Vinci Da (Movie Review)

Movie: Vinci Da
Director: Srijit Mukherji
Producer: Shree Venkatesh Films

Story by:

  • Rudranil Ghosh
  • Srijit Mukherji


  • Rudranil Ghosh
  • Ritwik Chakraborty
  • Sohini Sarkar
  • Anirban Bhattacharya
  • Riddhi Sen


  • Anupam Roy
  • Indradeep Dasgupta

Language: Bengali

Released On: 12 April, 2019

Plot Review:

It’s the story of two people:

The first is an Artist: a make-up artist, whose passion is as great as his talent but he is not appreciated the way he deserves.

The second is a Lawyer: a failed lawyer, who is obsessed with law and can go to any extent to fight with crime, even if that requires him to commit crime himself.

The story begins when they both meet:

The lawyer brings an exciting offer to the artist and the artist accepts it taking it as a challenge to his passion, something that would bring out his talent.

The tale is about the “Art of Revenge” and the “Revenge of Art”:

The failed lawyer uses art to take his revenge but later art takes its revenge too.

The movie is remarkably weaved around psychological trauma, emotional turmoil, philosophical insights and artistic urges.

It presents how being obsessed with anything is dangerous, even if it’s with law and justice. It presents how one’s talent can prove fatal to oneself, art can eat away the artist.

There are some great dialogues in the movie: some makes us ponder, some makes us laugh, some strikes us with its sheer irony and some just leaves a trail of them in our heart.

Although the story has a deep tragedy and dark truth underlying it, the humour and irony that encircles it prevents it from being an overall dark movie. The morality which is preserved in the end, refrains the audience from getting upset and in a way brings peace to their mind.

All the actors and actresses did a commendable job bringing the great plot to life with their remarkable acting skills.

The background music as well as the songs are perfectly in line with the story, enhancing its effect on the consciousness.

The most impressive feature of the movie lies in the way it brought justice without harming the morality aspect. It’s quite difficult to maintain the subtle balance, yet the movie has succeeded to handle it with care.

The message that I found in the story is:

If one can tame their mind to realise their mistakes and work towards rectifying them, then they are not criminals; but if they refuse to acknowledge their mistakes and try to justify their crime, they definitely are criminals.

My Journey with Writing

My journey with writing has been a pretty long one. Believe it or not, I started quite young. Of course, they weren’t mature enough but they streamed directly from my heart.

I perhaps began by writing letters right after I learnt to write complete sentences. Maybe it was then that I discovered the power of words to express one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Like all kids, I was fascinated by the stories that my mother used to narrate; but it took me some time to realize that not only do I wish to listen to those stories but also I want to write new ones: discover the fantastic world on my own and brew my own tales about it.

I don’t exactly remember how it started, but I vaguely remember having dreams that spoke to me, and in a way, narrated my own versions of those stories. And I didn’t hesitate to write them down.

My mother perhaps still have some of those fancy notebooks where I scribbled my tales. Being a writer herself, she never failed to encourage me.

I don’t know if writing is something to be found in genes, but my mother is definitely my inspiration, the torchbearer of my journey. Not only did she introduced me to the world of stories, but also held my hand as I ventured directly into it.

While my father stood there as the silent supporter I can always fall back to.

And so began my journey: from writing short imaginative tales to penning down my novel, it has really been a long and great one.

I never imagined to become a published writer or set writing as my career goal. I always wrote to please myself, to express my thoughts.

But then, I did. And the experience couldn’t have been better. Not only did I discover the wide circle of readers but also got to meet many published authors and aspiring writers.

I didn’t ever imagine the world of books to be such a huge one and the journey towards it to be so amazing. So great is the journey that I don’t even want it to have a destination: I just want to stay in the journey forever.

The Last Nautch Girl (Book Review)

“Sonabari is our home. It might be hell. But it is still home.”

Mingling history, romance and detective genre together, the book “The Last Nautch Girl” by C Phillip promises to offer a very different taste of storytelling technique.

The native ex-dancer at the ancient Gold House, Mrinalini is harboring a deadly secret. She is hiding five patriotic men in the lower echelons of the Sonabari. They are accused of the notorious cold-blooded murder of Major Harold Armitage and are waiting for a means to escape the city. Trusting Mrinalini is their only way to safety. But when Captain White arrives at the Gold House to investigate the murder, Mrinalini finds herself at a crossroad. She have to choose between her affection for the handsome young officer and her love for her Motherland. Will Mrinalini sacrifice the just and captivating White to prove her loyalty to her Motherland or risk being branded a traitor by her own people?

Brewed with unexpected twists and turns and little surprises, the element of suspense and mystery is build up very artistically. As the readers proceed deep into the story, they are greeted by so many mysteries that it’s difficult to keep track of each of them. And this is exactly what keeps their eyes glued till the end of the book, rendering it unputdownable.

Historical fiction as it is, the readers are sure to get a taste of the ancient flavour of the country at the time of the British Raj. With the author’s picture perfect descriptions, the book not only becomes a reader’s paradise for the history lovers but also tugs at the heart strings of those who never loved history.

