Jagga Jasoos – One of a kind Bollywood Musical

How do you give a star rating to a movie that is one of its kind? So, let’s not do that for Jagga Jasoos. It is one of kind Bollywood musical, an experiment, a fresh take on Indian cinema.

The story of Jagga Jasoos is heartfelt, interesting and universally appealing, though set up in a fantasy land. It’s characters are extremely likeable especially Jagga, played by Ranbir Kapoor; he looks innocent & endearing and has done a marvelous job. I am not a fan of Katrina Kaif‘s acting but I have to say, this may be one of the rare times where she was given an adorable character to play and she did a great job. All the supporting actors did extremely well as well. Movie length, editing and direction were fine, however the musical nature was overdone. I get why it was made into a musical but there were portions which could have used dialogues to balance a bit.

Sceneries are simply beautiful, especially that one shot where the giraffe colors the screen when it walks from right to the left side of the screen. The movie is shot in places such as Manipur, that are not particularly shown in Hindi cinema. In fact, there are a lot of creative things that are a first in this movie.

One thing is for sure, you need some patience and an open mind to watch Jagga Jasoos. It definitely has its moments and is not your cliche movie, but it could have been better if some of the musical portions were cut down. I am not sure what kind of box office business it will do, but it definitely gets an A for being experimental and creative!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: “The Big Sick” is emotional and funny!

I have seen Kumail Nanjiani’s work in HBO sitcom, Silicon Valley, therefore I was very curious to see his movie, The Big Sick. And I wasn’t disappointed. This movie is based on Kumail‘s life story and very beautifully told. The movie is equal part touching and funny! There are some scenes which inherently are very intense and emotional but even in those scenes, the dialogues are written so beautifully that you can’t help laughing. I believe I also heard clapping in the theater for couple of dialogues.

Every actor has done a fabulous job of acting but I was particularly impressed by Holly Hunter. Movie length, direction and editing are quite impressive. If you like comedy and drama, you should definitely check this one out, you won’t be disappointed!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix Special: Emotional & Funny!

Upon my daughter’s recommendation, I recently watched Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King on Netflix and simply loved it! I hadn’t heard of Hasan Minhaj until the recent White House correspondents dinner when he was trending on social media for his hilarious jokes.

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King is not only hilarious but also quite emotional in places. Both me (as an immigrant) and my daughter (as an American born Indian) connected with him so much that its impossible to not like him. What I loved about Hasan is how connected he is to his roots and his culture. His usage of Hindi was apt and spoke volumes about his ingrained culture. In this day and age, a lot of immigrants let go of their cultural roots in order to fit in but Hasan seems like his is very comfortable in his skin and that to me is his USP.

This one and a half hour Netflix special is worth watching and you will really crack up in places and connect so much emotionally as well!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Agent Raghav is a gripping crime thriller!

I am always on the lookout for watching fresh content on Netflix and I recently discovered this Indian crime thriller series called Agent Raghav. I have to say I am quite impressed!

There are a lot of factors that go into making a good television series that can last a number of years and Agent Raghav seems to have cracked the formula. Each episode is different and delves into solving a crime in a fresh and unique way. I like the fact that the show doesn’t follow any template and therefore it is not predictable and keeps us wanting for more. The characters are well casted and serve the purpose they are supposed to, i.e. keep the audience engaged.

If you like watching crime thrillers, check Agent Raghav out!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Tribute to Manisha Koirala was the best in TKSS!

The Kapil Sharma Show is known for giving tributes to Bollywood stars such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and others. However, last week’s tribute to Manisha Koirala was by far the best! Kudos to Kiku Sharda for pulling that off on her famous song, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha…What a beautiful melody and a justified performance for inspiring Manisha!

Manisha Koirala’s life story is truly inspiring and she is spreading her courage through various events. When I watched her TED talk, I myself was inspired.

The Kapil Sharma Show is growing with new characters and cast and I hope it keeps creating such wonderful moments along with contagious laughter every weekend!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Tips on Grant Writing

I have been volunteering as a Grant Writer for a few non-profit organizations; While each organization is different in terms of needs, the community it serves and operating budget etc., however some elements of grant writing are similar.

Lets take a look at some of these important elements of writing a successful grant application.

  • Keep in mind that most funders have a process for accepting grant applications which mostly starts with an eligibility test, followed by a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and if accepted, it is followed by the full-fledged grant application. One must pay attention to the deadlines for each of these processes.
  • While writing a grant application, it helps to have a crisp Mission statement for the non-profit and use it appropriately in the application. It also helps to show how the non-profit’s mission aligns with that of the funder.
  • While writing a grant application, it helps to highlight important milestones and achievements of the non-profit in order to show progress since inception and emphasize why the requested grant is needed.
  • Couple of other important parameters to include in a successful grant application is the community that the non-profit serves and how rich its board members are. It helps to highlight how these board members’ experience helps in achieving the non-profit goals.
  • Budget is an important component of the application and should be described in an easy to understand narrative and figures. Pie charts etc. can also be used in a full-fledged application.
  • Most importantly, all funders will provide you a word limit on the LOI and grant application. Make sure you don’t cross that and make your application crisp and easy to understand.

There are obviously other factors to consider which may be specific to each non-profit organization; However the above pointers should help you get started.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Dr. Sanket Bhosale is a wonderful addition to TKSS!

The Kapil Sharma Show is a popular show to watch on the weekends, not only for the Indian market but also in several other countries. While this show has an amazing format and wonderful comedians, it helps every now and then to get fresh talents.

One of such amazing talents has been found in Dr. Sanket Bhosale. He has already performed couple of gigs as Sanju Baba in the show and he was simply superb! I wasn’t surprised when he got standing ovation because he was naturally very funny. Dr. Sanket’s forte is mimicry especially of Sanjay Dutt. Sanket is smart enough to know what is working with the audience and is also very good at improvising.

It’s great to see such amazing comic talent on this show. I hope that Kapil‘s team keeps doing great work and keeps us entertained!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Alia & Varun excel in Badrinath ki Dulhania!

Badrinath ki Dulhania‘s trailer might seem frivolous but the movie is surprisingly substantial as well as entertaining. A dose of feminism provided to us in a very light-hearted and entertaining way!

Alia Bhatt is amazing as usual. I believe that after her previous mind blowing performances, people expect great acting from her. But what amazes me how is she able to get into the skin of her character so effortlessly? She pretty much becomes the person that she is playing on screen and makes us root for her character. The surprise, however comes from Varun Dhawan. This is probably his best acting job so far! He is believable and endearing. As much as Alia is the hero of this film, you fall in love with Varun’s character. Well done!

Music is great especially the Tamma Tamma song and the title song. Other songs are melodious and visually appealing. Story has a wide appeal in terms of connectivity with the audience and dialogues are smartly written. There is ample humor in the first half and endearing emotions in the second half. Although the ending resolution seems a bit too easy, the movie overall is tightly edited and beautifully told.

Overall a great entertaining watch with a meaningful message.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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SRK shines in and as Raees!

Ever since Raees‘s trailer came out, it looked promising and the movie sure does deliver! Well directed and researched, it has a realistic flavor and boatload of acting talent! Very different from a typical Shah Rukh Khan movie.

