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, the second part of Utkarsh Patel's Interview, with regard to 'Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged' (Part 2)'. In this he tells us, whether the storyline or characters took more precedence, what the most challenging part of writing the book
was, how he came up with the concepts and developed them and also gives
us information on the next book, he has planned. He also tells us what he's reading currently, among others,
Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?
Both. For me, the
characters make the story and building the characters personality as the story
moves is important.
book of mine, my central character grows with her friends and the storyline
ensures that this is depicted throughout the story.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
How much is enough! One
tends to get carried away on a topic, which is very dear or important to one’s
heart. How much is enough on that subject is a
tough decision to make.
author might be very passionate about something and might and to write a lot
more on something, but the reader might not emote with him on the same.
So, how much is enough on a subject is quite challenging.
How do you
come up with the concepts and develop them?
Well, I go with the
flow. While, I do have a basic storyline thought
through at the inception, many things are acquired or imagined on the flow of
that everything that has gone in my book was pre-decided.
Who was it that told
you that you could become the author, you are today?
Well, this has to be my wife! When I first discussed the
Shakuntala storyline, it was her idea to see if I could write a novel.
Till then, all I had written were articles for my Blog (www.utkarshspeak.blogspot.in),
which were quite well received.
they were articles and I wasn’t sure if a novel was my cup of tea, till I was
asked to give it a shot, and sure enough it did turn out to be a novel!
What book is coming
from your desk, next?
Presently, I am working on a novel form of a lesser-known Tamil
is a woman-centric novel. Should be out in about a year or so.
Your advice to writers
that would like to be published today? How tough is it to be published in
One should write and
try and get published. One should not be deterred
by rejections, as many a times they get rejected because the publisher is
unsure of its marketability, not because of its literary merit.
open to criticism, as they will only strengthen ones writing. It also gives an
alternate view-point by a third person, who could take a dispassionate view to
it, unlike we who have written it.
I don’t think it’s very
tough to get anything published today, as there are so many avenues of getting
published. Besides the traditional publishers, we
now have self-publishing, etc., which will enable anybody to get their work
Who are your favourite
authors and why?
At present, I read a lot of academic mythology, which aids
me in my research for books and lectures and speaking engagements.
However, at one point
of time, I used to read a lot of different authors, with Ayn Rand and Irving
Stone, being my favourites. Ayn Rand was an ideological
favourite and Irving Stone was a marvellous writer of biographies, which told the
life story so beautifully.
Which book are you
Presently, I am reading the English translation of Sanskrit plays by
What do you do on a day
to day basis, besides writing stories?
I read, write and speak, when I am not writing stories!
Erin Frew’s 'Golden Boy Bailey’ turned out to be a book, which left me with the widest of smiles. Firstly, it is
about dogs, and although, I am not a fan, but I must say, I really liked the illustrations
in this book and even the tiny bits of adventure was fun to read. The book was illustrated by the author, herself!
Well, it is about a
happy go lucky dog, Bailey Boy and his friend, Sable, and their two other
friends. It is also about the wonderful adventures and the super ideas, they
all get involved in. I loved the idea of a beautiful morning, with a lovely sun
and a breeze, too. And the birds, up in the trees and the flowers, in full
bloom. Wow, it sounds like an adventure, straight from one of the children’s
books, which we had read as kids.
But to have four dogs
involved, is a piece of cake. It tells a story of these dogs, a golden
retriever, a pit bull, a Labrador and even a German Sheppard. I can’t think of
a bigger adventure without most of these big dogs, because all the adventures I
read as a kid had dogs, but rarely had them doing it all by themselves. So, this
was a book for super fun reading.
Four of them get together
and are set to go to the Blue Pool on a special adventure. When they are at the
big blue pool, they see the sparkling waters, surrounded by pointed rock
Suddenly, Sable is
distracted by a dragonfly that keeps buzzing around her. So, excited is she;
that she chases after it. Meanwhile, the other big dogs are busy having fun at
the lake, splashing and dunking around it.
But suddenly, Bailey
notices that Sable is missing. They notice her near the cliff, still trying to
catch the dragonfly. But, suddenly they all catch a glimpse of her, jumping off
the cliff. Bailey, who tells the others that Sable cannot swim. So, they make
their way across and Chewy jumps in, trying to save Sable. He does manage to
bring her to the shore, but then,she is unconscious and does not wake
So, will they manage to
wake her up? Will the three of them save little Sable, at all? Read this, fun
little adventure and find out, what happens next… Sounds exciting, I think I’d
take on this little exploration! As it is a good read, and easy to understand
too. And the illustrations are really good, and one can see the effort it took.
up, the first part of the Interview with Utkarsh Patel, author
of 'Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged'. The books is probably the most honest version, of who Shakuntala was as a person, considering that it was taken from the version that Maharishi Veda Vyasa, himself wrote. In this Interview, he tells us the kind of research that was put
into this book, what the challenges were that went into its writing, why Shakuntala was chosen as the subject, how his book is differentfrom everyone's versionsand how he would relate the book and its two main characters, Shakuntala and Dushyant, to the
lives today, and much more,Folks...
What is the
kind of research that has gone into this book?