The element that makes the technique of storytelling unique is the shift of scenes in a way that the story is visible from every perspective, and not just through the eyes of the protagonists. Another speciality of the book is that every single character has a back story to them that are connected in some way or the other. It’s as if several stories are tied to one single string with the underlying element being love: be it conjugal love, motherly affection, sisterly care, forbidden romance or one’s love for their Motherland.

Written in lucid language, swift flow, with unlimited humor and sarcasm, the book has a way of fast-forward narration. It tells the later story first and then move backwards to narrate the previous incident. It’s a remarkable trick played by the author to heighten the curiosity of the readers who will have no other options than to keep turning the pages to discover the mystery behind the scenes.

Amid all the suspense, thrill and mystery, the author didn’t forget to bring Nature to life, again with her picture perfect descriptions that brings all the scenes alive in front of the eyes as if the readers are actually a part of the story, visualizing everything with their own eyes.

The story is set in Kolkata. Although most of the incidents take place within the ambit of Sonabari or is centered around it, one cannot just miss the subtle flavour that the city of joy brings to the story. And since it’s set in Kolkata, the author takes care that the readers don’t miss the Durga Puja and intertwines the greatest festival of the city with the thrilling journey of the book.

The same descriptive technique is used in bringing the characters to life. The readers will face no difficulty in imagining them and at the end of the story, the readers will feel as if they have known all the characters since ages. Also, knowing their back stories will enable the readers to understand them better, sympathize with them and share their emotions. The strong character of Mrinalini is sure to entice the readers with the beauty of her thoughts, emotions and courage. Captain White will definitely captivate the readers and occupy a soft corner of their hearts with his hunger for justice, courage and romantic demeanor. The patriotic youths are represented so realistically that the readers can almost see the fire in their eyes. All the other characters as well as the villains, traitors and the Britishers also play their roles well.

The captivating title of the book is perfect as the story revolves around the last Nautch girl, Mrinalini Devi, the ex-dancer of Sonabari who made sure that none of the other girls suffer the same plight as the previous Nautch girls of her times.

The enticing cover complements the title capturing the essence of the Nautch girls of those times with their bright sarees and golden ornaments, and the aura of the era gone-by.

Weaved with the elements of love, courage, suspense and artistic essence, “The Last Nautch Girl” by C Phillip invites the readers to hop into the thrilling historical adventure amid romance and murder mysteries.

“Be like the river. Find your own path.”

Types of People in a Traffic Jam (Fun Blog)

Many a times we find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam and while we are at it, we get to meet a variety of people who amuses us with their behavior.

So, without further ado, let’s see the types of people I meet every time I’m stuck at a traffic jam.

Shrewd Bikers: These are the people who try to insert their bikes in any gap possible to get away faster but actually get stuck there for hours.

Incessant Honkers: These are the people who believe that “horns” and “honking” alone have the supreme power to move the cars lined in front of them and clear the traffic.

Confused Walkers: They are the ones who cannot decide which way to take to avoid getting stuck in the traffic mid-way and so move like snakes from one tiny gap to another, and eventually get stuck.

Complain Box: Initially they begin by complaining about the traffic, but then gradually they drag the entire country in it, finally blaming everything on the “lazy” government and its “obsolete” systems.

Comment Passers: These are the people who know nothing better than to pass comments like a “Mr. Know All” regarding what should be done in order to clear the traffic and solve the “traffic problems” for ever, or solve any problem of the Universe for the matter. But the fun part is, they don’t do anything themselves but want others to do it for them!

Slang Donors: These are the people who make traffic an issue to practice their slang donating capabilities and revises all the slangs they have ever learnt in their entire lifetime by fluently reciting them one after the other without taking a break.

Phone Checkers: These people utilise the opportunity of being stuck in the traffic to check their phones– WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. And then click a selfie to post it in all their social networking sites with the hashtag “stuck in the traffic jam”.

Fun Mongers: These are the people who stand there just to poke some fun at the cost of the poor public stuck in the jam.

Patient Waiters: They are the ones who stand at the end of the queue and keep waiting patiently for their turn to move forward which never comes.

Road Manager: This is that one person who suddenly arrives out of nowhere and starts directing the vehicles the ways to move forward. Annoying at times, they actually help in clearing the traffic at least to some extent.

So, this was a fun blogpost that streamed down from the years of observation. Which one among these are you? Clearly, I’m the second last one who patiently waits and observes the people around. How many of them have you met? Do you have anything more to add to the list? Let me know in the comment section!

15 Introvert Things to Do While Stuck at Home

Let’s stay indoors for a few days and let’s make our struggle against Corona a huge success.

But easier said than done! Many people are finding it tough to deal with the boredom that comes with sitting back at home and doing nothing. Well, not for us introverts! We have thousands of things that we can do while sitting in the comfort zone of our house with a cup of coffee in our hand.