I went with the assumption that Nawazuddin Siddiqui being such a fine actor will surely perform better than Shah Rukh Khan but I was pleasantly surprised. While Nawazuddin performs graciously, Shah Rukh Khan definitely shines in this acting oriented role. His demeanor and facial expressions were spot on and he looked the part. It kind of reminds you of his much talked about acting in Baazigar movie. Mahira Khan fitted her character and performed realistically.

Music is awesome, especially the Laila mein Laila song, the visuals and the striking music is too good to ignore! Other songs are fairly good as well.

Based on the realities of Gujarat state, this movie is gripping and story line is pretty strong. One could argue that the ending could have been a bit stronger but it doesn’t take away from the extremely well woven plot.

I’d say definitely a watch for Shah Rukh Khan‘s fans and those who like realistic cinema and good acting…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: The Founder!

The likes of successful corporations such as Starbucks and McDonalds have always fascinated me. There is always a big-thinking entrepreneur behind such phenomenal corporations. Therefore I had to watch the movie The Founder to learn more about how McDonalds came into existence and became a sensation.

The Founder starring Michael Keaton is a well directed and a very telling story told from the perspective of Ray Kroc, the man with an ambitious mind. I really liked learning how the corporation was started and how the various events led to what McDonalds is today.

The Founder is a very well acted and directed movie! A must watch for those interested in business and inspiring stories!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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TKSS episode with Shah Rukh Khan was very endearing!

I watch every episode of The Kapil Sharma Show and the humor everytime is heartwarming as well as uplifting. However, some episodes stand out and last weekend’s episode with Shah Rukh Khan stood out in so many ways! Of course, the chemistry between Shah Rukh and Kapil Sharma is very evident and the wit with which they outsmart each other is a treat to eyes and ears! But what was the most endearing of all was the tribute the TKSS team gave to Shah Rukh Khan for completing 25 years in Bollywood. It spoke volumes about the love and respect the team feels for Shah Rukh Khan and it was a treat to watch as an audience. All the kids performed with so much confidence and the song choices were great as well.

The bit about promoting Kapil’s new movie Firangi was hilarious as well. Good luck to Kapil Sharma and his team for all their endeavors!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review – XXX: Return of Xander Cage!

Got a chance to watch XXX: Return of Xander Cage today! I haven’t watched any of the previous movies of this franchise but I wanted to watch this one for Deepika Padukone.

I am not a fan of action movies…I hate to admit that at times they are difficult to follow such as the Avengers (I may have slept through one..) Having said that, XXX: Return of Xander Cage was easy to follow and had a clear cut storyline. Vin Diesel was majestic and all the other characters were perfectly casted and performed well. I was quite impressed with Donnie Yen.  Deepika held her own and looked gorgeous!

Overall a nice watch if you like action movies. Some of the stunts were really fun to watch especially the chase in the ocean and the airplane climax scenes.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Sasha Singh!

I am extremely excited and proud to be interviewing Sasha Singh today! I have seen Sasha grow from a talented dancer to an inspiring choreographer and now an actress in the Indian film industry! Her Telugu movie titled Appatlo Okadundevadu has released recently. Lets chat with her about her creative endeavors.


Sasha Singh


  • Welcome Sasha! Please tell us what inspired you to act in movies?

I was lucky enough to have many motivators in my life. Firstly, my experiences have given me the inspiration to dream and live those dreams. I would go to the movies with my family on a weekly basis and watch all kinds of actors and actresses paint their stories on the screen. Watching Bollywood movies regularly really opened up my eyes to the world of cinema and formed my views towards acting. Furthermore, there were many influential people in my life who encouraged me to pursue my passion of acting. My family especially has been my biggest rock. They stood by me and supported me throughout the whole process. They were there for me at all times and their belief in my capabilities inspired me everyday. If they could sacrifice so much to see my dreams come true, why couldn’t I do everything in my power to achieve them?

Other people who inspired me were my Gurus and mentors. Meenakshi Sheshadri was someone who guided me when I first realized I was serious about doing movies. She offered her knowledge and time to help me. Anyone who ever taught me acting also taught me many useful life skills. My theater teacher Rene Harris pushed me to do my best in school and really sparked a flame in me. A flame of love for acting. Neeraj Kabi also trained me when I lived in India and gave me a lot of gyan for lack of a better word. In conclusion, the people and activities around me as I was growing up were my biggest inspirations.

  • Its really wonderful to see that you had such amazing supportive people as your inspiration. Please tell us a little bit about your character in Appatlo Okadundevadu and how you prepared for this role?

Appatlo Okadudevadu is a complex and engaging film which is set mostly in the 90’s and is based on a true story. It has a little bit of all flavors of genres; action, romance, comedy, drama, and suspense. My character is guiding the story along and she (Riya) is searching for the main character (Railway Raju) in present time. My character links everything together and is sort of putting all the puzzle pieces together. I am a cricketer in the film so that was definitely what I had to prepare for the most. I would practice in a casual and fun way with my family and tried watching some famous cricket games/techniques. I also prepared for the role by watching and listening to Telugu films/songs in order to get used to the language that was so new for me.

  • That’s wonderful. Cricket and movies are the two biggest passions for all Indians and you got to combine the two in your very first role! Besides acting, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Besides acting, my passion for dance is what keeps me going. I love to use my body as a tool to portray a story or message through song and movement. Even when I was a kid, if I ever felt upset, or had any strong emotion, I would close my room door, put on my favorite music, and just dance my heart out. It didn’t matter if I was angry, hurt, excited, etc. All that mattered was that dance gave me the ability to express my self and let out my feelings. It has always been my way of keeping myself happy and calm. I continue to dance even now. I am a choreographer for Masti Dance Academy which also allows me to explore another one of my hobbies i.e. working with kids. Each time I am in charge of or need to teach kids dance or something, I feel as though I am the one that is actually learning. I have always found that being around kids is not only a stress relive, but also it brings out my inner child. I believe that being with kids constantly gives me different perspectives on things, and it always brings a smile to my face.

  • Having achieved your dream, what advice do you have for an aspiring actor?

For any aspiring actors, I would say to have your own little mantra. That is definitely what has gotten me this far and what I think will help me in the future. It may seem silly, but every day, I say a little chant to myself about what my goals are, and what I will do when I achieve them. This is a constant reminder to keep my aspirations in mind in every little thing that I do. This puts out those thoughts into the universe and before you know it those thoughts become a reality. Of course, acting is a complex and unique art form. There are so many techniques and practices out there. Finding what does or doesn’t work for you, and constantly exploring and practicing those techniques will prepare you for any role that comes your way. I try to make time in my schedule on a daily basis to learn something new about acting, the history of cinema, cinematic techniques, or something which will expand my knowledge in acting. Being proactive and checking for casting calls is another must.

  • Thank you for the inspiring advice, I’m sure that aspiring actors will find it very helpful. Tell us, what was the most challenging aspect for you while performing in front of the camera?

