This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
Read up, ‘Suraya’s Gift’ author, Malavika Nataraj’s Interview,
(Part 2). The response for this blog post was outstanding. Incidentally, this
would also mark 100 posts on Sruti's BookBlog for this year. Yaay!!
That is why I thought I would put in the
second part, right now. So, let’s not waste time and keep on reading, Folks…
What was the most
challenging part about writing this book?
For me the most challenging
part was trying to put some distance between me and the manuscript, to try and
see it objectively, if anyone reading, it would enjoy it as much as I did writing
Who was it that
told you that you could become the author, you are today?
My family. They have been
reading my stories, since I was a child.
They always told me that I could be
anything I wanted, to be and I think that gave me the freedom to explore what I
really enjoyed doing.
Read up, ‘Suraya’s Gift’ author, Malavika Nataraj’s
Interview. From the time, I read the book, I usually expect to imagine and
dream, because that is what this story represents.
A childlike imagination and
stories, which just might come true, and an author to help the kids try it, Folks…
How did 'Suraya's Gift' happen? Could you
describe the journey?
Working as a freelance writer means that there is little
room for creativity. But since creative writing has always been a passion, I
decided one day to finally send out a manuscript and see where it could go.
team at Penguin liked it and the rest is history, as they say!
How did the story, especially Suraya's and
the story catcher's, come about?
I was a child, who loved to write and who always had a
big imagination – very much like Suraya. So, I think that’s where my inspiration
for the story came from.
I started writing a story that I could read to my
daughters, and that just evolved into 'Suraya’s Gift'.
What according to you is different about
I think my book- and the whole series, I am planning, called The Story Catcher Children
– is about kids who love to write. And I want to get kids interested in
creative writing again. Not on devices, not on a keypad but just simply with a
pencil, a sheet of paper and their imagination.
I believe this message comes
through in the book and for me, that’s what makes this book different. The
story can also be understood and absorbed on many different levels.
reading it have told me that they loved the depth of the book. So I’d say that
it is a book for both kids and adults.
How would you relate the lives of characters
to the lives today? Any similarities?
I think any child of any nationality would relate to
Suraya. She could be the average girl next door.
The story is not set within a
particular time frame nor in a specific geographical location, so I think this
also makes it relatable to people anywhere the world.
‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’ by Rohan Govenkar is probably just what I needed.And no, unlike what the book sounds like, am
not talking of drugs, at all. It is not only a good suspense and a
police-robber story, but it also has some love and friendship, involved as
The first part is kind
of bad start to the story, and I would ask the reader not to judge the book by
its prologue. Probably, because you don’t hear of it again.
So, I am starting off
from the first chapter, which began on 13th December 2010 with a broken
hearted hero, Ashwin. He does not want too much to do with his ex-Russian
girlfriend, Ekaterina because she did con him. And with a drug deal, which
needs to be left suspenseful, for now.
Ashwin is looking
forward to a reunion with a few friends and they arrive in Goa, with a fiancée
and sister in tow. Iftikar and his fiancée Maya, who unfortunately is from
Kazakhastan (whom Ashwin currently dislikes, because of its close proximity to
Russia) Bhavesh, Pratik and his sister, Priya are the guests in Goa.
Pratik and Priya have a
mystery up their sleeve, which they do not want to reveal in front of Maya. The
mystery involves the gang, who has to go treasure hunting in Goa. The story that
goes back a few generations up to a time, in Goa when the ancestors of Pratik
and Priya, left behind a treasure and the mystery remained unsolved and the treasure unfound. This story
is told and revealed to Maya, as well, thanks to a love-struck Ifti.
All the treasure
hunters have been promised a share by Pratik and Priya, provided they find it
and keep it. So, the mystery hunt begins.
They manage to find the
treasure, lose it, and again find out a few traces about it, get themselves
involved with drug dealers and cops. There is also Ashwin and Priya, who find
themselves in love, and the group gets conned by Maya, much to Ifti’s
Finally, do they find
the treasure and keep it? Also, how will the lovers cope? Will they have the
drug dealers off their backs or will they get involved with the cops? All this
in 10 days!
And how does the
reunion give the readers something else to look forward to the next time they
are in Goa? In this entire brilliant rigmarole, there are times when a reader
can get confused, and there are a few grammatical errors too. But, not for long and not too many mistakes.
The mysterious history
of Goa, the history books involved, all add to the twists and turns of this
story. Rohan Govenkar has debuted, with a bang and we now, officially have
another adventure writer, in our midst.
Sawyer was pretty much his own life story. It was based on his and his friends’
childhoods. I enjoyed reading this when I was 5 or 6, but I loved it and basically
re-read it only recently, when I was writing another blog post.
Clemens, who was born on November 30th 1835, was
Tom Sawyer lived
with his Aunt Polly, and she had put him to work as a punishment. So, on a fine
summer Saturday, Tom made his way to a 30 yard fence with a long brush and a
bucket of whitewash. He seemed really despondent, when he reached the fence. He
dejectedly began the work. But it was only minutes when his friend, Jim came
Jim, who also had
his own work to do, that of fetching water refused to whitewash in place of fetching
water, which Tom said he was glad to do. Jim finally gave in, when Tom offered
to show off his sore toe. So, whitewash
it was, until Aunt Polly caught Jim doing Tom’s work.
Tom began the work
again, but it did not last very long. At this point, he had an idea. It was
now, that the first of his friends came along. Ben Rogers, who was eating an apple
and singing a song, came upon Tom, who seemed to be busy at work. When Ben was sympathising
with Tom saying that he had enough work to do, did Tom unleash his plan.
Tom said that he
wasn’t working at all, and only loved painting the fence and he made such a
jingle about it, that Ben was totally awestruck. He began whitewashing it and
seemed to enjoy it as much as Tom was! Not just him, but Billy and Johnny too,
and Tom made a big deal of giving it up, for a little something on the side.
So, it was twelve
marbles, a piece of blue bottle-glass, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn’t
unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a tin soldier, two tadpoles, six
fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a dog-collar – but no dog, and a
dilapidated old window sash, among the rest of the stuff that he got, just for giving
all the kids a chance to paint his fence.
The best part was that
he barely did any work, and he discovered a secret. That of human laws; that by
making something crave worthy, you just have to make it a little tough to get.
This story had its fun
bits. It spoke of green fields, a quaint looking village, a hill and wonderful
flowers at every step. And kids all around. It really made it all worthwhile,
not just at that age, but now too! I remembered loving it then and laughing my