I know I’ve been putting in too many of the Update posts recently and not enough stories, those lovely little things that readers (including me) love to read. But indulge me for a moment, peeps. For: Cult of Chaos has made it to Top Ten! Like with all-caps!
Yes. Anantya’s managed it. Not just at one place but four different places across the country! This was shared by the kind sales head at HarperCollins. At the end in Top Ten list of Asian Age. Whaat??
Before I could begin rubbing my eyes, a friend send this. In top ten at WS Smith, those stores that are our lone friends at the airport. Cult shares spot with Amish‘s trilogy in the Book of the Month section.
Then in April, my book was in the top ten at Bahrisons, a well respected bookstore in Delhi.
Sainath, the enthusiastic sales head in HarperCollins in Bangalore had told me that the book was first in Top Ten at Oxford Bookstore Bangalore last month, which I’d duly posted with a yay.
That was last month and last weekend, Aswin (@aswinsam), a pal of mine over Twitter, sent me this. Yup, Cult has been there since more than a month! Woot.
— aswinsam (@aswinsam) May 21, 2015
So you see, complete Woot-ness has become. While I turn into an owl with sheer happiness (there are so many other reasons which I’ll let you all know in due time), you go on to read something serious here or if you crave for an interesting story, here.
There may be no escape from air pollution in most metros but you could at least try to boost your immunity levels.
The link between air quality and health is direct and immediate. Last year, the World Health Organization declared Delhi to be the world’s most polluted city.
A study published in the Atmospheric Pollution Research journal in February 2014, which looked at the number of cases of cardiovascular mortality, respiratory mortality and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cases in Delhi hospitals, found that from 1991-2010, the mortality rate attributed to air pollution had increased by 100% in the Capital. “Fifteen per cent of total deaths in the NCR (National Capital Region) are air pollution-related mortalities,” says Ajay Singh Nagpure of the University of Minnesota, US, the main author of this study, on email. “You need to check pollution levels in the area before doing any outdoor activity, including exercise.” Continue reading How to fortify your lungs
The occult quiz is back by popular demand! This time, it’s the kind people at The Beehive who’ve owned up everything tantrism and will be hosting it at The Humming Tree, probably the coolest place in the city to hang out at. We will talk about Cult of Chaos, do an occult quiz (with prizes), a documentary on witch hunting in India and finally, the thing I’m most looking forward to: Everyone who comes there, the audience, the barman, the friends and family, will all sit in a circle and tell a real life story they’ve heard about paranormal, supernatural and tantrism.
So come, listen to occult stories! It’s going to be fun. Here’s the fabulous invite made by Aakanksha.
ORGANISERS : THE BEEHIVE
Ten years ago, I was working full time in Femina. Ten years later, someone from Femina did an interview about me. It’s a moment of a kind. Femina has shaped the earlier me. I worked three years there, three years full of travel and meeting the most fabulous people I could imagine. So, I’m a bit stumped. And wowed. Here’s a okay photo that someone sent me of the interview.
Isn’t this simply the most jiggle-worthy thing? Here’s the original interview, in case you’re the reading type.
‘You’re everywhere,’ cried a guy who came to three of my Meetups in Delhi over the same weekend. Yes, I was. Two weeks in Delhi and I wanted to meet, chat and listen in to what the crowd in the capital city was reading. What kind of book was it buying and what kind of writing was it pondering on. And I wanted to tell them about my book, my writing experiences and the crazies I’d learnt.
So I met four different book clubs, did a lecture at Jesus and Mary College and at National Institute of Fashion Technology and mostly met all ages of people and had a ball. Plus discovered that I’m sticking to running for fitness on my own. (Thanks Kay, for that!) But it was fun, to meet all kinds of people in Delhi. The kinds who read books, the kinds who write them, the ones who sell them or publish or market them and the ones who love to talk about books without really sitting cozily with one. Here are the kind of people I met in Delhi’s book clubs.
The curious kinds
They are the ones that come to meetings/gatherings to listen in. They’re usually open to ideas, exchanging information, helpful, impressionable and actually hear things you might be saying (reason you have to stop saying vague things you’ve been saying all your life). They want to know you, your book, as well as how you wrote it. They have a lot of questions and are open to ideas.
The gifting types
The whole reason they’re there at the meeting or gathering or panel or even your own book launch is to come up to you and give you their own work. A signed copy of their work or an excerpt. That’s it. They’re not there to listen or even to talk or to read, but to promote their own written work. Well, I appreciate gifts in any form, especially books!
The selfie hogs
Oh yeah, they’ve attacked the book clubs too. They won’t buy your book (probably don’t buy any books really), but would want to get a photo of themselves with you to post online and boast and who knows what else?
The excuse types
They feel slightly guilty at coming at a do without picking up the author’s book. (Perfectly okay, since you might not actually like the said book) But the excuse-breed, gives you reasons why they’re not picking up your book. Reasons like ‘I don’t have money today. I will order it online.’ or ‘It’s cheaper online. I’ll order it there.’ Or they’ll just smile, and sneak out without saying bye. Even though they had the most questions in the session.
They are the kings and queens of the world. They already know everything, even though they’re attending a writers’ session. They come loaded with preconceived notions about the writing, publishing and marketing process (having not gone through it). Their questions are usually hidden assumptions, pandering to a need to be proven right. ‘You put the ‘Mature readers’ cover to sell the book, right?’ ‘You have a connection in the industry right?’ ‘It must be easier to sell a book if you’re a girl/boy/drag queen/naked.’ Oh, and they never buy the book.
The ones who feel nothing is right in the industry of writing and publishing. No one buys books, no one publishes the right kind of books. No one is sensible out there. Someone should buy Indian author books, someone should publish amazing books, someone should. And no, they don’t buy the book either.