I have had experience in theater and I always knew that acting for the camera is different, but it wasn’t until now that I realized just how different it really is. A camera will catch your every detail, a wrinkle when you smile, a tooth which is slightly crooked, or anything else you wouldn’t normally notice. Once I realized this, the most challenging part of acting in front of a camera for me was fully immersing myself into my character, so that every little detail about me, reflected what my character was feeling. Because the camera picks up every minute detail, the challenge for me was making sure every little eyebrow raise or lip twitch would work and enhance my character at that moment.

  • Do you want to share some information on your other acting projects?

I have a couple of projects coming up which I can’t release information about yet. I will be posting about these and other future projects once they are finalized on my Facebook page.

Thanks Sasha for stopping by. It was a pleasure and I wish you great success in all your creative endeavors!


Sasha’s Movie Poster (Appatlo Okadundevadu)

Interview with author Daniela Silva

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Daniela Silva to my blog. Lets talk to her about her recently published book titled “Unraveling Reading”.


  • Welcome Daniela, Please tell us briefly about your book and what inspired you to write it?

Unraveling Reading is basically about education and literacy, focusing on how to help students with difficulties in reading and writing. In this book, I discuss activities and teaching strategies that can be applied in the classroom or at home for home-schoolers. These activities respect the individual needs of the students, with regard to different learning styles such as visually, auditory or kinesthetically, depending on how the brain learns and processes information. In addition, the book presents Brain Gym exercises, a pedagogical technique that improves reading and writing skills through the movement.

What inspired me to write this book was the aim to disseminate quality information about how a student can develop reading and writing skills in a  dynamic way, through exercises that take into account students’ capabilities and learning styles. This is important to consider because each of us learns in a unique way, and knowing this, can help educators and instructors to develop better teaching strategies.

  • That’s an awesome goal. How much research did you do for your book?

It took 3 years. The research was based on the reading and selection of educational resources, such as academic exercises, lessons, practices, dynamics and theories that fit and takes into account multiple personalities and different styles of learning.

  • What is that one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The process of teaching and learning is the main theme of my book. Each of us is different in experiences, knowledge and abilities, and hence the way an educator teaches and presents academic content, must be different from student to student. That´s why we have so many different learning styles and multiple personalities in a classroom. For example, a student can learn better through the movement, while another student can have a better comprehension of content when rhythms and sounds are used. It´ll depend on how your brain captures and assimilates new information.

  • Your book is part of a series, which other books have you planned to write in this series?

The idea is to expand this literature project, writing more books that are part of the educational needs of teachers and students, such as History and Science subjects.

  • According to you, what is the most rewarding thing about being an author?

Transform the world using your words. The words, when used with love, empathy, and attention can lead to hope and inspire change, and my book is a great tool for change because it has the power to penetrate people’s hearts and minds. An author must write for a cause or a purpose, and must ask himself or herself why they are writing and for whom? These are two very simple questions, but they make all the difference!

Thanks Daniela for stopping by. Good luck with your writing projects!

Movie Review: Dear Zindagi!

Gauri Shinde has done it again! She proved that her direction has merit with English Vinglish and she proves that she has a lot of depth with Dear Zindagi! I am so glad that I watched this profound movie, it warms your heart and makes you proud to see good Indian cinema!

Casting of the movie is perfect! Editing and direction are marvelous and the music doesn’t interfere with story telling, just like it should be!

Shahrukh Khan justifies his character and plays it endearingly, while Alia Bhatt is effortlessly phenomenal! Not even once I felt like I am watching fiction, Alia essays this role so believably that she pulls you along and takes you on a beautiful ride!

Youth will connect a lot with this film but adults will take home a lot more! Experience the magic for yourself…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: Shivaay!

Ever since Shivaay‘s trailer has hit YouTube, I have been wanting to see it. It’s the first of its kind in Bollywood and kudos to Ajay Devgan for pulling something like this of. The scale of the movie is beyond imagination and stunts are unbelievable. One thing is for sure, this movie deserves to be seen in the big screen, without which you will never experience it fully. Music is fresh and simply awesome. I am in love with the Darkhaast song! But the Bol har har & Ja Ja Kailash chanting in the theater was hair-raising! Everytime I heard it in the movie, its was a treat!

Craft wise, I would say the movie should have been edited better and could have been shorter. Some scenes are a bit too long. The story itself is dark (almost felt like I am watching an episode of Criminal Minds show) but the movie’s scale and emotion and music is mind blowing. A great effort by Ajay Devgan’s team! Kudos and Congratulations!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

It is going to be hard to review Ae Dil Hai Mushkil without revealing its story…All I can say is that it is a relationship story or rather a story about modern relationships. I absolutely loved the first two hours of the movie, performance were outstanding and sceneries were beautiful, costumes were stylish but here’s the downer…Whoever wrote the story probably ran out of ideas…the last 20 minutes or so did not work for me at all. I love Bollywood movies so I am generally very tolerant of storylines but I couldn’t digest that last bit of the movie.

Having said that, Karan Johar‘s direction was superb. Ranbir Kapoor proves yet again what a fine actor he is. Anushka Sharma was effortless, she is such a talented actress! Aishwarya was good in her supporting role, in couple of scenes she looked breathtaking. Lisa Haydon was a surprise package, I loved her bit. Music is great but a bit saddening.

All in all, ADHM is a nice watch but not great…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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PINK – Movie Review!

After hearing a lot of praise for the movie, PINK, I decided to go watch it myself in the theater….and it certainly lives up to the expectations!

If we talk about the cast, at first, Amitabh Bachchan may attract you go watch the movie, but the movie is way bigger than his stature. Everyone has acted so well that it won’t be fair to call it Amitabh Bachchan’s movie. Of course Amitabh acted very confidently and convincingly but I believe Taapsee Pannu and other two girls (Kirti and Andrea) stole the show. Their acting was so natural and convincing that for a moment you forget that you are watching fiction. Hats off to the director and writer for getting such marvelous performances out of the whole cast!

It is really nice to see realistic cinema in Bollywood and thanks to the new age directors who are not afraid to bring controversial and hard hitting subjects to the silver screen. I hope that everyone watches it and takes home a good strong message.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with author P. G. Van

Author P.G. Van lives in San Francisco. Ever since she published her first novel, Destiny Decides in October 2015, she just cannot stop writing. Let’s chat with her today about her book and writing in general.


  • Welcome P.G. Van! Please tell us what inspired you to write Destiny Decides?

Destiny Decides happened as a result of pure destiny. I thought about the initial version of the story while I was on my way to work. It was driven by my thoughts around how hard would it be to get in touch with a long lost friend as I had lost touch with a few of my friends after school. I thought about the emotions a character goes through when they realize they have strong feelings for someone and they don’t even know where they were.

My thoughts were flowing endlessly and I had to write them down on a sheet of paper and within an hour I had decided I wanted to write about it. Up until that day my focus was entirely on how to go up the corporate ladder and once I got thinking about writing it gave me a new perspective in life and that not everything is driven by deliverables and deadlines and that you need to enjoy life loving the people in your life.

This particular story will always hold a special place in my heart as it let me explore a lot of things I feel very passionate about. I lived vicariously through Nick’s cool cars and it fueled my love for cars and motorcycles. I love Indian classical music and dance and most of all being able to write about how the Indian culture is preserved outside India. It allowed me to explore the concept of a family living under one roof while enjoying the privacy and independence.

