Sunday, 22 September 2013

Love with a Dash of Revenge

If love makes the world go round, surely revenge would make it stop in its axis?
Both are powerful emotions—though love is a positive force and revenge its complete antithesis. And like every negative force revenge can provide huge motivation. Especially when you are a victim of injustice. After all, none other than William Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice, “…if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”
Think about the times you were bullied at school or college and your heart was filled with hatred and a need for revenge? Or when the cute boy you had a huge crush on didn’t give you the time of the day and chose another girl instead?  Yes, that made you want revenge too! ;) But life is full of little injustices that we get over and move on. What if something so terrible was done to you that your life changed forever, would you be able to turn the other cheek? It’s only human to harbour hatred and ill-will against a person who has harmed you.
On the other hand, the real power of love lies not just in its ability to make a person strive for his/her beloved’s affections but to truly change himself/herself for the better. Imagine how much more powerful that can be. And yet it is so difficult to go with the positive force.
One would think that love and revenge wouldn’t mix in a story.  Yet, readers all over the world have rooted for romance stories with revenge as a theme.  The one thing that revenge and love have in common is passion. You can’t imagine either emotion without passion. And that’s what makes for a good page-turning read till you reach the Happy Ever After ending.
So it was only fitting that having won the Passions Aspiring Authors Auditions, I wanted to write a story with tons of passion in it. As a reader who loves to read ‘revenge stories’ my first choice for theme was—you guessed it!—revenge. My Heroine, Maya, is a strong-willed woman who will do anything to bring down the person who has ruined her family. Even if that means marrying Krish, the son of her enemy. But soon she falls in love with Krish….And thus begins her dilemma. Will her love for Krish override her need for revenge? How will she reconcile her love with her desire for justice?
Do you love a romance story with a dash of revenge in it? Or do you hate it? Would love to hear from you!


Friday, 9 August 2013

Most successful relationships begin with a friendship

Have you ever been without friends? God forbid that it should happen! Is that the thought crossing your mind now?

But at times it does come about. Sometimes we find ourselves friendless and without an ally. Things happen that you can't confide in your friends. No one seems to understand what you're going through and there isn't anyone you can open your heart and share your troubles with.

At that time someone who can offer a shoulder to lean on, who extends a helping hand, is someone whose friendship one doesn't want to let go.
Friendship is a pillar we can lean on in our troubled times. Walking alone on a rocky path is so much more difficult than when your hand is held in a warm clasp.  
And that support, companionship, call it what you will, becomes a lasting relationship. Most of the time there has to be friendship before there is love.

Do you agree? Cast a look around you and then see if it is true or not?
Speaking for myself, I believe friendship and support are an integral part of a sound relationship. Standing by your loved one when things are tough for them. That isn't something everyone can do. But when it is done, it is a priceless beautiful thing to remember.

I often undertake more than I can handle on my plate. Like writing for instance. Handling it along with a day job isn't the brightest idea I had but my husband's support has counted a lot during this time. Especially his two special words. Not 'love you' if that's what you romantic types are thinking, but 'take out'. Yes, *sigh* two magical words in any woman's dictionary when you are feeling allergic to kitchen. *grin*
If you aren’t friends, what would you talk about and share and discuss. Even if it’s a healthy differing in views, a partnership to let the other one air their views and be themselves cannot but endure. This helps if you have known each other a long time. Cricketer marriages seem to support this. Our captain MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi were childhood friends, and so were R Ashwin and wife Priti. Who else can you think of? J

It all begins with one step forward.
In my book, the heroine is in a similar crisis to the aforementioned situation. She's feeling hurt by her broken engagement but how can she show her hurt to her family? They will worry too much for her. Yet she cannot help her anger and angst. At this time, Zaheer steps up and offers her his help. She catches onto it like it's a lifeline. From that moment on, things begin.

How important has friendship been in your life? Has it ever led to love? Come on now. Share. :)
Wishing you wonderful friendships!