And for all the extroverts out there who are worried to the bones as to how they will remain alive if they stay at home, here are a few introvert things you can try to keep yourself occupied while you are chilling at your home during this difficult period of self-quarantine:

1. Read: Well, that’s something we introverts love to stay indoors for. Books are the best company to spend your time with. So, grab a book and enjoy your vacation indoors. I’m sure you won’t ever regret it.

2. Write: If you are bored with reading, then unlease the writer in you and pick up your pen: write a poem or a story or even an article; and share it with all of us who are with you in this.

3. Paint: And if you think that’s too much of creativity, try something easier: Paint. You don’t have to be a professional painter and put your thoughts to canvas; but you can just download a picture from the internet and try to replicate it with your own imagination.

4. Click Pictures: Try your hand at photography by clicking the best pictures of any random things books, musical instruments, furniture, etc. I, as a book reviewer, click a lot of pictures of books; you can try taking photos of anything which you like.

5. Listen to Music: Release your stress as you paint or do any other work and increase your concentration by listening to your favorite music and just relax a bit without worrying too much.

6. Listen to Audiobooks: This is something which is gaining a huge popularity now. So, why not try this out as well? Try putting on your headphones and listen to a nice story being narrated to you as you sit in the comfort of your house with a cup of coffee in your hand.

7. Recite a Poem: Remember how we loved to do this as a child? Awaken the child within you and begin again. Be it your childhood rhymes or adult poems, pick a book and recite. And if you think you are doing great, do record it and share it with us.

8. Dance: And if you think these are too much of lazy things, then put on some jazz music and dance your head off to the tune: that’d definitely tire you and make you feel alive again.

9. Do Household Chores: Ignite the homemaker in you and do some household chores to tire your body. Wash a few dishes, clean the house or declutter all the mess that you just couldn’t manage time to get cleared. Sounds boring? Not if you combine it with some upbeat music and move to its tune while you do your work.

10. Exercise: Not only will this keep you busy but also keep you fit and help you lose that extra fat that you are liable to gather sitting all day doing nothing at home.

11. Cook: Food has the power to lift your dull moods, then why not cook something delicious and enjoy it with your family? Take out that old recipe book or watch a YouTube video and prepare a perfect delicacy.

12. Watch your favorite shows: Your vacation at home will be over but not the enormous number of web series and movies available on the internet. Watch those that comes for free or get a subscription to your favorite website and enjoy your time while you laze around at home.

13. Play indoor games: We almost forgot about them, didn’t we? Ludo, snake and ladders, carrom, chess, cards, Chinese checker, etc.: the games that used to be our favorite as a kid. Why not try them out again instead of gluing our eyes to our phones all the time? Moreover, isn’t this a remarkable way to bond with our family? Let’s grab all the happy moments that we missed spending with them due to our work load.

14. Try Online Courses: There are multiple such websites available that would offer you such great courses to be completed within a few months. Weren’t there a single time when you wished to take a break from work and try your hand at something new, at something you really loved? Well, here’s is the time now! Enroll yourself for the online course that best suits your passion and enjoy your time.

15. Try your hand at Crafts: This is something that can take up an enormous amount of your time without you even knowing it! Whether you have some great idea of your own or take the help of the several YouTube videos, try spending some of your time at creating something decorative, useful or simply beautiful, and I promise, you won’t regret it.

These are just a few ideas to enjoy your time at home while you self-quarantine yourself, and I’m sure there are many more such impressive things to do while you stay in there to keep yourself busy. Find those and do them, instead of worrying your head off and putting yourself in bad mood.

Let’s treat this as a vacation at our own home and let’s bring some positivity in this hard time and difficult situation our country is going through. Let’s fight this together and let’s make this time effective for our personal growth and enjoy while taking care of our safety.

Stay Safe, Stay Blessed, Stay Happy. Always.

Expanding the Idea of Motherhood!

Motherhood completes women. Yes, it sure does! In fact, it completes the entire human race. It grants one the divine pleasure of procreation, of creating something. But it’s not necessary that it has to be a baby. Yes, it can be anything. You can be the mother of an idea, a scientific invention, a novel, a design, music, a painting, an art form—anything. And the euphoria of the creation would be same. For human beings always have this burning desire to create—whatever it may be and however tiny or grand.

Remember, how once God created this Universe from nothing? Yes, it’s more or less the same happiness, the same satisfaction, the same ecstasy that one feels in creating something from scratch. And when you are creating it, then you must be the mother. So, welcome to Motherhood!

Do you know that feeling when you are struggling to solve an issue for a long time, and then bam! One day, after a lot of brainstorming, an idea hits you that not only solves the problem but also changes your life and many other lives, if it’s that big. Well, don’t you think that happiness is equal to the joy of creation? I guess, it definitely is!

Or, think of all the scientific inventions. How ecstatic the scientists would have been when they finally discover or invent the thing they have been devoting all their time to! They perhaps had just a few clues and some instruments to work with and with those they managed to create something that has the power to benefit the entire mankind. Isn’t that magical?