Oh, well. It’s Delhi after all. Here are a few photos of the various thingummies I did.
Know of any other Delhi book-reading kinds? Type away below.
Super duper excitement happened while I was in Delhi. First of all, I saw spring come into the city after six years. It’s fabulous, by the way, that end of winters before they crash into the searing hot summers of the city. The city was blushing and blooming with colours all over, Fall tussling with Spring. And I can vouch for it, for was driving from one end of the city to the other, meeting people, signing books, talking about the art and craft of writing books (knowledgeably at that!).
RJ Ginnie who is the superstar host of the show Suno Na Dilli over at Radio City 91.1 has this to-die-for-voice. In real life, she’s chilled out, friendly and an efficient producer who rocks her studio without any assistant. This was the first time I’d entered a studio and I was so excited. It’s been a secret dream for me, to be an RJ since AGES. So secret that I didn’t even remember it, till I entered the space. We tested and then crashed onto a single take of the whole show. And here’s what happened. (Disclaimer: Keep volume low for the rather screechy voice. No choice there!)
Post the recording, Ginnie was fascinated by my rather non-authorly behaviour (jumping around, gleefully) when I asked her to click a few pictures of me. But they’re worth it, aren’t they? And she didn’t mind too much, else she wouldn’t have agreed to come to my book launch later in Delhi, where we had an energetic discussion on everything tantrism and Anantya Tantrist. Before the launch, she’d completed the book and loved it too! (Thanks girl, you rock!)
The second radio interview happened at Radio One, 94.3FM with RJ Chris. She’s a darling, soft spoken, genuine and we spoke at length about death. There has been a recent death in the family and we wondered together why we as kids are taught how to dress up, how to cope with homework but not something at nuts as death, which lingers all around us always. But the interview itself is not so dark. It’s about Makaibari tea, my favouritest in the world (I stole a little of it from my friend Kay, after my stash got over) and about why I’m so fascinated by tantrism. Check it out below.
#Delhi #Booklaunch #Rocked
Super duper excitement happened while I was in Delhi. First of all, I saw spring come alive in the city after six years. It’s fabulous, by the way, that end of winters before they crash into the searing hot summers. The city was blushing and blooming with colours all over, Fall tussling with Spring. And I can vouch for it, for was driving from one end of the city to the other, meeting people, making new friends, signing books, talking about the art and craft of writing books (knowledgeably at that!).
The end of my Delhi trip was with a formal launch of Cult of Chaos, which HarperCollins organised in association with Oxford Bookstore and QuizCraft Global. The idea was the same as the launch in Bangalore a month before: a quiz on everything paranormal and supernatural and then a discussion about Cult of Chaos. About 70 people turned up. The house was full, more were standing in the aisles, including me and it was a young bustling, energetic crowd, with a few kids. Manasi, an editor from HarperCollins introduced the book beautifully. Sidhartha, the handsome bloke from QuizCraft offered a rocking quiz to attendees. RJ Ginnie, who kindly accepted my request to do a discussion and ask me probing questions, made the talk about the book so much fun. Most of them who attended had a good time (and told me it wasn’t a boring book launch. Including a few peeps from HarperCollins). So see, heaven had been achieved.
Except it wasn’t just that. A lot of the people who turned up were from my school, college, post grad, ex-office pals and family. For me, more than a launch, it turned out to be a series of reunions with old friends, swapping notes, hugging, crying a bit. They were all there for me, proud, excited, supportive. Wow. Am touched, out of words, giddy and rather exhausted. So here’s all the madness. In photos and comments as usual.
Since I don’t really remember much of the event myself, here’s what two literature students who were there at the quiz and stayed till the end, thought about it. They interviewed me post the event and wrote for a really nice website called ReadersClubDelhi.Com. They were well prepared with a tight questionnaire, so check out the video below if you want to see me fumble and skirt difficult questions.
Oxford Bookstore CP and Harper Collins India in association with Quizcraft Global organized a quiz – Witches and Vamps : a quiz on paranormal crime on 28th March to celebrate the launch of the novel Cult of Chaos, a tantrik thriller by Shweta Taneja.
The event began at 3:20pm with an introduction by Mansi, editor at Harper Collins and was taken over by Siddharta Gopati, the quizmaster for the day. There were sixteen teams and three rounds – written, audio-visual and still image.
The questions were thrilling and the atmosphere electric.
Written round included a few questions from Cult of Chaos among the other questions. Audio-visual round was an out of the world experience with short video clips of movies like The Conjuring and The Exorcism of Emily Rose being played to be identified by the teams.
The quiz ended at a thrilling note and left the participants awestruck and yearning for more.
Manjulika’s angel, The Reluctant Quizers and SFF were the round winners. Sawalon Se Darne Walewon the overall quiz. All of them were awarded the prizes by none other than Shweta Taneja.
After the distribution of prizes, the author was in conversation with Ginny about her book The Cult of Chaos. Here is a small excerpt from the conversation –
Ginny: As we know The Cult of Chaos is a fantasy, what was your research and preparation for the book?
Shweta: I did my best research and tried to keep the book as indigenous as possible. I read sixty books on tantrism, asked people about their experiences and folk stories. The blood of my book is Indian, unlike the western magic world fantasies.
After the conversation, the floor was open to questions and an interesting assortment of questions was thrown at the author to which Taneja answered with smiles and incredulity. More serious questions regarding her novel and protagonist were also asked.
A stunning quiz, interesting discussions and a few laughs and smiles, the evening came to an end. Check out an interview with the author.
Would you like the supernatural quiz in your city? Contact me!