The common theme with all of my stories is Indians or people of Indian origin in the San Francisco bay area. It allows me to add an Indian touch to my stories to build the story and make the experiences unique and allowed me to use the culture as a basis for my stories.

  • That’s quite interesting. Tell us, how do you go about developing characters of your book?

My favorite part of the initial stages of the book is to define my characters and outline who they are as a person. I usually start with their name, age and what they do.

The name is very critical to me and I pick a name that is simple yet says something about the character. Nikhil means perfect and I wanted that name because I knew I was going to create the ideal guy and Nick as a short version if his name that gives his character an edge. He is a successful businessman at the age of twenty seven.

When it comes to heroines in my books, I like my women characters to be strong without being snobbish. They are not perfect but they are perfect for the hero of the book. Their characteristics are complimentary to the male character thereby making the match up perfect.

I still have notes from my initial days of writing with the list of characteristics down to what kind of food do they eat and how do they react to an unfavorable situation. A lot of times I write down a few incidents that I don’t include in the book but leave them as part of the ‘deleted scenes’ but they serve as a foundation for my character building.

Here is an excerpt from my deleted scenes that shows how Sameera as a teenager was affected by the tragedy in her life. I read these incidents to be able to pen down the pent up pain that only Nick is able to soothe because of their relationship as young adults.


I took a deep breath remembering everything that happened in the last two years. I just had not figured out a way to deal with my pain. I took another deep breath refusing to shed a tear, as I reached for the picture of my dad from the nightstand next to my bed. I smiled looking at the loving and lively image of my dad sitting on his Royal Enfield motorcycle that he loved to ride and take me on rides.

“Daddy, I know you will be there for me anytime I need you.” I murmured looking at the picture of my dad and added in a soft voice, “I am leaving my stuff here and moving to a new country. I will soon become a part of a new family but you know I will be yours forever.” I hugged the picture and said, “and I promise to get back to dancing soon”.

  • Quite often authors have a favorite scene or two. Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

I am so glad you asked. It it most definitely the first time Sameera sees Nick on his bike. She has no idea who the person is but something tells her the person is important. My twist on the ‘love at first sight’ where Sameera could not forget the eyes. She keeps thinking about that episode every time she sees a biker because the chemistry that happened when their eyes met branded something in her brain.

This particular scene takes the reader to the dreamy world that we all fantasize at some level. The fact that some random guy blew her a kiss did not stop Sameera from thinking about him or talking about him. The fact that she did not wave back and blow a kiss back gives the reader a hint that she knows when to be amused and when not to be.

I absolutely love this particular scene because the build up to the scene gave me the opportunity to describe the beautiful highway that I drive on to work everyday, paint a picture of a sexy looking bike from Sameera’s perspective so the readers know about her love for motorbikes and how she fell in love with bikes when her dad took her out for a ride when she was five.

This scene also gave me the opportunity to add a mysterious touch to the first chapter in hopes of keeping the readers wondering who the guy was and what his story was and how he would be part of Sameera’s story.

  • Is there any particular author who has inspired you to write? Why?

The author that inspired me most is Katherine Gordan and she did it with her writing style. I still remember her book The Emerald Peacock and falling in love with the hero. She did an excellent job of painting the picture of the setting, the emotions of the characters as they fall in love and soon are torn apart to be separated for years. I remember closing the book so I could cry and let out the pain and then continue reading. I felt the goosebumps pepper my skin when she describes the feeling when the characters see each other after many years.

Her writing style is somewhat poetic which enhances the readers experience. While working on Destiny Decides, I attempted something similar to give the reader the depth of the emotion.

Readers enjoy a book especially a romance novel for the way the author tells the story about how two people found their happy ending. If an author is able to keep the reader wondering about what is going to happen next for an expected happy ending, that is a sign of a good author and I hope to give that to my readers with each one of my stories.

  • I am so glad that you decided to write. Please tell us, what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

When I started writing I had no idea what it meant to be a writer and how writers felt when you write a review or leave a comment for them.

I will tell you it is very rewarding and every piece of feedback fuels my enthusiasm to keep writing. When someone told me I had very good imagination and was very creative, I thought that’s true with everyone but I do realize that writers have a bit more imagination that makes them build the stories.

One of my most rewarding experience was when one of my readers reached out to me to give me personal feedback about how much she liked my books. She reached out to me via Facebook messenger after she finished my first book and sent multiple message which I unfortunately missed. She liked the first book so much she bought my second book and at the end of my second book I had added my email address. She reached out to me via email to tell me how much she enjoyed both books and asked me if I was working on more books. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the email where she was very cautious and clarified that she was reaching out to me only to compliment me and that if I didn’t respond to her she would not send me further communication. What else do I need as a writer? A reader who loved my books so much that she found a way to reach me to tell me about everything that was good and things that I needed to fix with my books.

Another reason I keep writing is because of my own lovely fan base that started reading, yes started reading for the first time ever with my book and promise to read every book I write. I am blessed to have been able to write and to have stories form in front of my eyes as I am about to wrap up one book.

P.G. Van’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg.van.7

P.G. Van’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/authpgvan

The Night Of – Great Mini Series!

I just finished watching The Night Of mini series on HBO and was quite intrigued by it. It is a crime drama but what makes it unique and interesting is the way it is told! After we have seen many shows on crime, the nuances lie in acting and story-telling. This show grips you so strongly in the first episode that you have got to watch the rest!

While story-telling in The Night Of is at its best, the unique subtle way of acting is marvelous. There are no melodramatic scenes whatsoever and the characters are supremely well developed. My favorites are Naz and John Stone (the lawyer)!

And to top it all, the end is quite satisfying. Watch it for its uniqueness, it won’t let you down..

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Mashoor Gulati’s cousin is mind-blowing!

Kapil Sharma has played one of his best characters on screen as Mashoor Gulati’s cousin! If you haven’t watched yesterday’s episode of The Kapil Sharma Show (where Sonakshi Sinha came to promote Akira), you must watch it! Kapil will blow your mind with his demeanor, get-up and his one-liners as Mashoor Gulati’s cousin. Simply hilarious!! I would love to see this character again!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Cheese Fondue!

After having eaten at Melting Pot, I fell in love with fondue especially cheese fondue. Of course I had to order my own fondue set so that I can enjoy this savory treat any time I want!




Although the fondue set comes with its own recipes, I wanted something close to what we ate at the restaurant.  Apparently someone had already experimented and perfected this recipe .



fondueTried it today and it turned out simply delicious…almost as good the one we had at Melting Pot. We enjoyed it with french bread, carrots and cherry tomatoes. The only change I made to the recipe was I used provolone and gouda cheese as these are easier to find.

Next time, I have got to get wine with the fondue and it will taste even better!



Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Peach Delights!

My daughter recently informed me that August is the National Peach month and it so happened that in the last couple of weeks, I have tasted two magical peach food products worth talking about. I don’t particularly eat peaches by themselves but I believe peaches add a very unique and subtle flavor in different types of desserts or cookies.




