Star Power

Tamil cinema fans are often seen as rowdy and raucous bursting crackers, pouring milk, erecting effigies and in general doing nothing worthwhile. But when a star uses his clout to direct this huge mob towards social service the results could be monumental.

Write, Woman, Write!


The path that I’ve chosen is the road less travelled. The choice came when there was little else to choose from. But the decision to continue, knowing fully well that it is going to be uphill, is all mine. The path am talking about is my writing avatar.

I’ve always been a voracious reader but I have hardly penned my thoughts. So when I started writing movie reviews, I was never sure if the words would appear. But they came, at first slowly, then with new found vigor. My first few pieces were raw, unpolished and crying out loud for revision and editing. But I never listened. You see, as a writer, sometimes you can laud yourself too much. So when I started sending pitches and never heard back, I never once thought something could be wrong with the pitches. I always thought that they didn’t know how good I was.

So for months I kept querying with little luck. It is somewhat like serving Briyani to Americans. If they knew the taste and reckoned the process of making it as a labor of love, they would gobble it up before they hear the words Bon appetit!(much like my husband). But if they have never tasted briyani, then expecting them to relish it is taking things too far. Your strategy should focus on making them take that first spoon. So you start teasing them with the aroma, educating them with a little history, titilating their taste buds with the culinary expertise and finally seducing them to submission. Querying is a bit like that.

How could I expect magazines and websites to publish my work if they have never read what I’ve written or don’t have the reason to read what I bring to the table? As a writer, my inherent duty is to write. But that’s not good enough. If I cannot market it, tempt my editors to read the first few lines, then I can never make it.

Mridu Khullar Relph, the award winning author who promises to show the writer the business aspect of writing, is my go-to-guide for querying and everything else in this big bad world of freelancing. She has a specialized e course on querying that got off to a great start in feb. The e course is making its appearance again in April (thanks to the glowing response it received from its recipients). If you have always wanted to get your name published or if you’re stuck in limbo in your writing life, look no further. Just sign here and leave it up to her.

The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money. – Karl Marx

Although writing is a passion that am proudly nursing, am not in it for the money. It is one of the driving forces but not the only one. Writing has given me happiness, perspective and a joy in life that I would have never found in my other desk life. Words are like that.

East vs West – The paper trail

The Alternative is an initiative that focuses on sustainable living and for a while I’ve been contributing to their site. But on my recent visit to India, I observed that many practices and everyday living that my parents followed rarely affected the environment. Infact it nurtured and protected it. In contradiction, the western lives that we led in the USA was causing a severe strain to the major players. Yet we were the ones making all the noise and hoopla about going green and protecting the environment. So who was really making a bigger mess and hence had to do a better clean up? This series East vs West is an extension of my introspection of the Indian and immigrant lifestyles.

The first post focuses on paper. Contrasting consumption, production and recycling techniques The Paper Trail urges us to recycle more. Would be very happy to hear your thoughts.