Have you ever wondered about the pains a writer undergoes to give birth to a novel? Those struggles their mind goes through to come up with the perfect word, the perfect sentence, the perfect phrase that would express exactly what they feel in their heart. And then, when finally they are able to put everything together into a perfect book, do you think the happiness is any less than the bliss of motherhood? And when they hold the book in their hand, the feeling is exactly the same as holding your new-born baby in your arms.

The struggles of the songwriters are the same too. They too struggle while composing something that would fit into the sweet harmony of the music they are trying to create. They too feel the same pain when they want to give birth to a song but know not exactly how to come out with it. And then, when finally they succeed in doing it, they embrace the joy of motherhood.

The same is true for the painters as well. They strive to decide the perfect shade, the perfect colour that would bring their imagination alive on the canvas and express their emotions without using any words. And when it’s done—all colourful and dry—they will run their hands over it and feel as if a mother is touching her child for the first time.

Even the designers go through the same struggle every single moment to come up with something that will be new, trendy and attractive. They ransack their brain for new ideas, for unique designs, for a style that would stay in vogue for a long time. And then suddenly a brainwave hit upon them and they know exactly what to do. Isn’t that a beautiful birth too?

All these are true for every single art form, every single ounce of creativity that streams down into the world through our endless struggle. We burn our midnight oils to create something innovative, something new, something unique that would express our artistic self and grant us the pleasure of watching ourselves bring something to existence. And that’s the idea of motherhood, right? With a mind pregnant with thoughts, we nurse our brain-child within ourselves; we weave our dreams around it and finally we give birth to a beautiful piece of art for the world to see and for us to dance in the mirth of motherhood. After all, a brain-child is also a child, right?

And then, there is another side of motherhood too. It’s the part where you nurture something with great love and care. And what’s more, you don’t even have to give birth to do that. You can always adopt. And I’m not just talking about a child; you can adopt a pet or even a plant. And in caring for it, nursing it and witnessing it grow—seeing your pet perform amazing stunts or watching your tiny plant bear flowers—you will get the exact pleasure as watching your kid learn to walk on their own.

And the fun fact is that the term “Motherhood” doesn’t concern a particular gender, irrespective of what the society had made you believe. It’s not just “a woman thing”, just a “feminine quality”, as it is assumed to be. A man can have it too. For if motherhood is all about creating something on your own accord and nurturing something with care and affection, then isn’t it something that the men can do as well? The moment you create something or take care of something or someone, you become its “mother”. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a man or a woman. The feeling of “motherhood” was never gender specific; it was always about unconditional love, care and affection.

So, this Women’s Day, let’s broaden our spheres. Let’s break all the stereotypes and free ourselves from all our prejudices. This Women’s Day, let’s gift ourselves the divine joy of motherhood.

“Just sow the seeds of love in your heart
And the whole world will be your child.”

15 Things on My List as New Year Resolution

Time and again I had been setting some unrealistic goals as my New Year Resolution, which is why I was never able to accomplish them. So, this year I thought “let’s get real” and set some goals which aren’t hard to achieve if I give them a try. So, without further ado, let’s peep into my New Year Resolutions!

1. Be more calm and composed: I guess after all the lessons I learnt in 2019 and after being thankful for so many things in the last year, being a bit of calm and composed in my attitude towards life won’t be a difficult thing to practice.

2. Take less stress and do more work: This is something I forgot to take care of the last year. Just sitting and thinking about the quantity of pending works will only increase my stress and not lessen the pressure. So, it’s better not to be too stressed out and to think, take and finish one job at a time, without freaking out about the loads that I need to complete.

3. Be Practical: I seriously need to work on this because sometimes it is necessary for emotional fools like me to be more practical and less emotional while taking important decisions in life.

4. Care less, live more: My journey through several ups and downs last year made me realise that if I keep worrying about what will others think, I’d never be able to do anything with confidence and I’ll fail to live my life on my terms. So, this year I’ll care less about people’s opinions and live just the way I want to.

5. Be shameless: Not exactly “shameless” but more like “not being ashamed of myself”. In a society where people are always ready to judge you, defile you and belittle you, it is very important that we hold onto what we belief, never lose the believe in ourselves and never be ashamed of ourselves just because someone tried to bad-mouth us.

6. Write more articles and travelogues: Last year my blog became more about book reviews and, towards the end of the year, about interviews. But this year, I want it to include more articles and travelogues along with all the book reviews and interviews. I’m working hard on it, let’s see what it turns out to be.

7. Explore different genres of books: This year I want to read more of historical fiction, murder mystery, detective stories, mythological thriller, fantasy series, adventure stories, children books and the like. I guess this will not only add a variety to my reading taste but also enhance my writing skills.

8. Complete my ever increasing TBR (but I doubt): In my previous blog, I said how I buy books, fill my shelves and never read them. Well, so I decided that this year I’ll buy less books, read more and complete my ever increasing TBR, but still, I have serious doubts about this.

9. Be more active on social media: I’m kinda lazy and I keep delaying posting something on my social media handles and then later forget to do it altogether, which is why I keep vanishing from my handles time and again. Well, this year I promise to be more active there.