If you happen to be in Savannah, don’t forget to sample Byrd’s Georgia Peach cookies. The subtle taste of these cookies will keep you wanting more. I regret that I bought only one packet…simply delicious!




The other peach delight that I recently discovered was on route to Houston. This is a local store on Highway 45 (exit 198) called Cooper Farms . You can sample their peach ice-cream and I guarantee you that you will not leave the store without buying this fruity, delicious peach ice-cream in one form or another. Get a simple cup or cone or try their floats. Peach ice-cream with cream soda float was extremely refreshing! Their home-made ice cream has cinnamon and bunch of other ingredients that make the taste very unique and keeps you wanting more…Perfect for summer!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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TKSS episode with Hrithik Roshan was very elegant!

Yesterday’s TKSS episode with Hrithik Roshan was not only hilarious but the most elegant episode ever of this show! There is no doubt that Kapil Sharma and his team are very talented, however when guests participate with them, it adds value to the show. Hrithik Roshan did just that and very elegantly! Hrithik’s chemistry was out of the charts with both Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover!

I loved seeing Hrithik with Sunil at the pottery station. KBC gig was super hilarious and at the same time very intelligent. Kiku Sharda always has something incredible to offer and did so again with his Jadu act.

I can’t agree more with Hrithik’s sister’s friend that this show is very therapeutic. We watch this show every weekend, sometimes we laugh and sometimes we ROTFL…But after watching every episode, the end result is that our minds are more clear, un-stressed and happy! God bless Kapil Sharma and his team with more talent and success so they keep making us laugh!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with author Mukta Singh Zocchi!

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Mukta Singh Zocchi to my blog. Lets talk to her about her endeavors in writing..


  • Welcome Mukta! Please tell us about how did you discover your passion for writing?

Thanks Aditi for giving me this opportunity. It’s true each one of us has that passion sitting somewhere inside. Some display it at birth. In me, it burst out only after a series of processes like “controlled fusion”.  A habit of reading, learning to research, interactions … without these kinds of things I don’t think I am capable of writing. So in that sense I am not a born writer.

I had a perfect childhood to pick up the good habit of reading.  We lived in IIT campus in New Delhi, my father was a professor there, so I had access to the wonderful library there. I think I must have checked out all the fiction books they kept on their shelves over those years. Back then I did write, but it was all quite childish. Then through the college years and grad school there was relatively less of this reading business, writing certainly did not rise above the zero-mark. When I started to work,  I traveled a lot, had many unusual, amazing experiences – interesting enough that in a decade they started to find place in my stories. Now to answer your question,

I discovered my passion for writing when once after a longish rail trip across India with my family I sat down to write … really in a journal-like manner. I couldn’t stop writing. It felt wonderful to just write about our experiences. This was a phenomenal moment for me. I have been writing non-stop since then.

  • It’s incredible that you publish a magazine in Hindi, especially for the progression of the language. How did you conceive it and what made you decide to publish in Hindi language?

I grew up speaking Hindi and even though my active vocabulary in English is vaster, writing in Hindi feels closer to the creative center of my brain. I get a bigger high. I have no problems overcoming any shortcomings I might have writing in Hindi. I think this must be more or less true with most people vis-a-vis their native languages.

Then, growing up, there  were ample Hindi reading lying around at home… magazines, upanyasa. So, for me, publishing a Hindi literary magazine is not an altogether unnatural endeavor. I have certain impressions about the Hindi reading culture, perhaps those played some role in wanting to do this.

Readers of Hindi tend not to buy books – no one in my family bought them, most of my relatives did not either.  I remember once one of my aunts caught me reading a novel by Gulshan Nanda, I think it was Naya Zamana (someone had left it behind). She scolded me,  perhaps she thought I was too young to read it and in a matter of a few seconds that half-read book was in her purse … So, its pretty obvious, Hindi readership in severely undercounted. This behavior of ours results in a non-robust Hindi publishing scene.

Among other things, I had always had a problem with the quality of the font, the lack of a minimum gloss – very cumbersome for me as a reader of Hindi works. All these are the reasons I am publishing ekalpana. I want people to carry stories, not worries, in their heads. The more people read, the more they’d want to write. There is a lot of sub-standard stuff on the internet. It is important that more people publish work of good quality, set the standard and make it accessible to a large number of people.

  • Tell us a little bit more about your magazine and its content and how readers can access it?

At the beginning of this year (2016) I launched ekalpana.net – an online literary magazine. This September, the 8th issue will be published. Every issue carries 5 short stories in Hindi. We encourage stories from anyone who enjoys writing. What we are looking for is a good literary style and interesting story-telling. The level of the language is also important. I don’t think pidgin-Hindi can be considered literary.

  • What are your long term goals for your magazine?

The only time I do poetry is when I “think” goals. My long term goal for the magazine is to be able to see people sing stories and dream songs. With so many people in the world and so much happening and going on, it is hard to tell how anything would turn out. One makes efforts. With some luck, good things also happen.

  • Have you published anything else, books, short stories, etc.?

I write all the time. My short-stories have appeared in several literary magazines in the US and in India. In 2014, my first novel, The Thugs and a Courtesan hit the bookshelves. That was a very satisfying experience. At some point a few years back I started to write on NRI issues for the Hindi magazine group Delhi Press. Many of my short stories in Hindi have also appeared in Sarita magazine (Delhi Press). You can access all my work at www.muktasinghzocchi.com

  • It’s incredible to hear about all your work! What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

When I can say the work I have been writing has reached completion I feel most rewarded. You know, its that “coming to fruition of the high, excited levels of mental energies” moment … all writers must be feeling it. Doesn’t matter if the completed work is a short editorial piece or an entire novel.

Of course, one still needs to place their work, etc., but in terms of personal satisfaction all that is not as important. The route to publishing and becoming a talked-about author is tortuous and messy and can I say wicked. When I first started to write, I went through many highs and lows. There were times when I thought perhaps the writer inside me is  a phony character. But the truth is, one keeps writing, and reading, and over the course of time one improves.  I got an award for one of my short-stories in 2007, I was incredulous at first, then as I let that news set in, I felt validated as an author. In that sense, getting that first award was also a rewarding experience.

Mukta, it was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you all the best for your magazine!

Mukta’s magazinehttp://ekalpana.net

Smoky Mountains!

SmokyI recently had the pleasure of visiting the great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and I was completely wowed by its natural beauty!



I had only heard from friends and colleagues about it and the breathtaking views were totally inline with what I had heard.





There are plenty of activities for the traveler and its certainly worth traveling to!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Author interview with MV Kasi

Let’s welcome author MV Kasi to my blog today!


  • Hello & welcome to my blog! Please tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I’m an avid reader who loves reading all genres of books with romance being the main one. During my childhood, I used to write short stories or even make up stories to narrate to my friends during our free time. Lately after reading through thousands of romance books over the past twenty plus years, I have started noticing certain things. Instead of simply enjoying a good book and moving onto the next one, I started thinking about how I would have written it differently instead. About how I would change the plot or change the characters to be able to enjoy it even more. And so, I have recently re-discovered my passion for writing.

I wish I could write a heavy literary masterpiece that would appeal to the book critics. But as the saying goes—if you don’t read it or don’t like it, then don’t write it. I had a story to tell that I was extremely passionate about. I began to write, hoping that my readers could experience the same range of feelings and emotions I felt while narrating it.

