Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Beauty and The Stories

She thought she possibly had some vague idea of a half cooked story probably taking a cloudy little shape in her head.

Knowing her, that was enough.

This would comfortably make for a fascinating fifteen minutes over tea. As I relaxed deeper in my cane chair relishing the cool evening breeze after a not so hard days work, she began.


For the next fifteen minutes, that was about all I did as she painted images with words while her eyes danced around like little children, having come late for the puppet show, scampering around to get a better view.

And I imagined.

I imagined how life changes, in a matter of moments, from a bland endless desert to a red, blue, yellow, green, and many more colored underwater coral reef.

I imagined how easy it is to just put your leg up and relish heaven, as you look into the eyes that change colors from happy to chirpy to silent to ecstatic with each line of an imagined story.

I imagined how wonderful it is to imagine, when she tells you, "Imagine...".

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blogger Friends Review "Knots and No Crosses"

Guys.. reviews have started pouring in for 'Knots And No Crosses - Heartbreak after heartbreak, he still dreams of a perfect wedding...' and needless to say the reaction has been good. Well, what the heck, its actually been overwhelming! I just hope the publisher is able to make it available across enough bookstores for the the book to pick momentum by word of mouth.

The overall review, in short, has been that everyone liked it. Almost no one who picked it up, put it down before finishing it, and everyone thinks its a fantastic first attempt. Some have rated it a notch above 'Five Point Someone' in terms of the entertainment quotient, and more than a few notches in terms of quality of writing!

Am sharing the reviews of some of our blogger friends. For the complete set of reviews check 'The Readers' section of the book website here.


"It (Knots And No Crosses) makes for a compulsive reading. It was after maybe three odd years that I read a book in one complete sitting, oblivious of the coffee getting cold on the tableside.

But getting back to the point, one of the best points about the book was the way past and present were not only alternated but linked too, so as to maintain a continuity.. and there would be no guy walking the earth who would not empathise with Akkie at one point or the other in the entire novel...

...all in all, a wonderful read... amazingly well done, because to sustain the tempo is easy for a short story, but to maintain it over the course of a novel takes some doing, and Hitesha is one person who could have, and indeed has, successfully carried it off... *bows in salute* "

- Words from the wise sage Marvin the Paranoid Android, also known as Flight Lieutenant Rishi Verma, 48 Squadron, Indian Air Force

"Oh Boy! What a book... That’s exactly what I said when I was done reading it. I have read Hitesha’s blog so ideally it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did... She has clearly outdone herself.

I simply love the way she takes us through Akki's journey. I know it’s a guy’s story but I could just totally relate to it. I felt like I am "IN" the story, living every moment with Akki... taking me through so many emotions. I smiled, I laughed, I almost cried, things tugged on my heart and I almost suffered heartbreak every time Akki was going through one.

Its fiction, and it still felt so close to life... the uncertainty of life, the achy-breaky heart full of optimism, and not just that, how everything we plan almost never happens and how it can take a totally different direction sometimes. I just simply love the way Akki's story progresses from one relationship to another and how Hitesha takes us through his wedding-to-be.

And guess in which section of my library this book goes to - "Once you pop you can’t stop" ... Really! If you ask me to say something about the book in just two words, I'd say - fresh and frothy (considering that I am a coffee lover J)

Best of Luck Hitesha; hope to see many more books written by you, and hopefully a real romantic story too, soon!"

- Expressed loudly by The Silent Beauty Divkiran Kathuria, Delhi based, Sr Consultant at PwC.

"Gosh! I never knew the plight of a marriageable young man who, like so many women of his age, still believes in falling in love and dream weddings. Hitesha brings a fresh perspective by a mere twist in gender.

This book stands as a lone voice calling attention to the miseries of thirty something unmarried Indian men still optimistic about finding a soul-mate and braving the emotional onslaught from family, friends and the world in general.

It is hilarious, well researched, fresh in concept and immensely contemporary."

