many people who have completely stopped themselves due to the virus. Author talks about the benefit of pranayama, meditation and yoga and how it is keeping him calm and happy in these difficult times.


He makes us understand how only relationships and people close to us matter when we fall in a situation like this and that is what we should concentrate towards. He mentions Sushant Singh Rajput and make us aware about the mental health issues too. Author also talks about how he started growing his beard to try something different which he usually can’t due to his job as an actor. In the end, author explains that death is a reality and once we realize that we are a mortal being, we become little more aware and alert about living in present and enjoying every day as if it’s our best day and also the last.


Overall, this is a very feel-good and positive book. If you have been reading many self-help and spiritual books recently, you might not find anything new, but you will still feel as if someone close to you is telling you about life. I got a grandfather feeling while reading this as my grandfather used to tell such facts while I sat with him during my school days. This is a must-read for people who are feeling low due to the pandemic and an umbrella of negative thoughts have covered them completely. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I think I need to read all books by Anupam Kher now.






14 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Sanskriti Singh: "Karna was not only a man who was wronged by circumstances but he was the only man in the entire epic that was fighting a war with each and every aspect of society" (Interview)

1908th BLOG POST 

Recently, I read a very good book named “The Flawed Good Man” which was based on the life of Karna during the era of Mahabharat war. I was so happy to read a book based on our ancient history with philosophy being another crux to the writing. I tried knowing a little more about its author, Sanskriti Singh, and got to know that she’s 18 years old. At this age, in her teens, she managed to write about a character like Karna made me more curious about her which led to this interview which is for you to read and enjoy now.


Hi Sanskriti, I have seen that you write majorly on Indian history elements which few people term as mythology these days. Can you please tell us how your interest turned towards this subject?

When I was younger, I had a strong urge to know stories from the ancient Indian Culture. My mother would tell me stories from the epics all the time. Even during Navratri (which is a big affair in Shillong) I would usually go to Ramkrishna Mission and would insist upon buying those illustrated thin story books for children. It was like the more I heard these stories the more I wanted to know and when it comes to Indian culture we can all admit that it is a never-ending flow of beautiful stories and thoughts. I am a strong believer and a spiritual person. I cannot clearly tell as to when was the exact moment I realized how much the subject attracted me towards it but surely the childhood indulgence into this genre made me feel elated So yes I can obviously say that it was a childhood spent in the world of imagination and fantasy that made the love for this subject stronger and also all the time spent listening to stories from my mother. 

You are just 18 years old and you write books on complex characters from our ancient history. How do you find it easy to understand them as not even matured people are able to comprehend the shades behind their characters?
I think when you look around you find a little of every character in those epics somewhere in your surroundings. I have been a loner all along and that made me a very observant person over the years. I paid attention to what a person might be thinking when doing a particular action. The more you read you learn to understand the body language of a person and the psychology. 

It is a misinterpreted fact that it is difficult to understand these characters. People usually put these characters on a pedestal and criticize them but if you want to know them you have to treat them like you would treat a friend. Now that's not easy because you are never made to think like that.  And I would agree that reading made me feel those emotions more clearly. You need to hear your thoughts clearly to understand these characters and the easiest way to do so for me is to distance myself from people. I feel the more people you have the more corrupt your mind gets, they influence your thoughts. I do not like it at all; I like being left alone with my books and thoughts. The more you listen to your natural ideas the more clear these characters become. Every shade of these characters have to be accepted without judgement and you cannot have favourites in these stories you tend to overlook things when favouritism comes in between. 

Tell us something about your latest book - "The Flawed Good Man".

Oh! I can never explain what this book meant to me. The true motive behind writing this book for me was the never-ending news of suicides in and around the world. It's depressing how the numbers are growing. I wanted to write something that can help people understand that no problem can be bigger than the life we have been given. It is easy to kill yourself. It takes mere minutes to kill you but it takes courage to fight back. 

Karna had thousands of reasons to kill him but just one reason to live; his art. I wanted to not tell a story but try and make people realize that it is the most important to find that one reason to live. It is not easy but it cannot be impossible. A man of celestial birth could not escape all the wrongs that happened to him so how can we expect to have our path paved easily?! Karna was a man who never succumbed to the charms of splendour, a throne or power in that case even Narayan because he had his dignity and he knew that he was following his dharma even when he was standing against it. The book is about human emotions and it's pain and suffering and how it's okay to be venerable but that cannot become ones weakness rather make it into strength. I tried my best to bring out emotions of the character that I felt was ignored.

How of all the characters in Mahabharat did you think of picking Karna? 