10. Work on my career goals: Too many goals and too little life! You see, I’m a Piscean and we are bound to be confused and we are destined to opt for multiplicity. The same happens to me when I try to decide on my career goals: there are too many tempting options and I can’t just choose one. So, I guess I need to work on that as well: prioritize one over the other.

11. Spend more time on music, painting, art and craft: This is something which I almost forgot about last year, but not any more. I have already started my work on this. I made a bridegroom’s turban this year and also focussing on my painting, while listening to a lot of music these days. It not only calm the mind or soothes the soul, but also increase my concentration and help me stay focused.

Bridegroom’s Turburn

My Painting of Radha-Krishna

12. Read a few pages before sleeping: I read or heard it somewhere that this is something that comes handy to grab a good night’s sleep and also help in clearing out some of the TBRs. I haven’t started doing this yet, but I definitely will in some time.

13. Try my hand at book photography: Although my photography skills has improved a lot, there are still many things left to be learnt. And this year, I’ll focus on that and let’s see if I can become a good book photographer at the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

14. Learn a few new things and explore what more I’m capable of doing: Last year was a fun rollercoaster ride for me where I explored that I’m capable of doing so many things that I never imagined I could. So, I decided to give a few more shots of such new things this year and see if I’m capable of doing them as well.

15. Strike a balance between family time and lone time: This is something I’m still struggling to handle. I love to spend time with my family but I also need some time to spend with myself as well. I’ll just have to figure out a way to strike a balance between the two.

So, on this note ends the long list of my new year resolutions. The list is long but I hope the goals aren’t too hard to achieve, so that I don’t end up procrastinating them for the next year like all of my previous years’ resolutions. I set these goals for me because I felt that these will bring a positive growth in me and lead me towards my path of self-discovery and self-confidence. So, Good Luck!

15 Things I’m Thankful for in 2019

After learning a whole lot of things from 2019, I guess it’s time that I thank the gone-by year for all the reasons it has given me to be happy. So, let’s go!

1. Meeting my Piscean Soul Sister: I’m 100% sure that the Universe has definitely conspired to make us meet, because I have no other way to describe this divine connection, understanding and bonding we have with each other. While reading her book “The Little Light”, I could sense a connection and as we gradually got to know each other, I felt that author Dipa Sanatani is just the matured version of me! And then, I found out that she is a piscean too, just like me. I always wanted to meet someone exactly like me, and 2019 has been gracious enough to let me meet my soul sister.

2. Being a part of a Remarkable Interview Project: This is the reason that brought Author Dipa Sanatani close to me and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be thankful for it. We chatted, shared our thoughts and got to know each other through the series of Interviews we did together as the part of the remarkable interview project that lasted for almost three months. And I must admit, those were the best months of 2019.

3. Winning 3 trophies: One year and three trophies is a bit overwhelming for me. 2019 had been very kind and generous to me, blessing me with three awards:

🏆First for Best Handwriting in English. (23rd January, 2019)

🏆Second for my Contribution to a Bengali Anthology: MonKotha. (1st December, 2019)

🏆 Third for my contribution to Maples, a book that holds Vajra World Record. (26th December, 2019)

4. Growing as a stage performer: This is so unbelievably huge that I still cannot believe it. I have stage fright: the moment I see a stage, my stomach wobbles and my heart thumps loudly. But thanks to the numerous programmes that 2019 offered to me where I had to perform on stage: be it for reciting poetry or giving speech, that forced me to take the first step towards becoming a stage performer, not completely a fearless one but definitely a little more confident one.

5. Meeting author Kapil Raj: I’ll be ever thankful to this great conference organised by Tillotoma Foundation. Not only did I get the chance to recite one of my poems from my book “Leisure” in a hall full of audience here, but also got the opportunity to meet the bestselling author Kapil Raj. We chatted and I got the copy of his novel “Endurer” signed by him while presenting him with a copy of my novel “Not Just a Love Story”. It was a proud moment for me and words aren’t enough to describe the happiness I felt that day.

6. Masters admission: After I broke-up with Physics, I never imagined that I’d ever find love for studies any more. But then, it happened. I fell in love again with my old school friend from the past, the English Language, while doing my Creative Writing Course and then I decided to give the relationship another try. I mustered my courage and took my admission for Masters in English and I must say I had never felt this happier. English and Literature had always been my calling, I just realized it a little late. But then, better late than never.

7. Successfully completing my Goodreads Challenge: When I took the challenge to read and review 50 books in a year, I didn’t realise it would be a tough one. Juggling studies with book reviews was a bit tough to handle but then finally I made it. I successfully completed my 2019 Goodreads Challenge, reading a total of 55 books, and thus crossing the challenge by 5 books.

8. Getting published in multiple anthologies: This year I felt as if my poems, stories and articles just refused to stay bound in the pages of my diary or the screen of my mobile notebook; because the moment I wrote something, I got a wonderful opportunity to publish it in some anthology or the other. I’ll be ever thankful to the year for filling one complete shelf of my bookshelf with all the author’s copy I got from contributing to the anthology.

