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Sanju is a Rajkumar Hirani’s masterpiece!

The movie, Sanju, is a beautiful portrayal of human emotions by magician Rajukumar Hirani! Although this movie focuses on dark aspects of Sanjay Dutt’s life, it never feels dark. Only Rajkumar Hirani can pull that off.

The emotion level is up there and there are plenty scenes that will stay with you for days. My favorite is the scene in which Vicky Kaushal‘s character pleads with Paresh Rawal‘s character. Vicky Kaushal was simply outstanding! An actor to look out for!

Ranbir Kapoor is at his best! He is pretty much living Sanjay Dutt’s life during the movie. I didn’t see Ranbit kapoor at all. In every scene, I saw Sanjay Dutt. What an awesome acting job!

All the supporting actors were well casted and did a remarkable job. However, Anushka Sharma stood out amongst them. She looks so lively and apt for the role and plays a pivotal role in telling Sanjay Dutt’s story.

Pretty much everyone who watches the movie will feel at least one strong emotion. There is a lot to feel and a lot to learn. Yet it is a heart touching entertainer!

A must must watch! Don’t miss it!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Raazi lives up to its expectations!

I had the pleasure of watching Alia Bhatt‘s latest release Raazi and really had an amazing experience! Raazi is a spy thriller that is well directed, edited, performed and leaves you with a lot of patriotic emotion!

This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. You want to know what’s going to happen next. Alia Bhatt’s performance is so good that it felt natural through and through as if she actually lived this life.  I am not sure how she pulls off such engrossing performance every time but it is a treat to watch her in this one for sure! Another actor that stood out for me was Jaideep Ahlawat who plays his character to perfection! Rest of the cast including Vicky Kaushal has done a great job as well and supports the protagonist extremely well.

There aren’t many songs since it is a thriller. A couple of songs that exist are sensibly placed and take the narrative forward. ‘Ae Watan‘ gives you goosebumps and ‘Dibaro‘ is quite emotional.

Raazi is a must-see experience for just about everyone. A story filled with patriotic emotion and bravery, to say the least!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Tips for writing College Essays

Essays are an integral part of undergraduate college admissions here in the U.S. Essays define who you are and provide further insight into your personality to the college admission staff.

Here are a few pointers to consider:

  • Find your unique voice while writing your college essay. You don’t have to use flowery language but you should definitely make an effort to write it in a unique way so that your essay stands out.
  • Write, review, revise and get your essay proofread before submitting.
  • Most of the essays have a word limit. Be aware of the word limit and try to construct your essay within the limits and still get your point across.
  • Ensure that you are actually answering the question asked in the essay prompt. Many times, you may revise your essay several times and may lose the main point while doing so.
  • Space out your essays so you are not writing all of them one after the other. You don’t want to compromise on the quality.

Essay writing is the creative part of college admission process. Enjoy it!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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“Curb Your Enthusiasm” will tickle your funny bone!

I used to always say there is no comedy show like Seinfeld until I stumbled upon Curb Your Enthusiasm and I absolutely am loving watching it on Amazon Prime. It reminds you in so many ways of the iconic Seinfeld show. After all we do have a common thread in Larry David who is starring as himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Much like Seinfeld, its a show about nothing but you can pretty much relate to every episode because it brings humor in everyday happenings in life. Larry David is funny in a quirky way. Very quickly you start to empathize with him and at the same time you are laughing at him. It’s hard to explain in words, you just have to watch the show. If you loved Seinfeld, you will like this show as well!


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!

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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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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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Interview with Pamela Fagan Hutchins!

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

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  • 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.

 

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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

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From Non-Fiction to Fiction Writing!

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The journey from a non-fiction writer to a fiction writer is not easy. For one, it doesn’t come naturally and there is a lot of hard work involved. Some of the books that I have found useful in the process are:

I have also documented my practical experience of writing fiction in my guide, Practical Guide to Writing Fiction.


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Use Social Media for Book Marketing!

Book marketing has always been and continues to be a challenge for authors. Authors would rather spend time writing or creatively thinking about their next book but instead, they find themselves spending a lot of time in promoting their latest book.

There are several avenues to market your book but in today’s digital age, social media tools provide the biggest ROI in my humble opinion. Every author will have to experiment with various social media tools and figure out which ones will get them closer to their audience. Keep in mind that not every social media tool will work for you. For instance, I experimented with a number of tools before I found out that Twitter and LinkedIn gave me the best ROI. I now spend more time on these tools as compared to other social media sites.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is when you are posting on social media, don’t just promote your books. Find innovative ways to engage with your readers as well as fellow authors. It pays to pay attention and be engaged with others.


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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‘Beyond the Clouds’ is poetic!

There are a couple of reasons why I wanted to watch the latest Bollywood movie release, Beyond the Clouds. For one, its directed by an Iranian filmmaker, Majid Majidi and secondly it is introducing Ishaan Khattar, who is Shahid Kapur‘s brother.

Although I knew it was a serious subject, I went in with no expectations. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the story-line and how it was depicted on screen. It’s amazing to see how hope can be seen in such dire circumstances and kudos to the filmmaker for directing the way he did.

It is certainly a really good movie for Ishaan Khattar to debut in and he did an amazing job.  Malavika Mohanan, who played Ishaan‘s sister in the movie has done an equally awesome job! You can tell the amount of hard work that has gone in essaying their characters. A job well done!

Some of the Mumbai scenes are a treat to watch on screen. I also liked the director’s style, its subtle and poetic! Moreover, I liked the fact that I came out of the theater with a smile on my face. This movie is a lesson to those directors who want to make movies on a serious subject but don’t know how. Most of the time directors make serious subjects depressing and the audience comes out of the theater with no hope. It certainly is not true with this one. Beyond the Clouds is like watching a beautiful poem on screen.


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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How to write a good essay introduction?

Essays are an integral part of undergraduate college admissions here in the U.S. and they can certainly overwhelm you.

Writing essays can easily become a daunting task, especially when you don’t know how to start. As a writer, I feel that hardest part is the beginning of any piece of writing. Once you get in the flow, you can easily move along and finish the piece.

There is a very important aspect of essay writing that you need to always keep in mind, which is “show and not tell”. This technique will make your essay much easier to read. When college staff is reading multiple essays every day, you want to make yours stand out and make it easier to read.

As far as how to begin an essay is concerned, I would say, try to paint a picture of the scenario that you are trying to describe. Describe a unique experience from your life and transport the reader to that particular situation so they can actually visualize it. Give as many details as needed to paint the picture of the scenario and go from there.

Good luck!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Inside Edge – A Gripping Amazon Original Series!

I just binged watched Inside Edge – an Amazon original series produced in India with some remarkable actors.

I happen to stumble upon it just browsing through Amazon’s TV shows and I couldn’t stop watching once I started. The story based on a Cricket league backdrop is very gripping and fast-paced. There is some amazing acting by one of the best Bollywood actors and they keep you on the edge of your seat.

Clearly, India is realizing that digital is the way to go. You can do so much more with a series because you are not limited by movie length or censor etc. I hope we will see more such shows. I am definitely looking forward to season 2 of Inside Edge!


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