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Unexpected Love Encounters

Hi everyone,

I came across this very cute saying...
The best relationships usually begin unexpectedly

Do you believe in this? And if you don’t...have you heard about the couple who met through Facebook because they have the same name? Yes, really.
Isn’t it amazing when things happen at a totally unexpected place and time, yet turn out to be so right? We experience life in different ways, and store away those experiences, good and bad, some of which can help us in future, while others we just want to get rid of in our memory. But sometimes something happens out of the ordinary, snaring us, catching hold of our senses and rooting our feet to the floor. That one moment stands out among all others. Yes, the moment of being in love.

Falling in love is magical and unpredictable. Maybe that's the part of being magical, that you can't predict with whom or where or when you'll fall in love. Or even why. Because isn't it true sometimes we really can't pinpoint what draws us to a person. Is it his or her smile or when they unexpectedly make us laugh or the way that special person can make you feel your worries weigh less than cotton candy?
I often think of these variables which make no logic. That's why we say we love with not our brain but our heart. Being a medical person I can tell you the emotional part is actually not under control of your thinking part because it has very little neuronal connections with the logically thinking areas of our cerebrum. Yet the control exerted by this part is tremendous.

Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
-          Lao Tzu

Of course, love occurs between people who are totally different and at unexpected places.  That’s when we get the ‘huh?’ moment. When we hear of unlikely couples pairing up. A celebrity marrying a commoner is certain to get our eyebrows raised as is a Bollywood actor marrying a doctor.

The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of colour...”
Anna Godbersen

As said above, like the splashing of dispersing colours in the sky, love overtakes all and listens to no resistance.
I quite appreciate that as I have a husband who is very different in his thinking - sometimes diagonally so - from me!  In fact the first time we met, I had hot coffee while he took a cold cola. So that seems to set the trend for us of different tastes and different outlooks. Years later, we still sit together and he sips cold coffee while I enjoy hot tea!

So do you agree that two people can be very different and still fall in love? That love can pounce on you coming out of the hiding in unexpected places?
Take the hero and heroine of my debut book, Bollywood FiancĂ© For A Day, for instance. Zaheer is a renowned Bollywood actor. He’s used to the glamorous, shiny tinsel world. Vishakha is a dedicated doctor who hardly has time off to enjoy life.
Normally their paths wouldn’t ever cross.

But Vishakha has entered and won a contest. The prize is a date with Zaheer.
Different personalities. Meeting unconventionally. Then finding there was something irresistible keeping them together despite everything that shouldn't.
What can these two find in common? What do you think?
Do share if you believe love can happen unexpectedly. If that kind of love can be worth pursuing?

Eager to hear your views J



Monday, 29 July 2013

Mills & Boon Lootera Steal A Date confessions

It was a weekend evening that I received a call, confirming my name and then congratulating on winning the Steal a Date contest. I was surprised but calm, guess it was sinking in that I’ve actually won the contest. A moment later I realized my win. I was overjoyed and excited. Waited for the day I would get to meet Sonakshi Sinha.
The day of the event, I got ready to my best and braved the Mumbai traffic to get to the venue. I was excited and nervous. The mild monsoon and sea view from the window of Taj Lands end, made it the perfect setting. I waited as Sonakshi got to the venue.
Finally, the moment arrived, Sonakshi entered the venue with Ranveer. I was perplexed with seeing Sonakshi in person. I greeted her and Ranveer and we took our seat. Recollecting the incident I was tongue tied, for a moment I went blank. The questions I wished to ask were just stuck in my head or had got evaporated. I finally mustered the courage and asked a few questions. What really struck me was her simplicity. She spoke to me as I knew her. The time flew by and she soon had to leave. It was a great experience. A memory which seems to be etched in my mind.

