May 16, 2017

#GuestPost - The Story Behind "Cantilevered Tales" by Jayant Kriplani

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The Story Behind Cantilevered Tales

Why Jayant Kripalani wrote this book?

Why did I start writing this set of short stories that became one long story? I don’t really know.
I was on way my back from somewhere by train and at Howrah Station a group of taxi drivers tried to extort a higher fare from me.  This was before the time of pre paid taxi booths.  Rather than shell out five times the fare I thought I’d take a bus. It was peak hour in the morning and though I did get a seat since the bus started from there, I hadn’t calculated the length of time I’d be sitting in the bus on the bridge. Forty five minutes of inching along later I heard a voice behind me say, “AitakiHaora Bridge na Laora Bridge?”

I knew exactly what he meant.

I knew then that I had the beginning of a story.

“Where are you getting off?” I turned around and asked.

“High Court,” he replied.

By now we had reached the East end of the bridge. It still looked like we’d be on the bus for another 45 minutes.

“Walk?” I asked him.

“Let’s,” he said.

And that as they say was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

His name was Khokon. He lived in Santragachhi. And because of that immortal first line, I called the protagonist of my story Khokon. In the book though, the line belongs to his colleague Ashutosh.

Some time later, I overheard a group of people talking about saving a water body from some unscrupulous builder. ArunLal the cricket player might have been a part of the group but I’m not sure.  I started keeping tabs on them. Not because I was interested in saving the environment or even that small little lake.

I am not a crusader. I hate getting involved with issues.

But if you live in Calcutta, even for a short while, trust me, you’ll get involved.

More power to the builder I thought after I first saw the lake if you can call brackish acres of sludge a lake.

What did interest me were the disparate lot of people, and some desperate ones among them, who were determined they were going to save a stagnant water body from becoming an office complex.Frankly in my opinion that lake had outlived its usefulness to be anything at all.

 I didn’t give a damn what happened to the lake.

But over a period of time I did start worrying about the people. And of course fell hopelessly in love with them. Their wellbeing and their good health became a matter of great concern to me especially since I saw the array of ‘villains’ lined up against them.

So rather than concentrate on Builder v Helpless Citizen – enough stories had been written about them, I concentrated on their stories and their histories.

This is their story or should I say these are their stories.  Some of the people are real; some of the people who come to their assistance are thinly disguised caricatures of people I admire; some are just people I met on buses and trams in my journeys across the bridge who wormed their way into the book.

 And that is how this book got wrote.

Book Blurb


I overheard a group of people talking about saving a water body from some unscrupulous builder and started keeping tabs on them. Not because I was interested in saving the environment or even that small little lake. What did interest me were the disparate lot of people, and some desperate ones among them, who were determined that they were going to save a stagnant water body, which in my opinion had outlived its usefulness as anything at all, from becoming an office complex.

 This is NOT a Builder v Helpless citizen epic. In fact that is the least important part of the book. This is about a group of inept people who you want to reach out and protect but you discover are more than capable of taking care of not just themselves, but of you too.

Author Bio

#BookReview,#Book, #Amreading, #Amwriting, #Blog, #Blogging, #Blogchatter, #Fiction, #ShortStories, #Readomania, #GuestBlog
Jayant Kripalani is an Indian film, television and stage actor, writer and director. Known for his work in TV series like Khandaan, Mr Ya Mrs and Ji Mantriji, he graduated

from Jadavpur University with a degree in English Literature.

He has played character roles in movies like Heat and Dust, Rockford,

Jaane Tu. . .Ya Jaane Na, 3 Idiots and, most recently, Hawaizaade and The Hunger. He has directed and produced a number of films and is actively involved with theatre. He wrote the screenplay for Shyam Benegal’s film Well Done Abba.

He is the author of the heartwarming and nostalgic New Market Tales, set in the historic New Market area of Kolkata in the 1960s and 1970s. His recent foray into writing performance poetry has brought him acclaim in poetic circles around the country. When he is not in Calcutta, he is either fishing in Himachal, pfaffing in Bombay or being a beach bum in Goa.

February 15, 2017

#BlogLove - Celebrating 8 Years of Blogging But...

I take on the baton of Blog Love from Stephen !

#Amreading, #Amwriting, #Blog, #Blogchatter, #Blogging, #blogiversary, #blogversary, #Emotions, #FirstLove, #Love, #Memories, Anniversary, Emotions, Time,

Anniversaries are commemorative of the years gone by and a way to feel nostalgic about the memories built over time. Both of these parts are equally significant in this celebration. While the amount of time spent is a great memory, the productivity in that particular span of time cannot be overlooked.

I have written about my blogging journey in the past. I celebrate 15th February because I cherish these years and this part of my life very much. But as much as I want to climb up in levels as a blogger, it still remains a "hobby". The past year has dawned a steep sense of this fact in me. While 2016 was beautiful and I have shared that vividly on social media, it did pose a challenge for me to pencil in blogging in my schedule. I had to work harder than ever before to juggle work, personal life and blogging. I couldn't even manage an average of 2 posts a month, let alone taking it to new levels like daily blogging etc.  It has made me wonder, if, say 5 years from now, I would be able to do this any more or not, if I stay a part timer.

So, this year for my anniversary post, instead of reiterating history, I sought suggestions from fellow bloggers and writers who do this part time too. This is one part I would be very proud of - building and keeping fantastic relationships with the "who's who" of the Indian blogging. It took me only an email which shared my idea and perspectives with them and all of the kind suggestions came pouring in.