Karna had a difficult life since he was a child and he faced the consequences of a misinterpreted culture. And for centuries our culture has been subject to such misinterpretation. Karna was not only a man who was wronged by circumstances but he was the only man in the entire epic that was fighting a war with each and every aspect of society. He was not only suffering trauma because the society was unfair to him but he was a symbol of the actual structure of the Indian society when it was first developed. Karnas life stands as an example for all that is wrong and surprisingly it's very relevant in today's world and will continue to be like that. Karnas character was perfect for me to touch the topics that I wanted to address in my second book. Karna is an embodiment of the idea of an ideal society that we want to build while he is also an example of the all the struggle that will go into the making of such a society. Karna was a character through whom I was able to present to people where we went wrong with our culture and how important it is to read and understand the Vedas ourselves than relying on some individuals to spoil it for us.

How difficult it was for you to sideline the character of Krishna as whenever we think of Mahabharat, his prominence and character is most talked no matter what?

Krishna I feel is a very charming character to read about apart from the fact that he is worshipped as well. It was not very difficult to put aside his character because there were rare instances when Karna or Krishna met. Though Krishna knew a lot about what Karna was facing we must also remember that Karna’s dream was to learn from the king of Dwarka but he couldn’t. You can never put apart any character when talking about the other as lives as we see in Mahabharat are intertwined with each other in strange patterns. You can stress over one character and that is what I tried to do. Since, I was dealing with Karna I tried to make sure it remained about him while not forgetting to reflect how others impacted his life. That became a little stressful sometimes because as you said that Krishna is prominent and the moment we talk about Mahabharat, Krishna becomes important. More than difficult it was stressful I would say because instead of Lord Krishna I had to stress over the brilliant Strategist Krishna. Other than a charming mediator Krishna was a very shrewd and complex politician of the epic war. You have to lay your plan well when dealing with such distinguished characters.  

Who are you more inclined towards- Lord Ram or Lord Krishna?

First of all I think both Lord Ram and Krishna are such beautiful characters so distinct from each other yet connected together strangely. I am a Bundela Rajput and my roots from Orchha gives me a unique sense of inclination towards Ram whom we most of the time address as Raja Ram than Lord Ram. Also, over the course of years my ancestors settled in Bhagalpur in Bihar not far away from Mithila made me understand the culture of Ramayan more than that of Mahabharat as a young girl. Orchha being the second Ayodhya of India has a strong cultural influence over the Bundela’s and Ram being the King there is always a strong sense of belongingness that connects me more to Ram ji. I admire Krishna very much though; clever, witty, intelligent, sharp and so-so shrewd that it might annoy you and also make you wonder.

Do you think Ramayan and Mahabharat are just stories or it really happened on our planet?

I do not think that these are mere stories. I am studying Archaeology and frankly speaking there might not be traces of so many people fighting a war or whatever reason people use to deny the existence of the characters I would like to rather say that we must remember that we had an oral culture. Most of the knowledge being translated orally we cannot be sure that facts were not exaggerated. You know human tendency is to exaggerate things and then these stories have been a part of our culture since a very long time. Now you know gossip is more reliable sometimes than documents. There is a clear possibility that the Shaunaks and Vachaks did make things larger than life but that does not end the possibility of truth behind these stories.

I really term these as History than mythology so yes I believe that these characters might have existed in the past sometime.

How easy or hard it is for you to embed philosophy between your storyline?
It is frustrating actually because if you want to reach to a larger mass you must simplify everything and then present it, in the course of doing that you tend to lose control over your own ideas sometimes. Also, I believe in keeping the language lucid so that even if a beginner is reading they will not have to struggle. Philosophy is something very difficult to simplify truly because the ideas come from a complex living culture older than any other culture in the world. Also, people sometimes do not want to hear these philosophies so it becomes a task to inculcate those little aspects of spirituality and philosophy in between the story. It even takes about a month sometimes to finish just one chapter what is again not thrilling. Imagine thinking about the same one line for over a month day and night. But the best part comes when I finally finish it; the satisfaction is beyond words of course.

Which are your favorite Indian authors who write in the same genre as you?

I love reading Kavita Kane mam’s books. She is a brilliant story teller. Amish Tripathi is again wonderful without debate; the originality of his ideas is beautiful. Not precisely mythology but the philosophy that comes from it is also beautifully explained by Osho.

What is the next book that you are working upon and how soon we can read it?

My next book is about a character from Ramayan, I am still working on it but I think I will soon complete it in about a month. I am not sure if I can reveal the name of the character right now but I can surely speak about the central idea.

I am basically trying to bring out the growth of Feminism in our Epics through the new character. Trying to explore the various shades of human character their change in behaviour in different circumstances and also how philosophy and power can be balanced with just how you are mentally.

I hope it comes out this year itself and is also loved by the readers.

Any words for your readers who love reading your book..