  • That’s great. Tell us, how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

Topics like verbal abuse within marriage or male child preference in a family are not discussed that openly. We know they exist, we even see them happening around us, sometimes  too close for comfort.  But we often look the other way, since they do not usually leave behind any physical pain or scars on the victim.

I wanted to write a story about a woman who has gone through those issues. I had obsessively researched various articles on these topics.  My phone is filled with notes and bookmarks on consequences of verbal abuse and how victims usually cope. Some of the statistics around the world were unbelievable. It also gave me a new found understanding towards victims who have stayed through years of abusive marriage.

I drafted a story to address some of the social issues without being too obtrusive to the core romance story line.

  • That’s remarkable! Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

I’m pretty attached to all the scenes and they are all my favorites.

One scene that moved me the most and made me cry while writing it (also each time I re-read it)—was when Mahi recalls one of the last interactions with her son in the hospital. I had put off writing that scene until the end because each time I attempted, I would choke up and run to my son and hug him. He probably thought mommy was weird (or weirder than usual). Finally, when I wrote that scene, it was emotionally very draining but it felt cathartic too.

I think everyone can relate to the feeling of helplessness one feels when their loved one is very sick or hurt. And the range of feelings one feel when a loved one passes away is even more intense. The stages of grief and how one copes is different for everyone.  Some people grow stronger due to it and move on, some people let those moments define their future relationships or interactions and maybe some people block it out completely to live in denial. I have learnt a lot about how people cope with grief both from personal experiences and lots of research.

  • Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

I love Mahi. In real life I would definitely want someone like her to be my close friend.

To most outsiders, the young Mahi comes off as a bully with attitude issues. She is the product of being a neglected girl-child who seeks attention from her parents by being rebellious and obnoxious. That idea is so far ingrained into her that during her late teens, she turns into a bully. She bullies another character from the book mercilessly due to jealousy and also causes havoc to the hero. It is very easy to hate someone like that and also judge them by their behavior. But sometimes, there is a lot more happening in people’s lives that are not obvious. It doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it can explain why they behaved in a certain way.

The grown up Mahi is totally a different kettle of fish. Things that happened in her life could have easily broken her. But she rises above it and comes out as a survivor. In her new persona, she is bold, very driven and a great friend. However, she also has a lot of flaws due to her deep rooted insecurities.

A lot of us can relate to Mahi’s character in one way or the other.

  • I am so glad that you have published your story. Tell us, what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

As a newbie author, I didn’t start off writing in an organized or an efficient fashion. I had a small idea and I started writing until I ran out of words.  Even though my characters are not based on real people, I wrote them drawing on their real emotions. It was really unbelievable and exciting to see how a story panned out within a few months of writing. It was a deeply personal experience and I loved the whole process.

When I finally released my book, I was extremely glad when some of my readers told me that my story made them laugh, cry and then fall in love with the characters, rooting for their happily ever after. After getting that kind of feedback, as an author I felt that all the hours I spent obsessively writing the story was well worth it.

That’s awesome! I wish you good luck with the book!




MV Kasi’s Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29765282


KBC gig in The Kapil Sharma Show was hilarious!

I had a nice laugh yesterday watching Salman Khan‘s episode of The Kapil Sharma Show. I have to admit our weekends are so much more fun and we wait eagerly to watch this show on Saturdays and Sundays. Kapil’s team is getting better and better with various gigs in the new show.

In yesterday’s episode, the KBS gig was mind-blowing. I was laughing out loud on the questions and Dr. Gulati’s responses. Kapil was in his element in this particular show not just with comedy but also his singing and wit.

I liked how Salman and Kapil subtly mentioned Colors and Sony. I don’t know if its just me but it felt like Salman was holding back, perhaps because of his loyalty to Colors but Anushka was a real sport. Every time I watch this show, I really am in awe of Sunil Grover‘s talents. He puts in so much in each and every character he plays, that he makes the character real and lovable.

Good going Kapil and team, keep making us laugh!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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VEEP – a hilarious political satire!

Last week my husband introduced me to this hilarious political satire on HBO called VEEP and I caught on to it right away. I have been a fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfus since I watched Seinfeld and she is equally, if not more, hilarious in this show.

I believe it is not easy to create comedy in the setup of American Vice Presidential office but this show has been cast-ed as well as acted and written wonderfully. The language is a bit rough but the comedy is mind-blowing. Julia looks the part and plays the part awesomely. In fact, I miss her if she is not in a particular frame. I also think Jonah’s character is quite funny.

Overall, a great great show to watch if you are into comedy!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: Udta Punjab

I had heard a lot about the movie Udta Punjab and finally I got to see it today. It is a dark intense movie which is quite hard hitting and leaves its mark on you. Watching this movie today made me realize how far film making has come along in Bollywood! Before I even praise the actors, I have to say that direction and editing are par excellence. Screenplay and dialogues are very engaging and characterization of all four main characters is marvelous. The message of the film (say no to drugs) is loud and clear but is done in a very subtle and intelligent way. There is no preaching whatsoever and the director has left it up to the intelligent audience of today to interpret the movie. Hats off to the director!

And now, lets talk about acting. Shahid Kapoor has done a remarkable job playing Tommy Singh, Kareena Kapoor is natural, Diljit Dosanjh is effortless and Alia Bhatt is mind-blowing. Alia’s character in the movie is very strong and her spirit is uplifting. Alia’s portrayal of the character will certainly move you. Reminded me of her incredible acting in Highway. An awesome and very credible job by all actors.

Watch Udta Punjab for its marvelous film-making and awesome acting and to support the message – say no to drugs!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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5 Tips on writing nonfiction!

IMG_1070Nonfiction writing can seem daunting at times. Here are certain tips that you might find useful:

  • First and foremost, ensure that you have a definite purpose for your book. There may be several books on the topic, therefore you need to make sure yours is unique and has something definite to offer to the readers. Spell the uniqueness out!
  • Organize your chapters in a logical fashion to attract readers. When I browse through a nonfiction book, first thing I look for is the chapter list to determine if the book is useful for me or not.
  • Include examples, anecdotes and practical ideas in your book. Textual books are good for school/college curriculum. However, practical books attract all kinds of readers.
  • Choose an apt, yet attractive title for your book. Title is the first thing that attracts a reader!
  • And of course, just like any other book, proofread, beta test and edit your book before publishing.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Switched at Birth – a great show!

I stumbled upon this show called ‘Switched at Birth‘ while browsing through my Netflix queue and I have to say I really like it! If you are into emotional family dramas, you will surely appreciate this one.

The mother-daughter relationships are absolute treat to watch in this show and the writers and characters have done a remarkable job of displaying all kinds of family emotions through this show. There were times when I needed a tissue.

I have only watched the first season so far, so hopefully the momentum will continue and the show gets even better…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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How important is POV?


Point-of-view (POV) plays a critical role when you are writing scenes for your novels. While several authors write their stories from first person point-of-view, that is not a style that I am comfortable with. I am okay with reading first person point-of-view stories but when I am writing, I find it easier to write in third person. It comes naturally to me and I feel that as an author, you can be more creative with third person perspective. You can play around more with scenes and narrative.