I love surprises.  Lets face it, who doesn't?  As exhilarating as it is to get things I wished for, whats more exciting is the unexpected gifts, like picking up a mills and boon and actually winning a date with the Oh-to-die-for Ranveer Singh. All it took was a phone call to change what seemed like a usual day, "Shonell Thakker,  you have stolen a date with Ranveer Singh" I felt just like one of the the Mills and boon girls, pushed to limelight for a day of glamour and whirlwind of romance. With butterflies in my stomach I entered palacial Taj Lands End to meet my prince. The atmosphere was ideal for romance with a slight drizzle of the rain. Another surprise awaited me. Seated along with Ranveer was Sonakshi Sinha who looked every bit as pretty off screen as on screen. But it was Ranveer that got me tongue tied. Looking every bit royal and regal and so unlike his on screen image of the king of streets, and armed with the disarming smile and lethal charm. The preliminary introductions also were exciting as my name, which is pronounced like the famous brand got compliments from both Ranveer and Sonakshi. What struck me the most was the ease at which I could talk to both of them. Ranveer described his ideal girl and like the true blue blood m n b hero claimed her to be the centre of his world *swoon* There was a lot of friendly leg pulling about that by Sonakshi and I couldn't hold back my laughter.  Braved a couple of other questions about experinenting with their looks and dealing with the limelight they face. Got some pretty insights to their real selves. As I reluctantly said my good byes Ranveer engulfed me In a bear hug which was a perfect end to the perfect date. What more, my perfect evening was captured in a camera for the whole world to see.So reading does have its rewards and this girl nxt door did get her guy <3

The experiences of KK & ST on a date with the Lootera team.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Are you a Hobbyist or a Passionista?

Is Passionista even a word? 
Maybe not. Guess, I just wanted to catch your attention and I’m one of those writers who simply hate it when readers ignore my writing. Some would say that’s the trait of an obsessed person.  I would say it just makes me a person who’s passionate about writing. Just as there are people who are passionate about cars – they can rattle off the names, makes, model numbers and a gazillion other details about every car that ever rolled off the assembly lines since Model T was manufactured. There are those who are passionate about fashion and are walking-talking encyclopedias about the great fashion houses, designers and models. Then there are those who take their passion for sport to stratospheric levels. 
I simply obsess about writing. The obsession has made me troll Internet sites in search of tips and tricks. It has made me spend hard earned money on books about writing, doing writing-related courses. For me, the difference between being a hobbyist and a passionista is the level of obsession that you have for something. How far are you willing to go to become a published author? If your entry in a writing contest were to be rejected would you just throw in the towel (or in this case, the pen) and shrug it off? If you’re one of those who can’t shrug it off but persist in your commitment to becoming a better writer, then you’re a passionista. 
Like Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight Series whose book was rejected time and time again. 
Like Stephen King, who received 30 rejections for his first book. 
Like J.K. Rowling who didn’t let single motherhood, depression and rejection come in the way of her pursuing her dream of writing the Harry Potter series.
Like Jack London who got 600 rejection slips but went on to write the hugely popular White Fang and The Call of the Wild
They persisted and persevered and look where their passion got them. But it wasn’t success or fame that mobilised them. It was their passion for writing that kept them going – their love for writing. 
Obsess about your writing. And don’t quit! Be a passionista! 
Happy obsessing! ;) 
Adite Banerjie

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Stumbling blocks to the happily ever after...?

When I started writing my first novel I had the story and a lot of the scenes planned and ready to be locked into words but as I moved from chapter to chapter the characters evolved from mere one dimensional figures into someone about whom I knew in depth. They seemed to have a life of their own. Sometimes when I gently nudge them in the direction I want them to go, they don’t. They get there sooner or later after meandering through a couple of bylanes which is very exciting and surprising. Sometime their meandering takes awhile and that makes me impatient and frustrated. 
So what did I learn, you ask ?

  1. The characters should drive the story

When we want to make the story move forward we sometimes make the mistake of letting the plot take center stage. It doesn’t bode well for the character because in simple terms it is the difference between a character doing something of their own accord and a character being coerced to do something. It deprives the character of its natural ability to grow. So the mantra is character- driver seat, plot- back seat.