- Writer of The Red Bathrobe and Other Stories Prapti Banerjee, Calcutta based, Manager at Aanand Bazaar Patrika

"...really nice.. reminds me of myself he he.. it really (is) a marvellous piece of writing. really like the way (the author) instinctively varies sentence lengths for variety, and use(s) flash back to keep the ball rolling right till the end.. considering young men get dumped all the time, (one) can expect a huge response (to this book)..."

- One of the Three Perfectly Normal Guys Flight Lieutenant Shantanu, 48 Squadron, Indian Air Force

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Knots and No Crosses - A Review

This is a review of the book in the context of the recent "successful debutant Indian author" phenomena.

Debutant Indian Authors
Debutante Indian authors have been making quite some waves recently. The seeds may have been sown with Anurag Mathur's 'The Inscrutable Americans', but there was a hint of a lull thereafter. The current scenario, however, has changed. Right from Chetan Bhagat becoming the reflection of the young Indian voice, to Arvind Adiga picking the Booker on debut, a section of modern Indian fiction seems to be coming of age. This shift is also characterised by changes in language, flow and appeal of the content. The urban woman oriented themes, clubbed as 'chick lit', are becoming more rampant and gaining popularity. Books like 'Almost Single' by Advait Kala, that has sold around 2000 copies by now, or the lesser known 'Pink or Black' by Tishaa, both debut novels, reflect this trend.
To add to this, is the trend of blogging that is proving to be a wonderful platform for a number of aspiring authors to test and hone their craft before attempting anything mainstream. So we have the likes of Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, trying her pen via the blog 'The Complusive Confessor' and then landing a contract with a major publication for her debut novel 'You Are Here'.

Knots and No Crosses - The Book
Hitesha Deshpande, making her debut with the book "Knots and No Crosses", falls in a similar league. Having had a strong following on her blog 'Wild Imagination' (just one of over 5-6 well read fiction blogs that she has created over last few years), she has now come up with her debut novel. The brevity of her narration and her tact of connecting multiple threads of a story, and literally forcing the reader to remain glued to the book is most notable. The way the author connects one chapter to the other and how the story moves back and forth in time in a smooth and exciting manner displays her instinctive craftsmanship at story telling. Amusingly titled as 'Knots and No Crosses', roller coasters could learn a thing or two from this one hell of a reading ride.
The story is about a young small town lad called Akkie and his multiple relationships in life, culminating into the holy grail of an intended perfect wedding. A wedding that nightmarishly turns out to be almost everything except, perfect. The book captures multiple emotions and thought processes of the characters in a hilarious and crisp manner. Right from the comical description of the parental pressure of marital expectations and the ways to avoid them, to the almost insane behavior of a bride getting cold feet right before the day of the wedding, the book pulls you into its plot page by page. Weaved in between the wedding drama, is the past of this small town boy with big dreams, his multiple relationships and how he grows through them. Each relationship teaching him something about life, each relationship giving him something except what he wanted, but all of them ripping his emotions apart with equal mercilessness. The tagline of the book wonderfully captures the thought - 'Heartbreak after heartbreak, he still dreams of a perfect wedding...'.

The story is imaginatively rich with anecdotal details and displays good understanding of the subtleties of human behaviour on the author's part. For eg. this scene at the dinner table where young Akki has decided to boldly express to his father (and uncles) his intent of moving out of Jodhpur, to go to Pune to study Commerce and Germen, while the "women hovered around pretending to serve, but not wanting to miss out on even a bit of this exchange. It would make excellent gossip as they dried mangoes for their pickles on the terrace, the next afternoon."
The book also grips you with an interesting unexpected twist that makes it all the more worthwhile a read. Without revealing much more of the plot, let me just say that this book is a great fun read, where each chapter makes you crave for the next and you can't stop until you are done with it all! If you are the type looking for a light humorous gripping read, and don't care that time flies by while you are at it, then this is just the right thing to pick. Once you pick it up, you just can't put it down!

Book Site -

I am sure all of you will enjoy "Knots and No Crosses". You are welcome to share your reviews of the book. The same shall be published on the book website.

Intellectual Property - Beware