Some of the advantages of third person POV are:

  • There are times when I have switched POV to make a scene become more powerful.
  • Although romance is always from two POVs – hero and heroine, sometimes adding a third POV enhances the storyline.
  • Often times writing a romance from a hero’s perspective provides a refreshing change!
  • As an author, it is creative to get in the head of several characters and third person POV writing provides just that.

Play with your POV and have fun writing!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Housefull-3 Movie Review!

Housefull-3 is a laughing riot all the way! Some of the scenes are just so hilarious, you will keep on laughing for several minutes and punches continue on to exponentially increase your laughter. All the comedy comes from situations and characters that are very intelligently created in the story. A lot of credit goes to writing and casting great actors that understand comedy well.

Akshay, Abhishekh and Ritesh are masters in comedy but the girls, Jacqueline, Lisa and Nargis did extremely well too. Nargis looked absolutely gorgeous in all the scenes!

Direction and editing are simply awesome. There are only four songs and they are shot to perfection. Never even once, I felt that a song doesn’t fit, in fact they all take the story forward.

There are a lot of scenes that are memorable but Abhishekh’s encounter with Aishwarya‘s wax statue is my favorite! Abhishekh’s rapping adds a lot of oomph to the movie and Akhshay’s split personality gives a new flavor to the franchise.

All in all, if you like comedy, you shouldn’t miss Housefull-3, you will laugh like a child..

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Fan – Movie Review

I finally got around to watching Shah Rukh Khan‘s latest movie, Fan. I have always complained about how Shah Rukh does only one kind of movie so it was really refreshing to see him do a pure acting kind of role and he did deliver!

On the whole, I have to commend the director for keeping it real, not adding song/dance sequences and unnecessary drama. I thought it was well directed and edited except for some chase sequences getting a bit too long. Croatia looked very scenic!

As far as the story goes, I’m not sure if we could have had a better ending. At times, it was confusing to figure out who should you empathize with. The message was clear, but could it have been portrayed a bit differently, yes, for sure!

Nevertheless, a good movie and three cheers to Shah Rukh for trying out something different.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Amit Sharma’s take on revising manuscripts!


Welcome Amit to my blog! Could you please tell us, when you receive feedback on your manuscript, how do you go about revising/changing your story?

 I am blessed with friends who are voracious readers and could be expected to give brutal and honest feedback. I give my first draft for alpha reading and get ready for all the stones and tomatoes that my friends are going to throw at me. The real work starts after that. I keep improvising the manuscript till I am completely satisfied with it. I take a break for a few days between two start-to-end sessions to get a new perspective. Once this process is over, I give over the book to a professional beta reader. I haven’t done that for the first book but I will be doing this for all my future books.
I usually do not change my story but I might change the way it has been told based on the inputs. For example, if a character needs to be more visible, I might add a few more scenes. I might add incidents that add depth to the story, add descriptions and improve dialogues.
About the Author

Amit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 at the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie. 

Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with an amazing daughter. Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, traveling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her shopping.
Amit’s book Links:

Interview with Pamela Fagan Hutchins!

Let’s welcome best-selling author Pamela Fagan Hutchins and chit-chat with her about various aspects of writing! 


  • Congratulations on your book release, Pamela! Please tell us what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Recently, I’ve coached other novelists who have gone on to experience joy and success from their writing. While I have loved and continue to love each and every review I get, awards that my books receive, and emails and letters and Facebook posts and blog comments and every other heart-warming contact with readers, I am shocked to find how much I enjoy helping other writers achieve their best writing in their stories, and find their own readers.

  • That’s fantastic. I agree, that giving back is highly rewarding. Please tell us, how much research do you do for your books?

I do tons of research for my books. Everything from culture, geography, food, and religion to current and historical events, legal and criminal procedure, and mythology. For Hell to Pay I researched on following topics:

  • The Native American Hopi tribe and its vision question/spirit animal tradition.
  • Lake Meredith and the Colorado river basin in West Texas.
  • Diabetic comas: types, symptoms, treatment, and recovery.
  • Religious cults.
  • The process and rules for adoption in Texas.
  • Crime scene procedure in multi-jurisdictional situations.
  • The process of arrest, charging, arraignment and bail in a first-degree murder case.
  • Snake handling as a part of religious tradition, especially in the Southern U.S.
  • The professional rodeo circuit.

I really enjoy the research aspect of writing. I want desperately to get it right, for my stories to ring with authenticity.

  • How do you go about developing characters of your book?

Most of them occur pretty organically. But it starts with storyboarding with my story partner, my husband. We discuss plot lines and character arcs for years, I write them in outlines, ultimately I draft them into novels, and then I send them right back to him and we do post-writing storyboarding. Sometimes a character is way, way off in a first draft. I’ll go back to the drawing board and ask myself what characteristics define this character, what events have shaped them, and what is in and out of character for them. Ideally, for a protagonist, you then want to put them to the test in every single scene, ratcheting up the tension and pressure on them and seeing how they react. As much as I storyboard and plan, though, sometimes the story and characters take on a life of their own. It’s a lot of fun when that happens, and some of my most authentic characterization comes from just letting them have their way!

  • Dialogues are important in fiction. Do you want to share any tip for writing dialogues?

Dialogue needs to be authentic and it needs to be concise. Authenticity means that it sounds exactly like that character would say it. Concise means that you take that, and you make it shorter.

I am writing a What Doesn’t Kill You prequel novella right now. Six different protagonists in alternative points of view tell it. I’m killing myself on voice and dialogue in this one, making sure that readers will know who said what whether I tell them who it is or not.

The way I check my dialogue by reading it aloud, in character. My husband finds this quite humorous. I walk through the scenes and do the accents and body language.

  • I agree, reading the dialogues out loud is a good practice. Thanks for all the tips on writing! Before you go, tell us which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

In Hell to Pay, my favorite scene is where Emily reluctantly displays her snake handling skills for her fiancé Jack and his parents. I love it because it shows her conflicted relationship with her past and her parents, at the same time as she is totally tough and brave and doing something most of us would never in a million years do.


pamela jan

Pamela’s Book Links:

Amazon.com : https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill-ebook/dp/B019UHL0NY

Amazon.in: http://www.amazon.in/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill/dp/1939889367

Pamela’s Website: http://pamelafaganhutchins.com

Author Interview with Varsha Dixit!

It is my pleasure to welcome author Varsha Dixit to my blog today! Lets chat with her about her books and writing in general.


  • Welcome Varsha! please tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

The love of story telling. I read somewhere that if there is a story that you want to read and it hasn’t been written then you should write it. So that is basically what I did.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

I like reading well written romances or for that matter any story where characters share great chemistry. I thing I was certain of was that if I ever wrote a book, I would give my characters chemistry and lots of sizzle factor.  Also I wanted to write about women friendships because they play such an important role in our lives. Thus came the idea of Right Fit Wrong Shoe, a story of love, friendship with homage to the city I grew in – Kanpur.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I do considerable story related research. Fiction needs to sound real for it to make a connection with the readers. My research usually centers on places, hotspots, cuisine and historical facts unique to a location where my story unfolds.