Since this was going to be about a time period which is not
modern, a lot of research on the times, dressing, norms, protocols, etc. had to
be researched. Also, since I was writing about a different version than the
popular one (i.e. Kalidasa’s version), I had to read Abhijnanshakuntalam (in English) too.
A number of academic essays
on the subject and also other characters of my book had to be studied before
I used them for my book.
How much of the story is based on the research and how much is
While the research was more to get the details right, a lot of it
is imagination, and quite a few characters are a part of the imagination, like
Narada Muni, and many such characters, who have been added for the sake of the
Also, a number of incidents are imaginary, just as many
characters and episodes that are brought in from time to time are imaginary. While the basic theme has been kept close to
the original, many of the episodes have been imaginary.
Why did you choose Shakuntala?
What is the difference, you expect in the opinion of Shakuntala before and
after the book?
Personally, I felt that Shakuntala has been a woman, wronged and I
could feel that not much has changed in the modern times. I also feel that the
original Shakuntala as envisaged by Ved Vyasa was a much admirable character
and not many knew about her, since majority of us had been brought up on the
Kalidasa’s version. Thus, I felt it made sense to write about her.
After reading this version, many might be able to change their
opinion about the character. Today’s woman might be able to relate with her
much more than before. Also, she could be a beacon of hope for many women, who
have been left in the lurch by men in whom they had vested all the trust.
How do you think your
book was different from everyone else’s?
My book, though a
fiction has not strayed away from the original story. Also,
while telling one big story, it also tells you many more myths which many might
not have known earlier, but find interesting and worth knowing.
It is also one of the few novels, which begins with a Foreword
by a scholar, and an Introduction and a long-list of further reading if anybody
challenges you had to face while writing this particular book?
Well, this was my first
novel, so there were the usual doubts of whether it would get any publisher, to
certain episodes, the desire to get authentic was often over-powering and thus
could stall the entire writing process.
How would you
relate this book and its two main characters, Shakuntala and Dushyant, to the
lives today? Any similarities?
happens with Shakuntala is not something that is alien to many women in modern
times. Even today, innocent women are left in the lurch by men.
As far as the other two
characters are concerned, they have had to bear the
brunt of a patriarchal mind-set, which too is not very uncommon today.
While the same things might not be happening today, I
won’t hesitate to say, that similar things to take place in many parts of our
‘Destiny Embraces’ is
the second after 'Destiny Decides'. It opens from the point where it had left us,
the last time. It basically ran with the love story, which almost felt like it
was destiny between Sameera and Nikhil. The story, which began with the two of
them meeting again, after many years to them falling in love. Sameera comes to
India, to discover that Nick has followed her.
The story begins with Nick
and Meera sitting at their wedding, when she wanted to stop it. Nick is
visibly upset with her and wants to know why. Basically, Meera wants to finish a ceremony, wherein the two of them are present before Nick’s parents, and
perform the ceremony, in which the entire family is present. This ceremony would
quell all problems, which have haunted the family that makes them unable to
conceive a female child.
But due to certain
circumstances, Nick, who has already proposed and wants to get married to her,
immediately. So, the two end up having a double wedding, with Nethra and Srini.
Nethra happens to be Meera’s sister and Srini is her boyfriend.
mysterious incident happens, wherein Meera ends up with a child, who was
kidnapped. She finds out that the kid is also named Sameera. When, the baby’s
mother and grandmother return, with the police, they are given back the kid.
This was only a beginning to the mysteries, which flow, in this book.
So, Meera ends up
wishing for a Rajput wedding, so she can conceive the family’s female child.
There was also the story of RajaRam and Jasleen, which has a lot to do with
these two getting married. The story will be told in parts through the entire
But the Rajput style of
wedding is now delayed, and the two make their way back to the US. Once back in
California, the two of them settle into married life, as Meera wants. Meera
wanted to live in with the entire family. So, the two of them move in and now,
we are shown a few other problems.
Firstly, the mystery of
Meera’s father’s chain. Suddenly, people seem to be looking for it, and Nick
who was presented it by Meera, does not want to get rid of it. Therefore, we
are put through, Nick and his security detail, Mitch, managing to escape the
entiresituation of people trying to lay
their hands on Nick and grabbing the chain. Nick has the chain, under his
protection and has even incorporated it to himself and his children.
the return of Meera’s ex-boyfriend. Of course, there
is also Nick’s brother, Sam and his girlfriend, Reetu’s story. Will they ever
get married? What is stopping them? Who was Roy Shankar and how was he
Basically, there was no
end to these mysteries. The confusion, which I was feeling, was a little too
much. This, with the love story, which seems stronger between Meera and Nick,
also there was little too much of love-making, between the two.
Also, the Rajput wedding,
which has to take place, does that happen then will both of them settle in? Why
does RajaRam leave Jasleen behind, in this enigmatic part to the story, and
what does it have to do with Nick and Meera? Will the historical part find its end now, in the present time?
I hope it solves some
problems, in this part and some more unidentified portions in the story, which
will find their end, in the third part of the story. The bits about their
entire story, and the mysteries, which were created was good. But again, the love
and sex bit was a too much for me to take. A decent effort!