9. Publishing my ebook: This was the birthday gift I gave myself last year to have something to remember the date 19.03.19 by. I published my ebook “Love is an Endless Wait” on the occasion of my 23rd Birthday and made the day even more special for myself.

10. Being a part of “Clips and Pages”: “Clips and Pages” is the best thing that happened to me. I cannot thank Sukanya and the year 2019 enough for showering this wonderful opportunity to be one of the co-founder of the organisation that was founded with the sole purpose of providing the opportunity for the writers to get published for free. And then we gradually grew from being just a publishing company to expanding our goals to walk on the path of a writer’s community that try to come up with innovative ideas and new challenges in order to bring new ventures into the creative world that would give the writers a chance to work on and improve their skills. And what’s more, after the successful launch of our new blog and YouTube channel, there is still a long journey waiting ahead that we are eagerly looking forward to.

11. Being acquainted with many good authors: Needless to say, reviewing books as well as publishing my own books gave me a great chance to be acquainted with many good authors who served to enrich my mind and soul in a way in which only the writers can.

12. Enhancing my Photography Skills: In my attempt to click perfect pictures to accompany my book reviews, my photography skills improved a lot. I believe that I can click better pictures now than I used to click when I started. But there is still a lot to improve and if 2020 is as graceful as 2019 then I’m sure I’ll achieve that feat too.

13. Keeping me busy: With all the book reviews, interviews, studies, projects, content writing and editing works, the year 2019 kept me too busy to let the negative thoughts enter into my mind and throughout the year, I only beamed with positivity.

14. Increasing my confidence: With all the goals that I achieved last year, my confidence and believe in myself increased to a level where I know what I’m capable of doing and I’m not afraid of taking new challenges anymore, because now I know that if I try, I can definitely do it.

15. Learning all the lessons: Last but not the least, it would be unfair not to be thankful for the 15 Lessons that I learned in 2019 which I already mentioned in my previous blog. These lessons broadened my perspective, changed the way I looked at life and paved the way towards the growth of my mind and soul.

And with this ends my Thanksgiving blog of thanking everything that made the last year worth cherishing. We always have a lot of complaints from life, but when it comes to expressing our gratitude towards it, we fail to provide at least one reason we should be thankful for when actually there are many! Well, I have done my bit and listed 15 things I’m thankful for in 2019. I may have missed some, because we tend to forget all the good things that life presents us while brooding over our pains. But deep down, I’m thankful for them too, for somewhere down the line they have shaped me into what I am today and helped me grow into a better version of myself.

15 Lessons I Learned in 2019

Besides being a very very very busy year, 2019 had also been a year of learning experience for me. The important lessons that I learnt in this year are crucial for understanding and dealing with life in a better way.

So, without much ado, let’s get into the lessons that I learnt in 2019:

1. Mess is good if that defines me:

I had a habit of doing everything perfectly. I panicked when things didn’t fall in place and it led to unnecessary anxiety. But juggling too many things in 2019, the one thing I realised was that mess can be beautiful too. Truly enough, things doesn’t need to be perfect in order to beautiful. I realised that I have a natural tendency to be messy and now I don’t regret it.

2. Greed is a dangerous thing, even if it’s for something good:

Well, this realisation came as a big blow to me and I couldn’t just accept it at first. All my life, I have absolutely tried to avoid being greedy for money, food, clothes or whatever it is. But I never realised that love for books can also get converted to greed and that’s dangerous too. My greed for books soon made me buy more and more books, more than I can finish reading. I took way too much book review programmes than I can handle and I kept missing deadlines. It filled my bookshelves and I had to buy a new one and then that got filled too with too many unread books. It made me anxious and I couldn’t sleep at night thinking of all the books that are waiting to be read. It is then that I suddenly realized that it’s not love and it’s greed and the realisation filled me with severe guilt. Well, I learnt it the hard way. But the good thing is I realised it before it was too late and I still have my chance to rectify my mistake.

3. Anger works best when it’s under control:

This is probably the greatest lesson of 2019 that I will cherish all through my life. Before I used to get very angry with the tiniest things and used to vent my anger and frustration in a way that I regretted later. The surge of guilt then made me change my ways and helped me learn to control my anger and channelise it towards creating something productive like weaving poetry to calm the raging fire in me.

4. Fear is just a thing to conquer:

This is the best lesson of 2019. All the challenges that the year nonchalantly threw at me made me fight with all my fears and anxieties and made me way more stronger than I ever was. As I moved ahead conquering one fear after the other, I realised that fear is just that: a thing to conquer.

5. Happiness is a state of mind:

With all the good things happening in my life in 2019, it’s not that difficult to infer that I was bound to be happy. But instead of limiting my happiness only to my achievements and material possessions, I realised that it’s also a state of mind. If you believe from the core of your heart that you are happy, irrespective of what your life is going through, then eventually you will definitely feel the mirth of happiness.

6. Acceptance is the key to happiness:

Needless to say that this is exactly how I found my happiness. Accepting the way I am, accepting my flaws and striving towards rectifying them, accepting the crossroad where my life stands at the moment, made me meet with my happiness.