  • How do you go about developing characters of your book?

I think my characters develop themselves. I have often found that when I start writing a scene it turns very different from what I had conceived it to be. Thus I feel my characters decide their own story.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

The love of my readers.

That’s fantastic! I hope you keep getting love from your readers. Wish you lot of success in writing!

Varsha’s Amazon Author Page : http://www.amazon.com/Varsha-Dixit/e/B00A1EJMC2

TKSS episode with Housefull-3 stars was mind-blowing!

I have been watching all episodes of The Kapil Sharma Show, and while I have liked all of them, today’s episode with Housefull 3 stars was simply mind-blowing! Throughout the episode, I didn’t stop laughing and I am pretty sure, I am going to watch it again tomorrow. The one-liners, the gags and simply the chemistry between Kapil, Akshay, Abhishekh and Ritesh was unbelievable.

The new ceeti cable gag is turning out to be quite funny. Dr. Mashoor Gulati is outstanding  in all his interactions and I simply love his character. Chandu’s son did an incredible job and I loved his interaction with Abhishekh!

Great going for the show and Kapil and his team! Keep making us laugh!!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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New characters in ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ are hilarious!

Aren’t we all happy that Kapil Sharma and his team are back on television! I certainly am; I have watched all episodes till now and love the fact that they have all been unique in their own way, there are plenty of new characters to keep us entertained. This also ensures that the show never seems repetitive.

I love all the characters of the new show but some of them deserve special mention.

  • Dr. Mashoor played by Sunil Grover is by far the best! His timing, accent, mannerism and interaction with other characters are superb!
  • Rochelle Rao is adorably funny but what  I love the most is the chemistry between Kapil, Rochelle and Sumona. Its cute as well as funny!
  • Chandan’s kid is mind-blowing. I don’t know how a small kid can have such impeccable comic timing.

Kudos to the team for casting a variety of hilarious characters. I have missed Kapil’s show for so many months, so glad to see them bring laughter back! I also love the social messages Kapil has been sharing in all his episodes! Keep at it!!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Author Interview with Sujit Banerjee!


  • Welcome to my blog, Sujit! Please tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I had stories to tell and I had been collecting them from a very young age. Publishing them was not the idea in the beginning as they were my personal secrets that I had recorded on pages lest I forget them. But eventually, I realised I had a whole body of work over a period of time. Without really realizing I had become a writer!

  • Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

Unfair question!!! Each one had hit me equally and it will be impossible for me to choose one!

  • Fair enough! Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

Hemakshi was one where I had to FEEL like a woman to be able to tell her story. The other was Yasmin Bibi because of how fate destroys her and her son Zayan – the third favourite character.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Being able to get the stories out of my system, my blood.

Well, I’m glad that you decided to publish your stories. Good luck with your book!

Sujit’s Book Links

Amazon.in: http://www.amazon.in/Rukhsat-Departure-Sujit-Banerjee/dp/9352015452

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27507853-rukhsat-the-departure

Kapil Sharma brand of laughter is back!

I just watched the second (April 24th) episode of The Kapil Sharma Show and loved it! I am a fan of Kapil Sharma brand of humor and the new show is very refreshing with new, interesting and creatively funny characters. There are some similarities with the previous show, Comedy Nights with Kapil which the fans will find comforting such as Kapil’s monologue and Navjot Singh Sidhu’s shero-shayari. But the fans will also definitely appreciate the changes that have been made in the new show. Kapil’s monologue had always been the USP of the show and it was really nice to see that continue. His delivery and connect with the common man is endearing.

Here are a few highlights of the new show:

  • Sunil Grover has surpassed all his previous characters as Dr. Mashoor. He is hilarious, adventurous and quite clever with his comic timing.
  • Rochelle Rao is amazingly cute as a nurse, a great addition to the show!
  • Suresh Menon is a very refreshing addition and is extremely talented. I loved his character.
  • Kapil’s nani played by Ali Asgar is very adorable. His getup & mannerism is hilarious and has lot of physicality in his humor.
  • Sumona, Chandan and Kiku did a fine job and I expect they will keep surprising us in the future episodes.

I laughed big time and realized how much I had missed these people for the past three months. Great to have Kapil Sharma and his team back!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Red Thai Curry!


I was running out of school lunch options for my daughter and recently ran into a Thai Red Curry Sauce in Trader Joe’s.

Red-curryIt’s pretty easy to make and turned out quite zesty. I sauteed a mix of sweet peppers for a couple of minutes, added cubed tofu and mixed with half the bottle of the Red Curry sauce. Let it simmer for few minutes and then mix in coconut milk, salt and red pepper. Let it simmer for another ten minutes and serve with steamed rice.

In all these years, this is the first time that my daughter texted me from school that she liked her lunch! I guess it’s worth trying.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Baked Veggie Pasta!


Continuing with my search for new vegetarian pasta recipes, I found another one today that I tried. It turned out super delicious! The only change I made to the recipe was replace fontina cheese with gouda cheese since I couldn’t find Fontina cheese in the grocery store. The spicy Arrabiata sauce from Whole Foods did wonders too!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Kapoor & Sons Movie Review!

Every once in a while, you watch a movie and it leaves such a profound mark on you that you have to talk about it. Kapoor & Sons is one such movie!! After the movie was over, people were clapping in the theater and I found myself cracking up and clapping on some of the dialogues because they are hilarious, relate-able and so apt! And of course I embarrassed my daughter by dancing on the Chull song, but hey who doesn’t want to dance on this hit number.

Enough said about the movie experience. I wouldn’t delve into the story as I don’t want to give away the story to those who haven’t watched it yet. I urge everyone to go watch this movie, there is something for every member of the family and so much truth and depth to the story. Brilliant direction by Shakun Batra. I haven’t seen such tight editing in a while, reminded me of 3 Idiots in terms of relatability.

Everyone and I mean everyone acted supremely well. Alia Bhatt is my favorite and she performed excellently. Siddharth Malhotra was great but Fawad khan stood out the most. His acting, his character and his gorgeous looks grabbed the limelight. Rishi Kapoor is adorable!

A must must watch movie for just about everyone! Don’t think, just go and watch!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Chila for breakfast

My daughter doesn’t like eggs which rules out quite a number of breakfast items. I was running out of ideas to make healthy & easy breakfast and then I remembered the good old Indian breakfast dish, Chila. Traditionally chila is made with besan (gram flour) but I tried a different version of it and got my daughter’s approval as well.


  • 2 tablespoon besan (gram flour)
  • 2 tablespoon sooji (semolina)
  • salt, red chili powder
  • cubed onions and tomatoes


  • Mix besan and sooji with enough water to make a consistent paste.
  • Add in salt, red chili powder, cubed onions and tomatoes. Alternatively, you can puree the tomatoes and mix in as well for a different texture.
  • Heat up a tava/griddle on medium heat and sprinkle a few oil drops. Spread the batter on the tava and let the chila cook for couple of minutes before turning it over and cook for another couple of minutes on the other side. Add in a few more drops of oil just so that the chila doesn’t stick to the tava.

Serve it hot with coriander chutney and enjoy!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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