  1. Point of view
Often we can make the mistake of telling the story only from the point of view of one character which allows the reader to look at only side of the coin. Alternately we can also make the mistake of recounting each scene from the POV of both the characters which can get repetitive and doesn’t allow the reader to read between the lines. Striking a fine balance between the two is crucial.

3) Sustain the interest
The most important part of any story is the emotional connection one establishes with the reader. Despite knowing that the hero and heroine are going to end up together it is important to plant the seed of doubt that they might not be able to work things out. That keeps the readers invested in the story till the end. 
There are other pitfalls that you might encounter along the way but the thrill of penning the last word of the story make it all worthwhile. 

Happy writing!

Writing can be a challenge…or not!

You know, it's hard work to write a book. I can't tell you how many times I really get going on an idea, then my quill breaks. Or I spill ink all over my writing tunic.”
--Ellen DeGeneres
I have been writing for a long time. After all, my one-time day job was that of a journalist. And yet the thought of writing a book filled me with dread. 
Don’t get me wrong, I desperately wanted to write a book. But the very thought of it was, to say the least, daunting! Even though I had a rocking premise. All these wonderful characters (well, at least to me they seemed irresistible!).  And a bunch of ‘terrific’ scenes that were just waiting to tumble out of my head and on to the computer screen. 
Of course, I wouldn’t admit to myself that I was plain scared to sit myself down and start thumping away at the keyboard. So, I came up with a million excuses for not doing it. Trust me, I can be very creative when it comes to cooking up excuses. These are just a sampling: 
  • My heroine is a landscape designer. I don’t know the first thing about it. I have to do a ton of research or else the character will not be authentic!
  • I need to give my dog a bath. I’m going to start tomorrow. Positively.
  • Today? No way! I’ve got to finish my assignment and then there are guests coming over for dinner.  
  • Oh no, I’ve to pay the neighbour a visit. Poor thing has been down with viral.
  • If only I didn’t have to cook dinner. Sigh.  
And so on…Sound familiar? I’m sure it does. And then there are those moments when just as you are about to start writing, you have this compelling urge to check your email, update your Facebook status and/or do a gazillion other stuff that have suddenly acquired earth-shattering, must-do-now urgency. One thing is for sure, if I spent less time making excuses, I’d definitely have been an author (and not just an aspiring one at that!) by now. Or not! 
So when Passions III was announced, I knew I just had to do it. Yet, it was a prospect that I did not relish. For, I not only had to cope with my procrastinating self but also with my fears that I’d be writing crap that had only one place for it – the trash can! 
But as Nora Roberts has so famously said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.” 
If there’s one thing that my years in journalism have trained me for, it’s the ability to meet deadlines. So approaching it like a “deadline-oriented” assignment, I got down to the business of working out the characters, the storyline, and voila, had a 2000-word story ready in less than a week. 
In hindsight, it all seems so simple, right? And believe me, it doesn’t have to be the struggle that we all make it out to be. As I began to write the novel, I worked out a few tips n’ tricks to cheat my procrastinating self. 
  • Writing to a schedule:  Writing a certain number of words every day, five days a week. A mere 100 words per day in the first couple of weeks – and sticking to it, come rain or shine. Bumping it up to 500 words the next and to 1000, a couple of weeks later. In a month’s time, I found that I looked forward to writing every day of the week.
  • Rewarding myself: Every time I met a target – two pages done, a chapter completed – I would reward myself with something that I’d denied myself, maybe that chocolate bar or watch my favourite SRK movie on DVD, or… you get the idea! 
  • Appointing a friend as a Chief Whipcracker: This is for those desperate times when you have to get a whole chunk of chapters ready for the editor and need someone to give you a big nudge and tell you, “c’mon now, you can do it!” And believe me, your friend is bound to take his/her job very seriously! ;) 
I hope you will find some of these tips useful. Or, maybe they’ll inspire you to create your own Cheat Sheet to keep the Procrastinator in you at bay. 
Happy Writing! 
Adite Banerjie