7. Feeling of love calms the mind:

Well, for this realisation I have to give credit to the serial “Radha-Krishn” streaming on Star Bharat and Hotstar. Lord Krishna had always been my favourite person, my best friend and confidant and He never failed to inspire and encourage me. Really, the cast and the writers of “Radha-Krishn” had done a commendable job in bringing out the true meaning of love through the story of Radha-Krishna. It is through the stories and teaching of Lord Krishna that I learnt how we should conquer the subtle flaws we have within us in order to feel the sweet calming effect of love.

8. The concept of “Right Time” doesn’t exist:

I kept waiting for the right time to do certain things and it never arrived and then I lost my will to do them. And then, there are times when I felt it was too late to do a particular thing and so I skipped doing it altogether, even though I really wanted to. Well, this is exactly how I learnt this lesson and understood that time is always right to do the things that the heart desires.

9. Perfection is a Myth:

Well, as I said earlier, things doesn’t need to be perfect in order to be beautiful. Sometimes even perfection looks odd whereas mess seems wonderful. Perfection brings unnecessary anxiety while imperfection brews creativity. And sometimes it even makes you wonder whether there is even a thing called perfection?

10. Appreciate life as it is:

Because that’s the way towards happiness, that’s the road to a peaceful being and that’s the path towards a fulfilling life.

11. Good deeds are always rewarded:

Do good and you will never regret it. Rewards take time to arrive but when they do they drown you in the sea of happiness. I know that getting awarded shouldn’t be the reason for doing good, but still we do hope to get returns when we do something nice. And trust me, they do arrive. You will just have to believe.

12. Don’t be like someone else, be the best version of your own self:

This is one important lesson of life. As we go through different patterns of experiences, it’s quite possible that we lose our path in the crowd or get fascinated by someone so much that we try to imitate it. But that’s not how it works. We might get impressed by someone else’s work and that’s normal. But what needs to be taken care of is that, we use that to learn from them and improve ourselves, and not imitate it. There is a very subtle line of difference between the two, but it is very important to maintain the difference so as not to loose our own individuality and get carried away but to be the best version of our own self.

13. It is very important to be at peace with one self:

Life sometimes throws at us certain challenges that tries to disrupt our peace of mind. Sometimes we make certain mistakes that generates the guilt that drives away our peace. Or perhaps sometimes we see something that’s better than what we have or someone who is doing better than us and we let that to mess with our peace, while our happiness bids us a sad goodbye. At such phrases, it is very important to be at peace with oneself and accept what you cannot change and peacefully strive for the ones you definitely can. It’s a bit difficult but not impossible.

14. I can bear more pain than I give myself the credit for:

Again, the credit for this lesson goes to the challenges of 2019 that I faced and that made me realise that I’m capable of fighting my fears and anxieties and do certain things I thought myself to be incapable of.

15. The process of learning is painful, but it’s worth the pain:

The problem with life is that it first tests us and then teaches us. And that’s what makes our learning experiences a li difficult, for we are blindfoldedly participating in it, not knowing what the next step should be or what consequences it will bring. But then, as everything happens for a reason and the reason is to teach us the lessons of life, hence at the end of the day, all that pains we take to struggle through the challenges of life are totally worth it as it leaves us with deeper and greater understanding of life and the ways to deal with it.

And on that happy note, here ends my long blog of the lessons I learnt in 2019. Hope you like the post and hope these lessons bring some positivity to your life too just as they brought to mine’s. And I guess you too have learnt your own lessons in 2019, so why not write a blog about it to remind your future self of all the experiences that taught you and helped you grow.

The Reality Behind Fairytales and Folklore [Author Interview: Dipa Sanatani (Part V) On Folklore and Fairytales: Part II]

“Once upon a time… There was an experience called life.”

Fairytales and folklore have a long tradition, being embedded in the history of the mankind. Such stories, which were passed down orally from one generation to the next, still attracts the young and the adult alike, as they give the readers a feeling as if the stories are being narrated to them by some ancient storytellers. And with its dual purpose of entertainment as well as transmission of moral values, fairytales and folklore stood the test of time, quietly and skilfully seeping in their lessons into the heart of the readers without them thinking too hard about it.

Welcome to the last exclusive interview with author Dipa Sanatani where she reveals the subtle realities that goes behind fairytales and folklore. Resorting to the instances from the story “The Lion King“, author Dipa Sanatani meticulously brings out the significance of fairytales and folklore in our life. She talks about her book “The Little Light” and how she drew her inspiration for the mythical characters portrayed in her debut novel. Again with her signature style of anecdotal narration, author Dipa Sanatani reveals her interaction with the regal and solitary owls and the intimate connection that she feels with them. Creating a mystery to keep the suspense alive for her upcoming books in the series, author Dipa Sanatani ends her final interview with a word about the message that the readers might encounter in the book.

Read on to discover “The Reality Behind Fairytales and Folklore” as projected by author Dipa Sanatani.

“On some level, I feel I am very much like an owl. I like to spend time by myself and get lost in my own world.”