Whether I will celebrate 9th or the 10th #Blogversary or not, I would live with the satisfaction of being a part of this fantastically close knit community of bloggers, for as long as I have!

With that said, Happy Anniversary to #WritefullyYours! Thanks for all the good times, chances for expression and the love that came in!

The floor is now open for geniuses with their ideas!

Kala Ravi

I guess it is no great brainwave I am sharing but it's just that blogging comes as a respite to one's daily struggles and strife. I blog when I am overwhelmed with the urge to vent out thoughts crowding my head. When I put down these thoughts on my blog, I find a sense of relief and tremendous satisfaction. I would say it is a therapeutic or cathartic experience for me, every time I do a post. So my dear friend, just blog as if you were letting out your thoughts, raves or rants into the ears of a patient friend and a chore it will never seem to be! And like a good friend, your blog will cheer you up with the comments from your readers, keep you motivated and egg you on to do more, do better each time you post.

I suggest, every time you are inspired, just jot down the basic idea, a few lines or whatever strikes you and later refer to these when you are sitting down to do a post. Evernote, I've heard helps with this, maybe you could give it a try.
No regulation, no time management in place yet! But just make a conscious effort to be in sync with what's trending in the blogging world. Most of the times, I get jittery seeing the whole world putting up post after post, but it also ensures I come up with one of my own for every hundred I come across. The post takes just an hour to put down, if you have all the framework, keynotes in your head in advance. Polishing n editing are equally important. So overall two hours/post/week should be good enough provided the wheels are turning through the week, cooking up the steam for it!

I truly love writing and blogging. Since I also work in the writing domain, I guess, blogging becomes second nature to me. Hence I haven't really found it that difficult to blog. Actually it provides me with a great vent and an outlet where I get great support and suggestions. I would tell you to not fret too much. Enjoy what you write and only write when you find time. I can never write under pressure and I would suggest that you do the same. Just do it for pure enjoyment and happiness.

When I joined for post graduation in 2007, I actually wrote a 'farewell post' for the blog, sure I wouldn't have the hours to spare. I didn't actually. But I ended up still writing. And I've written through PG, when bedridden & in excruciating pain unable to move a limb, in operation Theatres and at all hours. And here, 12 years after I wrote my first post as an insecure Mbbs intern, I'm still writing as a specialist. 
My advice - don't let your thoughts go to waste. When an idea comes to you, note it down in your mobile. I have used Evernote for over half a decade and all those ideas still sit there. Often we get our ideas at the most insane moments (lying awake at night, stuck in a cramped bus)  and forget about them when we are actually free to write. So jot it down in points when it comes to you. Develop them at leisure later on. 
Find what you have to say, what you would like to talk about. And tell it. 

Congratulations on the commendable milestone. 8 years must feel magical! Here's raising a toast to the double digits. I share your love for blogging and I can imagine how difficult it is to stay dedicated. I know I have struggled. And then one fine day I gave myself the permission to take a break. Just like we head for a vacation from time to time to recharge our batteries, a break from the blog is not that bad an idea. Since then, the winter months are a little slow for me. Also because it is the most festive time of the year, at that time I want to make memories with loved ones and not be a social media addict. I have also realised after a break, my writing is more focused and my ideas are sharper. I manage to cut out the noise from my thoughts.
You found your special someone this past year. Life will happen. Be easy on yourself. You compete with no one but you. This is your race. You decide what is your priority and work according to that. There is no one right way to do this. You will learn on the job. And if you are real lucky, you will have an online diary for your kids and grandkids to refer to someday. 

Subha Rajagopal

The biggest challenge a part-time blogger faces is time crunch. That too if you are a working mother with a full-time job, the odds are not in your favor. By the time the daily meetings are over and deadlines are met, there is no more energy left! You cannot shirk your family duties nor your official responsibilities. Only way to save time is to cut down the 'fat' in your personal time. Limit your time for any activity you feel is unproductive. That is the only way to make time for blogging.
It is a day-on-day arrangement. Let me share with you how I am writing it now.
Today being a Saturday, is an official holiday for me. But no, I wasn't free. Far from it!
My son had a school function and half my day was consumed in it. The second half of the day involved taking him to his activity class and visiting my in-laws.
All this was in addition to the cooking, cleaning and laundry work that is reserved for the weekends.By the time I could sit to write this, it is already 10 pm here. It was just the resolve to keep writing that has made me sit and write it now.

Anindya Sundar Basu

Wishing you a happy 8th and many many more. There will be years where it wont go as you had wished but that's okay. You have been an inspiration and I wish someday I can write like you but great knowing you buddy. Thanks for all the support and I remain indebted for your support. As me and my wife both run Pikturenama and have a 5 year old kid at home, it gets hectic and taxing. We also write for eazydiner as food critics for kolkata so in the midst of all this its hard to make out time but since beginning we have been clear about the fact that the blog should not get neglected. Its a mad race against time and no one else so we need to sacrifice a lot also. I like to keep it simple. Consistency is the key in Blogging and its not every time you will write a post that will be viral but unless you write you will never know and if you stop writing you will lose the habit of writing. I am sure you know all this being in the 'business' for 8 years but just thought of sharing my thoughts in this happy occasion.
Once again congrats on 8th and thanks for being there.

#Amreading, #Amwriting, #Blog, #Blogchatter, #Blogging, #blogiversary, #blogversary, #Emotions, #FirstLove, #Love, #Memories, Anniversary, Emotions, Time,

I pass on the baton of Blog Love to Subha