Nothing is more important to a writer than their readers. I can only thank each and every person who read the book and sent me their comments. I love reading what the readers think of my book and I can never thank anyone enough for all the responses I got. And every review I received made me realize where I can make things better and I can only try and make the next read better for all. “With not typos and mistakes to be precise” haha…






12 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Annant Mittal: Enjoy the world of books and your life will always be magical (Interview)

1907th BLOG POST

Recently I read a book named “Wadiya Singh visits planet Sparkle” and everything about the book was cool such as its story, artwork, writing style, characters and narration. But something that surprised me more than that was the age of the author of the book, Annant Mittal, who is just 8 years old. Writing such a positive and motivating book at this age has been a wonderful fact which I don’t get to see often in my reading journey. This made me curious to know more about Annant and hence I sent him some questions for interview. I finally have the answer which I want to share with all my readers so that you can support him and read his beautiful book.


Hi Annant, how do you feel after becoming an author and publishing a book?

I’m extremely happy, excited and truly grateful. Now, I’m even more motivated to continue my journey in writing.


Since when are you writing?

I started writing short notes for my mother, on her birthday or as part of treasure hunt when I was about 5 years old. From then on, I started exploring writing short essays about how my day was and sometimes short rhyming poems. When I was about 7, I wrote a story about Wadiya Singh which my parents really appreciated and it became my first published work, ‘Wadiya Singh and the Incredible Sikander’. Since then, I’ve maintained a journal and often write my thoughts and ideas.


Do you remember the 1st piece that you had written? Can you share with us what it was related to?

The first proper essay that I wrote was about animals, specifically about a black racoon. His trials and his journey through the deep dark forest. I love happy endings so everything worked out great in the end. The fun part was writing about his difficult journey.


Tell us something about the inspiration behind what made you think and write about "Wadiya Singh visits planet Sparkle".

I had to write a short assignment on aliens at school. After writing it, I completely forgot about it and last year during the lockdown I found it while looking for something. That’s when I started building on it and included Wadiya Singh and eventually it lead to ‘Wadiya Singh visits Planet sparkle’.

How did you develop the character of "Zazoo"? Did you take any reference from movies or books or you imagined completely by yourself?

For me, Zazoo is an extension of who I am. Right from his hairstyle to his love for science and technology, he is everything I am and aspire to be. Since he is an alien from another planet, I wanted him to look different yet fun.


We saw that you have talked about caring for planet in your book. How do you try at your personal level to take care of the same?

In my house and at school, we are taught to be as eco-friendly as possible. For example, I don’t use plastic or foil paper at all. I try and recycle a lot, be it with paper or card boards. I don’t use the shower, instead use buckets. I use bamboo tooth brush, seed pencils, steel straws and segregate my waste. I also love growing plants at home.


What are you going to write in your next book? Can you please share with us?

Somethings should be a surprise. Don’t you think so?

Stay tuned…


Any message for the readers who are picking your book and enjoying the same?

Enjoy the world of books and your life will always be magical.

Most importantly, Stay Wadiya






10 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Unfinished: A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Book Review: 2.75*/5) !!!

1906th BLOG POST

5th Book of 2021

Well, everyone who knows me are aware of my craziness for Priyanka Chopra. This started right from when I saw her in her first small appearance in the movie “The Hero” and later when the promos of her Bollywood movies started back to back, I just kept falling in love with her. And this stayed till 4 years back after which she moved out of India and left Bollywood as if it didn’t matter to her. When I learnt that she is releasing a book on her life, I got very excited and purchased one for myself and completed reading it within 4 days itself.


To start with, I had lots of expectation with Priyanka Chopra’s book named “Unfinished” but unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything motivating enough to move me out of my current mindset. Yes, there are few quotes here and there which are effective but the way her life story has been written without a proper flow makes it hard to understand what’s exactly happening and with a new occurrence in her life, what kind of transformation she really goes through and how challenging it is for her to cope up with it. Most of the times, she ends up discussing and introducing her family members or Nick Jonas’.


Most of the people who know Priyanka Chopra know through her Bollywood career and let me tell you, the way she has completely ignored her journey with Hindi film industry speaks a lot about a person’s attitude towards being gratitude for the platform which gave the utmost recognition and success. She looks completely in awe of whatever is happening with her in USA and has no inclination or nostalgia attached with her own country anymore. This feeling can be experienced as a reader in every page that you’ll read and it becomes irritating after a point of time. At times, you will even feel as if the book is written only for her new American friends who don’t know about her as she ends up describing Indian culture most of the times in the book.


The book starts with her childhood and school days where she tells how she had to live away from her parents with her relatives and then how she migrated out of India for a long time (even then) from where she learnt many things on how to handle herself against bullies, discrimination and competition. Later, she talks descriptively about various challenges she and her mother faced when they entered Miss India and Miss World competition in her late teens. Reading the final part of that story does give some inspiration for sure but nothing which will wake you up from your dull life.