Q. How does one define or distinguish a fairytale or a folklore from other stories?

A: Fairytales and folklore are written for and by the common people. Traditionally, these were stories that we passed down orally from one generation to the next. Even when we read them these days, there is still this feeling that someone is narrating the story to you.

I’ve read all kinds of highbrow books in literature class that bored me to tears and took me ages to understand. Fairytales and folklore aren’t that complicated. But that doesn’t mean they’re simple-minded tales. They’re filled with depth and substance if you take the time to read between the lines.

Q. Why do you think it’s good for children to read fairytales?

A: For the morals and teachings embedded in the stories. A lot of media these days is far too focused trying to capture our short attention span with gimmicks and unnecessary sensationalism. From a storytelling perspective, this is a lousy shortcut.

Why do stories like The Lion King live on after so many years? Why do kids still love Harry Potter? Is it because of the cheap gimmicks and sensationalism? No.

It is because of good old-fashioned storytelling.

Q. As you might know, fairytales have two forms–one is the sweet flowery and morally simpler one written exclusively for the children, and another is the ancient crude form embedded with all the dark realities. Which one do you prefer to include in your books?

A: I don’t believe that fairytales in the past were sweet and flowery. Fairytales in modern times have been watered down A LOT to suit our current sensibilities. If you read the original versions of some of our most beloved tales, they didn’t hide the cruelty that exists in the world. In fact, they warned us of it.

Whilst The Little Light is perfectly ‘safe’ for younger audiences and does have a lot of light and beauty, I don’t believe I watered down any of the harsh realities that we encounter in this world. Light and dark – it is all part of the human experience.

Q. Fairytales have certain stories which are in sharp contrast with reality. Then, why do you think it’s important to learn from these tales?

A: I think the setting might have a sharp contrast from reality, but never the morals or the message. On the surface, The Lion King is a story about life in the jungle. But if you scratch beyond the surface, you’ll see that there’s a lot more than that to the story.

Through Simba’s journey to becoming king, we learn about how far people we seemingly trust are willing to go in their quest for power. Scar kills Mufasa and then pins the blame on Simba – who doesn’t realise at the time that it’s not his fault.

This kind of stuff still exists in the ‘real world’. Let’s not even pretend it doesn’t.

“Through Simba’s journey to becoming king, we learn about how far people we seemingly trust are willing to go in their quest for power.”

Q. Coming back to the novel: in “The Little Light” , the protagonist’s spirit animal is an owl. Where did you get the inspiration to create a character like Pirouzeh? How did you come up with such a mythical fairytale-like name?

A: I’m always been fond of owls. They’re not vicious, but they’re still birds of prey. In the animal kingdom, most species travel in packs – but the owl is a solitary creature. When I was in Japan, I went to one of their famous owl cafes and had a chance to spend time with owls.

There is something quietly regal about them. They are neither showy nor grandiose, but they hide a wealth of wisdom within them. They don’t just look at you. They look into you. And owls won’t just share themselves with anybody. You have to earn a place in their life.

As for the name… Pirouzeh actually means turquoise in Persian. (laughs) In The Little Light, Pirouzeh is a black owl with turquoise eyes… So there you go. As for the significance of these details, I will share more as the series goes on.

“Owls hide a wealth of wisdom within them. They don’t just look at you. They look into you.”

Q. How will you feel if Pirouzeh was your own spirit animal?

A: In one of our earlier interviews, you said how writers hide parts of themselves in their stories. On some level, I feel I am very much like an owl. Whilst people who know me by day might see a sociable and outgoing person, I’m actually quite private. I like to spend time by myself and get lost in my own world.

I believe it’s called daydreaming… A very enjoyable past time.

Q. Will the portrayal of the Little Light as a female character bring a subtle twist into the world of fairytales?

A: As for the Little Light’s gender – I don’t think it really plays a big role in the story. After all, the story takes place in the Cosmic Womb – a realm in between worlds where these things don’t have as much significance as they do on planet earth.

One of the reasons why I chose the owl as The Little Light’s spirit animal is because in some species of owls, the female is larger than the male… And female owls choose their own mating partners. Owls are also generally monogamous – and sometimes even mate for life.

“The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.”

Q. Can we expect to see some magical elements at play in “The Little Light” since it encompasses fairytales?

A: The Little Light is based on mythology. Is that magical? I suppose it is…

Q. If you ever get a chance to meet one of the fairytale character from your book, which one will that be and why?

A: I created them. I’ve already met them all.

Q. What is the defining message you want people to take from the book?

A: I wrote the story I wanted to write. As for the message that people will take away from it – that’s out of my hands. I do hope they enjoy it… and that they understand the hidden morals and messages in what is seemingly a children’s story. ‘Cause it isn’t just a fairytale.

Once upon a time… There was an experience called life. And if you sit down with The Little Light for a few hours, I am honoured to have been a part of yours.

“Light and dark – it is all part of the human experience.”

We wish Dipa Sanatani all the best for her novel “The Little Light” and all the books in the series that would be woven with the elements of fairytales and the underlying messages of the folklore.

“It isn’t just a fairytale.”

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