Then she tells on how she prepared for her acting career and the challenges faced there as she got rejected from movies and replaced by other actresses who had better connections with the respective actors of the movie. But again, as I said above, there are many stories about Priyanka Chopra that we have heard from media – some of them must be true as well as false on which she could have shed some light and helped us know her perspective but what she has done is – spoken only about those factors which are already available in the public forum or where she has already given some lights before. This was very disappointing as we don’t get to know any more about her personality than what we are already aware of. I was also looking for certain instances as to what would be her 1st reaction when she would be meeting Bollywood legends like Amitabh Bachchan or Shahrukh Khan etc. but alas, there is no mention of all these at all.


Overall, this is quite a disappointment considering that you don’t learn anything from this autobiography which is generally an intention of a reader when he/she picks up a book from such genre of such a personality. How she maintains her hard schedule, her workout style, her view on yoga and meditation, her opinion about being workaholic, multi-tasking, Me-too campaign, nepotism in Bollywood, fight against depression etc. is not discussed at all. I believe all of this is her USP and it could have been a magical book if she focused more on what kind of efforts one has to invest to reach from being a normal girl to an International artist than talking in depth about her marriage ceremonies, Miss India/World competitions, UNICEF campaign in details etc. At some places, she is telling us things about how it happens in India – well, why do you need to focus on that? The focus should have been on her attitude towards things, people, work etc. Also, the book sometimes looks as if a newcomer is trying to grab attention even when Priyanka Chopra is now world-known.


I seriously couldn’t understand why this memoir has been written at all when it didn’t have any good self-help or opening-oneself-to-all agenda. I give this book just 2.75 stars out of 5. And yes, in the kind of pricing this is being made available to the readers, don’t think twice in ignoring this book while surfing on Internet or browsing at a bookshop. A very anticipated book has been written in a very careless form – at times in a language and vocabulary sounding like a teenager.


Well, that’s all.






5 March 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Wadiya Singh visits planet Sparkle by Annant Mittal (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1905th BLOG POST 

4th Book of 2021

Well, it has been quite some time that I got chance to go through my childhood books which I have kept it very neatly like some important assets of my life – the ones like Chandamama, Champak, Wisdom etc. But I miss those innocent books and even the innocence in me which made me love those beautiful stories. Haha! I have a 5-years old kid whom I have seen and observed since she was just 6 months old and therefore, I keep on gifting her something or the else on her birthdays. She recently had her 5th birthday and I thought of finally starting to gift her books rather than dresses and games. I found this very interesting book named “Wadiya Singh visits planet Sparkle” written by an 8-years old kid named Annant Mittal.


It was such a surprise knowing that an 8-year old can imagine such a beautiful story and even write it so perfectly that you won’t find any childishness or immaturity throughout the 35-odd pages. It is a short story which talks about the character named Wadiya Singh who is one among us on our Planet Earth but ends up meeting Zazoo, an alien who landed upon Earth from his planet Sparkle. It talks about how they end up becoming friends and share their respective lifestyles with each other. I liked how Annant has designed the story where he talks about many fantasy-related stuffs and even ends up describing another planet which is bit different from planet Earth. The way he has converted his imagination and thoughts into words is applaudable.


Through the story, the author has also tried to give some knowledge to his readers where there are few good words which the target audience of this book might not be familiar with. For the same, he has provided a separate list in the end of the book where the words and their respective meanings are enlisted for reference which one can read and learn and further use in their daily life. Along with this, he has very beautifully explained what is meant by galaxy, planets, asteroids and the concepts such as revolution and the impact of distance between the Sun and the respective planets.


Author has tried giving several social messages through his short story too – such as:

  • -        How healthy food needs to be adopted for healthy lifestyle
  • -       Why plastic bags should be completely boycotted from our planet to ensure environment-friendly life.
  • -      The need to have compassion towards animal and feel empathy and sympathy with them.
  • -      Treating the whole planet as our home and not littering anywhere we want.
  • -      The importance of planting trees and being associated with the nature as it is the source of all the lives of the planet.


Along with the story, with each section of it, author has included very beautiful artwork which makes it more exciting to read as we get to visualize through the illustrations, drawings and paintings how the world of Wadiya Singh and Zazoo is. I really appreciate the efforts made behind these artworks on every page. Author has also added certain puzzles and riddles in the end of the book which will make it very exciting for anyone to enjoy it after completing the book. Along with the book, you get a very cute stuffed toy which is given form of Zazoo. I must also appreciate Sonalika Publications for giving such a good publishing quality to this book which does more justice to the story and motivation of the author.


This book is a very cool pick for your kids or neighbours where children are between the age range of 4 to 9 years. They will surely love the magic this book has for them. I give this effort considering all the factors a good 4.5 stars out of 5. It deserves more but I want Annant to write more and better than this hence I am not giving him 0.5 stars which he rightly deserves.